CEPF Mediterranean - Regional News
By Juliette Crepin
With support from CEPF, Conservation International’s Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is assessing the potential for conservation agreements to contribute to community-based conservation and socioeconomic development in the Mountains, Plateaus and Wetlands of Algerian Tell and Tunisia corridor.
On June 17th, 2014, CSP conducted a one-day workshop in Tunis on conservation agreements. Through this workshop, CSP team members introduced the conservation agreement model to representatives from nine associations and two university teachers. Participants had the opportunity to work together on exercises to examine the feasibility of implementing conservation agreements in Ichkeul National Park and Haouaria in Tunisia, and Rachgoun Island and East National Park in Algeria.
The workshop included rich discussions on how incentive-based approaches can be used to achieve community conservation and development, and the likely viability of using CSP’s conservation agreement model in the two countries. The workshop also offered organizations the opportunity to express interest in working with CSP to assess, design and implement conservation agreements. Now the CSP team is working with an association in Algeria to develop more detailed feasibility analyses. This first step will provide a foundation for future implementation of conservation agreement projects in the Mediterranean basin.
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After the radical political and economical shifts in Albanian society in late 90's, this country is facing extensive changes in its collective ideology. But changes are not evident only in the heads of Albanian citizens, liberalization takes huge steps also in terms of foreign investments in infrastructure and tourism. As a consequence, once untouched pristine Albanian Southern coastline is turning into a place where wild usurpation of coastline – a traditional public domain – gains momentum, and new hotels and other touristic facilities are competing for a first class sea-view.
With focused investments towards more Integrated Coastal Zone Management processes that would also include conservation of its immense biodiversity, CEPF is trying to give contribution to neutralize the effect of biodiversity loss on the Albanian coastline. Three Albanian Non-governmental Organizations (NGOS) with a number of national and international partners will use their experience and knowledge to try and find ways for more sustainable nature-friendly development.
NGO “INCA” will be tackling this challenge through finding models of sustainable economic activities in Albanian Marine Protected Areas, while a similar model will be used for terrestrial parts of same or other important coastal sites by NGO “PPNEA”. Italian based Albanian NGO “ISCOS” has proposed to work with high-school students of Lalzi Bay – a typical example of uncontrolled construction in recently virgin coastline close to the Albanian capital Tirana – in promoting environmental issues through a self-established on-line eco-radio, called “Green Radio”.
In June the CEPF RIT Programme Officer for the Balkans visited all the listed organizations and ways of cooperation between the very NGOs were agreed. Meetings with GEF Small Grant Programme and European Delegation representatives revealed common urge to work against biodiversity threats and ways where funds of the two CEPF donors could be enriched with additional aligned investments were identified. The occasion was used also to promote the new Call for Proposals which took place in June, which was designed to cover another important environmental issue also very relevant for Albania - the Integrated River Basin Management. With the help of Albanian CSOs the information about the CEPF Call for proposals was widely distributed and as a result a high number of proposals were received from this country. At CEPF we hope we will be able to make a contribution also in this very challenging issue.
Story by Borut Rubinic, Programme Officer for the Balkans
Although Cape Verde is an Atlantic archipelago, its characteristic fauna and flora have more affinity with Mediterranean Biome rather than African. CEPF funded SPEA (BirdLife Portugal) for an enthusiastic project dealing with the restoration of habitats for the fauna of the Santa Luzia Marine Protected Area, specifically for the recovery and conservation of the endemic Raso Lark.
Biosfera, a local NGO and a partner of SPEA, is the partner responsible for the implementation of the project on the cited KBAs. The team started the fieldwork in April 2013 by collecting data of fauna in Santa Luzia. The field investigations include work on introduced species (cats and mice) and native species (some reptiles and birds). Within this project they continued to prevent the capture of seabird chicks, a campaign that started in 2007, and that this year is in the field since late June 2013.
During this time the team has monitored two populations of seabirds in Raso Islet in order to get a sense of the reproductive success of these species. Other species also have been monitored in addition to the Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii, following protocols idealized jointly by SPEA and RSPB.
Additionally, since the end of June Biosfera has set up a camp on the island of Santa Luzia for monitoring nesting loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta. The beaches are surveyed daily and nests and tracks are recorded. All the nests at risk (because they are located in flood-prone areas), are transferred into a hatchery near the camp where the eggs can complete their development.
NGO Green Home completed the the project “Engaging civil societies in harmonization of actions for improving the conservation and management effectiveness of Lake Skadar”. The project aimed to support the identification of priority problems and actions that will lead to effective nature conservation and sustainable management practices on Skadar Lake. The project improved common understanding among relevant NGOs, institutions and local citizens about environmental problems and needs of the Skadar Lake. The project was able to create new partnerships to merge and straightforward the efforts of all stakeholders to tackle priority issues in Skadar Lake. Moreover, in collaboration with Society for the Protection of Prespa, project partners organized a study tour to Mikri Prespa Lake in Greece for NGOs, institutions and protected area managers to learn more about the sustainable management models.
> Learn more about this small project: “Engaging civil societies in harmonization of actions for improving the conservation and management effectiveness of Lake Skadar”
IUCN have now hosted 2 workshops for their grant: Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation Priorities for the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot. This was the first grant awarded within the hotspot and it involves work within all three sub-regions. The project will collate and map ecological data for key freshwater species groups in the eastern Mediterranean to identify Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and assess human use. A key output of the grant is organising stakeholder workshops, focusing on the identification of KBAs, sustainable management techniques, conservation actions, and organizations to take the lead on conservation actions at each site.
A grant has been awarded for $242,160 to the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) for Strengthening Management Planning of Mujib as a Biosphere Reserve in Jordan. The grant will adopt a collaborative approach involving local communities in the revision and update of Mujib Reserve’s new management plan for the period 2013-2018.
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