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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At the end of the European summer, two million soaring birds head south towards Africa. Their route, along the Red Sea/Rift Valley flyway, is the second most important flyway for soaring birds in the world. However, just as these areas are essential to the birds’ survival, so too are they vital for human populations, and host a growing concentration of development and energy infrastructure. If power lines and wind turbines are poorly sited along the flyway, the cumulative impacts can add up to threaten entire bird populations.
Growing energy demands, together with the urgent need to transition to renewable energy, have led to plans to put up more than five million kilometres of new power lines across Africa over the next five years. Egypt plans to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Although well-intentioned, these plans need to be implemented in ways that mitigate risks to migratory soaring birds, which are threatened by collisions with wind turbines and electrocution on power lines.
This best practice describes how rural Nigerian communities overcame a lack of communications infrastructure and began using radio to educate smallholder farmers on farming techniques and natural resource management. In Nigeria’s rural agricultural communities, the Smallholders Foundation (http://www.smallholdersfoundation.org) promotes sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation through educational radio programmes.
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.