Big wins for conservation and livelihoods – thanks to Britain’s Darwin Initiative

Empower Cape Verdean communities towards responsible practices in artisanal fishing

Cabo Verde, an island nation nestled in the rich marine ecosystem of the Canary Current in West Africa, is of great global importance for the breeding of endemic and threatened seabirds and is home to the third largest population of loggerhead turtles. .

Bycatch of seabirds, turtles and other marine species can have serious impacts on marine biodiversity, as well as costs and damages to fishers.

This project will engage artisanal fishing communities on six islands in Cabo Verde to reduce bycatch of endangered seabirds and sea turtles. It will improve local livelihoods while maintaining healthy fish stocks.

It will expand a local certification system piloted with fishermen from the island of São Vicente that increases the market value of sustainably caught fish sold to local restaurants, thereby generating increased income for the community. Three local NGOs in Cabo Verde will build on this program and replicate it in communities on five additional islands. Measures will include minimum catch sizes, seasonality, reduction of waste and bycatch of seabirds and turtles. Improved fish handling facilities provided as livelihood benefits, such as better freezing facilities, will reduce wastage of fish caught and reduce pressure on fish stocks.

”This work helps local Cabo Verde fishers and NGOs to develop more sustainable fishing practices and conservation capacities in these communities” said Dr Susan Waugh, BirdLife Marine Coordinator for Africa.

The project will be implemented by BirdLife International in collaboration with BirdLife Partners, Biosfera and SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), and Cape Verdean NGOs, Projecto Vitó, Associação Projeto Biodiversidade, as well as the Zoology Department of the University of Oxford..

Safeguarding Rennell Island’s livelihoods and biodiversity from invasive species

The Solomon Islands has greater species diversity and endemism than any Pacific island nation (after Papua New Guinea) and Rennell Island has the highest endemism per hectare.

East Rennell is a World Heritage Site, but its irreplaceable biodiversity and the subsistence lifestyles of 900 villagers are under threat from the introduction of black rats and other invasive species.

This project will model and measure the impact of rodent control on East Rennell farms and endemic biodiversity, establish island-wide biosecurity, and inform national and regional responses to invasive species. Along with understanding and addressing the problem of invasive species on the island, the project will work with the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (LTWHSA), the community organization that manages the World Heritage site, to improve its financial management and fundraising capacity and to stimulate local resources. income through increased craft production, improved access to established domestic markets, and the establishment of women-led village savings clubs.

The project builds on and will build on BirdLife’s vast experience of island restoration in the Pacific. Pacific – BirdLife International

Miliana Ravuso, Project Manager, Pacific Islands Restoration Programme, explained that “The 37,000ha East Rennell World Heritage Site is one of the few remaining unlogged tracts of tropical rainforest in the Solomon Islands. With many environmental and social pressures facing the WHS, this Darwin project comes at a critical time, to ensure these pressures are addressed in a tangible way.

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