Gabon, Mongolia team up with conservation groups to protect vast natural areas

Published 03:09 on December 16, 2022  /  Last updated at 03:09 on December 16, 2022  /  Biodiversity  /  No Comments

Gabon and Mongolia have allied with conservation collaboration initiative Enduring Earth to protect large areas of land, oceans, and freshwater resources as part of their commitments to meet the 30x30 global natural protection target that is being negotiated at COP15 in Montreal.

Gabon and Mongolia have allied with conservation collaboration initiative Enduring Earth to protect large areas of land, oceans, and freshwater resources as part of their commitments to meet the 30×30 global natural protection target that is being negotiated at COP15 in Montreal.

The two nations have committed to protect natural areas of around 380,000 square kilometres – roughly the size of Japan – and is working with Enduring Earth to put in place a Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) funding arrangement, the Nature Conservancy announced on Thursday.

Enduring Earth is a collaborative effort between the Nature Conservancy, Pew Charitable Trusts, WWF, and ZOMALAB, which is the family office of philanthropists Ben and Lucy Ana Walton.

Much of the funding will come from the Bezos Earth Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

“The PFP model is a proven tool that has already protected over 100 million hectares of lands, ocean, and freshwater around the world. This approach can not only help meet, but also sustain the 30 by 30 goal, providing governments with a clear roadmap to achieve biodiversity, climate, and community development targets, and the resources to financially support them over time,” said Zdenka Pistulich, director of Enduring Earth.

Gabon signed an agreement with the Nature Conservancy on Thursday that will bring about the protection of 24,000 sq km of forest land, over 8,000 sq km of ocean, and 4,800 km of rivers, the group said.

In addition to the biodiversity and ecosystem benefits, improved forest management is expected to avoid the emissions of some 30 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

“Gabon is leading the world in its efforts to reflect all natural systems in its biodiversity conservation, and along with the nation’s accomplishments in addressing climate change, this PFP will further cement Gabon’s leading position building an economy based on sustainable nature-based enterprises,” said Marie-Claire Paiz, the Nature Conservancy’s country director for Gabon.

An agreement with Mongolia was signed earlier this year, but presented on the sidelines of COP15 in Montreal, the group said.

The partnership is expected to lead to the protection of 144,000 sq km of currently unprotected land as well as improve management of 426,000 sq km of areas already under protection.

“This effort would conserve a major swath of the world’s largest intact grasslands, as well as threatened peatlands that store carbon, boreal forests, free-flowing rivers and the habitat of critically endangered species, including the snow leopard. Local herding communities, representing some of the last remaining nomadic cultures on Earth, are at the heart of this effort, and will continue to protect and manage their grasslands,” the Nature Conservancy said.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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