Feature Story

April 7, 2016 - Located in the lush Arima Valley in the northern region of Trinidad, the Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) is a nonprofit trust established in 1967 and one of the first established in the Caribbean. Its goal is to "protect part of the Arima Valley in a natural state and to create a conservation and study area for the protection of wildlife and for the enjoyment of all."

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The GEF’s support of this project in Morocco helped the further adoption of solar technology across the globe.

In 1999, there were no iPhones, no social media, and landlines were used to connect to the internet. The euro was just born, the first Matrix movie hit theatres, and everyone was waiting for the end of the world that computers were supposed to cause at the change of the millennium.

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A blog by Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute; and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility*

 

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The GEF/UNDP/UNEP Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean (IWCAM) Project was a collaboration between 13 Caribbean nations: Antigua & Barbuda; The Bahamas; Barbados; Cuba; Grenada; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Jamaica; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Trinidad and Tobago.

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The Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) is a semi-enclosed body of water between the People’s Republic of China and the Korean Peninsula. This shallow sea has an area of about 400,000 km2 and boasts a wide variety of habitats and a high level of marine biodiversity, but the coastline is heavily populated, urbanized, and industrialized. Fisheries have become increasingly important to the region: total annual landings have increased from 425,000 tonnes in 1986 to an average 2.40 million tonnes in 2003 and 2004.

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One of the most remarkable success stories of a GEF investment in water quality improvement and regional cooperation can be found in the Danube and Black Sea region. The Black Sea experienced unprecedented degradation in the 1990s when widespread nutrient loading caused a large dead zone. The main sources of nutrients were runoff from the agricultural sector (fertilizers and livestock waste) as well as domestic and industrial wastes. The Danube River alone contributed 80% of the land-based inorganic nutrients and 50% of the phosphorus loading.

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Indonesia has nearly one-eighth of the world’s coral reefs, some 75,000 km2. Coral reef ecosystems serve as essential habitat for many commercially valuable fish species. Coral reefs support artisanal subsistence fishing, commercial fisheries, aquaculture, live reef fish for food industry, recreational fishing, aquarium/marine ornamental trade, and the curio and fashion industries. Coral reef ecosystems account for 30% of Indonesia’s GDP and generate employment for about 20 million people in 67,500 coastal villages (ADB, 2012a).

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One of the GEF’s flagship efforts to promote an integrated (Ridge-to-Reef) approach to watershed and coastal area management is Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (IWCAM), which was implemented by UNEP and UNDP from 2006 to 2012.

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The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem encompasses a marine area of over 6 million km2 between India and Indonesia. It contains important tracts of the world’s most vulnerable marine habitats, including 12% of the world’s coral reefs, 8% of the world’s mangroves, extensive seagrass beds, and large estuaries, which together support some of the most productive fishing grounds on the planet.

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The South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand Large Marine Ecosystems are two of the richest shallow water marine biodiversity hotspots in the world. These LMEs contain over 300 hard coral species, 3365 fish species, 45 mangrove species, and nearly two million hectares of mangrove forest — 12% of the world’s total (GEF, 2010). Nearly one-third of the approximately 350 million inhabitants living in the region are dependent on fisheries or marine-related services.

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