More than four million dollars is the total amount provided by the GEF through the UNDP to the Project " Consolidation of Protected Areas of Cape Verde"

United Nations, Praia, August 2010 – "Cape Verde is considered a global hotspot because of its terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and richness of its endemic species", said the UN Resident Coordinator in Cape Verde and UNDP Representative, Mrs. Petra Lantz, during the ceremony to sign the document for the Project "Consolidation of Protected Areas of Cape Verde". The ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister of Environment, Rural Development and Marine Resources, Dr. José Maria Veiga.

During her speech, when referring to the importance of biodiversity, Mrs. Lantz emphasized that the protected areas are vital to conserve the biodiversity at a world level, contributing to promote a sustainable management of natural resources, in this way, creating new perspectives of development.

For the UN Coordinator in Cape Verde, the Protected Areas of Cape Verde's system is still in the initial stage of development and in need of significant management and institutional support to become operational and effective. The context of cooperation, from the GEF through the UNDP with the Government of Cape Verde, was developed in a close partnership with the Ministry of Environment to implement projects that aim to have long-term solutions to conserve the biodiversity of Cape Verde.

Financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for West Africa in the value of US$ 4,183.000.00, the project has the objective to strengthen and expand the national system of terrestrial and marine protected areas. With the aim to create conditions to operate four terrestrial protected areas in the three different islands of Fogo, São Vicente and Santo Antão. The project intends also contribute for consolidation of three major marine protected areas in the islands of Sal and Boavista as well as reinforcing the national capabilities for the management of Protected Areas.

With the implementation of this project it is expected that over the next 4 years, the strengthening and consolidation of the Protected Areas system will occur. The creation of new sectors of management and the promotion of participatory approaches in the management and conservation of endemic biodiversity of Cape Verde will ensure the ecological balance and the sustainability of ecosystems.

The project will add 41,214 hectares to the total protected areas as established by Law and increase the level of operational protected areas from only 6% to 77% of the expanded area. This expansion will be achieved through consolidation of marine protected areas in natural parks for protection of fisheries.

It is predicted also, the establishment and reinforcement of an authority with autonomous management for the Protected Areas, and two offices of conservation covering entirely the islands of Sal and Boavista.

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