Astola Island is an uninhabited island in the Arabian Sea and the first Marine Protected Area in Pakistan. It is of ecological importance as there are around 35 species of corals present and the island provides a nesting ground for many bird species, the endangered turtle and hawksbill turtle as well as the endemic Astola saw-scaled viper. The site has the potential to be financed through private sector engagement as well as through ecotourism. Moreover, Payment for Ecosystem Services linking the Marine Protected Area to fisheries development is a possibility for sustainable funding.
The Cavernas Do Peruaçu National Park comprises karstic caves of geological and archaeological importance, waterfalls, beaches, threatened biomes and threatened fauna species such as the Maned Wolf, Puma and Ocelot. Part of the park is indigenous territory which adds to the many touristic features, because tourists can witness or take part in folk activities such as religious celebrations and arts and crafts. Financing options include fundraising from local businesses or individuals and establishing a financial private fund.
Cordillera Azul National Park comprises a cloud forest and unexplored Amazonian jungle habitats with many endemic and protected species. It faces threats from land-trafficking, logging, migratory and industrial agriculture and illegal crops. There are no human settlements within the park itself, but more than 520 villages in its buffer zone including 32 indigenous communities and evidence of an isolated indigenous population from the Kakatiabo ethnic group in the southeast of the park. The national park is financed through the Althelia Climate Fund and the loan received by them is repayable through the sale of carbon credits. A second financing phase now needs to be designed.
Espíritu Santo Marine Protected Area is a complex of islands and surrounding waters in the south of the Californian Gulf. It is home to highly heterogenous habitats such as mangroves, sandy bottoms and rocky reefs as well as to a considerable number of marine species. It has high potential for ecotourism, and there may be possibilities to leverage financing from other sources.
Greater Sossusvlei-Namib Landscape (Namibia)
This area comprises a landscape adjacent to the Namib Desert which is managed by land owners and custodians, representing organizations and individuals. Its ecological focus lies on creating connectivity between the Namib Desert to the west and the escarpment zone to the east by creating open movement corridors allowing migratory and nomadic species to move between the areas. The funding potentials with this site lie in the implementation and collection of a voluntary conservation fee, financial contributions from members and possibly Payment for Ecosystem Services.
Guanahacabibes National Park and Banco de San Antonio Prominent Natural Element are Marine Protected Areas and part of a Sister Sanctuary Program between the US and Cuba. Moreover, Guanahacabibes is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Both protected areas have a diverse marine and coastal ecosystem including coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and semi-deciduous forests with many endemic or endangered species. However, the protected areas are facing threats from commercial fishing and growing cruise ship and scuba diving tourism. Public funding, investments and more sustainable forms of tourism are possibilities for the future financing of this site.
Lake Pamvotis Ioannina (Greece)
Lake Pamvotis Ioannina belongs to the European Network of Protected Areas, NATURA 2000. It consists of significant habitats and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna. Pamvotis is one of the oldest lakes in the world and is surrounded by the city of Ioannina and other smaller villages which are linked to the lake’s ecosystem. Ecotourism generates funding for the protected area and there is potential for Payment for Ecosystem Services for improving water quality.
Sierra de las Minas is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve co-managed by an NGO and the government. It is the second largest reserve in Guatemala and houses 15 % of the country’s endemic species. Next to tourism, the site can potentially be financed through carbon credits and Payment for Ecosystem Services in form of contributions from the agricultural sector for water quality.
Sinal do Vale (Brazil)
Sinal do Vale is located in the valley of Santo Antonio which lies between one of the last remaining protected areas of the Atlantic Forest and the Baixada Fluminense of Rio de Janeiro, a poor neighbourhood famous for crime, high unemployment and poor infrastructure. Sinal do Vale functions as a global learning center for the transition to sustainability of the Atlantic Forest which is a biodiversity hotspot and the second most endangered biome in the world. The valley itself was deforested in the 19th century and mining activities as well as charcoal production took place there resulting in the depletion of the soil. There are many different ideas on how to sustainably finance this protected area in the future, including the sale of compost and bio-fertilizer to local organic farmers and tuition fees for offering agroforestry and entrepreneurship courses.
Tatama National Natural Park, an IUCN Green List site, is located between the Andes and the Colombian Biogeographic Pacific Area and is home to many endemic species. It is in an excellent state of conservation and as such a protected area of high scientific interest. The park works together with the black and indigenous communities that are located within Tatama’s buffer zone in an effort to empower them and to promote sustainable actions leading to the improvement of their living conditions. The sale of sustainably produced forest products or Payment for Ecosystem Services are some long-term alternatives for financial and environmental sustainability on the site.