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FY 1999 funds will lead to significant improvement in the
conservation and management of globally important biodiversity
areas in the region, covering over 27 million hectares.
Conservation of Central America's "Meso American Biological
Corridor" will be improved such that over 20 of the parks and
reserves along that route will be sustainably
managed.
FY 1999
funds will provide the final push to graduate 28 protected areas
(covering 20 million acres) from USAID support via the Parks in
Peril program.
Other key successes will include: (a) the last
remaining 100,000 hectare fragment of Ecuador's Choco forest will
be protected and most of the local indigenous groups will have
land tenure rights over the area; (b) the Panama Canal watershed
will be conserved to guarantee that the Canal receives adequate
water while conserving important wildlife there; and (c)
Bolivia's 2 million hectare dry forest in the Choco will be
sustainably managed by the indigenous people found there.
It is
worth noting that efforts to conserve biodiversity in the
region's tropical forests also contribute to the Agency's efforts
to reduce climate change (see above).
Europe and the New Independent States
:
ENI countries contain
rare species, such as the Siberian Tiger, and unique habitats,
such as Russia's Lake Baikal.
In FY 1999, biodiversity programs
will continue to be active in Russia, the Ukraine, and Bulgaria.
The Russian Far East Sustainable Natural Resources Management
project provides technical assistance, support for managing
protected areas, monitoring habitats, and the means to combat
poaching.
Protected areas are also supported in the Ukraine
through the Ukraine Biodiversity Conservation program.
The
USAID/GEF Bulgarian Biodiversity Project supports the
implementation of Bulgaria's National Biological Diversity
Conservation Strategy.
3.
Global Climate Change:
Rate of growth in net emissions of
greenhouse gases slowed.
The Agency's Climate Change Initiative is to focus on reducing
greenhouse gas emissions while augmenting naturally occurring
greenhouse gas storage and sinks.
Activities will focus on
energy and industry, forestry and natural resources, and
sustainable agriculture. (Seventy five percent of USAID forestry
activities are considered to be part of the Climate Change
Initiative.)
Sub Saharan Africa:
The five country region of the Congo basin
   Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Zaire   
is a priority in USAID's Climate Change Initiative.
The Central
Africa region is important as a sink for carbon dioxide because
of its extensive forests.
USAID activities will include remote
sensing and geographic information system analysis to improve
forest cover data, coordination with scientists studying biomass
and developing carbon inventories for various forest types,
testing predictive models of forest degradation and
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