Fund Will Defend Biodiversity
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has welcomed the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6) biodiversity strategy approved at the on-going fifth GEF assembly in Mexico, a statement said on Friday. The statement said the GEF-6 Biodiversity Strategy would be implemented under the sixth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund.
“The strategy encompasses four objectives and is composed of 10 programs. The second objective of the GEF-6 Biodiversity strategy (BD2) is to reduce threats to globally significant biodiversity.
“Programme three, under this objective, is aimed at preventing the extinction of known threatened species. This programme recognizes that illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is an emerging driver of biodiversity loss’’ and “that poaching at the current scale undermines the rule of law and economy generally”.
The statement quoted CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon as saying: “This GEF-6 biodiversity strategy responds to the immediate threat posed by poaching and smuggling to the survival of known threatened species in the wild.
“Poaching and smuggling of the survival of known threatened species which is being increasingly carried out at an industrial scale by organized transnational criminal gangs.
“Access to additional financing to help reverse these trends is essential and CITES applauds the GEF for its timely and innovative response to this crisis which poses a threat to wildlife, people, economies and security,” he added.
The statement said that the programme would support strengthening decision making.
“GEF will strengthen the decision making process, including legislation and its implementation, strategic planning and capacity of national agencies in Africa engaged in reducing poaching and illegal trade of tusks, horns and associated by-products.
“GEF will also complement anti-poaching work in Africa through a similar array of interventions at source sites for rhino and elephants and other wildlife in Asia,” it said.
According to the statement, the CITES Secretariat is in discussions with GEF implementing agencies on how to further assist parties.
The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. The GEF serves as financial mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It also works closely with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
Since 1991, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries. For 23 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP) the GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of $1 billion.
Among the major results of these investments, the GEF has set up protected areas around the world equal roughly to the area of Brazil; reduced carbon emissions by 2.3 billion tons; eliminated the use of ozone depleting substances in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia; transformed the management of 33 major river basins and one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems; slowed the advance of desertification in Africa by improving agricultural practices—and all this while contributing to better the livelihood and food security of millions of people.
Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.
Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information firstname.lastname@example.org