UN Foundation & Conservation International forge $15M partnership to protect global biodiversity

November 15, 2002

(Venice, Italy - November 15, 2002) - The President of the UN Foundation, Timothy E. Wirth, and the President of Conservation International (CI), Russell Mittermeier, today announced a three-year $15 million partnership to protect and conserve the world's most biodiversity-rich places. Working with the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Foundation and CI seek to collaborate on the development of projects in proposed or existing natural World Heritage Sites. The partnership will enhance the impact of the World Heritage Convention, designed to work with UN member states to identify and protect sites of natural or cultural heritage. The Convention was ratified in 1972 by 167 member states and is currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) has identified the conservation of biodiversity as one of its top priorities, and is directly supporting World Heritage sites through strategic grant making. Of the 730 designated World Heritage Sites, 144 have been inscribed as natural sites, and of these the UN Foundation works to sustain sites that are inscribed for their biological value. The Foundation promotes replicable conservation approaches, builds greater public awareness about the need to protect biodiversity, and creates effective partnerships to bring additional resources to World Heritage sites.

"The Foundation's efforts help facilitate collaboration between governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations and individuals to achieve maximum impact in natural World Heritage sites," said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. "These partnerships help sustain both communities and the future of humanity by preserving our world's most treasured resources."

Through CI, the World Heritage Center will be able to tap into existing networks in order to bring on-the-ground conservation capacity to their efforts. CI's strengths include conservation science, protected area management, conservation enterprise development, training, communications, and working with business, government, communities and indigenous populations.

"With 16 out of 25 global biodiversity hotspots having World Heritage Sites, this partnership will be tremendously beneficial in providing the essential on-the-ground work to protect them," said CI President Russell Mittermeier. "This is exactly the kind of important partnership Conservation International welcomes to successfully implement our global ecosystem approach of conserving biodiversity." CI's strategic focus emphasizes protection of the world's 25 global biodiversity hotspots, where more than 60 percent of all terrestrial species diversity is found within just 1.4 percent of the Earth's land surface.

Up to $15 million will support initiatives developed collaboratively by the UN Foundation, CI, UNESCO's World Heritage Center and would target regions where focus could generate significant conservation results. A recent collaboration between the UN Foundation, CI, and Flora and Fauna International led to the Cambodian government's decision to designate a 1,000,000-acre (402,000-hectare) area in southwestern Cambodia's Central Cardamom Mountains as a protected area.

The Cardamoms, which Cambodia plans to nominate as a World Heritage site, are home to most of Cambodia's large mammals and half of the country's birds, reptiles and amphibians. Two wildlife sanctuaries border the area, bringing the total land under protection to 2.44 million acres (990,000 hectares), forming the largest, and most pristine wilderness in mainland Southeast Asia.

The UN Foundation is also exploring a similar partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The UN Foundation and WWF have already partnered in efforts to conserve World Heritage sites in the Galapagos Islands and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said, "By partnering with the World Heritage Centre, the UN Foundation has strengthened our capacities to reach our objectives and attract new partners for World Heritage conservation. Indeed, the principle aim of the forthcoming World Heritage Congress is the development of targeted partnerships for site protection and preservation."
-end-
The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grant-making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Conservation International (CI) is an environmental organization working in more than 30 countries worldwide to protect biodiversity and to demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. CI develops scientific, policy and economic solutions to protect threatened natural ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity.

Conservation International

Related Biodiversity Articles from Brightsurf:

Biodiversity hypothesis called into question
How can we explain the fact that no single species predominates?

Using the past to maintain future biodiversity
New research shows that safeguarding species and ecosystems and the benefits they provide for society against future climatic change requires effective solutions which can only be formulated from reliable forecasts.

Changes in farming urgent to rescue biodiversity
Humans depend on farming for their survival but this activity takes up more than one-third of the world's landmass and endangers 62% of all threatened species.

Predicting the biodiversity of rivers
Biodiversity and thus the state of river ecosystems can now be predicted by combining environmental DNA with hydrological methods, researchers from the University of Zurich and Eawag have found.

About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet
Large open-water fish predators such as tunas or sharks hunt for prey more intensively in the temperate zone than near the equator.

Bargain-hunting for biodiversity
The best bargains for conserving some of the world's most vulnerable salamanders and other vertebrate species can be found in Central Texas and the Appalachians, according to new conservation tools developed at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Researchers solve old biodiversity mystery
The underlying cause for why some regions are home to an extremely large number of animal species may be found in the evolutionary adaptations of species, and how they limit their dispersion to specific natural habitats.

Biodiversity offsetting is contentious -- here's an alternative
A new approach to compensate for the impact of development may be an effective alternative to biodiversity offsetting -- and help nations achieve international biodiversity targets.

Biodiversity yields financial returns
Farmers could increase their revenues by increasing biodiversity on their land.

Biodiversity and wind energy
The location and operation of wind energy plants are often in direct conflict with the legal protection of endangered species.

Read More: Biodiversity News and Biodiversity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.