&FFI - Issue 2
Welcome to this introduction to the second issue of &FFI, Fauna & Flora International’s renamed annual magazine. Below are short summaries of some of the features in our 2020-2021 issue, complete with links to the relevant FFI projects where you can find details of the donors whose generous support enables us to carry out this vital work.
Heightened concern about zoonotic disease transmission from wildlife to humans in the context of Covid-19 has shone a spotlight on illegal wildlife trade. Meanwhile, trafficking in wild birds continues to take a heavy toll. We look at a trio of threatened species that have largely flown beneath the radar, including the yellow-naped amazon, an endangered parrot that we are working to protect in one of its key strongholds on Ometepe island in Nicaragua.
On the remote island of Príncipe, an ex-turtle poacher is helping FFI’s in-country partner Fundação Príncipe to ensure the participation of local government and communities – particularly fishers and fish traders – in decision-making, resource management and law enforcement, in order to address marine biodiversity loss. In Guinea’s Ziama Massif, a former hunter now devotes himself to protecting the country’s last remaining forest elephants.
We have seen a global outbreak of tree-planting initiatives billed as a nature-based solution to climate change, but we also need to protect what we already have, not least our planet’s astonishing, species-rich and irreplaceable old–growth forest. Two years of rigorous botanical exploration deep into the heart of Príncipe’s forests has unearthed numerous new species and we are also safeguarding threatened endemic trees on the island of Brava in Cape Verde.
These saltwater saviours perform a number of crucial roles, but despite their importance mangrove forests have suffered more degradation and destruction during the past 50 years than any other forest type on the planet. We are working to halt and reverse this decline through our mangrove protection and restoration work in countries including Honduras, Kenya, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Even the most enterprising, committed and knowledgeable conservationists can fall at the first hurdle unless their talent is carefully nurtured during the crucial early stages of their career. The Conservation Leadership Programme specialises in supporting these budding local champions, helping to pave the way for later success.
Food production is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and a major driver of worldwide biodiversity loss, responsible for land-use change on a colossal scale. At FFI, we work with local producers – from cacao farmers in Belize to fruit-and-nut harvesters in Tajikistan and beekeepers in Príncipe – to support sustainable food production, and help secure improved access to markets, product certification and higher prices.
Four of the world’s rarest primates are defying the odds in Vietnam. Thanks to the ongoing conservation efforts of FFI and our in-country partners, a quartet of the country’s most critically endangered monkeys – Delacour’s langur, the grey-shanked douc langur, Cat Ba langur and Tonkin snub-nosed monkey – are taking small but highly significant steps back from the brink.
Camera traps are an invaluable tool of the trade, providing insights into distribution, abundance and behaviour that are crucial to the conservation of threatened wildlife. They have also contributed to the discovery of new and vanishingly rare – or just secretive, cryptic and maddeningly elusive – species at current and potential FFI project sites in countries including Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Liberia and South Sudan.
In conservation terms, South Sudan is a sleeping giant. FFI has been a constant presence there throughout the past decade, despite the civil unrest that has continued to blight the country. Focusing on Western Equatoria, we are working closely with communities and government officials on a range of biodiversity monitoring and protected area management initiatives, including camera trapping to help document the array of species lurking in this hidden corner of Africa.
Our gallery includes snapshots of species and stories that made the headlines: we secured a new transboundary agreement for a West African wildlife hotspot and an action plan for Asian elephants; witnessed a mass saiga calving in Kazakhstan and a black rhino baby boom in Kenya; boosted the survival prospects of Perrier’s baobab and the Mediterranean monk seal; and saw mountain gorilla numbers hit a historic high, seahorse diversity rise in Cambodia and reptile numbers rocket on Redonda.