Lifeline for some the world’s most precious biodiverse habitats announced

Over £100 million from the government’s Biodiverse Landscapes Fund will be invested in some of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth.

Over £100 million from the government’s Biodiverse Landscapes Fund will be invested in some of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth, International Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith has announced today.

Six environmentally critical landscapes across the globe will receive funding to tackle biodiversity loss and combat climate change. The landscapes selected are each home to rare and endangered species: elephants and rhinos in Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA); mountain gorillas in the Western Congo Basin; tigers in the Lower Mekong and jaguars in Mesoamerica.

These species are supported by diverse ecosystems and habitats, including rainforests, wetlands, temperate forests and mangroves. By driving action to protect these landscapes and habitats, the Fund will protect the wildlife that calls them home, through conserving protected areas, improving connectivity between habitats for key species and combatting the illegal wildlife trade.

The landscapes announced today include:

Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, covering areas of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
Mesoamerica, covering areas of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras;
Congo Basin, covering areas of Cameroon, Gabon and Republic of Congo;
Andes Amazon, covering Ecuador and Peru;
Lower Mekong, covering Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam; and
Madagascar
Today’s announcement forms part of the government’s ambitious commitments ahead of COP26 and builds on successes achieved at the UK chaired G7, which saw G7 leaders commit to protect and conserve 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. The global ‘30by30’ target is now supported by over 100 countries worldwide.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The global population of animals is plummeting faster than at any time in human history and precious habitats and species are being wiped off our planet.

We are at a tipping point, and we must act now – right now – to turn the tide of this environmental crisis before it is too late.

Our Biodiverse Landscapes Fund will invest in six of the most environmentally critical landscapes, spanning 18 countries across the globe, to help to combat climate change and protect rare and endangered species.

International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

This funding is part of a package of far reaching and ambitious programmes we are launching ahead of the crucial Glasgow CO26 Climate summit. The UK government is leading the way in tackling biodiversity loss and combatting climate change, and will be encouraging other countries to follow suit by coming forward with funding for nature.

There is no pathway to tackling climate change that does not involve the recovery of nature. The Biodiverse Landscapes Fund announced today will support six vital biodiversity hotspots across the globe, which are so threatened by climate change. Through nature-based solutions, the fund will help reduce poverty and create sustainable economic development for communities living in, and dependent upon, these environmentally precious landscapes.

Over seven years the funding will be invested in local projects that support the protection and restoration of landscapes through nature-based solutions, which will tackle climate change while providing sustainable livelihoods for local communities.

On the ground, the projects will be led locally and collaboratively within local communities, supported internationally by environmental organisations, academics and private sector organisations. The projects aim to fast track the recovery of nature through activities such as sustainable agricultural practices, promoting natural resource management and strengthening indigenous people’s rights to sustainably manage their lands.

Communities that are most dependent on the resources offered by these landscapes, including indigenous communities, suffer most and suffer first from their loss or degradation. The fund will work with local communities and will support sustainable economic development to allow local people to benefit long-term from their environments.

The projects are expected to start by the end of summer 2022.

The fund counts as Official Development Assistance, part of the UK’s commitment to international development.

 

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