UN agencies pledge 43 mn USD to boost species conservation

Nairobi, May 21: Developing countries will benefit from new funding totaling 43 million US dollars from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to enable them implement projects that reverses species loss, UN agencies said in a statement released in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
The funding announced on Friday, ahead of International Day for Biological Diversity to be marked on Sunday, will benefit 139 developing countries, already grappling with mounting threats to natural habitats.
Each beneficiary country will be eligible for grants totaling 300,000 dollars to enable them to analyze and align their policies, targets, finance and monitoring system as a means of revitalizing action on threats to biodiversity.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) will provide technical expertise to these developing countries to enable them utilize the funds optimally and advance species protection.
Inger Andersen, UNEP’s executive director said the new funding will enable developing countries to seize benefits linked to the establishment of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Andersen noted that action plans that will be implemented using the new GEF funding will enable developing countries to place species conservation at the heart of national development plans.
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the CEO and Chairperson of GEF said the new funding will change the trajectory of biodiversity conservation in developing countries, already grappling with massive loss of rare species.
“We stand ready to continue to help stewards of globally-important biodiversity elevate nature in their planning and quickly scale up efforts that together can turn international goals into reality,” said Rodriguez.
UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said that investing in nature protection will benefit national economies besides enhancing climate resilience in the global south.
Steiner noted that nature underpins half the world’s jobs and livelihoods, adding that it remained the bedrock for sustaining food, water and energy security across the globe.
Elizabeth Mrema, the executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity hailed the new funding towards species conservation in developing countries, adding that all sectors of the society will benefit profoundly.
Mrema added that as the international community prepared to come up with a ten-year plan to halt extinction of species, adequate funding was critical. (UNI)