Countries often face situations where biodiversity is not positioned on the national agenda and, in that scenario, developing financial mechanisms or mobilizing resources will be much more difficult than when biodiversity is in the mainstream of the country. Safeguarding diverse ecosystems ensures invaluable services essential for sustainable development and improvements in human wellbeing.
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In the Netherlands, a coalition of multinational and large Dutch companies is taking steps to make their impact on natural and social capital visible throughout their entire value chain, with the help of civil society organizations. This unique initiative of companies, NGOs and the government teaming-up. Their ambition is formalized in a "Green Deal" signed by IUCN-NL, True Price, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Netherlands and the Dutch government. The Green Deal is linked to the global Natural Capital Protocol.
Financial mechanisms allow private sector to participate in conservation of biodiversity through corporate responsibility programs and corporate image positioning and complementing the financial sustainability for Protected Areas Systems. Private sector shows an interest in contributing to the development of programs of corporate social responsibility that focus either on social or environmental fields. However, there is still a need for coordination with the National Authorities for Protected Areas.
The aim of this initiative is to raise financing to address climate change impact on coastal and marine biodiversity, and at the same time build the resilience of these ecosystems by reducing the anthropological pressures on them. The project will involve the creation of a large marine protected area covering approximately 30% of Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Through the elaboration of a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP), 50% of the protected area will be a no-take zone. The MSP is currently going through a stakeholder consultative process.
UNDP and the Government of Seychelles are implementing an ambitious conservation programme in Seychelles, funded primarily by the GEF with help from other partners. Two projects of a very specific nature stand out. A new UNDP-GEF protected area finance project aims to improve the financial sustainability and strategic cohesion of Seychelles’ protected area system, while also dealing with emerging threats and risks to biodiversity in a shifting national economic environment.
Protected areas, and the ecosystems and biodiversity within, provide many benefits for people. This includes protecting biodiversity’s intrinsic values, but also safeguarding the benefits people gain from them, such as the provision and regulation of water sources, and the climate benefits of stored carbon. Consequently, protected areas are now acknowledged as an important component of sustainable development. It is imperative to track and monitor networks of protected areas and their surroundings to ensure sustainable management of landscapes and seascapes.