Source: hero-productions.com

The IUCN's Countdown 2010 initiative officially closes today in Nagoya by revealing the best efforts of more than 1,000 organizations around the world to save biodiversity. The ceremony was held on 20 October 2010 at 8.10 pm at the 10th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity being held in Nagoya, Japan.

“Countdown 2010 has brought together more than 1,000 very diverse organizations to help conserve biodiversity,” says Dr Bill Jackson, IUCN Deputy Director-General. “Countdown 2010 partners have shown, on the ground, how we can really stop biodiversity loss. These are the type of actions that need to be scaled up for us to make real progress globally by 2020.”

Over the past six years, more than 1,000 organizations – from cities and companies, to museums and community groups – have committed to help save biodiversity through Countdown 2010. Made in Countdown 2010, released yesterday, and highlights 20 of the best success stories, showing how Countdown 2010 partners have really made a difference for biodiversity.

Colombian agency Coralina takes top place for their efforts and will receive the Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Award at 20:10 today, in a special ceremony in Nagoya. Coralina, the Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Old Providence and Santa Catalina, a department of Colombia in the Caribbean, wins for its efforts in establishing the Seaflower Marine Protected Area.

“It is an honour for us to receive this award,” says Ms Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Coralina's General Director. “We are very grateful to Countdown 2010 for helping promote our efforts. Coralina will continue its action after 2010 to protect and enrich the biodiversity of the archipelago.”

In just a few years Coralina has achieved remarkable results. Nominated to become a World Heritage site, its Seaflower Marine Park now covers more than 200,000 hectares of corals, mangroves and sea-grasses, helping protect 407 fish species, 102 corals, 130 sponges and many more species. Among this impressive list are 192 coastal-marine species listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

“Coralina's work to meet their biodiversity commitment is outstanding,” adds Jackson. “Their actions, as for many other Countdown 2010 partners, will inspire future commitments to protect and invest in biodiversity.”

The Countdown 2010 initiative closes this year in Nagoya as the world's governments discuss biodiversity targets and plans beyond 2010. IUCN plans to launch a new Countdown initiative early next year to continue fostering local biodiversity commitment and action, and to help scale these up globally.

Projects in Ghana, Japan, the US and several European countries were also lauded in the Countdown 2010 awards. Other Countdown 2010 projects judged by an IUCN panel to be especially meritorious include:

• Hero Productions of Ghana, cited for an awareness campaign that included mounting a national youth conference on biodiversity and launching a tree-planting initiative that has won government support

• Belgium's Limburg Province, which encouraged every municipality to adopt a plant or animal, then established action plans to conserve them

• Natural England, for supporting local voluntary projects working on animals such as bees, birds, crayfish and juniper

Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, states that “Countdown 2010 has made a significant contribution to putting biodiversity at the top of humankind's priorities and we are delighted to count on this unique network to achieve the Aichi Nagoya 2020 target”.

Government delegates are discussing whether to endorse a comprehensive set of targets for biodiversity protection running to 2020 and beyond, along with a draft agreement on equitable exploitation of the planet's natural genetic resources.

Hero Productions is an environmental multimedia, on a mission to create a difference in promoting environmental sustainability using smart marketing mechanisms and effective communication strategies that appeals to different segment of consumers.

Over the past four years Hero Productions have been working on the ground with various stakeholders to promote environmentally related global celebrations. In 2009 Hero productions work with UNEP Nairobi, to promote the UN led Seal the Deal Campaign in Ghana and other African countries. In May 2009 a “Youth and Biodiversity” agenda was initiated at the launch of the National Youth Conference on Biodiversity to drive a national biodiversity campaign in Ghana and since then the programme has receive support from the Forestry Commission Ghana, Ministry of Education, Ghana Education service and the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology.

At the 2010 NYCOB held in June in Accra to mark youth celebration on the 2010 UN International Year of Biodiversity which coincided with the World Environment Day, five youth organization in Ghana namely the National Cadet Corps Ghana, Ghana Girl Guides Association, the Head of State Award Scheme, Scout Association of Ghana and Junior Chamber International Ghana agreed to adopt the National Biodiversity Campaign into their programs to enable the respective organizations involve members in a youth action to increase biodiversity awareness and contribute to reducing the loss of Biodiversity in Ghana through ambitious tree growing target. In August 2010 a resolution was adopted by 5 of these youth organizations to pursue a “Youth and Biodiversity” agenda through the National Youth Conference on Biodiversity (NYCOB) programme that is expected to engage Ghanaian youth in decent green jobs and introduce climate education in Pre tertiary schools.

Hero Productions will be using its 5th Anniversary celebration of in 2011, to celebrate 5 years of selling “Green” in Ghana, it will showcase all the eco media achievements and it environmental marketing innovation in Ghana since its establishment in 2006. The occasion of the company's 5th anniversary celebration will be used as an opportunity to strengthen relations with existing partners and build new relationship with more stakeholders through its on going Biodiversity campaign that target to grow 50 million trees across the country. About 4000 trees have been planted for the Biodiversity campaign by the youth stakeholders since it was initiated in 2009, more youth organization are in the process of adopting the resolution to join the biodiversity campaign in Ghana

Hero Productions will use the occasion of its anniversary celebration to recognize the various stakeholders who have support the organization's growth till date and also initiative offset packages that businesses and individuals can purchase over the counter to support the National Biodiversity campaign, contribute directly to environmental sustainability in Ghana. The Initiative is already give some businesses in Ghana the opportunity to and also build a green image for their respective company's.

Hero productions activities from January 2011 will be a buildup towards position the company as the first dedicated environmental multimedia Social Enterprise in Ghana. All Hero Productions marketing and communication strategies in 2011 will be geared toward garnering public support for a National Biodiversity campaign in Ghana

Hero Productions is seeking more private sector partnership to support the national youth conference on biodiversity (NYCOB) programme that has been developed with the aim to increase awareness on Biodiversity in Ghana using an ambitious 50 million tree growing target set to be achieved by 2015 through a joint programme that has a multifaceted approach which is already involving multiple stakeholders including businesses, youth organizations, NGO's, and Government who are also benefiting in multiple ways. The target set is also part of the UNEP billion tree campaign in Ghana.

Hero Productions will also be working with the Forestry commission Ghana to promote the International Year of Forestry. 2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations to raise awareness and strengthen the sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.