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ACP countries stand to gain from IUCN partnerships

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Brussels, 10 October 2011: A meeting of between the ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and regional heads of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last week underlined the importance of environmental protection to sustainable development programmes in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

“The Governments of [the ACP region] are waking up to the recognition that the management and restoration of ecosystems is an effective way of providing natural solutions to the development pressures of our time,” said Dr Chambas.

The Secretary General met with IUCN Regional Directors from Eastern and Southern Africa, the Pacific and Europe, senior representatives from West Africa and the Caribbean, and IUCN Headquarters staff on 6 October at the ACP House.

The group were in Brussels for a three-day visit, which also included meetings with the European Commission and the EU-ACP dialogue in the European Parliament.

Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Ali Kaka said: “There is a lot IUCN can offer the ACP Group of States, through its presence in Brussels and the Regional Offices in other part of the world. This visit illustrated how IUCN in Europe and IUCN in Eastern and Southern Africa can work together for increased efficiency and effectiveness on resource mobilisation and technical collaboration with the European Commission.”

One of the specific initiatives discussed during the visit was the EC-funded Biodiversity and Protected Area Management programme (BIOPAMA) which is expected to start before the end of the year.

Head of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme Trevor Sandwith said: “The BIOPAMA project provides an excellent opportunity to show how protected areas contribute to economic and social development in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean through capacity development, and IUCN is very happy to be the main partner in this initiative.”

Head of IUCN Euroean Union Monica Jacobs added that the visit “provided a great opportunity to discuss synergies and I am confident that this will result in strengthened cooperation between us and the other regions.”

The visit was organised by the IUCN European Union Representative Office in Brussels. -END-


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