The island of Gyaros, in the Northern Cyclades island complex at the Aegean Sea of Greece, hosts a rare colony of the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seals and a number of unique marine habitats and species. It is an area that local fishermen consider as appropriate for the creation of a marine protected area (MPA). Gyaros serves as a laboratory for the design, establishment and management of a new MPA.
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The ongoing project “Incorporation of Sacred Forests into the Protected Areas System of Benin,” supported by UNDP and financed by GEF, preserves tracts of forest with religious and ecological significance in Benin. These sacred forests are at high risk, and the recent addition of Sacred Forest as a category of Benin’s protected areas legislation paves the way for greater protection of the forests included in the project scope as well as other forests around the country.