Britain's Darwin Initiative to support 32 new global conservation projects

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-10 22:50:37|Editor: yan
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LONDON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- British Environment Minister Therese Coffey announced Friday a new round of funding under the government's Darwin Initiative to support 32 global conservation projects.

Since its launch in 1992, the initiative has funded more than 1,000 projects around the world. This is the 25th round of funding.

The latest schemes to be awarded money were announced by Coffey during a visit to Chester Zoo, where she examined a current Darwin project to protect Andean "spectacled" bears in South America.

The 32 conservation projects will receive a share of 10.7 million U.S. dollars.

One of them is Fauna & Flora International's project to secure the future and resilience of wild tulips and pastoral communities in the Kyrgyzstan mountains, which are vital to local community livelihoods.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's project "Know your onions: sustainable plant use in Tajikistan" is already leading to increased income, access to locally grown produce and increased capacity to cultivate produce.

Coffey said: "These schemes are helping nature and our wider environment, delivering clean air and water, sustainable food supplies, and recovery and resilience to natural disasters."

She added that the latest round of funding is putting an emphasis on nature and health and providing security of food supply to rural communities in some of the most remote parts of the globe.

A spokesman at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "Recent reports on international nature have put the issue of species loss high on the nation's agenda."

"Last week, the UN's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report showed nearly a million species are in danger of extinction and the Darwin Initiative is part of the UK government's response to this emerging issue."

Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo's CEO, said: "The Darwin Initiative funding has been vital in helping us to tackle human wildlife conflict worldwide -- working side by side with local communities, protecting bears in Bolivia, elephants in India and tigers in Nepal. Conservation projects like these are urgent and critical. Our planet depends on them."