A world of good news
The Vjosa River in Albania has been made Europe’s first Wild River National Park. A total of 400km and almost 13,000 hectares in the region will be protected from development and artificial barriers. This project was a collaboration between the Albanian Government, NGOs from Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, individual experts, IUCN and outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
Invasive special protections
The state of Victoria, Australia, is set to open its largest conservation sanctuary. IUCN member Parks Victoria is turning Wilsons Promontory National Park into a 50,000 hectare ‘climate change safe haven’, with ramped up conservation and invasive species protections.
Five Central Asian countries have joined an IUCN-led project to reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases by expanding and improving natural areas and landscapes. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan confirmed their interest in coordinating efforts and applying a One Health approach.
Thanks to an IUCN Save our Species project, Costa Rica has declared Cocos Island National Park a shark sanctuary and agreed to triple an existing shark sanctuary to 15,000 hectares.
Scientists have discovered pink iguana hatchlings and juveniles for the first time since the reptile was first identified in the Galápagos Islands in 2009. The search was part of Iniciativia Galápagos, a partnership between the Galápagos National Park Directorate and IUCN Member Galápagos Conservancy.
Key Biodiversity Areas
Greece has become the first European country to recognise Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) in its laws and policies. The Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency of Greece (NECCA) will be responsible for the collection and management of KBA data.
The Environment and Climate Ministers of the G7 countries agreed actions to reverse biodiversity loss. The agreement commits to the swift and effective implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, agreed in 2022.
Coral reef health
A special closing ceremony was held in Male, capital of the Maldives, to celebrate the successful conclusion of nine years of IUCN-backed work to improve coral reef health and resiliency to climate change in the region.
Nepal has become the first country to double its number of tigers in the wild. “The joint effort of government, all conservation partners and local communities has resulted in this success,” said Dr Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General of the Nepalese Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, a member of IUCN.
Landslides, floods and erosions
A land restoration project completed by IUCN this year has helped ensure that the people living in the Sebeya catchment, Rwanda, are no longer regularly impacted by landslides, floods and erosions.
On 29 March 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States to combat climate change. Initiated by the Government of Vanuatu, the resolution was co-sponsored by more than 130 states.