To strengthen its capacity for effective management of its marine heritage, the Government of Belize has engaged non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as co-management partners of many of its protected areas. These NGOs have attracted significant funding to invest in the protection and sustainable use of the country’s marine resources. They have also facilitated active participation of local communities and other stakeholders (such as commercial tourism operators) as custodians and co-managers of the marine protected areas within the World Heritage Site.
Biodiversity is a key driver of economic development in the Seychelles. In 2016 alone, the country hosted 327,000 international tourists and the number of visitors has been increasing by 10 percent each year. Over 40 percent of these tourists visit the spectacular terrestrial and marine protected areas that the Seychelles has as key tourism attractions.
Tongatapu is an uplifted coral reef lying on a geologically active zone. The relief of the island is relatively flat, with minor rolling slopes on the southern and eastern coasts. The island is 40 km long, has an area of about 257 km2 and is shaped roughly like a pair of cupped hands ‘cradling’ an extensive double lagoon system – the Fanga’uta and Fanga-kakau lagoons (referred to collectively as the Fanga’uta Lagoon).
Until now, the protected area estate of Comoros has included only a single gazetted site – the Mohéli Marine National Park, which was established in 2001 in an effort to counter the social, economic, and environmental threats posed to biodiversity by rapid population growth, over-exploitation of resources, and poverty.
Since 1996, Colombia has been working to conserve important biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services through consolidation of a National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) that is managed in a participatory, decentralized, and coordinated manner. As part of this process, the Colombian Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (INVEMAR) conducted a study to identify ecosystems that were priorities for biodiversity conservation, and found that marine and coastal ecosystems were significantly under-represented in the national protected area system.
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is the largest marine protected area in Mexico, spanning more than 1.3 million acres of land and ocean in the municipality of Tulum, Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan Peninsula. In 1986 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its rich biodiversity and wealth of Mayan culture.
The Sahel in West Africa is flat and dry. It depends for much of its water on the Fouta Djallon Highlands, a set of plateaus ranging in elevation from 500-1,500 metres concentrated in central Guinea.
The Highlands are the source of six major rivers flowing into neighbouring countries, and support a rich diversity of ecosystems including savanna, dry forest, and freshwater ecosystems.
Mohamed Ismail Yasin, originally from Mayle village in northeast Somalia, fled the region’s prolonged and severe drought with his six-member family and most of his livestock.
They had to travel 600km to the nearest dependable water source: a sand dam near Bandarbeyla in neighbouring Bari region.
Mohamed is one of 615,000 people currently displaced by the drought in Somalia.
Although the heavy seasonal rains have finally started, the long drought has already caused massive displacement and devastated herds.
At first glance, the Dzedokha village, located in the south-west of Bhutan might not seem to have the makings of a lucrative industry. With 2,672 residents, this mountainous village, like thousands of other communities in this largely rural kingdom, is off the beaten track; it is only accessible via a single farm road, mostly impassable during the monsoon season.