Promoting the value of key biodiversity areas through the involvement of civil society organizations in their conservation and management in North Africa

Mediterranean forest landscape in Morocco.

The project “Promoting the value of key biodiversity areas through the involvement of civil society organizations in their conservation and management in North Africa” is a subregional project aimed at improving the management and governance of protected areas and key biodiversity areas in the hotspot of the Mediterranean region. The project is funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the framework of its strategic direction "Improving the conservation and the protection status of 44 Key Biodiversity Areas”. This project involves four countries, namely: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

Context and challenges 
The Mediterranean basin is the third richest hotspot in the world in terms of plant diversity, although less than 5 percent of its surface benefits from some form of protection. Among the measures developed to avoid the loss of biodiversity and raise awareness among stakeholders of its environmental, social and economic values, is the establishment of key biodiversity areas (KBA). These areas host at least one globally threatened species, with restricted distribution, limited to a biome or performing large gathering in corridors for biodiversity conservation, which are particularly important for long-term adaptation to climate change.

In the four aforementioned countries, the project activities will be implemented in the following Key Biodiversity Areas:

  • Algeria: Djurdjura National Park, situated on the «Mountains, plateaus and wetlands of Algerian Tell and Tunisia» corridor;
  • Libya : Cyrenaican Peninsula (11 ZCB), situated on the “Cyrenaican Peninsula” corridor;
  • Morocco : Toubkal and Ifrane national parks situated on the “Atlas Mountains” corridor;
  • Tunisia : Ichkeul National Park and Gafsa wetlands situated on the “Mountains, plateaus and wetlands of AlgerianTell and Tunisia” corridor.

The main objectives of the project are:

  1. Improving the knowledge on ecosystem services values of key biodiversity areas;
  2. Strengthening conservation polices on Key Biodiversity Areas through effective involvement of civil society organizations;
  3. Developing socio-economic services of Key Biodiversity Areas to promote the well-being of local communities;
  4. Promoting communication and awareness of Key Biodiversity Areas conservation.

IUCN Med’s role

Relying on its network of members and partners in the four countries, IUCN-Med will set up a framework for dialogue between different stakeholders, representing government, civil society and the research institutes. Collaboration Agreements will be signed with the relevant authorities responsible for the KBA management, aimed at monitoring the project activities, at ensuring the involvement of other partners in the different training activities, and at validating the different products elaborated in the framework of the project. Through its regional framework, its focus on the promotion of the value of KBAs knowledge, and its effort to enhance the involvement of the civil society, this project will be contributing to high natural value areas conservation and to secure and strengthen the civil society contribution of CSOs to North Africa biodiversity conservation.

Duration, budget
The project is scheduled over a two year period (September 2013 – Sept 2015) for a total amount of US$ 392 502,11

For further information, please contact: Maher Mahjoub

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