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.
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During the “Urban National Parks in Emerging Countries” (UNPEC) research program, funded by the ANR (the french National Research Agency), the Urban Protected Areas Network have worked in partnership with the national parks and the cities in Rio, Cape Town, Mumbai, Nairobi. We have identified three main types of park’s dynamics:
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.
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.
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.
Ecological infrastructure refers to naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built infrastructure and is just as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. It’s not only an under-realised asset for cities and their hinterlands, but also one whose potential could be relatively easily unlocked.
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) dramatically improved its ability to link its priority conservation tasks with the sustainable development needs of Cape Town and its citizens, to the advantage of both the Park and the City’s citizens. This story illustrates the importance of a functioning governance system and a commitment to finding mutual interest between the goals of conservation and development.
The Makuleke Contractual Park is 26,500 hectares in size and lies at the northern extremity of the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. It is bounded by the Limpopo River in the north, Luvuvhu River in the south and Mutale River in the west. The Limpopo River is also the boundary between South Africa and Zimbabwe, while the meeting point of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers is where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet. The Makuleke Contractual Park is a unique and special place.
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was established in 1998 when land and resources were transferred from the City of Cape Town to SANParks. It is one of the world's most biodiverse and dramatically beautiful urban national parks, set entirely within a metropolitan Cape Town. The primary solution ensuring equitable access was the requirement in the founding agreements that the TMNP would forever be an “Open Access” national park. This came about through citizens insisting that most of the park remain free to the public, with only four sections where entrance fees are paid (Swanepoel 2013).