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Cuba

31 January 2017 - Natural solutions to sustainability challenges in Cuba: The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago lies at the heart of the broader Sabana-Camagüey Ecosystem (SCE). 

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Cape Verde

Local fishers association develops an underwater tourist trail as a tool for biodiversity conservation and supporting local livelihoods.

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Cuba

Playa Florida is a coastal village in the south of Cuba adjacent to one of the most delicate and rich marine eco-systems in the Caribbean.

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Belize

Belize’s biodiversity is exposed to various direct anthropogenic and natural threats system.

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This fourth World Ocean Review shows how the concept of sustainability came into being, how and w

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To feed the growing population, today and tomorrow, we must adopt more sustainable agricultural practices.

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SMALL ISLAND, BIG RESULTS

31 January 2017 - Natural solutions to sustainability challenges in Cuba: The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago lies at the heart of the broader Sabana-Camagüey Ecosystem (SCE). 

31 January 2017 - Natural solutions to sustainability challenges in Cuba: The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago lies at the heart of the broader Sabana-Camagüey Ecosystem (SCE). 

Over the years, the region's ecosystems have come under varying degrees of pressure as a result of unsustainable practices in sectors such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and tourism – all of which play an important role in the local and national economy. Conflicts between competing land uses emerged, and with the closure of sugar factories in the 1990s many people were left without their traditional livelihoods.

Against this backdrop, the Government of Cuba and its partners, with support from UNDP and funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), began to turn challenges into opportunities, using nature-based solutions. In 1993, the first of a series of three projects was initiated in the Sabana-Camagüey Ecosystem to conserve valuable ecosystems, prioritise biodiversity in development planning, and build sustainable communities.

Working at pilot sites (including two Ramsar wetlands), a wealth of biodiversity-compatible livelihoods was introduced, including: nature-based tourism, agro-forestry, bee-keeping, sustainable livestock management, and the sustainable cultivation of mangrove oysters and natural sponges. In previously degraded wetlands, farmers now adopt sustainable approaches to raising water buffaloes for meat and milk, whilst restoring wetland health.

In areas previously under sugarcane, farmers now cultivate a wide variety of crops, nurturing them with organic compost from worm farms, and using biogas for their energy needs. The net effect of these changes has been to restore ecosystem health, with additional benefits for food security and economic prosperity. Best practices developed in the SCE have now been scaled-up and replicated at other sites.

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Developing Ecotourism in Salamansa

Local fishers association develops an underwater tourist trail as a tool for biodiversity conservation and supporting local livelihoods.

30 January 2017 - Salamansa is a fishing village in Cape Verde with approximately 1,170 inhabitants. It is located north of the island of São Vicente near the city of Mindelo and it is a rural area where half of the population is primarily engaged in artisanal fishing for their livelihoods. The artisanal fishing community includes about 148 fishermen and 10 fish merchants, who also practice other socio-economic activities such as animal husbandry, agriculture (during the rainy season), and small scale trade.

With the aim to create alternative livelihoods, reduce the pressure on the ecosystem and reactivate the first underwater trail for ecotourism, the Associação dos Pescadores de Salamansa received technical and financial support from the GEF Small Grants Programme in Cape Verde in 2010. The construction of the underwater trail in Baía das Gatas was the result of an initial partnership between Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Cape Verde, WWF Germany and the German Agency for Nature Conservation.

The goal of this project was to demonstrate community-based ecotourism as a tool for biodiversity conservation and improvement of local livelihoods using the underwater trail as an example. To operationalize the underwater trail, the association carried out a number of key activities including the development of a marketing strategy to promote the trail, preparation of a code of conduct for its use, and selection and training of key staff to manage the trail.

The second phase of the project involved the establishment of a community-based maintenance and monitoring plan for the underwater trail and an awareness raising campaign within the community about the benefits of the sustainable use of marine resources. Once everything was in place, the trail was opened to the public, excursions were promoted and organized, and the Associação dos Pescadores de Salamansa, established a fund to collect and manage trail admission fees for maintaining the trail.

 Download Full Case Study.pdf (954.22 KB)

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Mangrove Conservation and Sustainable Fisheries in Playa Florida

Playa Florida is a coastal village in the south of Cuba adjacent to one of the most delicate and rich marine eco-systems in the Caribbean.

This area is also one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the local communities have had to evacuate during storms (such as Ike and Paloma in 2008).

The loss of the mangroves poses a risk to the local population by shortening the shoreline, increasing erosion and their vulnerability to floods, surges and storms. In terms of biodiversity, the damage to the mangrove ecosystem also reduces water quality and destroys the natural habitat of fish and crustacean species.

In 2009, with the support of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) and the technical advice from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, the community of Playa Florida set out to restore the coastal and mangrove ecosystem in Playa Florida. To achieve this goal the community started an awareness raising campaign on the importance of the mangrove ecosystem for the health of marine resources and as an adaptation tool to address climate change. The community also worked with fisher folk to improve their fishing practices and livelihood opportunities and reduce the pressure on the ecosystem. The project also provided better fishing gear and training on sustainable fishing practices such as the use of wider fishing nets to reduce bycatch, promoting compliance and respect for fishing bans, and developing sustainable fishing plans. The project also worked with fisher folk to create a union that would enable them to get better prices.

 Download Full Case Study.pdf (1.32 MB)

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Sustainable Seaweed Production

Belize’s biodiversity is exposed to various direct anthropogenic and natural threats system.

Over the last three decades the forest cover in Belize has decreased steadily due to the expansion of economic activities, such as large-scale agriculture and aquaculture. Rapid and uncontrolled coastal development has resulted in increased habitat loss in the coastal zone. It is estimated that about 75-80% of all coastal land in Belize has been purchased for the development of tourism and residential areas, posing a serious threat to mangroves, coastal wetlands, and other coastal ecosystems (Young, 2008). Overfishing and illegal fishing continue to put stress on the ecosystems.

To reduce fishing pressures in and around the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the UNDP implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) provided technical

and financial support to the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited (PPCSL), under a special initiative called the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation (COMPACT) co-financed by the United Nations Foundation. The project introduced local fishers and tour guides to sustainable seaweed production, provided technical assistance, procured necessary materials, and established seaweed farms. The first project focused on the area in Placencia and the second project was implemented to expand the intiative in Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve.

The local community provided support in ensuring that all activities such as preparation of ropes, buoys, anchors, and the transportation of materials to sites were carried out properly. Community members also participated in focus group meetings and were actively involved in the planting and monitoring of the seaweed farms as well as in seaweed harvesting. As a result of the community involvement, 43 seaweed farms were established, doubling the original 20 seaweed farms envisioned in the two project proposals.

 Download Full Case Study.pdf (603.9 KB)

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5 ingredients to sustainable fish production (2015) | FAO

To feed the growing population, today and tomorrow, we must adopt more sustainable agricultural practices.

To feed the growing population, today and tomorrow, we must adopt more sustainable agricultural practices.

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World Ocean Review 2015: Living with the Oceans

This fourth World Ocean Review shows how the concept of sustainability came into being, how and why it is so often used, and how it should guide our actions in future.

This fourth World Ocean Review shows how the concept of sustainability came into being, how and why it is so often used, and how it should guide our actions in future.