Friday, May 30, 2014

Guiana Shield Action Plan to Facilitate Biodiversity Corridors, Achieve Aichi Targets

Montreal, 30 May 2014 – To avoid landscape fragmentation and loss of species and habitats for biodiversity, participants to a three-day workshop in Kurupukari, Guyana, have agreed on a Regional Action Plan related to biological corridors, connectivity conservation and trans-boundary conservation within the Guiana Shield Ecoregion.

The agreed Regional Action Plan is especially important in light of the fact that wildlife and habitats know no boundaries, that issues in one country can impact another and that connectivity of habitats becomes ever more important the more we learn about the effects of climate change.

“Corridors and connectivity are key to maintaining biodiversity and promoting ecosystem resilience. I congratulate the Guiana Shield countries and partner organizations who are advancing a challenging agenda to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets through the further development of corridors and transboundary conservation.” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Guiana Shield, one of the most intact ecosystems in the world, is increasingly under pressure from development and extractive industries.

The twenty-six protected areas management professionals and international biodiversity experts that participated in the ‘Workshop on Biodiversity Corridors in the Guiana Shield to Streamline Support for the Achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets’, held at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development in Kurupukari, Guyana, from 21 to 23 May 2014, shared their experience and best practice on biodiversity corridors and developed a Regional Action Plan to facilitate biodiversity corridors and achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The Regional Action Plan calls on governments and partner organisations to:
· Support national efforts to better manage and monitor small and medium-scale gold mining,
including promoting best practices for biodiversity conservation and water resources management.
· Encourage the further development of transboundary marine protected areas in the Guiana Shield
through ongoing initiatives such as Marine Mammals Conservation network (MAMACOCOSEA)
· Create synergies with existing global and regional platforms in order to take advantage of efficiencies of scales efforts and momentum
· Develop and strengthen linkages with collaborative connectivity projects
· Organize a technical database that allows identifying and prioritizing transboundary corridors
· Strengthen and facilitate academic research (university research cooperation and other research institutions) into connectivity science.

Participants pledged their support to work together to fulfil the actions outlined as initial steps towards developing trans-boundary cooperation and achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the Guiana Shield.

Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, reiterated that the approach taken in Guyana towards conservation is to collaborate with stakeholders and relevant organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme and WWF.

The Minister emphasized that Guyana is making headway towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 16. He noted that, “Our economic well-being and prosperity and our peoples livelihood depend on a functioning, sustainable and viable extractive sector.”

He also expressed the view that an integrated approach of working with all sectors towards conservation is the best option in order to have them mainstream to contribute to biodiversity conservation.

The workshop benefitted from presentations made by the Coordinator of the CBD’s LifeWeb initiative, the Executive Director of Tropical Science Centre, Costa Rica and International Union for Conservation of Nature representative, who highlighted examples of global transboundary conservation efforts and outlined the support systems offered by their respective institutions.

The Guiana Shield includes: Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 ASEAN Champions of Biodiversity Awards

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is pleased to announce its call for nominations for the 2014 ASEAN Champions of Biodiversity Awards, which will recognize individuals or groups from the Youth, Media, and Business sectors who have made significant contributions to the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in the ASEAN region. Persons may nominate themselves, their own organizations, or a third party whom they believe should receive recognition. Winners, who will receive token cash prizes, will be declared as ASEAN Ambassadors of Goodwill for Biodiversity Conservation and will be recognized in September 2014. A publication of best practices will also be produced based on the stories of the finalists and winners.

The ASEAN Champions of Biodiversity seeks to identify and engage leaders among the business, media, and youth sectors who will spread awareness of the urgent need to conserve biodiversity.
By highlighting the outstanding biodiversity conservation efforts of these sectors, more people of the ASEAN will be aware of the values of biodiversity. The winners will serve as inspiration for the public to mobilize and participate in conservation efforts. This is the power of awareness.

To access the online nomination system, please click here.  Nominations may be completed online or sent via email: All nominations must be supported by three referees. Press clippings, testimonials and photographs may be sent to support the nomination. Please do not send books, videos etc. Short-listed applicants will be contacted for further supporting information.

Deadline for receipt of nominations is on 30 June 2014.

Nominations may be submitted in English.

For profiles of past ASEAN Champions of Biodiversity, please click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has been shrinking rapidly which indicates that the climate change is leading to rapid melting of glaciers at an altitude of above 6300m. The report published by Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proved that the glaciers have shrunk by 15 per cent from 5,300,000 ha to 4,500,000 ha over the past three decades.
May 22


Number of snow leopards has risen in recent years in Tibet autonomous region of China, after the launching of the project by the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve Administration. The nature reserve was established in 1994 to protect the plateau’s ecological system. For the monitoring of snow leopard’s activities and habitat, a 15 member’s team was formed at protection centre around the reserve. Snow leopard occasionally create hurdle for livestock herders but it is very rare case for snow leopard to attack people.
May 20          


Landslides triggered by continued rain over the past three days, have damaged water supply in Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Continuous rainfall has not only hampered the repairing of disconnected water supply but also blocked the Doimukh - Potin road disrupting communication between Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal and Ziro, the oldest town of Arunachal.
May 22                      


The Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary in Sonitpur district of Assam, northeastern India is on the path of extinction due to the negligence of the Forest Department. In 1998, at the time of declaration it was 22,000 ha but now it has shrunk to 13,400 ha due to forest encroachment. Similarly in Jammu and Kashmir, illegal construction had been decreasing the forest areas but the shops and a restaurant nearby have been demolished now to regain the forest land. 
May 21