The UK government has tripled funding for its Darwin Initiative grant programme, which works to protect biodiversity around the world.
The government has announced a funding boost of £90m (€102.91m) for the Darwin Initiative, which supports projects worldwide protecting endangered species and preserving the natural environment. Since its inception in 1992, the initiative has provided funding and support for 1,155 projects in 159 countries, with support going towards conservation projects including:
- Conserving Bengal tigers in Nepal;
- A project boosting habitat resilience to the impacts of climate change in the Philippines; and
- Eradicating invasive species on the Caribbean island of Redonda.
Joanna Elliott, Senior Director of Conservation Partnerships at Fauna & Flora International, which has led more than 60 projects in receipt of Darwin Initiative funding, said: “Fauna & Flora International and our partners have been privileged to benefit from over 50 Darwin grants since this remarkable fund was launched 26 years ago, and the lasting legacy this support has left for the species, habitats and people we work with is truly phenomenal. From the iconic elephants and rhinos of Africa to less well known, but no less important, species like saiga antelope and Madagascan baobabs, a huge range of wildlife has benefited from the funding provided by the Darwin Initiative. We’re delighted to hear the news of this significant expansion of the Darwin Initiative, and look forward to seeing the huge benefit that this will inevitably bring for our natural world.”
International Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “The UK is taking the lead to conserve wildlife both at home and abroad, and we have committed to doubling our spending on climate change and focusing much of the extra money on nature protection and restoration. Exactly one year on from our groundbreaking Illegal Wildlife Conference held in London, we are stepping up our efforts to protect international biodiversity and end wildlife crime around the globe. We are facing a global crisis of biodiversity loss which requires a global solution, and today I am inviting projects from around the world to work with us to protect some of our best-loved species before it’s too late.”