Grant approved for initial projects in the new area of support 'Biological Diversity'

A butterfly hanging from a leave, a small waterfall in the background

Picture: iStockphoto/HowenSia

The International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) has been supporting climate projects that also help preserve biological diversity since 2008. ICI has had the independent field of assistance Biological Diversity in place since 2011, which provides targeted funding to projects that support the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The necessary resources for this come from the Energy and Climate Fund, which is supplied by the auctioning of emissions certificates. The first projects in this field of assistance were granted funding in August 2012.

One such project in Brazil is dealing with the long-term economic potential of intact ecosystems. It is raising awareness among key stakeholders from the private and public sectors on the socio-economic and cultural value of ecosystem services and biodiversity - for example, providing food and water and storing carbon. These stakeholders are encouraged to incorporate the added value of natural resources into decision-making processes. Protecting ecosystems helps reduce emissions, boost adaptive capacity to climate change and conserve biological diversity. The project has been incorporated in the international Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) agenda and contributes to the international TEEB knowledge platform through the active exchange of knowledge and experience among political and economic actors. Experience gained in local and regional pilot projects on the economic evaluation and compensation of ecosystem services is fed into Brazil's national policymaking and strategy-building processes.

In the Philippines, another ICI project is supporting the national government in improving the legal framework for protecting and managing selected protected areas in marine and terrestrial 'key biodiversity areas'. The project enhances the protected area management capacity of the Filipino environment ministry through training measures and workshops on sharing experiences. In addition, it is helping to improve administrative structures and methods in 60 existing protected areas as well as establish 100 new terrestrial and marine protected areas.

Two other new ICI projects are dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of coastal and marine areas. A project in India is developing and implementing models for involving the local population in the sustainable management of biological diversity in selected coastal and marine protected areas. In this work, the project works closely with the population, creates alternative sources of income through ecotourism and secures the livelihoods of the people, for example through the recovering of fish stocks. Awareness-raising campaigns, training measures and equipment such as boats and communication technology boost the management capacities of the participating institutions and interest groups.

In the Mexican Gulf of California, the second project is supporting local partners in improving protection measures for coastal and marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of the Gulf's biological resources. It is advising key actors in developing a framework for concerted action. Furthermore, the project is developing the competencies of the protected area authorities, standardising the different systems for monitoring biological diversity, integrating information on climate change in regional conservation activities and promoting networks among protected area authorities. Special-use zones and 'no-take' zones combat the adverse effects of industrial fishing and increase the protected area authorities' scope for action.

Further information on the projects mentioned above will be published shortly on the ICI website under the heading 'Projects'. Additional projects in the new ICI field of assistance will gradually be added over the next few months, as well as in the more distant future.