Working for birds in Africa

Biodiversity in Africa's Protected Areas declining Fast

Date posted: 
Sunday, May 16, 2010

The status of Biodiversity is progressively declining in African Protected Areas according to BirdLife International. This was unveiled during a side event hosted by BirdLife during the on-going CBD SBTTA 14 meeting attended by Government delegates from all over the world at UNEP Gigiri in Kenya.

In total, BirdLife is working in 22 countries in Africa in over 1,200 IBAs. While all countries have increased efforts to conserve biodiversity, much more is still to be done. The side event in Nairobi, Kenya, shared results from a monitoring project of Protected Areas at 117 sites, across seven African countries, implemented by BirdLife and RSPB and funded by the European Commission. The monitoring results clearly show that the state of biodiversity in Protected Areas is declining. Sites identified as being in a poor state increased from 43% in 2001, to 57% in 2008.

At the same time there has been a general increase of threats facing Protected Areas. "The results of our monitoring indicate that the pressures on biodiversity have been increasing falling far short of the target to reduce biodiversity loss", said Dr. Muhtari Aminu Kano - BirdLife International's Global Policy and Advocacy Advisor.

Delegates at the meeting heard how BirdLife used a simple 'State, Pressure, Response' Model for the monitoring of the over 1,200 African Important Bird Areas (IBAs), of which about 46% are Protected Areas. 

The data from the monitoring have been used to develop indicators to show trends over time within IBAs. These results form important components of the suite of indicators suitable to track biodiversity progress towards the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) target, and wider sustainable development around the globe. 

"The results also show that if proper management responses are put in place it is possible to improve the state of biodiversity and reduce pressures", said Achilles Byaruhanga - Executive Director of Nature Uganda. "This was well demonstrated through the sites monitored in Botswana - Central Kalahari Game reserve, Okavango Delta and Mannyelanong - where comprehensive and effective use of existing management plans have been instituted".

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