Guyana

Guyana

Case Study by: Sarah Pawlow Guyana is located on the northeastern coast of South America, located between Venezuela and Suriname. It has significant potential to fulfill a Nature Needs Half vision because approximately 75% of its territory is covered with natural vegetation, and approximately 8% of the country is currently in permanent protected areas. Guyana is part of the Guiana Shield which constitutes one of the oldest global land surfaces. It has the world’s second highest percentage of rainforest cover because of the extensive rainforest in the Amazon Basin in its southern region. The state manages 84% of forests, and indigenous Amerindians manage 14%. Four areas have been legally designated as protected areas: Kaieteur National Park, Shell Beach, the Kanuku Mountains, and the Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation. Other areas proposed for protection include Konashen, a community-owned Conservation Area, Mount Roraima and Orinduik Falls. Guyana is one of only a few countries to have forests that sequester more carbon than the nation’s human activities generate. With funding from Norway, Guyana was also the first country in the world to pursue a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) to adhere to the United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD+). The aim of the strategy is to reduce deforestation, create employment and increase the enforcement of environmental regulations. Indigenous Amerindians can opt-in to the REDD+ programme and receive payments through a consultative process. Guyana has made considerable progress in involving local communities, some of it achieved through developing an integrated Community Monitoring Reporting and Verification model.  For example, communities from 16 Makushi indigenous villages in Guyana were given smart phones to...
Amapá State, Brazil

Amapá State, Brazil

Case Study by: Austin Dever Scientific assessments over the last 20 years have determined that any ecoregion will thrive only if approximately fifty percent of its ‘wilderness’ remains intact. This means intact, high-functioning natural systems, and this is the philosophy of Nature Needs Half. Few places on earth better embody that philosophy than Amapá State, Brazil. Located in northern Brazil on the borders of French Guiana and Surinam, Amapá State is defined by superlatives. It is home to the world’s largest tropical forest national park, Tumucumaque National Park, and its conservation protection zones shelter plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. The WILD Foundation promotes the goal of protecting at least fifty percent for nature and, incredibly, Amapá, (in collaboration) with the Brazilian federal government and international and local conservation organizations, has designated nearly three-quarters of its total landmass of 143,000 square kilometers as protected conservation zones. As rainforests across Brazil continue to fall prey to deforestation driven by infrastructure development, mining, logging and agriculture, an amazing 92 percent of Amapá State’s rainforests remain intact. Amapá’s dedication to conservation dates back to the early 1990s, when visionary governor João Capiberibe instituted a sustainable development plan for the state. Following the path he charted, the Amapá state government in 2002 announced the creation of Tumucumaque National Park, a nearly 40,000 square kilometer tropical forest larger than the U.S. state of Indiana. The new park abutted the Guiana Amazonian Park in neighboring French Guiana, creating a cross-border preserve of 59,000 square kilometers. The next year, Amapá announced the creation of the Amapá Biodiversity Corridor, covering 70 percent of the state,...
Gabon Marine Protected Area Network

Gabon Marine Protected Area Network

Case Study by Austin Dever The Central African nation of Gabon is renowned for its pristine forests teeming with wildlife and protected by one of the finest national park systems in the region. Established in 2002, the nation’s thirteen national parks cover more than ten percent of Gabon’s total land area and provide sanctuary to the world’s largest remaining population of forest elephants, as well as gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills, and numerous other species.            But far less known, and equally important, is Gabon’s efforts to protect the biodiversity of its oceans and coastline. In a November 2014 speech before the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba announced the creation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) network covering more than 46,000 square kilometers, or 23 percent, of his country’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Prior to the announcement, less than one percent of Gabon’s territorial waters had been designated for protection. President Bongo noted his nation’s extraordinary commitment would bring Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent Member Login Username: Password: that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” Gabon’s ocean territory, part of the Congo Basin – Gulf of Guinea Seascape, is one of the world’s most fertile marine ecosystems. Mayumba National Park on Gabon’s southwest coast is home to beach-loving herds of forests elephants and buffalo. Farther north at Loango National Park, hippos ride the sea swell. The coast also shelters the world’s largest nesting population of leatherback sea turtles and the Atlantic Ocean’s largest...
Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Case Study by: Mike Eklund Many of the case studies for Nature Needs Half have involved an area within a defined political jurisdiction at the national, provincial or city level.  It is important to note however, that nature crosses borders and that an ecological region is often spread amongst many different political jurisdictions.  This is the case with NNH case studies  including the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, the South Caucasus Eco-Region, and the Silk Road.  The most ambitious and the largest transfrontier conservation area in the world, however, is known as the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Area.  The Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) is situated in Southern Africa on the borders of five sovereign nation-states:  Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  The process of the creation of this territory has evolved from two initiatives (the Okavango Upper Zambezi International Tourism Initiative and the “Four Corners” Transboundary Natural Resource Management Initiative) into the current Memorandum of Understanding signed by the five countries on December 7th, 2006.  The area is situated on the Okavango and Zambezi river basins and is the world’s largest TFCA, spanning an area of approximately 287,132km2 (110,862mi2), which is almost the size of Italy (300,979km2 or 116,208mi2) according to the KAZA TFCA Website.  The area includes 36 national parks, game management areas, game reserves, and community conservancies.  The most notable of these include Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and the Caprivi Strip.  The area is one of the most ecologically rich places on the planet with an extremely high level of biodiversity.  It is home to the largest contiguous population of elephants on the African...
Mloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site

Mloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site

    By: Sonja Krueger, Guest Editor Introduction The Maloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP WHS) is situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of the Republic of South Africa and is part of the Drakensberg – an inland mountain range in south-eastern Africa (Figure 1). The Park is a national and international asset due to its unique natural and cultural values, and as such it has been listed as a World Heritage Site of dual significance, one of only 28 properties to be listed as such. It is dominated by a mountain range of unique origins, and has a diverse range of ecological niches resulting in a rich biodiversity and a high number of endemic species.  In addition, it is home to thousands of rock art paintings, a product of the San’s long historical relationship with this mountain environment. The Drakensberg catchment area is of major economic importance as it contributes significantly to the flow of the uThukela, uMkhomazi and uMzimkhulu Rivers, the three largest catchments in KwaZulu-Natal. It plays a key role in the economy of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa, through the production of high quality water from its dense network of wetlands and rivers (hence its designation as a Ramsar Site in 1996), the sustainable use of natural resources, and by serving as a core destination for the tourism industry. The Park forms a key component of the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Project (MDTP), which has been initiated as a collaborative programme between the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa.  As part of achieving the transfrontier vision of the MDTP the Park...

Tasmania

Case Study by: Austin Perez   Australia’s island state of Tasmania has established an extensive network of national parks and reserves to protect its distinct natural landscape and biodiversity. Its geographical isolation for long periods of geological time has allowed for the evolution of some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna. The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and The Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment report that the total amount of reserved area in Tasmania is 3,064,500 hectares, which is 45% of the state’s total terrestrial area. Of this, 45% of Tasmania’s forests are also protected within its reserve system. Approximately 1.4 million hectares of this protected area makes up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Area established in 1982 and extended in 1989. In addition, Tasmania has also protected 7.7% of its state coastal waters by establishing 135,000 hectares of Marine Protected Areas. This commitment to protecting its wild nature by establishing a network of reverses that protects 45% of its land area makes Tasmania an excellent representation of Nature Needs Half. Tasmania protected areas map © Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service The discovery of valuable minerals on Tasmania in the late 1800s and the development of hydroelectric energy in the early twentieth century posed a serious threat to Tasmania’s natural environment. The mining boom and industrial development led to heavy exploitation of Tasmania’s natural resources, including a significant depletion of its forests for timber resources. Then, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the proposed flooding of Lake Pedder for the construction of a hydroelectric dam project sparked...
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