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UNDP-GEF South Africa National ABS and Value Chain Development Project

South Africa is a third most biodiverse country in the world. The domestic retail market has a wide range of products containing indigenous plants' products, generating a significant revenue.


The conservation of South African species is crucial for the economic growth of the country and for preserving their richness for the future. Therefore the Government of South Africa has developed a Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES), which is supposed to ensure the sustainable use of the genetic resources and the conservation of the wildlife likewise. The BES will provide the guidance on developing the biodiversity economy in South Africa. 

With a key focus on ABS issues (i.e., the equitable access and benefit sharing from the use of genetic resources), this project was designed to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in South Africa.

The project will at the same time promote the conservation of indigenous species, whose genetic resources are used in the industry, and the sustainable development of local communities that not only depend on the rational use of these species, but which often harbor traditional knowledge about their use.

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FAO GEF One-Step MSP: Protection of High Altitute Wetlands in the context of a collaborative implementation of the Regional Strategy for Wetlands of International Importance

High Andean Wetlands are part of the Andes Mountains and play a vital role in their socio-economic development and hydrology of the region. Despite the efforts of individual countries or small scale collaborations, there remain some barriers to the effective management of high Andean wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological role.  

The Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands, initially prepared in 2008 under the Ramsar Convention, identified a number of systemic barriers for the achievement of improved management of these sites as a regional sub-network of unique protected areas.  This project will address these some of these barriers.  

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FAO GEF Sustainable Land Management in target landscapes in Angola’s southwestern region

Land degradation is a serious threat to ecosystem services and livelihoods in Angola, but there have been very few attempts to systematically address it so far.


The southwest region, consisting of provinces Benguela, Namibe, Cunene and Huila, can be considered a “hotspot” for land degradation within Angola, given that land cover change in this area is gradually intensifying.

This project aims to reverse negative land degradation trends in southwestern Angola by combining sustainable and rational approaches to planning, decision-making and land-use stabilization, with participatory approaches to capacity building of local stakeholders. 

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UNDP-GEF Sustainable and integrated landscape-level management of the Sierra Leone’s Western Area (WA) Peninsula’s natural assets

How to reconcile human needs with conservation in the wider landscape of Sierra Leone's Western Area?

The Western Area Peninsula of Sierra Leone is unique. Its ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ ‘infra-structures’ face each other very closely.

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Combating poaching and the illegal trade in threatened wildlife species through an integrated approach – New UNDP GEF projects in Tanzania and Mozambique

Both in Tanzania and in Mozambique, elephant poaching and the trade in ivory to consumer countries has been in the increase.


These are illegal activities regulated by CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Yet, there are visible gaps in the implementation of the Convention and in law enforcement in various countries, both in supplying and recipient ones. 

Two new UNDP GEF projects propose to help the governments of Mozambique and Tanzania respectively to tackle these challenges. 

EBDGLO is working together with partner company IECN in both projects. 

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UNDP-GEF Project for Integrated and sustainable management of Burkina Faso’s PONASI Protected Area Complex

The PONASI Complex refers to a large area in southern-central Burkina Faso dominated by parklands and protected areas (PAs). Comprised within the Burkina Faso’s Sudanian Savanna transition landscape, the term “PONASI” combines the names of the three most important protected sites that compose it, namely , Nazinga and Sissili (“PO-NA-SI”).


With the surrounding areas, the PONASI Complex composes a landscape where a key feature is the presence of the country’s second most important elephant range, which is shared with neighboring country Ghana. The wider PONASI Landscape – and Complex – are the object of management under this proposed project.

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IUCN-UNEP-GEF Project Healthy Ecosystems for Rangeland Development (HERD): Sustainable Rangeland Management

Rangelands are the dominant ecosystems in both Jordan and Egypt. Managing these vast landscapes for improved productivity and sustainability is a challenge that needs to be faced not just by these two countries, but by several other countries in the Middle East and North African regions. 


Governments in both Jordan and Egypt are keen to understand more about the importance of rangelands and their potential for improving the lives of Bedouin communities that live in and depend on the long-term health of pastures, water sources and a nomadic way of life. This is called HERD in short, the name of this new project. 

EBDGLO is supporting the Regional Office in the West Asia Region of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN-ROWA), which is leading the process of preparing the HERD project for GEF financing, in partnership with UNEP and local entities. 

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FAO-GEF Project for Biodiversity Management in Pacific Region of Colombia

The Pacific Region of Colombia, located between mountains and the coast, is considered one of the greatest wilderness areas of the country. However, this may change in the future.


The peace process in Colombia presents an unique opportunity for fostering the region’s development. But is may also open up access to areas that have otherwise been relatively untouched by human presence. 

There is a need to mainstream the sustainable management of forest resources into the development process of the region and to influence the general trajectory of this development. There is also a need to contain pressures on ecologically sensitive areas, including protected areas, their adjacent zones and important ecological corridors, taking into account the priorities and needs of local populations, among them indigenous people and afro-Colombians.

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UNDP-GEF Project for Brazil on Phytotherapic Value Chains


"Phyto" means 'plant' in Greek. So, "phytotherapic" means 'treatment', and in this case, 'medicine' that is derived from plants – more commonly called 'herbal medicine' in English. 


In Brazil, only a handful of phytotherapic products come from native plant species. With such impressive biodiversity, Brazil should make better use of the wide variety of its medicinal plants and their habitats to widen the benefits that these genetic and natural resources represent.


This project called "Cadeias", with reference to the phytotherapic economic value chains, will do just that. 


Between February and March 2016, EBD Global Optimum helped UNDP Brazil prepare a new project to be financed by the Global Environment Facility, and it has been recently approved by the GEF Council. 

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UNDP Project BIOFIN - The Biodiversity Finance Initiative

How can countries assess and bridge the biodiversity finance gap?

helps countries make the case for conserving and sustainably using biodiversity.
With a focus on the national level, BIOFIN is developing and piloting a new approach and a methodology for leveraging increased and optimized biodiversity investments in 30 countries. 
Ministries of finance, planning and budgeting, on the one hand, and ministries of environment, on the other, are finding common ground through BIOFIN for achieving a country's objectives with respect to biodiversity. 
In 2016 the CEO of EBD Global Optimum was serving as BIOFIN Senior Advisor, supporting five countries throughout the world, among them Brazil, South Africa and Botswana.

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The CEO's Legacy UNDP-GEF Projects


For 10 years, and before founding the company in 2015, the CEO of EBD Global Optimum, Fabiana Issler, was part of UNDP GEF, a highly driven unit of the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, specialized in global environment finance. 


During this memorable and prolific time, she developed a number of iconic projects in Africa and globally, cumulatively worth more than $100 million in direct finance to beneficiary countries.  


Currently, UNDP-GEF EBD unit is part of UNDP's 'Sustainable Development' cluster, under the 'Environment and Natural Capital' theme. 

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The Ecosystem Restoration Challenge

This is currently more like a “dream” than a project, but EBD Global Optimum will soon be launching “The Ecosystem Restoration Challenge” as a crowd-sourced project.


Stay tuned, if you want to join... 



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