Governments

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Danish Ministry of the Environment

Story featured in the Made in Countdown 2010 publication


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Action

The Ministry joined Countdown 2010 to promote its own achievements for biodiversity and utilise the initiative’s outreach potential to advance conservation in the country. In January 2007, the Minister sent special New Year post cards to all mayors in Denmark. Each card illustrated a threatened species and contained an important message urging local authorities to take care of that particular species and act to halt the loss of biodiversity in their municipality. The Minister’s action attracted a lot of public attention to the species and biodiversity conservation in general. It inspired other countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom to launch similar initiatives.

The Ministry has actively promoted the objectives of Countdown 2010 and mobilised local communities to join the initiative. Each municipality has been asked to show three specific projects which are contributing to halting the loss of biodiversity. These projects were added to a special page on the Ministry’s website dedicated to Countdown 2010 which includes a map of all municipalities which joined the initiative in Denmark.

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Before

There was no appropriate connection between the international goal of halting the loss of biodiversity and local action in Denmark. Municipalities were not aware that this was a common goal to be reached together. The country needed to unite all local partners in the field of nature conservation, create enthusiasm among people working on the ground and connect the practical implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity with local action.

Now

The Ministry has built a large and inspiring network of municipalities working together to halt the loss of biodiversity. 40% of all municipalities in Denmark have joined Countdown 2010 and have committed to specific biodiversity conservation actions. They have successfully cooperated with their peer local authorities in other Nordic countries to promote Countdown 2010. The greatest achievement is that these municipalities are now so enthusiastic that they will actively continue their work beyond 2010.

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Photo: Red kite (Milvus milvus), one of the species of the postcard action © John Larsen, Birdlife Denmark