In 2008, the Oppenheimer family donated a 4500 hectare Nature Reserve, Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, to our non-profit, the Maharishi lnstitute, to provide a stunning location for a new sustainable rural university, MERU. Ezemvelo is conservatively valued at R35.5 million, or 28 million DKK. MERU is being founded to educate disadvantaged youth in the conservation and “green” industries. The breakthrough concept combines education, poverty alleviation, and elimate change awareness and reduction into one solution. lndividuals and communities will learn how to create wealth out of emerging 21st century green technologies.read more
São Tome and Príncipe, constitutes one of the most important countries for biodiversity in the world. It has a high level of endemism of many taxonomic groups. The islands host 95 bird species of which 27 species are endemic to the islands. The island is one of Africa’s major centres of wildlife endemism. The island holds three Critically Endangered bird species – the São Tomé Fiscal (Lanius newtoni), the São Tomé Grosbeak (Neospiza concolor), and the Dwarf Olive Ibis (Bostrychia bocagei) – which are found nowhere else on earth. All three species occur in the lowland forests in the south-west of the island. These forests have been classified as the second most important forests for bird conservation in Africa.read more
In the Americas, land purchase of key sites has proved to be an effective way of conserving both species and habitats and the numerous ecosystem services they provide. Land purchase is often the best way to minimise the risks and assumptions of conservation efforts, and can provide greater options in terms of sustainable finance for long-term protection and management of forest reserves. Some of the highest priorities for purchase are unprotected forest corridors that link much larger protected forest sites; key areas within the buffer zones of existing protected area; and core areas within “paper parks” (areas protected on paper only). Such purchases deliver benefits greatly disproportionate to the area involved, as they help ensure the viability of species within protected areas, and long-term ecological connectivity.read more
The tropical forests of the Fiji Islands are critical for the conservation of Fiji’s unique biodiversity (over 90% of which are associated with forest habitats), provide valuable ecosystem services (such as soil conservation, water purification and carbon storage) and are very important for their deeply-rooted traditional social and cultural values. 90% of Fiji’s land and forests are owned by indigenous ‘family clans’ called mataqali. Forests provide the main source of livelihood for these mataqali. It is their great provider, and they are its guardian. About half of Fiji’s forests have already been lost through clearance for agriculture, unsustainable logging and fire. To reverse this trend the government has agreed a Fiji Forest Policy (2007) that identifies Permanent Forest Estates (PFE) within which landowners can become part of the forest industry through sustainably managing their forest or providing permanent protection.read more
This project was designed to ameliorate the effects of the global economic downturn on BirdLife Partner NGOs. As a result of the recession, funding streams to some NGOs were significantly reduced and important conservation work was severely curtailed. In response, the NGOs took corrective action including introducing staff pay cuts or scaling back activities. This response was partially effective, but there were still core funding gaps to be filled. This project was meant to help fill these gaps through awards of a series of “small” grants funds to selected NGOs.read more
The wetlands of the high Andes from Venezuela to Argentina form a key component of paramo, jalca and puna ecosystems. They play a vital role in providing water to ecosystems and human communities at lower elevations, and are of key importance for resident and migratory biodiversity, including significant numbers of highly threatened species such as Bogota Rail (EN), Junín Grebe (CR), Titicaca Grebe (EN), Hooded Grebe (EN) and Andean Flamingo (VU).
High Andean wetland eco-regions are widely recognised as being globally threatened. The wetlands and the unique biodiversity they maintain are threatened through drainage, hydroelectric dams, changes in hydrological cycles, introduced species, overexploitation and incidental catch. These wetlands and the environmental services they provide are also expected to be severely affected by climate change.
All seven species of sea turtles are endangered due to human activity. In many places of the world, a large number of adult turtles are still brutally slaughtered. In other areas, turtle populations are threatened by the plundering of nests, unmitigated beach development, pollution, and fishing bycatch. Worldwide the stocks of sea turtles have declined by over 60% in the last 100 years, bringing some species to the brink of extinction. In many regions, local populations are already gone.read more
BirdLife International’s work involves the protection of sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation termed as Important Bird Areas (IBAs). In Africa, over 1,200 sites are vital to both flora and fauna and are also a source of livelihoods for the communities living around them.
Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania is one such site. Since 2006, the shallow saline lake has drawn global attention as a result of a soda ash mining proposal initially put forward by Tata Chemicals Industries and the Government of Tanzania.
Since 2004, SAVE Brazil (SAVE) has been working to conserve the highly threatened Atlantic Forest at Serra do Urubu (Pernambucu State, Brazil) with support from the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation. This final project report gives an overview of the achievements of the project during its lifetime together with a more detailed Annual Project Report for the second half of 2011. Importantly, all of the proposed activities were successfully completed and the project achieved its goal: To contribute to the conservation of the Atlantic Forest of north east Brazil and its rich and unique biodiversity by increasing the forested area through the involvement of local communities in forest conservation and restoration initiatives.read more
The incidental capture of untargeted species – bycatch – has become a major political, management, sectoral and environmental focus, bringing its implications to the forefront as a conservation, sustainability and food security imperative. Of particular concern in the Coral Triangle region is shrimp trawling – an activity, which harvests an estimated tens of thousands of endangered marine turtles every year and which also catches a significant amount of other non-target (and unmanaged) fish and shellfish. An on-board WWF observations program in the Arafura Sea (near Papua) in 2005-2006 revealed that an average of 2-20 sea turtles were incidentally caught in each vessel during trawl operations.read more