Biodiversity conservation requires balancing trade-offs between biodiversity protection and economic activities. This applies both to protected areas, where the supply of various ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration, water regulation) is seen as an important co-benefit, and not-protected areas, which also contain important elements of global biodiversity.
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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.