In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
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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.
UNDP is supporting the government of Comoros to establish an expanded and functional system of protected areas in three of the country’s islands: Grand Comoro, Moheli and Anjouan. All efforts go to creating national capacity to manage a system that both representative of the country’s biodiversity endowment and which has good prospects for a sustainable future. Comoros is a jewel in the Indian Ocean, when it comes to biodiversity, natural beauty and the uniqueness of its cultural expression.
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.