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Top Stories - 2004
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One-fifth of the biological wealth known to science in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo is threatened with extinction, according to a new Red List for the state created in an initiative led by Instituto de Pesquisas da Mata Atlântica (IPEMA). The Red List was recently completed during a workshop that brought together nearly 80 specialists from various parts of the country.
Several key biodiversity areas in West Africa now have new capable local scientists, thanks to a recently concluded project carried out by Conservation International’s West Africa and Rapid Assessment programs along with local partners. Some seven new scientists are fully trained and available to conduct Rapid Assessment Program surveys as a result of the project.
The Palawan Conservation Corps is transforming young lives on the island of Palawan in the Philippines biodiversity hotspot and protecting hardwood trees in the process. It recently completed a CEPF-supported project to develop an educational nature park on 3 hectares of land donated by the Government of Puerto Princesa four months earlier than planned and with impressive results.
The Tanzanian government has imposed a ban on the export of timber and seized 157 containers of logs, many harvested illegally from the coastal forests in the southeast of the country. Local groups responded by hailing the government’s commitment to halt illegal logging in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya biodiversity hotspot.
Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry recently designated Tesso Nilo as a national park. The decree is being welcomed by an alliance of two dozen local groups led by WWF and supported by CEPF that worked together for more than 4 years to make the declaration possible. The decree followed a public pledge by the government earlier this year to create 12 new protected areas in 2004.
The United Nations Foundation has agreed to match CEPF support for a conservation action and network program in Sumatra that will build local capacity to manage the island’s third largest national park and benefit two others as well. Together the parks—Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Kerinci Seblat and Gunung Leuser—represent the most important blocks of lowland forests on the island.
Known worldwide as the source of exclusive diamonds, the Sperrgebiet is set to become the gem of Namibia’s protected areas as the result of a recent decision by the country’s cabinet to proclaim the region as a national park. A growing tourism industry in the Sperrgebiet is expected to bolster the economy of southern Namibia, particularly in the towns of Rosh Pinah and Lüderitz.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry signed a ministerial decree in early May declaring Batang Gadis a national park—a move expected to be officially announced by President Megawati Sukarnoputri in the park on the island of Sumatra in late May. The decree is the first since the Indonesian government’s public pledge in February to create 12 new protected areas in 2004, including Batang Gadis.
What can a large and well-established organization based in Panama City learn from a small grassroots group based on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua? Bringing diverse groups together to share experiences and discuss priorities for ensuring the success of projects and objectives were major goals of this recent meeting.
The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines recently announced actions that are key to preserving land for the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran elephant and the Philippine eagle as well as hundreds of indigenous communities. The actions include declaration of a new protected area in the Philippines and a pledge to create 12 in Indonesia this year.
The governor of North Sumatra and the district head in the Mandailing District recently declared a new national park in Northern Sumatra, making way for what local officials and communities hope will be a declaration at the national level and hence funding support from the national government. The new park is an integral part of a 400,000-ha area that CI Indonesia and its partners are working to secure.
TRAFFIC East Asia is in the midst of a new project to combat illegal wildlife trade in China with the unlikely help of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). TRAFFIC aims to develop a strategy to leverage concern about health issues, such as SARS, into concrete conservation impact in ways that are responsive to cultural, social and economic circumstances.Current | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002