Germany helped launch the new conservation fund Legacy Landscapes Fund (LLF) on Wednesday to protect nature in some of the most essential areas on Earth.
The goal of the fund is to “provide lasting, reliable core funding for at least 30 top biodiversity hotspots in Africa, Asia and Latin America,” said Gerd Müller, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Every country in the world has missed important land and marine conservation targets. An estimated two million species are known to scientists, and of those, around half face extinction in coming decades. Scientists have called for greater public awareness of this mass extinction.
Experts say the biggest threats to biodiversity are human activities such as deforestation, pollution, overhunting and fishing.
Recently, protecting biodiversity has risen on the global agenda because scientists say the destruction of natural habitats facilitates the spread of zoonotic diseases as animals and humans come into closer contact.
The lack of financing has widely been identified as a problem for effectively managing protected areas. The new fund intends to fill this gap by financing the protection of nature.
“By ensuring that the costs of nature protection are covered, the Legacy Landscapes Fund addresses a key threat for the survival of species and of humankind,” executive director Stefanie Lang explained.
Funded initially with $99 million from the German government, and $30 million from private investors, the fund is actively seeking other public and private donors to raise $1 billion.
The United Nations (UN) hopes to secure an agreement at the next Biodiversity Convention meeting in China in October to protect and conserve 30% of the Earth’s land and water by 2030, the so-called “30 by 30” aim. To hit the 30% target, international cooperation and financing are necessary, experts said.
“We have good hopes for an agreement, but we absolutely must see a commitment to effective conservation,” said James Hardcastle, a conservationist at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), referring to the “30 by 30” campaign.
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