Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity

Project description

Title: Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Yemen
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Environment
Overall term: 2011 to 2016


Widespread poverty and rapid population growth are increasing the pressure on natural resources in Yemen. Long-term degradation of livelihoods is accelerating, especially among the rural population. Although several important biodiversity strategies and programmes have been developed with international support, implementation is still in the early stages. To date, there are only few examples of positive economic development through biodiversity conservation.


The sustainable management of natural resources makes an increasing contribution to local economic development and biodiversity conservation.


The project supports the preparation, testing and further development of co-management approaches at local level. The political framework for these approaches is created at national level. The pilot areas for these measures are on the island of Socotra, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most important area of biological diversity in the Horn of Africa. In cooperation with the Yemen Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and other governmental and non-governmental partners, joint activities are planned in further nature reserves in Yemen.

The target group is the (poor) population who live in or near protected areas and who use local natural resources to secure a livelihood.

The biodiversity protection measure is thematically consistent with various processes and strategies of the Yemeni Government and thus makes an important contribution to the political reform agenda. Biodiversity protection is especially relevant against the backdrop that rural production systems need to be adapted to the process of climate change.

Examples of activities conducted so far:

  • Strengthening of institutions: expansion of the capacity of the environmental authorities at national and local level to offer services (strategy development, training, peer learning)
  • Advice on environmental legislation: amendment of existing laws and advice on the implementation strategies of international conventions
  • Conflict-sensitive community development: support in the decision-making process and advice for official bodies
  • Advice on the establishment of an external biodiversity fund to finance protection measures and research
  • Development of rural value chains: use and marketing of typical natural resources (for example aloe, dragon's blood resin, date palms) and the reintroduction of traditional cultivation methods such as rehabilitation of terraces for growing millet.