Almost three decades of civil war in Angola have decimated its wildlife, during a time where the country had other priorities and the maintenance of protected areas and conservation of biodiversity were neglected. Now the country has the challenge to recover its biodiversity and rehabilitate its protected areas.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country that is among the richest in biological diversity in Europe, prides itself in being home to dozens of endemic species of flora and fauna. However, due to socio-economic pressures and a low level of public awareness, this richness of life if often not recognized nor protected properly.
Biological diversity, meaning the variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, is under threat: according to estimates of the World Wildlife Fund, we are losing at least 10,000 species every year – and 99 percent of them are at risk from human activities. In 2016, we reached a record of global tree cover loss with 29.7 million hectares vanishing signifying a 51 percent increase from 2015.
As a Forest and Nature Conservation Specialist, Vanessa Falkowski had been working at a rural settlement when she decided to move to Luanda, Angola, to take up her assignment as Biodiversity Officer with UNDP within a project for the Expansion and Strengthening of Angola’s Protected Area System.
The Angolan civil war that came to an end in 2002 was followed by the destruction of several protected areas, resulting in the loss of many forests, animals, and nature.
Managua, Nicaragua: Situated in the heart of Central America, Nicaragua has a very rich biodiversity. As a developing economy, it is highly dependent on its natural resources. However, Nicaragua is one of the countries that suffers the most from the consequences of climate change. For example, farmlands are vulnerable due to extreme weather conditions which cause land degradation and severe erosion.
Socotra, Yemen: As a news editor of a foreign affairs column in the Czech Republic, I was supplying readers with depressing news about tragedies and wrongdoings from all around the world. My subsequent years in advertising gave me an impression that my work was fun but people would have had more pleasant lives without it. I wanted to make myself useful, so I registered my profile in the UNV database of potential candidates for volunteer assignments.