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Garamba National Park. Credit APN-Nuria Ortega

Emergency assistance for the world’s top wildlife sites

Posted on: 26.04.17 (Last edited) 28 April 2017

Efforts to protect natural World Heritage sites – the world’s most iconic wildlife sites – have received a boost today with the launch of a new website by the Rapid Response Facility.

The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) provides support to tackle emergencies in natural World Heritage sites. These internationally recognised sites – which include the Serengeti plains of East Africa, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos islands – are the most important places on earth for the conservation of wildlife. They host some of the world’s most iconic species and habitats, including almost a third of all remaining wild tigers, and 40% of all African elephants.

A partnership between Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the RRF is a small grant fund that has already proved vital in tackling wildfires, oil spills, and damage from earthquakes in 29 precious sites. The fund has contributed to the conservation of over 140 threatened species such as the tiger, African elephant, okapi and giant panda. The key element of the RRF is its speed – it is the world’s fastest conservation fund, getting resources to the field fast when crises strike.

The new website will enable even more targeted and effective responses to conservation emergencies, by raising the profile of the RRF and making it easier to find online for those working in World Heritage sites. The design of the new site will also make it much easier to use on mobile devices and in remote areas with limited connectivity.

Recent RRF grants have helped to counter a massive wave of elephant poaching in Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, through the purchase of vital optical equipment for park guards, and have supported efforts to fight devastating fires at Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve in Cambodia, which threatened the huge water bird colonies there.

Victoria Price from the RRF Secretariat said: “The RRF has a vital role to play in protecting the world’s most important wildlife sites. We are delighted to be launching this new website, which will ensure we are even more effective in providing support in emergency situations, avoiding devastating and long-term damage to our precious natural heritage.”

Visit the new website today: www.rapid-response.org

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Georgina Magin

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Recent RRF grants have helped to counter a massive wave of elephant poaching in Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, through the purchase of vital optical equipment for park guards.

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