The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) held a consultation in Caracas, Venezuela on Wednesday, 4 and Thursday, 5 November as part of a regional initiative entitled “Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Why these are Important for Sustained Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean” (the Initiative) to prepare a report on the role of biodiversity in wealth generation and support of wellbeing in the region. The first in this series of consultations took place in Mexico City, Mexico on 13-14 August, the second in Lima, Peru on 24-25 September, and similar consultations are slated for: Quito, Ecuador on 24-25 November; Bogota, Colombia on 30 November- 1 December; Central America (in Guatemala City) on 3-4 December; Brasilia, Brazil on a date to be determined; and the Caribbean nations in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on a date to be determined. Each seeks the inputs of national experts and stakeholders.
The Venezuelan consultation included participants from: national, state and local government entities; conservation groups; the academic and scientific communities; and associations and companies representing the hydroelectric, hydrocarbons and fisheries sectors. On Wednesday, participants heard morning plenary presentations on the Initiative and the regional report, and in the afternoon they broke out into four working groups to discuss emblematic Venezuelan policies, identify key sectors for promoting investment in biodiversity and ecosystem services and any existing barriers to such investments. Deliberations resumed on Thursday with participants convening in two working groups to first discuss insights from case studies from Paraguay and Indonesia, and then to recommend inputs to the regional report on principal arguments to use, ways to convince decision-makers and dissemination strategies. In the final plenary participants recommended key messages and ways to enrich the regional Initiative. More...