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Mixed for nomination!

20. 2. 2020, 16:06

At the end of January the Succow Foundation gathered Mongolian and German experts on the Island of Vilm to discuss the opportunities and scenarios of the protection of Eastern Mongolian Steppes through nominating them as World Heritage site. The workshop participants came to a conclusion that the most appropriate scenario for the protection of the entire steppe ecosystem might be a mixed nomination with natural component parts surrounded and connected by cultural landscape parts with traditional pastures. This approach would guarantee protection of larger landscapes in balance with existing mobile pastoralism. A mixed nomination scenario will be studied further within the ongoing feasibility study project of the Succow Foundation and the results will be presented in Mai 2020 in Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia’s globally significant biodiversity requires the conservation of vast landscapes at a time when anthropogenic pressure is increasing. The Eastern Mongolian Steppes are home to the herds of an estimated 1.5 to 2 million of Mongolian white-tailed gazelles (Procapra gutturosa) which are an inseparable element of the ecosystem, both inhabiting and shaping it. Due to the numerous threats related to infrastructure development, mining, climate change etc. wildlife outside of protected areas is highly vulnerable. Even if the ecosystem is still in good condition, there are numerous critically important areas are under no protection regime. Historically existing unique nomadic culture continues to play an important role for the shaping and sustaining it.

Just discovered

17. 2. 2020, 14:48

The discovery of Ferula karakumica from the Apiaceae family was a small sensation for the project team of the Central Asian Desert Initiative. The plant is an example of the fact that the floristic biodiversity in the largely closed country has not been adequately recorded and thus has not been sufficiently taken into account to protect these areas.
The Turkmen botanist Alexander Pavlenko found them during the extensive geobotanical surveys in protected areas of Turkmenistan. With these CADI creates a basis for possible new zoning of existing protected areas and for a transnational world natural heritage nomination of the cold winter deserts of Central Asia.
Ferula karakumica is very similar to the Ferula karelinii Bunge in the reproductive parts, but differs significantly in nature and morphology of the vegetative root system. It is now the 3.014th entry in the taxonomic list of all known plant species in Turkmenistan. Its description has been published in Novitates Systematicae Plantarum Vascularium.

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Make survivors of last Ice Age survive now

10. 2. 2020, 17:33

Following the nomination of the Hyrcanian Forests in the Islamic Republic of Iran which was successfully inscribed in the 43rd meeting of the World Heritage Committee in July 2019, the Succow Foundation launched a new project to expand the prestigious status on the ancient forests in Azerbaijan, too. The proposed project provides technical support to Azerbaijan to formulate the nomination dossier. It advises both countries to realize the World Heritage Committee's recommendation for the expansion and development of a joint management. It also consults Iran on fulfilling the requirements of the World Heritage Committee.
The Hyrcanian forests extend from the Talysh Mountains in the south of the Republic of Azerbaijan through the Iranian provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan approx. 900 km to the east. The largest part of these forests are located in Iran, a small part in Azerbaijan. At an age of up to 50 million years, the Hyrcanian Forests have survived the last ice ages, and they are still the retreat territories of many mammal species, including Persian leopard, Brown bear, Lynx as well as migratory birds but also a unique flora. The concentration of endemic species in these forests is particularly high due to the exceptional site and habitat conditions, which is why these forests are considered a biodiversity hotspot.

National peatland strategies in Europe

10. 2. 2020, 17:29

The new policy brief Peatland strategies in Europe is online. It identifies key elements pursued to promote peatland strategies on national level: Collecting more base data for peatland inventories, developing climate change scenarios to show impacts of peatland conservation or degradation, improving legal frameworks, building public awareness and financial resources – to name just a few of the policy brief’s recommendations. 
The policy brief is an outcome a workshop on national peatland strategies in Europe, jointly conducted by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) together with Succow Foundation, Partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre. The event in Bonn, Germany, which was closely coordinated with Ramsar Secretariat and the Global Peatlands Initiative, was attended by 30 government representatives, experts and stakeholders from the public sector and civil society from 11 EU Member States, European Commission, other European countries.

Uzbekistan in the IPBES

7. 2. 2020, 15:06

The new membership in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) offers Uzbekistan scientifically based information for conserving biodiversity and combatting land degradation. The Central Asian Desert Initiative helped prepare Uzbek IPBES membership. The project team showed the goals, mechanisms, current studies of the platform as the Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Europe and Central Asia and the advantages of membership during a workshop in September 2018 in Tashkent. CADI promoted the membership efforts in a fruitful exchange with the Uzbek Environment Agency.

Cold winter deserts: potential for world heritage site

3. 2. 2020, 13:20

As the only large scale ecosystems worldwide, the biome of the cold winter deserts has not yet been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The current study World Heritage thematic study for Central Asia by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now certifies a great potential of this transnational landscape type to have a great potential on the globally recognized title. The CADI project of Succow Foundation and Greifswald University contributed to the study. According to the study the areas in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are of immense importance for biodiversity, especially for endangered indigenous and migrating species. Examples are the goiter gazelle, the Asian wild ass and the urial. All three species are threatened referring to the IUCN Red List. As important breeding and resting places, the areas are essential, for example, for the houbara bustard, saker falcon and Egyptian vulture. The IUCN, which advises the World Heritage Commission, considers the areas threatened by gigantic infrastructure measures and overexploitation. It recommends strengthening the states' capacities to manage world natural heritage areas.

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