Multilateral cooperation with African countries
Combining conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity
Integrative concepts for sustainable development in Africa
Biodiversity in Africa
9 out of 34 global biodiversity hotspots are located in Africa. Species diversity on this continent is particularly high, so that the commitment to the conservation of ecosystems is particularly essential. 445 endangered endemic animal species and more than 30,000 endemic plant species exist in these hotspots only, which need special protection. Nearly 675 million ha of forest area of this continent are to be conserved as a carbon sink and as a natural habitat.
Climate change and poverty lead to land use changes and to overexploitation of biological resources. These trends result in the loss of biological diversity and thus to the destruction of the natural resource base. The establishment of sustainable forms of use is therefore a key instrument for the long-term conservation of biodiversity-rich regions.
Biosphere reserves as an instrument for sustainable development
UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme exists since 1971. Under this umbrella, it was achieved to develop and to recognize 621 biosphere reserves in 117 countries during the past 40 years. Biosphere reserves are model regions for sustainable development, where harmonious coexistence of man and nature should serve as a paradigmatic example.
81 biosphere reserves of 33 African countries promote sustainable regional development. Biosphere reserves are qualified as adequate protected area categories for cultural landscapes especially in Africa, since they combine both protection and sustainable use of biological diversity and ecosystem services in one concept. Thereby they also contribute to poverty alleviation.
Development of a management guide on African biosphere reserves
The CBD COP10 noted that improving management activities in conservation areas is an important factor to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Effective management of biosphere reserves is still generally absent in Africa. At the AfriMAB-meeting in 2011 in Addis Abeba, fully financed by the BfN, it was set to develop a manual on biosphere reserve management.
In collaboration with the UNESCO MAB-Secretariat, the AfriMAB-Secretariat (MAB regional network for Sub-Saharan Africa) and ArabMAB (i.a. North Africa), the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK) is coordinating a project where African experts develop a management manual for the biosphere reserve managers. The concept of the manual was discussed at a workshop held in Kenia in February 2013. The draft will be reviewed by an expert commitee as well as discussed in an online participation tool and should be available at the next AfriMAB General Assembly in September 2013. In the second project stage in 2014 the management manual will be tested during training workshops in different African regions and adapted to practical requirements, if necessary. By the end of 2014 the manual should be published in print in English and French and made available online. Further information on the development of the management manual for biosphere reserves in Africa...
Workshop on the cooperation with African biosphere reserves
On 03 December 2012, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safty (BMU), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the KfW Entwicklungsbank organised a workshop on "Biosphere Reserves in Africa - Instrument for Sustainable Development" (in German). The concept of the biosphere reserves (BR) in terms of its potential for sustainable development in Africa has been discussed. Furthermore, experiences of implementing the BR-approach in Africa and of identifying good practices, which are gathered in German-African cooperation, have been exchanged.
Workshop on the management of African biosphere reserves
From 27 June till 2 July 2011, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with the support of the AfriMAB Secretariat, the German Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO-MAB Secretariat and the Bavarian Management Center for the Rhön Biosphere Resere, organised an International Expert Workshop on "Managing Challenges of Biosphere Reserves in Africa".
Conservation of wild coffee forests in Ethiopia
Ethiopian highlands belong to the „Eastern Afromontane“ biodiversity hotspot. Forests are particularly diverse, however they were reduced to 3% of the land area. As a result, wild populations of Coffea arabica are highly endangered. In order to protect these resources while ensuring livelihoods of the local population, BfN cooperates with other local partners. In 2010, the first two Ethiopian biosphere reserves were successfully approved for the conservation of wild coffee forests.
Sustainable wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants
Many wild plants represent a vital component of our medical und food supplies. By now, almost 15 000 species, most of which are in Africa, are endangered due to overuse and improper harvesting techniques. Therefore, in cooperation with partners, BfN developed an International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) in 2007. It will ensure the sustainability of harvesting methods and the management of wild plants.
Conservation of the devil's claw
The African devil's claw is threatened with extinction due to extreme overuse. By reason of medically valuable ingredients of the tuber, there is a great demand especially at the European market, which has led to the inappropriate, uncontrolled harvesting of plant parts. With the support of BfN and funding from BMU, it was possible to promote measures, which facilitate sustainable harvesting and commercial exploitation and thus protection of this species from 2000 to 2007.
Project management at BfN
Section I 2.3 International Nature Conservation
Contact: Florian Carius