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A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the
CBD COP 9

19-30 May 2008 | Bonn, Germany

 

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Events on Friday, 23 May 2008

Linnaeus Lecture

Presented by the CBD Secretariat

L-R: Klaus Töpfer, UNEP-Tongji University; Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon; Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD; Jochen Flasbarth, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Johan Bodegård, Swedish Species Information Centre

Johan Bodegård, Swedish Species Information Centre, introduced the second annual Linnaeus Lecture. He underscored that the world is facing a major challenge in meeting the increasing needs of its burgeoning population, and that this will place enormous pressures on global ecosystems.

Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, outlined several of the problems facing governments in general, and the CBD in particular. Underscoring the formidable tasks of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the 2010 Biodiversity Target, he highlighted that these would only be achieved through “some amazing effort” and with “some amazing good luck.” Outlining the greatest challenges facing humanity, he emphasized, among others, the global food supply, energy systems, and the global chemical industry and pollutants. He stressed that the world is exceeding its carrying capacity, which will have obvious ecological impacts such as the spread of invasive species, biodiversity loss and an increase in zoonotic diseases.

Sachs, addressing solutions to the problems faced, noted that an ecosystems approach is imperative as market mechanisms cannot correctly value nature. In addition, he stressed that sustainable technology is essential for achieving sustainable development. Noting that the US government currently spends US$700 billion on its military annually and US$1 trillion on funding the current war in Iraq, he criticized the insignificant sums spent on international aid and urged that this be increased to the same levels. Additionally, he listed a number of specific actions that should be taken by the CBD, and the world in general, including: funding for avoided deforestation; listing specific funding needs; regular scientific reporting for the CBD; the need for all nations to be involved in the CBD process; and achieving the MDGs in order to attain political stability.

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP-Tongji University, praised the CBD’s success at raising biodiversity on the international agenda, especially as climate change is at the forefront of most environmental agendas. Reiterating Sachs’ comments, he stressed the need for technological advancement and regular scientific assessments of ecosystems and biodiversity. He urged participants to take action, asking “if not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD, in closing, again stressed the need for all countries to be a part of CBD 10 in Nagoya, Japan.

Jochen Flasbarth, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation. and Nuclear Safety, Germany, opened the second Linnaeus lecture. Klaus Töpfer, UNEP-Tongji University, urging action to conserve biodiversity asked “if not us, then who? If not now, then when?” Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, noting that sustainable technologies are critical to achieving the 2010 biodiversity target and the MDGs.

More information:

http://www.cbd.int


 
Contacts:
Johan Bodegård <johan.bodegard@artdata.slu.se>
Jeffrey Sachs <sachs@columbia.edu>
Klaus Töpfer <klaus.topfer@gmail.com>
Ahmed Djoghlaf <secretariat@cbd.int>

 

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Sustainable Forest Management in Europe

Presented by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe

Knut Oistad, Norway, said that the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) has demonstrated the benefits of regional cooperation. Jürgen Geldbach, Germany, noted that the UN Forum on Forests has placed an emphasis on the regional coordination of forest policy.

Ivonne Higuero, UNEP, described the joint agreement between the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy and MCPFE on linkages between the ecosystem approach and sustainable forest management (SFM).

Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs, MCPFE, delivered a statement on behalf of Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD, heralding MCPFE as one of the most promising vehicles for moving towards 2010 biodiversity targets.

Arne Ivar Sletnes, MCPFE, described the structure and activities of the MCPFE, noting that it has resulted in improvements in forest management and condition. He highlighted progress in understanding how SFM can be supportive of the ecosystem approach.

Tor-Björn Larsson, European Environment Agency, presented on the State of Europe’s Forest report, noting that the MCPFE represents 25% of the world’s forest area. He added that this area is increasing, as only half of the annual increment is harvested.

Morten Thoroe, European Confederation of Forest Owners, and Ivar Legallais-Korsbakken, International Family Forestry Alliance, presented on the significance of family forestry, and highlighted the work of the Global Alliance of Community Forestry, which ties SFM to local development and poverty reduction.

Participants discussed: forest certification systems; drivers of change in forest management; and the relationship between regional and global level forest policy.

L-R: Arne Ivar Sletnes, MCPFE; Morten Thoroe, European Confederation of Forest Owners; Ivar Legallais-Korsbakken, International Family Forestry Alliance; Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs, MCPFE; and Tor-Björn Larsson, European Environment Agency.

Arne Ivar Sletnes, MCPFE, said that the 2007 MCPFE conference in Warsaw addressed links between forests and climate change, energy, and water. Tor-Björn Larsson, European Environment Agency, presented on the State of Europe’s Forests report. Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs, MCPFE, moderated the panel on sustainable forest management in Europe.

More information:

http://mcpfe.org
http://www.cepf-eu.org

 
Contacts:
Knut Oistad <ko@mfa.no>
Jürgen Geldbach <juergen.geldbach@bmvel.bund.de>
Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs <malgorzata.briggs@mcpfe.org>
Ivonne Higuero <ivonne.higuero@unep.ch>
Arne Ivar Sletnes <arne.ivar.sletnes@mcpfe.org>
Tor-Bjorn Larsson <tor-bjorn.larsson@eea.europa.eu>
Morten Thoroe <morten.thoroe@cepf-eu.org>
Ivar Korsbakken <ivar.korsbakken@skog.no>

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UNDP/GEF Support for the CBD PoWPA

Presented by the United Nations Development Programme

L-R: Maxim Vergeichik, UNDP; Deon Stewart, Environment, Science and Technology Commission, the Bahamas; Ana Tiraa, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme; Alagie Manjang, CBD Focal Point for the Gambia; Nik Sekhran, UNDP; Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD; Mark Zimsky , GEF

Nik Sekhran, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted that there are 92 activities under the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) that cover all aspects of protected area management. On the funding of projects under the PoWPA, Mark Zimsky, Global Environment Facility (GEF), emphasized that the GEF not only funds projects, but also mobilizes co-financiers for successful project proposals.

Alagie Manjang, CBD Focal Point for the Gambia, outlined his country’s efforts to implement the PoWPA, including: the development of management plans for PAs; community natural resource management agreements; and establishing site management committees to act as a link between communities and PAs. Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD, emphasized the importance of the PoWPA as a method to implement the CBD. He also underscored the importance of the PoWPA in Africa due the continent’s rich biodiversity and economic reliance on natural resources.

Deon Stewart, Environment, Science and Technology Commission, the Bahamas, outlined the region’s activities for the PoWPA’s implementation, including working groups to develop tools for management effectiveness and capacity building. Highlighting the large proportion of land in Micronesia owned by local communities, Ana Tiraa, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, stressed that the PoWPA is becoming increasingly important as communities are faced with invasive alien species and food security concerns. Maxim Vergeichik, UNDP, outlined PoWPA activities funded by the GEF, including: vocational training; the setting of PA targets and indicators; gap analyses; and the removal of perverse incentives from PAs.

Participants then discussed: community conserved areas; governance issues; and the possible lack of non-governmental organization involvement within PoWPA activities, and how to overcome this.

Ana Tiraa, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, noted that gaps identified in Micronesia’s PoWPA implementation included inadequate ecological information and lack of human resource capacity. Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD, emphasized the importance of the Life Web initiative to contribute to the PoWPA. Alagie Manjang, CBD Focal Point for the Gambia, noted that future activities will include marketing and legal studies for assessing ecotourism in PAs.

More information:

http://www.protectedareas.org

 
Contacts:
Nik Sekhran <nik.sekhran@undp.org>
Maxim Vergeichik <maxim.vergeichik@undp.org>

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Access and Benefit Measures and Capacity Assessment in Four African States

Presented by UNEP and UNU-IAS

L-R: Julia Ditlhong, Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Botswana; Alfred Oteng Yeboah, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana; Margaret Oduk, UNEP; Francis Ogwal, National Environmental Management Authority, Uganda; and Sam Johnston, UNU-IAS

Margaret Oduk, UNEP, presented an overview of country reports from Botswana, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia on how access and benefit sharing (ABS) policies are implemented at the national level, and identified capacity gaps. She noted that although these countries all have ABS-related legislation, it is often fragmented. Oduk emphasized that the project promoted: multi-stakeholder dialogue; the development of national inventories of ongoing ABS projects and arrangements; and the identification of gaps in national administrative and legal frameworks.

Julia Ditlhong, Botswana, described a number of ABS projects in her country, including the Millennium Seed Bank project concerning the improvement of ex-situ collections. She provided details of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the Clearing House Mechanism for ABS, including a portal to facilitate access to biodiversity data.

Alfred Oteng Yeboah, Ghana, noted the need to adopt a composite ABS instrument. He also stressed the importance of: promoting respect for sacred groves and totems, traditionally regarded as valuable genetic resources; revitalizing communal ownership of genetic resources; and minimizing threats to natural habitats.

Francis Ogwal, Uganda, provided details of Uganda’s new national ABS framework, and cautioned that many challenges remain, such as monitoring the use of genetic resources outside of the country, enforcement, restoration of degraded areas, and local translation of the ABS regulation.

Participants discussed how to balance the knowledge gap between companies that carry out biotechnology research and the poor and uneducated providers of genetic resources.

Alfred Oteng Yeboah, Ghana, described experiences with policy and implementation of ABS in Ghana. Margaret Oduk, UNEP, noted that the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans of Botswana, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia reflect the principles of ABS. Francis Ogwal, Uganda, explained that the National Council of Science and Technology is now the competent authority on ABS.

More information:

http://www.ias.unu.edu
http://www.unep.org

 
Contacts:
Julia Ditlhong <juliaditlhong@gmail.com>
Margaret Oduk <margaret.oduk@unep.org>
Alfred Oteng Yeboah <oteng.yeboah@yahoo.co.uk>
Francis Ogwal <fogwal@nemaug.org>

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ABS, Communities, Business and Livelihoods

Presented by the Equator Initiative and UN University Institute of Advanced Studies

L-R: Suneetha Subramanian; UNU-IAS; Balakrishna Pisupati, UNEP; Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi, Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions; Kristy Faccer, IUCN; Eileen de Ravin, UNDP

Balakrishna Pisupati, UNEP, introduced the Business and Biodiversity Forum and praised the Equator Initiative for rewarding communities for conserving biodiversity while promoting development.

Eileen de Ravin, UNDP, explained that the Initiative recognizes communities who have successfully entered the business milieu. She underscored a number factors crucial to success, including: reducing middlemen between the community and the market; linking local and national levels; and dynamic leadership. Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi, Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, spoke about the use of traditional knowledge (TK) to promote health and livelihoods security in rural India. The foundation is community-based and created a domestic supply chain of medicinal products based on local TK, primary production, and increased market demand for medicinal plants.

Kristy Faccer, IUCN, introduced the Natural Futures Programme, which increases market access for natural products as a way to sustain local livelihoods. She explained that stakeholders include local communities who work in partnership to benefit from the worldwide demand for exotic and ethical products. She closed with an update on IUCN’s research on emerging issues. Suneetha Subramanian, UNU-IAS, highlighted a number of issues relating to benefit sharing, including the need for communities to decide on the types, frequency and mechanism of sharing benefits. She concluded by discussing branding and certification.

Participants discussed a number of issues, including: the wild collection of medicinal plants; exploitation by middlemen; benefit sharing among community members; target markets for products; and certification systems.

Eileen de Ravin, Equator Initiative, invited participants to provide their nominations for the Equator Prize 2008 by mid-June. Balakrishna Pisupati, UNEP, underscored the lack of experience and research on the practicalities of benefit sharing. Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi, Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, emphasized the lucrative potential of niche markets for medicinal products based on local TK.


More information:

http://www.equatorinitiative.org
http://www.ias.unu.edu

 
Contacts:
Balakrishna Pisupati <balakrishna.pisupati@unep.org>
Suneetha Subramanian <subramanian@ias.unu.edu>
Kristy Faccer <kristy.faccer@iucn.org>
Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi <g.hari@friht.org>
Eileen de Ravin <eileen.de.ravin@undp.org>

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Intermediate Results of UNEP's Initiative on International Payments for Ecosystem Services

Presented by UNEP, World Conservation Monitoring Centre and IUCN

Fulai Sheng, UNEP, explained that the purpose of the event is to share the preliminary findings of pilot studies on International Payments for Ecosystem Services (IPES), which may counter the lack of incentives to sustain biodiversity conservation.

Joshua Bishop, IUCN, emphasized the need to look at how to scale existing experiences of IPES up to the international level, elaborate international principles and identify the challenges to make IPES possible at the political level.

Wendy Proctor, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia, noted that economic drivers have been the cause of biodiversity degradation, but that IPES schemes may be able to make biodiversity conservation pay. She noted that whereas carbon emissions can be easily measured on a global and uniform scale, biodiversity cannot.

Graciela Chichilnisky, Colombia University stressed that a global market mechanism must create economic incentives for sustainable development and added that markets can be beneficial to the environment, while operating though price signals.

Chichilnisky highlighted that the Kyoto Protocol is an example of a self-funded market mechanism, which does not need government support.

Markus Lehmann, CBD, stressed the need for new and additional funding for biodiversity conservation and for a review of the work that has been done on IPES.

L-R:Fulai Sheng, UNEP; Wendy Proctor, CSIRO, Australia; Graciela Chichilnisky, Colombia University; Joshua Bishop, IUCN

Fulai Sheng, UNEP, explained that this initiative seeks to join the outcomes from small scale IPES projects and to explore options for the implementation of relevant international agreements. Graciela Chichilnisky, Colombia University, noted that IPES can promote the transfer of resources for productive investments in developing nations. Wendy Proctor, CSIRO, Australia, argued that existing IPES schemes and research provide a good start but much more is needed.

More information:

http://www.iucn.org

 
Contacts:
Graciela Chichilnisky <gc9@columbia.edu>
Wendy Proctor <wendy.proctor@csiro.org.au>

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Collective Bio-Cultural Heritage Food Sovereignty

Presented by International Institute for Environment and Development

Michel Pimbert, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), highlighted the fact that the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture neither provides a clear definition of farmers’ rights nor prescribes how to implement it. As an alternative, he introduced the concept of indigenous bio-cultural heritage (IBCH).

Alejandro Argumedo, Asociacion Andes, defined IBCH as an integration of traditional knowledge (TK), cultural values, and customary laws concerning biodiversity. He underscored the collective rights of indigenous peoples as custodians of genetic resources and the inter-relationships between biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Ruchi Pant, Ecoserve, presented a study of customary practices from the Eastern Himalayas. The project investigated whether customary law could be used to develop a sui generis system for the protection of farmers’ TK. She reported that communities operate according to a number of interlinked principles, including reciprocity, duality, equilibrium, and cooperation.

Yiching Song, Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, presented on a programme of participatory plant breeding in southwest China. The project aimed at assessing the needs of farmers in rural areas and the gaps at the macro policy level with a view to linking the two. She outlined recommendations at the community, project and policy levels.

Participants discussed a number of issues, including: inclusion of bio-cultural territories in protected areas; the integration of local and industrial farming systems; and national breeding programmes.

L-R: Yiching Song, Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy; Michael Pimbert, International Institute for Environment and Development; Ruchi Pant, Ecoserve; Alejandro Argumedo, Asociacion Andes

Yiching Song, Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, presented on a participatory plant breeding project in China. Michel Pimbert, IIED, introduced the concept of indigenous bio-cultural heritage which addresses the socio-ecological environment. Ruchi Pant, Ecoserve, noted the importance of legal and non-legal tools to protect TK.

More information:

http://www.iied.org

 
Contacts:
Michel Pimbert <michel.pimbert@iied.org>
Alejandro Argumedo <alejandro@andes.org.pe>
Ruchi Pant <ruchi_kumaon04@yahoo.co.in>
Yiching Song <sonyc.ccap@igsnrr.ac.cn>

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