The Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo is on a path to obtain Biosphere Reserve status, a designation afforded by UNESCO Member States to nature-protected areas that combine scientific knowledge and participatory governance to: reduce loss of biodiversity; improve livelihoods of local people; and enhance social, economic and cultural conditions for environmental sustainability. This park’s efforts to increase biodiversity-friendly livelihoods among its inhabitants and become a model learning site for sustainable development has been strengthened with $1 million dollar support from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
The project “Biodiversity Businesses in Fazao-Malfakassa National Park: A Means to Poverty Reduction, Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development” was approved by the fund’s Board in response to Togo’s request and its commitment to attain the Development Goals (SDGs). The project will be implemented by UNESCO in close collaboration with the Togolese Ministry of Environment.
“Convinced that inter-sectoriality and holistic approaches to development are critical to advance on the SDGs, India is supporting the UN System across its various Agencies, Funds and Programmes. This is the first initiative of the India-UN Fund to be implemented by UNESCO, and we hope a harbinger of more to come.” – affirmed H.E. Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York.
“UNESCO’s expertise promoting biodiversity-friendly jobs is highly relevant for rural populations in protected areas. Thanks to India, we are delighted to expand our support incubating small businesses in bee-keeping, snail rearing, mushroom farming, carbon sequestration in biomass, watershed protection, bioprospecting and/or ecotourism in Togo.” explained Mr. Yao YDO, Regional Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Abuja.
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). Launched in June 2017, it project portfolio encompasses 31 projects across Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.