Namibia is recognized as a global leader in conservation and nature-based rural development. Its State-run Community-Based Natural Resource Management Program (CBNRM) is a successful example of decentralizing natural resource management and recognizing the rights and development needs of local communities.
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The Northwest Province, which is one of the ten administrative units of Cameroon, has a population of almost two million people. It is located in the western highlands and characterized by high altitudes ranging from 1,000- 1,008 meters above sea level. Unsustainable agricultural land use practices, such as traditional slash and burn, are increasing the destruction of natural resources and resulting in heightened poverty, worsened gender equality and human suffering.
The UNDP supported GEF financed project “Strengthening the Protected Area Network” (SPAN; from 2005-2012) used a number of strategies to secure sustainable financing for Namibia’s protected areas (PAs). The project undertook and successfully used a comprehensive economic analysis of the PA system to make the business case for increased investment in PAs. In addition it developed a concession management system compatible with the Government of the Republic of Namibia’s conservation and development objectives, significantly increasing the budget available for park management.
This best practice showcases how Cameroon’s efforts to harmonize biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreement’s (MEAs) led to the creation of targets in the country’s revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan (NBSAP) that recognize illegal commercial trade of wildlife and plant species as a pressure on biodiversity. The Cameroon NBSAP 2014-2020 calls for several actions that promote synergy and collaboration.
Researchers and practitioners have extensively discussed the potential of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategies to help or harm forest-based communities, but less attention has been paid to the gender dimensions of this conservation intervention. Safeguard policies aim to ensure that REDD+ does not harm women, but interventions that do not seek to address gender imbalances at the outset could end up perpetuating them.
In 2012, at its eleventh meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted decision XI/19, which acknowledges the large potential for synergies between REDD+ activities and the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The decision urges Parties, other Governments, and relevant organisations to fully implement the relevant provisions and decisions of the CBD and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a coherent and mutually supportive way.
The ongoing UNDP supported, GEF financed project “Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas Initiative (NAM-PLACE)” establishes partnerships between national parks and private landholders, communal conservancies, and forests adjacent to the parks in an innovative approach to landscape-level habitat protection. These partnerships allow for the removal of fences, which increases territory accessible by wildlife and decreases pressure on the park habitats.
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.