South Africa’s Cape Floral Region (CFR) is one of the world’s great centres of terrestrial biodiversity. It is home to nearly 20% of Africa’s flora, while covering less than 0.5% of the continent’s area. The wetlands in this sensitive area face particular threats, including from development and agriculture, as the region is also home to farms growing around 95% of South Africa’s wine. On-farm conservation measures are therefore vital to protect the outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the biodiversity of the CFR.
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Earth Skills Network (ESN) is a collaboration between Earthwatch, UNESCO, IUCN & businesses. It connects leaders from the business and conservation sector through mentoring & skill-sharing. Through ESN, Protected Areas (PAs) can access relevant skills within businesses & build constructive dialogue on the need to manage environmental impacts. Through ESN, businesses can identify solutions to pressures on natural resources & nurture sustainable business leadership.
The Government of Mauritius through the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) of the Ministry of Agro-industry and Food Security is working with partners in the Government, NGO and private sector to expand protected area coverage and enhance PA management effectiveness under the UNDP-GEF Protected Area Network Expansion Project (the Mauritius PAN Project). One of the key elements of these efforts is the involvement of the private sector in protected area management.
Many, if not most, extractive and industrial companies own portions of undisturbed or less disturbed landscapes which are not actively utilized for the company’s core business. By consolidating such areas, establishing their potential ecological contribution, initiating projects to improve the present ecological state and managing these lands as a protected area, such lands can contribute significantly to the sustainability profile of a company.
In Uganda, commercially viable quantities of oil and gas resources have been discovered in the country’s Albertine Rift region. The country is excited by this discovery and is fast tracking exploration and development efforts. It expects to earn foreign exchange from the export of petroleum products. About 50 percent of the discoveries are found in Murchison Falls National Park.
The biodiversity assets of Southern Africa are globally recognized as exceptional. The protection of these unique landscapes, and their associated flora and fauna, is a high priority on the political and sustainability agenda. The Diamond Route project demonstrates that, regardless of the industry, businesses need not impose a limit on their efforts to contribute positively to the creation, expansion, conservation, management and restoration of Southern Africa's natural capital base.
In alignment with national EIA regulations, and IFC performance standards on sustainability and the biodiversity conservation, Ambatovy and Qit Madagascar Mining have combined environmental and social impact assessments, a mitigation hierarchy and adaptive management to achieve “no net loss,” and preferably a net gain, for biodiversity.The mitigation hierarchy includes the processes of avoidance, minimization and restoration, with offsetting, to compensate for residual impacts.
Coastal communities in southwest Madagascar depend on marine resources for income and food. Community-based aquaculture is showing promise as a way to diversify livelihoods for this region. A partnership developed in 2009 between conservation NGOs and a private sector seafood export company led to the creation of a mariculture project focusing on sea cucumbers (sandfish: Holothuria scabra) and red seaweed (cottonii: Kappaphycus alvarezii).
COMACO works with over 80,000 households in Zambia's Luangwa Valley and Eastern Province. It provides them with agricultural inputs (e.g. seeds, tools), training in conservation farming techniques, commodity transport and processing, and access to wholesale and retail markets under COMACO's "It's Wild" brand. Households achieve improved food security, increased incomes, and are incentivized through conditional price premiums and extensions assistance to conserve soils, water, forests, and wildlife.
Wilderness Safaris’ community engagements and development activities recognise the realities of the importance of community support for conservation and tourism and broadly aim to ensure that neighbouring communities value conservation areas and thus will ensure their long-term sustainability. We endeavour to achieve this through finding ways to translate conservation and ecotourism successes into meaningful, real and visible socio-economic benefits for local communities.