|Description||The project will directly address the development of indicators of biological diversity in four of the operational programme areas of the GEF biodiversity focal area: coastal, marine and freshwater ecosystems; forests; mountains; and agrobiodiversity. Case studies in each country will concentrate on one or two ecosystem types, chosen because that country has both nationally and globally important samples of that ecosystem type. Ecosystem types for each country area as follows:
Ecuador - Forests and Mountains: Ecuador’s forests occupy nearly half of its land area, and are among the richest in biodiversity globally. The climatic and altitudinal variation in the country have generated a great diversity of ecosystems, with forest types ranging from lowland tropical rain forest and lowland tropical dry forest to montane cloud forests and dry forests. The mountain region also includes distinctive high altitude ecosystems such as páramo. Both forest and mountain ecosystems of Ecuador are considered priority areas for biodiversity conservation in a number of studies. Ecuador holds around 10% of the world’s plant species, nearly 4% of the world’s reptiles, 7.5% of the world’s mammals and over 17% of the world’s bird species. The greatest concentration of endemic plant species is in the mountain region. The NBSAP and the Sustainable Forest Development Strategy have defined as a priority the design and implementation of a national system for monitoring biodiversity in forest and mountain ecosystems.
Kenya - Wetlands (part of marine, coastal and freshwater focal area): Kenya’s wetlands include unique habitats and sites of global importance, including RAMSAR sites, World Heritage sites and a Biosphere Reserve. They are important habitats for many species of conservation concern, including rare, endangered and endemic species, and are important in the life cycles of migratory birds of global importance, such as flamingos. The National Environmental Action Plan, the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, the Water Act and the draft National Wetland Policy all prioritise biodiversity monitoring and the development of indicators.
Philippines - Marine and coastal ecosystems (part of marine, coastal and freshwater focal area): The Philippines has more than 2.2 million ha of marine and coastal ecosystems, which support one of the most diverse marine faunas (and floras) in the world. These ecosystems include globally important coral reef and mangrove ecosystems and provide key habitat for a number of globally threatened marine species, including dugong and marine turtles. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, the National Wetland Action Plan, the Philippine Fisheries Code, and the National Integrated Research & Development Extension Programme for Effective management and Sustainable Development of capture fisheries all emphasise monitoring and the need for indicators to facilitate it.
Ukraine - Agricultural ecosystems: In the Ukraine, agricultural land covers more than 70% of the country and therefore plays a critical role in biodiversity retention. The country is home to more than 50 globally threatened species. The National Biodiversity Action Plan, which is under Parliamentary review, will highlight the effects of 1991 land reform and the need for indicators to monitor this and the environmental impacts of agriculture on biodiversity|