The European Union (EU) has launched an initiative for the protection of biodiversity and wildlife in Liberia.
The launch took place last Wednesday, the International Day of Biodiversity, with the aim of halting the loss of biodiversity and eradicating poverty in developing countries.
The biodiversity for life flagship initiative is designed to help poorest countries protect ecosystems, wildlife crime and develop green economies.
According to EU Commissioner for development, the biodiversity for life will be financed initially from the EU Global Public Goods Challenges (GPGC) thematic program as well as from regional and national development cooperation envelops, with an estimated budget of up to US$800 million for 2014-2020.
Mr. Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, said “We have already agreed with our EU partners that development is not sustainable if it damages the environment, biodiversity or natural resources. Biodiversity for life will now provide the means to step up our efforts to support livelihood through a green economy to contribute to the EU’s development agenda.”
The commissioner said biodiversity and development are closely linked and mutually reinforcing; healthy ecosystems sustain development while development impacts on habitats.
He said seeing ecosystem conservation and restoration as an opportunity to generate growth create jobs and reduce poverty through a green economy that contributes to the EU’s development agenda.
The commissioner however expressed the hope that the initiative will attract additional funding from other development partners including EU member’s states.
He further explained that EU will operate in three priority areas: promoting good governance of natural resources, improve transparency by involving public and private sectors, civil society and academia in partnerships among others to help improve regulations to protect biodiversity.”
Securing healthy ecosystems for good security; “this priority will promote sustainable farming practices and the development of environment-friendly products ; help restore degraded areas; support the development of community-base land and management plans and coastal management plans, including marine protected areas."