Good news from the South: biodiversity mainstreaming - a paradigm shift in conservation? : commentary

Bad governance stifles everything' said ecologist Richard Cowling, a pioneer in promoting mainstreaming approaches to conserving biodiversity. Cowling was addressing an international workshop convened in Cape Town in October 2013 to review progress in the impressive body of 327 projects in 135 countries supported since the late 1990s by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). With over USD1.6 billion invested by the GEF, and USD5.6 billion in co-financing by partners, the mainstreaming agenda is one of the largest biodiversity initiatives on record. A whopping 48% of these funds went to the 10 countries that hold most of the world's biodiversity treasure troves - Brazil, India, China, Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Vietnam and Argentina.