Skip to comments.World Heritage Biodiversity Hot Spots to Get $15M
Posted on 12/06/2002 9:53:08 AM PST by cogitator
World Heritage Biodiversity Hot Spots to Get $15M
WASHINGTON, DC, November 20, 2002 (ENS) - Places that are the richest in their variety of unique animals and plants are often the places most jeopardized by development, even though they may be designated as World Heritage sites by the United Nations.
To protect and conserve these most threatened biodiversity hot spots, Conservation International and the United Nations Foundation have formed a new three year, $15 million partnership.
(CAPTION) The southern muriqui Brachyteles arachnoides is one of the most threatened primates in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. (Photo by Haroldo Palo, Jr. courtesy Conservation International)
The partnership was announced Friday in Venice at an international congress entitled "World Heritage 2002: Shared Legacy, Common Responsibility" hosted by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to marks its 30th anniversary.
As presented jointly by president of the UN Foundation, Timothy Wirth, and president of Conservation International, Russell Mittermeier, the partnership aims to enhance the impact of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which works with UN member countries to identify and protect sites of natural or cultural heritage.
Working with UNESCO, the UN Foundation and Conservation International (CI) seek to collaborate on the development of projects in proposed or existing natural World Heritage Sites. Of the 730 designated World Heritage Sites, 144 have been inscribed as natural sites.
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."
The principle aim of the World Heritage Congress was the development of just such targeted partnerships for site protection and preservation, Matsuura said.
(CAPTION) UN Foundation president Timothy Wirth spent more than 20 years serving in the U.S. Congress, first as a Congressman and then as a Senator, representing Colorado. (Photo courtesy UN Foundation)
Wirth said, "These partnerships help sustain both communities and the future of humanity by preserving our world's most treasured resources."
Created to administer Ted Turner's $1 billion pledge in support of the United Nations, the UN 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 UN Foundation has identified the conservation of biodiversity as one of its top priorities, and is supporting World Heritage sites through strategic grant making.
(CAPTION) Primate scientist Russell Mittermeier is president of Conservation International. (Photo courtesy CI)
"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's Mittermeier, a primatologist who chairs the Primate Specialist Group of the IUCN-World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission
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.
"This is exactly the kind of important partnership Conservation International welcomes to successfully implement our global ecosystem approach of conserving biodiversity," said Mittermeier.
Nearly half the world's vascular plant species and one-third of terrestrial vertebrate species are endemic to 25 hotspots of biodiversity, but none of these hotspots has more than one-third of its habitat remaining intact, says CI. Once these hotspots covered 12 percent of the earth's land surface, but today they cover only 1.4 percent.
(CAPTION) The Everglades National Park in the United States was inscribed on the List of UNESCO World Heritage in Danger in 1993. It has suffered extensive damage due to urban growth, pollution from fertilizers, mercury poisoning of fish and wildlife, and a fall in water levels caused by flood protection measures. (Photo courtesy UNESCO)
Up to $15 million will support initiatives developed collaboratively by the UN Foundation, Conservation International, and UNESCO's World Heritage Center. They will 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 inhabited by most of Cambodia's large mammals and half of the country's birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Visit each of the 25 biodiversity hotspots at: http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org/
The UN Foundation is found online at: http://www.unfoundation.org/
UNESCO's World Heritage Sites are online at: http://www.unesco.org/whc/heritage.htm
I know you mean well, but the U.N. doesn't give a damn about the world, other than to control it. Things may need to be done to help out in certain places....but the U.N. is not the one to have involved!!! Check out Carry_Okie's Book, There is somebody who gives a damn about the reality of envoironments. Try the average American Farmer. These people are real and not marching to the U.N.'s agenda.
Check out the Blue Ribbon Coalition, or propertyrightsresearch.org. Trust me, it'll be good for you.
Well, like it or not, on the international level the U.N. is about the only organization that can take money in and put it in places where something needs to be done. There's no doubt that the U.N. is an unwieldy, awkward, and largely ineffective body, yet it also allows for some international cooperation on these issues. It would be difficult to sidestep individual national governments and get the money directly where it would do the most good (i.e., at the level of individuals), so we're kind of stuck with the current system until a better one comes along -- and I'm not sure what that would be.
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