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Globally, around one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, climate change ranking as the third most important threat to biodiversity. But despite the growing evidence of species’ vulnerability to climate change, adaptation actions to support wildlife remains a gap. GRID-Arendal is collaborating with UN Environment and a number of partners to implement the Vanishing Treasures Programme that focus on climate change adaptation of vulnerable mountain species.

Vanishing Treasures focus on mountain flagship species in three mountain regions; the Royal Bengal tiger in the Hindu-Kush Himalayas (Bhutan), The Snow Leopard in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and the Mountain Gorilla in the Virunga region (Rwanda and Uganda). These represent pilot regions for the Vanishing Treasures programme and are intended not only to deliver positive change on the ground, but also serve as test cases and examples for other mountain regions.

The Programme is funded by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and aims to generate maximum synergy between climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation by improving the adaptive capacity of mountain ecosystems while maintaining related ecosystem services, protecting mountain flagship species who are key to ecosystem functioning, and promoting alternative livelihoods for local communities.

The objectives of Vanishing Treasures include: To train wildlife managers in protected areas in climate-smart wildlife conservation, including adaptation to climate change through nature-based solutions; To improve communication between climate research and biodiversity conservation practitioners to ensure that the conservation sector appropriately responds to recommendations for adaptive action; To promote & develop a green infrastructure approach including restoration and rehabilitation of habitats and corridors, creation and maintenance of buffer zones and provide alternative forms of income to local communities facing the impacts of climate change.

Status: In progress

Type: Mountains

Programme: Polar and Climate

Tags: Africa climate change conservation Himalaya mountains wildlife Central Asia polar terrestrial


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.

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