The International Union for Conservation of Nature says it wants to fund work that will protect biodiversity in the region.
The CEPF investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot has five strategic directions:
- Empower local communities to protect and manage globally significant biodiversity at priority key biodiversity areas underserved by current conservation efforts.
- Integrate biodiversity conservation into local land-use and development planning.
- Safeguard priority globally threatened species by addressing major threats and information gaps.
- Increase local, national and regional capacity to conserve biodiversity through catalyzing civil society partnerships.
- Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of conservation investment through a regional implementation team
The IUCN’s Luisa Tagicakibau says there are countless habitats that need protecting and is calling for groups to submit proposals.
“These islands are highly biodiverse and hold exceptional cultural and linguistic diversity,” she told Pacific Beat.
“There are so many threats to these biodiversities, which are human induced and include increasing population, lack of awareness, unsustainable economic development.”
The IUCN is targeting 20 key biodiversity areas covering 1.5 million hectares.
“There are so many cultural and linguistic diversities at play in this region and because only a few people are speaking certain languages, they’re fast disappearing,” Ms Tagicakibau said.
“And that’s often leading to an increasing erosion of traditional knowledge and practices. These people are the real stewards of biodiversity.”
The money is being provided by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which is a collaboration of seven different bodies including the European Union, the Japanese and French governments and the World Bank.
The IUCN says groups have until August 26 to submit proposals for funding.
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