UN agencies pledge $43 mn to boost species conservation in developing countries

Nairobi, May 21 (IANS): Developing countries will benefit from new funding totaling $43 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to enable them to implement projects that reverse species loss, UN agencies said in a statement released in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

The funding which was announced on Friday ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity to be marked on Sunday will benefit 139 developing countries, already grappling with mounting threats to natural habitats, Xinhua news agency reported.

Each beneficiary country will be eligible for grants totaling 300,000 dollars to enable them to analyse and align their policies, targets, finance and monitoring system as a means of revitalising action on threats to biodiversity.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) will provide technical expertise to these developing countries to enable them to utilise the funds optimally and advance species protection.

Inger Andersen, UNEP's Executive Director, said the new funding will enable developing countries to seize benefits linked to the establishment of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Action plans that will be implemented using the new GEF funding will enable developing countries to place species conservation at the heart of national development plans.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of GEF, said the new funding will change the trajectory of biodiversity conservation in developing countries, already grappling with massive loss of rare species.

"We stand ready to continue to help stewards of globally-important biodiversity elevate nature in their planning and quickly scale up efforts that together can turn international goals into reality."

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said investing in nature protection will benefit national economies besides enhancing climate resilience in the global south.

Steiner added that nature underpins half the world's jobs and livelihoods, adding that it remained the bedrock for sustaining food, water and energy security across the globe.

Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, hailed the new funding for species conservation in developing countries, adding that all sectors of the society will benefit profoundly.

Mrema added that as the international community prepared to come up with a 10-year plan to halt the extinction of species, adequate funding was critical.



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Title: UN agencies pledge $43 mn to boost species conservation in developing countries

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