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Posted on on October 28th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

Spain-UNEP LifeWeb Partnership to Raise Incomes and Improve Conservation in Protected Areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Orangutans and Monk Seals among Species to Benefit  from Spain-Backed Conservation Boost.

NAGOYA, 28 October 2010—More than 15 protected areas, including one
managing monk seals off Mauritania and another in Sumatra that is home to
orangutans, tigers and elephants, are to receive a $6.8million conservation

Today, at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, the Government of Spain and the UN
Environment Programme (UNEP) announced a new partnership for protected
areas under the LifeWeb initiative.

The partnership, supporting mainly low-income and developing countries,
aims to deliver benefits not just for biodiversity but for communities
living in and around protected areas.

For example, in the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, some of the funds will support improved health services for local

In Panama and El Salvador, support to the Mesoamerican terrestrial
protected areas will help develop innovative economic and legal instruments
to promote sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems through their
social and economic values, and the ecosystem services.

The partnership will also support the establishment of new protected areas
that, in turn, can generate new streams of income for local people.  This
includes improving links between existing national parks and marine
reserves in West Africa to create a protected area network for sea turtles,
in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Secretary of State for Climate Change, said:  “The
growth in protected areas is one of the real success stories of
conservation over the past half century.  The challenge is to ensure that
as many as possible of some 100,000 sites are well-managed and in a way
that maximizes livelihood and income opportunities for people, alongside
securing the biodiversity and economically-important ecosystems found at
such important sites.  Our Government’s investment is aimed at achieving
these triple-win goals and realizing the opportunities at initially 11
demonstration projects on marine, coastal and terrestrial protected areas.
In doing so, it is making a contribution to advancing the biodiversity
targets and the poverty-related UN Millennium Development Goals.”

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director,
said:  “I want to thank the Government of Spain for their leadership and
support by investing in these nature-based asset — assets providing
services such as water supplies, soil fertility and carbon storage worth
trillions of dollars a year to local and indeed the global economy.”

“The evidence linking poverty eradication and protected areas is also
emerging.  A recent report by UNEP’s Green Economy team, for example, cited
Costa Rica.  Here wages and employment have risen and poverty has been
reduced since the protected area estate was expanded to some 26 per cent of
the country’s land surface”, he added.

Mr. Steiner cited other cases, including from the UNEP-hosted project, The
Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), where investment in
sustainable management is triggering dividends.

* In Venezuela, investment in the national protected area system is
preventing sedimentation that otherwise could reduce farm earnings by
around $3.5 million a year.

* Investment in the protection of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve is
generating an annual income of close to $50 million a year, has generated
7,000 jobs and boosted local family incomes.

The protected areas to benefit from the UNEP-Spain LifeWeb partnership

The Takamanda National Park in Cameroon, where funds will provide economic
incentives to conserve the habitat of the rare Cross-River Gorilla with
additional benefits for curbing climate change linked with deforestation.

The Garamba and the Kazuhi-Biega National Parks in the Democratic Republic
of Congo where funds will support improved conservation of various rare and
endangered species including the northern white rhino, chimpanzee, elephant
and gorilla.

The Lossi Fauna Reserve and the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the
Republic of the Congo where it is planned to boost tourism and thus income
for local people by hiring locally-recruited park staff.

The Iles d’Orango National Park, João Vieira-Poilão National Park, Rio
Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park in Guinea-Bissau, where funds will be used to
conserve threatened species such as manatee, sea turtles and migrating
water birds and to develop strategies to reduce harmful fishing.

Sea Turtles Marine Protected Areas Network in four West African countries
through the reinforcement of conservation measures to protect sea turtle
populations, considering the risks caused by the sea-level dynamics in
littoral ecosystems and climate change effects.

Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania where funds will support the
critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal and its associated habitats.
Surveillance measures will be reinforced in the Satellite Reserve of Cap
Blanc to help conserve the natural habitat of the seal and seal populations
in the region.  Funds will also go towards public awareness activities in
the marine protected areas.

Gunung Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra, Indonesia to help restore
degraded habitats that support species including orangutan, rhinoceros and

Mesoamerica Volcán Barú National Park in Panama and La Montañona
Conservation Area in El Salvador where the aim is to develop the economic
and legal mechanisms to increase the sustainable use of natural resources,
and develop linkages among biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human
well-being on the basis of environmental and socio-economic values.

South and Northeast Pacific and Wider Caribbean Marine Mammal Corridors and
Critical Habitat in the South and Northeast Pacific and the Wider Caribbean
Regions is strengthening regional platforms to improve  spatial planning
for marine mammals protection and to develop within the three regions an
overview of essential habitats and migration routes

The LifeWeb Initiative was launched in May 2008 during the ninth meeting of
the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in
Bonn, Germany.

LifeWeb’s goal is to strengthen financing for protected areas to conserve
biodiversity, secure livelihoods and address climate change, through
implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas.  Developing
countries and countries with economies in transition are invited to submit
expressions of interest through LifeWeb to invite financial support for
protected areas from development partners.

The Governments of Finland, Germany and Spain are the principal donors to
LifeWeb (see

For more information on the Nagoya Conference, see

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media –
on E-mail: or Tel. +81-80-3660-1001 or +41-79-596-5737

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