To celebrate the success of the UK’s Darwin Initiative, a flagship international wildlife and conservation programme, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has announced another £7.5 million to fund further projects, while in Brazil for Rio+20.
Launched at the original Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, Defra’s Darwin Initiative has helped some of the world’s poorest countries protect their wildlife and helped local communities to improve their environment and their livelihoods.
From this year the projects will also focus on helping some of the world’s poorest communities build their skills and improve their natural environment.
Announcing Round 19 of the Darwin funding during a visit to the Tijuca Forest in Brazil, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:
“It’s been twenty years since the UK launched the Darwin Initiative in Rio, and there is no better way to celebrate its success than in the place where it first started.
“Since its launch, the Initiative has provided £88 million to 756 projects in over 150 countries. The money and expertise provided by the UK has funded projects across the globe, from helping to protect the endangered pink river dolphins of Brazil to saving the world’s most endangered duck, the Madagascan Pochard.
“So I’m delighted to be able to announce more funding that will allow the Initiative to continue its legacy and save many more vulnerable species and improve the lives of some of the poorest people.”
The Darwin Initiative has funded projects across the globe, including twenty in Brazil, where the money has helped provide vital training so that local communities can work together to reduce Amazonian wildfires. In Ethiopia the money will help local people and poor communities protect their wild coffee forests.
The funding has also helped newly discovered species such as the Burmese snub-nosed monkey, and provided support for local people in Cambodia so that they help the critically endangered Bengal Florican survive.
The latest call for applications for Darwin Initiative funding starts today. For more information go to http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/
The Darwin Expert Committee (Chaired by Professor David Macdonald of Oxford University) consists of experts from government, academia, science and the private sector, and advises Ministers on project proposals, making recommendations on which should receive funding.
The Darwin Initiative aims to help developing countries and UK Overseas Territories meet their objectives under one or more of the three major biodiversity Conventions: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), through the funding of collaborative projects which draw on biodiversity expertise in developed countries.
More information about the Darwin Initiative and its previous projects can be found at http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/