Simply put, partnerships present an opportunity to improve each organization’s impact on the ground and also extend activities beyond the means of each individual member. Partnerships also have a myriad of forms. Over the last year a powerful partnership of three donor organizations came together to develop a conservation strategy for the entire Mediterranean Basin Hotspot. These organizations included the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the MAVA Foundation and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, each of which recognize the vital importance of conserving the last remaining natural areas and the key biodiversity areas.
The Mediterranean Hotspot is a vast geography stretching from Cape Verde in the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar between the Pillars of Hercules onto the Middle East, encompassing North Africa, southern Europe, the Balkan States and all the languages and cultures that this hotspot includes. Within this hotspot, the degree of plant diversity is incredible, with 30,000 species of plants, 13,000 of which are endemic. Many are threatened by unsustainable development and tourism activities.
The technical and financial collaboration by these three donor organizations enabled a consortium of nongovernmental organizations to come together to combine available data, technical savvy, and geographic information systems, and develop – for the first time – a pan-Mediterranean conservation strategy. This consortium was lead by Doğa Derneği (the Turkish Nature Association) with significant input from the BirdLife network, Tour du Valat, IUCN, Plantlife International and World Wildlife Fund. The entire process involved 80 organizations across the Mediterranean Basin.
This conservation strategy is a starting point to seek to improve peoples’ livelihoods and mitigate the negative impact on the few remaining natural areas for long-term conservation.