Feature Story

The Global Environment Facility is a founding donor of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), which was formed in 2000 to champion biodiversity by delivering the financial resources of global donors to civil society groups, who then carry out the conservation work themselves.

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As iconic as the islands’ pristine beaches and tropical forests, the 60,000-plus green monkeys of St. Kitts and Nevis are a quintessential part of the Caribbean experience for many visitors.

But while these photogenic mischief-makers might charm tourists, they pose serious threats to the twin-island Federation. Likely first brought to the islands from West Africa as exotic pets by European settlers in the 17th century, today the monkeys are putting pressure on native species, decimating crops, and consistently evading efforts to scare them off.

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For Quirsito ‘Bok’ Cajegas, a fisher in Davao Gulf, Philippines, staunch advocacy of marine conservation comes with the territory.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Before his reformation, Bok was a self-described illegal fisher. For 23 years, Bok employed illicit compressor fishing methods, and once opposed the establishment of a marine protected area (MPA) in Barangay Bato Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur.

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At the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global center of marine biodiversity – lies the small island developing state of Timor-Leste.

Indigenous legend holds that Timór Lorosa'e (‘East Rising Sun’) was created by a great crocodile, Lafaek Diak, that transformed itself into land so that its human friends could live there.

Imposing mountains – the spine of the mythological crocodile – dominate the center of the country. Ancient marine fossils litter their peaks.

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The Global Environment Facility is a founding donor of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), which was formed in 2000 to champion biodiversity by delivering the financial resources of global donors to build the capacity of civil society groups in biodiversity hotspots. These groups often work with limited resources to have impressive impacts to protect biodiversity on the ground. Despite the challenges of this time, many of these groups continue to work diligently to protect biodiversity.

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Endowed with picturesque beaches, rainforests, and coral reefs that attract tourists from around the world, São Tomé and Príncipe is a small island country, located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western coast of Central Africa. Its small size, distance from large markets, and lack of diversity in its economic sectors mean the country faces a number of challenges.

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Maintaining healthy ecosystems are important to help protect against the spread of disease. A large mixture of species means that some act as ‘dead end’ hosts, preventing diseases from spreading. As countries plan their economic recovery for after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that the role biodiversity plays in underpinning the health of people and planet is taken into account. Here’s one example from North Macedonia.

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