Cabo Verde’s unique biodiversity recognised

Cabo Verde is a small island country of 4,000 km2 located about 500 km off the coast of Senegal. The ten main islands and the few islets that make up the archipelago are of volcanic origin and a volcano is still active on the island of Fogo. It is home to an incredibly rich diversity of marine species such as sea turtles (the population of loggerhead turtles is considered to be the third most important in the world), cetaceans, sharks, and rays and provides a haven for many migratory birds.

The country has been working to apply for a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation for almost two decades. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Fundação Maio Biodiversidade (FMB) and Associação Projeto VITO, who have been MAVA partners for many years, the islands of Maio and Fogo have finally officially been designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, thereby joining the network of over 700 biosphere reserves in 129 countries. Additionally, a Protected Areas Management Plan was approved for Maio; the first ever to be officially endorsed in the country.

This is a historic moment for Cabo Verde which now has a platform to showcase the uniqueness of its biodiversity. This designation will hopefully also help the country to safeguard its natural environment in a sustainable way.

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