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Rio Conventions Pavilion Bulletin
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Volume 200 Number 14 - Saturday, 13 October 2012
RIO CONVENTIONS PAVILION HIGHLIGHTS
Friday, 12 October 2012

The Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) continued on Friday, 12 October, convening for Livelihoods Day. The event consisted of five panels, including: raising awareness on linkages between biodiversity and livelihoods; interactive breakout session with project developers and international experts; interactive breakout session on key learning and challenges with regard to transversal issues covering a whole landscape approach; walking the talk from forests to coastlines - implementation of gender sensitive policies in programmes and projects; and the Biodiversity for Development Initiative.

RAISING AWARENESS ON LINKAGES BETWEEN BIODIVERSITY AND LIVELIHOODS

Moderator Jane Smart, IUCN, welcomed participants to Livelihoods Day. CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias underscored biodiversity is crucial for poverty reduction and stressed that “now is the time for implementation and half measures will not be enough.”

Executive Secretary Dias emphasized that meeting the needs of present and future generations requires incorporation of biodiversity into economic and social policies. He highlighted that the poor depend on biodiversity for: food; medicine; water; fuel; and building materials and shelter.

Bernard Giraud, President, Livelihood Venture, presented the business model of the Livelihoods Venture, noting the fund currently has five large-scale projects. He noted the novelty of this fund is the creation of a “field organization network” responsible for sharing experiences, including with companies.

Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, Nature Environment and Wildlife Society, underscored that ecosystem vulnerability is a matter of human rights. He discussed a Livelihoods’ sponsored project in the Sundarban area, India, where 20,000 villagers are involved in ecosystem preservation, being paid, for example, for collecting seeds.

Manoj Kumar, Naandi Foundation, presented the Valley Araku project, India, which sponsors farmer enrollment in the Coffee Board’s Price Stabilization Fund, guaranteeing stable incomes in times of instability. He noted the project also expects to plant at least six million fruit trees. He highlighted the collection and dissemination of knowledge from previous generations, allowing a connection with future generations.

Ramsar Convention Deputy Secretary General Nick Davidson called for an improved knowledge base on the value and loss of wetlands. He stressed the value of natural ecosystems, highlighting the forthcoming “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” Study for water and wetlands. Noting that conversion of wetlands significantly reduces provision of ecosystem services, he underscored the rapid decline in wetlands and called for focusing on conservation, due to the high costs and partial success of wetlands restoration.

Julien Calas, Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), emphasized linking biodiversity with income generation and discussed a Guatemalan project. He highlighted the project links livelihoods with protected areas (PAs), indigenous communities and access to ecosystem services.

Meine Van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), noted that land classification, such as the distinction between forests and agroforestry, has significant impacts on types of governance, recognition and “ownership” rights. He said implementation challenges stem mostly from governance conflicts and lack of recognition, rather than limited financial capacity. He stressed the application of the concept of “co-investment,” which shares financial responsibility and benefits among various stakeholders, rather than “commodification” of nature and “compensation.”

During discussions, Giraud said “awareness comes with action” and also emphasized the importance of women to guarantee livelihoods, affirming that they are a “matter of social force.”

INTERACTIVE BREAKOUT SESSION WITH PROJECT DEVELOPERS AND INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS

Moderator Jean-Pierre Rennaud, Livelihoods Venture, introduced the panel. Rosa Vidal, Pronatura Sur, Mexico, highlighted a Mangrove plantation project in Chiapas, which is expected to scale up to 600 hectares. She noted difficulties stemming from distinct social and ecosystem conditions, and in allocating resources.

Habiba Ali, Sosai, Nigeria, discussed a tree-planting project in a highly deforested area in northern Nigeria. She described mobilizing the community to sell stoves, with two trees, preferably fruit bearing, being planted per sale. On community empowerment, she highlighted the active engagement of women in the projects and estimated at least 10,000 stoves will be distributed by the end of 2013.

Ismaila Sall, Oceanium, Senegal, underscored the progress of the Oceanium Initiative, saying the goal was to change the mindset of locals to recognize environmental values. He said movie broadcasting and result-oriented approaches are two examples of engagement techniques, which increased trust between locals and project managers.

Salifou Ouegdraogo, SOS Sahel, Burkina Faso, discussed a pilot project addressing the low survival rate of planted trees with large-scale tree planting. He explained a “contractual reforestation” approach, using incentives for planters if trees survive past two years. The success of this scheme increased the survival rate of trees to 70%. As keys to success, Ouegdraogo stressed organizing communities and highlighting economic and social benefits of the environment to stakeholders.

Olivier Langoisseux, Bina, Indonesia, used the example of Central Java noting the problems of monocultures, water scarcity and youth unemployment. He said a cooperative is identifying “local champions” among farmers and developing agro-services in order to facilitate collective market access.

Gabriel Sarasin, Réseau Africain des foréts modernes, Democratic Republic of the Congo, discussed the Model Forest, which was first presented at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. He said the model originated in Canada, where forest issues were characterized by conflicts between the forest industry and communities.

He attributed the success of the conflict resolution model on a long-term process, providing platforms for representation of diverse stakeholders, including industry, government and civil society. He reported this model has been applied 60 times throughout the world, sharing knowledge through a common network.

INTERACTIVE BREAKOUT SESSION ON KEY LEARNING AND CHALLENGES WITH REGARD TO TRANSVERSAL ISSUES COVERING A WHOLE LANDSCAPE APPROACH

Moderator Giraud introduced the panel. Beria Leimona, ICRAF, presented a movie on and spoke about shared-benefits agreement-based community and industry collaboration experiences in Indonesia. She noted one incentive for community engagement in watershed area conservation, in their project, is access to electricity provided by the collaborating hydroelectric power company. She said electrification increases the productivity of the community, for example by illuminating the village at night.

Bambang Suprayogi, Yagasu, Indonesia, reported on experiences in Indonesia, which aim to provide short-term returns to local communities in terms of food security. He stressed engaging people by providing tangible benefits.

Amos Wekeza, ICRAF, provided information about a Kenyan project, which organizes local farmers to address agro-forestry issues. He said the project encourages adoption of sustainable development and sustainable forest management practices, with farmers benefiting from increased productivity and regenerated land.

Timm Tennigkeit, Camide Unique, Germany, observed that monitoring is difficult in many parts of the world, explaining that while long-term monitoring is necessary to target interventions, often monitoring is not scientifically robust. Reflecting on the project described by Wekeza, he said this project illustrates that villagers are interested in engaging in monitoring. He stressed that this model is applicable to biodiversity, and called for exploring synergies between monitoring by scientists, governments and communities.

Alou Keita, CAMIDE, Mali, reported on microfinance projects mobilizing resources from emigrants to France, which has now evolved to 19 funds. Created in 1998, he said the key to success was “community base management,” which includes locals in the process.

Ini Damien, Alinea, Burkina Faso, discussed her experiences empowering women in Burkina Faso through a project that mobilized 6,000 women and promoted land ownership. Noting the challenge of high illiteracy rates, she said four dimensions were prioritized: cultural; environmental; economic; and social.

Assefa Tofu, World Vision, Ethiopia, noted the Humbo Ethiopia Assisted Natural Regeneration project, which encompasses 2,728 hectares, was the first African project to be issued carbon credits by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Clean Development Mechanism.

WALKING THE TALK FROM FORESTS TO COASTLINES: IMPLEMENTATION OF GENDER SENSITIVE POLICIES IN PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

Moderator Natasha McQuaid, CBD Secretariat, introduced the panel, emphasizing gender sensitive policies to successfully achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Vivienne Solis, Coope Solidar, underscored the role of women in small scale fishing communities, such as in marine PAs. She emphasized that small-scale fishing communities recognize fishing as a way of life, strongly integrated into culture and identity, and noted the vulnerability of fisheries. She said access to land and marine resources are important to women, whose knowledge and experience should be recognized. She stressed empowerment enables them to address issues that matter to them, such as: health and social security; education; land rights; and childcare.

Andrea Quesada, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), described the current status of gender in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, the role conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Building on the experience of the REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards initiative, she emphasized capacity building as fundamental to incorporating gender and social standards capable of responding to country-specific requirements.

Kanti Risal, Nepal Stakeholder Forest Management Platform, presented a study evaluating impacts of community forestry on households and livelihoods across Nepal. She explained the conceptual focus of the impact assessment included: improving access to livelihood assets for women; increasing the voice of women; supporting changing “rules of the game” that have favored elites and males; and developing evidence-based interventions. She suggested that community forest management has positive impacts on all aspects of tree management, increasing tree diversity, tree productivity and biodiversity.

Archana Godbole, Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF), presented participatory conservation experiences in India. She focused on energy and biodiversity emphasizing AERF’s “ground approach” to capacity building. She encouraged the expansion of experiences such as management of oil-seed collection women to help build their entrepreneurial capacity.

During discussions, McQuaid asked the audience to share their experiences with gender mainstreaming and what facilitated or hindered that process. One participant noted that having a female president helps the recognition of women. Another shared observations from his involvement with biodiversity projects, including positive engagement of women harvesting seedlings for pharmaceutical companies in Nepal, and cultural barriers discouraging engagement in activities believed to negatively impact women’s reproductive ability.

From the audience, Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD Secretariat, noted the importance of recognizing women’s role in natural resource management and livelihoods provisions. Responding to his question about recommendations for a more coherent policy approach, Quesada recommended bringing NGO and grassroots voices into discussions.

BIODIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

Moderator Didier Babin, CBD Secretariat, introduced the panel and highlighted the development of a common website with different partners, focusing on biodiversity and human well-being, and biodiversity for poverty eradication and development.

Sameer Punde, AERF, India, and Suneetha Subramanian, UNU-IAS, presented the draft study “Development of Poverty-Biodiversity Indicators and Their Eventual Application,” noting the challenge of capturing complexity with a limited set of indicators. Saying the study uses the “drivers, pressures, state, impact, and responses” framework, Punde defined poverty-biodiversity indicators as measures that demonstrate the direct contribution of biodiversity trends to changes in peoples’ livelihoods.

He highlighted that the study assesses existing initiatives and indicators for poverty and biodiversity in 11 existing indicator frameworks, using criteria such as: sensitivity; scale; relevance; and scientific validity. He said the review found that only one organization, the World Bank, has proposed, but not yet developed, poverty-biodiversity indicators.

Subramanian said the report then outlines a strategy developing poverty-biodiversity indicator parameters, including: diversity of resources; functioning of ecosystem services; livelihood activities dependent on biological resources and ecosystems; cultural diversity; equity; and cross-sectoral linkages.

She highlighted desired qualities of poverty-biodiversity indicators: SMART targets; mix of stand-alone and composite indicators relevant to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation; interlinked indicators; amendable for implementation and scaling; and be cost effective, such as by building on existing socioeconomic and biophysical datasets.

 Subramanian outlined recommendations for developing poverty-biodiversity indicators, including the need to consider scale, simplify linkages by focusing on key questions to be answered, develop a conceptual framework based on local circumstances, and collaborate with stakeholders.

Jérôme Petit, European Commission, discussed the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, focusing on EU contributions to averting global biodiversity loss by: reducing harmful subsidies and impacts of European consumption patterns; increasing funding for biodiversity assistance; and seeking biodiversity cooperation, including ratifying and implementing the Nagoya Protocol. He highlighted Europe Aid’s activities, including: investing in saving habitats and productive landscapes; mainstreaming biodiversity in all cooperation sectors; and facilitating biodiversity policy development at the local, national and international levels.

Bernard Giraud, Livelihoods Venture, closed the session affirming that to reach scale, simplicity is needed. He stressed the importance of trust-building, balancing short- and long-term benefits, community ownership and capacity building of project developers as key to guaranteeing successful biodiversity and development projects.

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The Rio Conventions Pavilion Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Beate Antonich, Nicole de Paula Domingos and Anna Schulz. The Photographer is Manu Kabahizi. The Editor is Robynne Boyd <robynne@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Rio Conventions Pavilion. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA. The IISD Team at the Rio Conventions Pavilion can be contacted by e-mail at <anna@iisd.org>.

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