Vol. 140 No. 1
ENVIRONMENT DAY EVENTS 2007: “BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND
COMMUNITY ACTION: A MESSAGE FOR OUR FUTURE”:
On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5 June 2007, a series of events took place at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin, Germany, addressing the theme “Biodiversity, Climate Change and Community Action: A Message for Our Future.” The events focused on the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity conservation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) target to achieve a significant reduction of the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The event was hosted by UNDP, the Equator Initiative, the CBD Secretariat, IUCN and Countdown 2010. It was financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and organized by the BIODIV programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), UNDP, the Equator Initiative and GeoMedia. Participants from governments, business, communities and civil society attended the following events: a press conference presenting a statement for World Environment Day and conveying a message to the G8 Summit (held from 6-8 June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany); a policy dialogue focusing on strategic opportunities and priority actions for G8 members and global leaders to build upon synergies between the climate change and biodiversity agendas; and the 2006 Equator Prize award ceremony and dinner.
The message for World Environment Day calls on the G8 to take leadership for renewed commitments to climate change and biodiversity conservation. Recommendations for action from the Equator Initiative and Countdown 2010 include: global leadership in financing for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change; adopting a clear mandate for a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol; and integrating biodiversity and climate change concerns into all relevant sectors. The policy dialogue addressed key policies, such as compensation for avoided deforestation and a review of the economic impacts of biodiversity loss; and implementation measures, such as ensuring coherent development and environmental programmes and developing innovative funding mechanisms.
Participants then attended the opening of a new photo exhibition to be housed at the Museum entitled: “Nature – Our Precious Net”, prepared by GTZ, GEO Magazine, Countdown 2010, IUCN and UNDP.
In the evening, participants attended the Equator Prize Award Ceremony to celebrate the achievements of five communities in diminishing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Madagascar, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Kenya and Ecuador.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY AND THE EQUATOR INITIATIVE
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: Commemorated each year on 5 June, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. It was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The theme for 2007 is “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?” It draws attention to the effects of climate change on polar ecosystems and communities, and the ensuing consequences around the world. More information on World Environment Day is available at: http://www.unep.org/wed/2007/english
EQUATOR INITIATIVE: The UNDP Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the UN, civil society, business, governments and communities to help build the capacity and raise the profile of grassroots efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Equator Initiative seeks to promote a worldwide movement to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity by recognizing local achievements, fostering South-South capacity development, and supporting policy strengthening and knowledge generation. The Equator Initiative focuses on the region between 23.5 degrees north and south of the Equator, as this zone holds the world’s greatest concentrations of both human poverty and biological wealth.
The Equator Prize is an international award that recognizes outstanding local efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Equator Initiative awards this biennial prize to recognize outstanding communities from developing countries in the tropics that demonstrate in practical terms how efforts to conserve biodiversity can also reduce poverty. The Equator Prize has been awarded three times, in 2002, 2004 and 2006. More information on the Equator Initiative is available at: http://www.undp.org/equatorinitiative.
The press conference presenting the World Environment Day statement and conveying the message to the G8 summit was held on Tuesday afternoon, 5 June. Marita Steinke, BMZ, welcomed participants on behalf of the organizers, noting that the many extinct species displayed in the Museum of Natural History in Berlin underline the urgency for action on climate change and biodiversity conservation. She stressed that the rate of biodiversity loss is still increasing despite the commitment of political leaders to achieve by 2010 a substantial reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. Olav Kjørven, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Development Policy, expressed appreciation for the German leadership in addressing biodiversity and climate change at the international level, underlining the need to mainstream environmental concerns in the development agenda. He called for a paradigm shift towards perceiving environmental issues as opportunities for development, rather than problems hindering it.
Introducing the photo exhibition “Nature – Our Precious Net,” Ruth Eichhorn, GEO Magazine, explained that the exhibition covers emerging issues and challenges in biodiversity conservation, many of which required new visual translations to raise awareness among actors.
Reinhold Leinfelder, Director, Museum of Natural History, invited participants to enjoy the exhibitions of the museum, noting that the museum’s ongoing reconstruction is a metaphor for the continuing reconstruction of the world’s environment. Manfred Niekisch, IUCN, said the G8 meeting in Heiligendamm is the first to address biodiversity and climate change and to recognize the crucial role of biodiversity conservation for sustainable development. He called on G8 leaders to assist poor countries in taking measures to address climate change and the sustainable use of biodiversity.
Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, presented the message to be transmitted to the G8 summit, underlining that rising temperatures may lead to the extinction of 20 to 30 percent of the world’s biodiversity, while sustainable use of biodiversity is central to addressing climate change. Noting the economic impacts of climate change and its potential to undermine peace and security, he called on G8 participants to take leadership on these issues and contribute to a strong political momentum for renewed commitments to climate change and biodiversity conservation.
Benson Venegas, ANAI, Talamanca Initiative, a 2002 Equator Initiative alumni, presented additional recommendations for action for G8 leaders developed by the Equator Initiative and Countdown 2010, including: global leadership in financing for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, in addition to reaching the 0.7 percent ODA target for development assistance; adopting a clear mandate for a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol; integrating biodiversity and climate change concerns into all relevant sectors; and recognizing the contribution of traditional knowledge in preventing biodiversity loss and adapting to climate change by making investments at the community level to help poor countries in achieving the MDGs. He said that the world possesses the means to solve these problems, but that increased political will and improved allocation of resources are needed in order to implement concrete actions.
Olav Kjørven, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Development Policy, said it is essential to mainstream biodiversity and climate change policy into all sectors of development, particularly budget processes. He also announced the launching of the MDG Carbon Facility, a partnership between UNDP and the banking and insurance company Fortis, which will facilitate projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries in order to achieve their broader participation in the global carbon market. He said the Facility will operate within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation, the market-based mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol that allow developed countries to meet their compliance targets by financing projects that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries or economies in transition. By expanding the CDM’s presence into countries and regions previously considered inaccessible to carbon finance, he said the MDG Carbon Facility will help people in these areas acquire the resources and knowledge to take greater control over their future environment and development paths..
Astrid Klug, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Environment, Germany, said the message to the G8 will support Germany’s efforts in advancing the climate change and biodiversity agendas, particularly with a view to the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the CBD hosted by Germany in May 2008. She stressed the need for innovative financing mechanisms, noting that rich countries must take the lead and support poor countries in making investments in biodiversity conservation. Michael Hofmann, BMZ, welcomed the message, noting that many recommendations should be integrated into the decisions of the G8 Summit. He said rich countries should help pivotal middle-income countries to switch to a development path that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
DISCUSSION: In response to a question regarding the links between climate change and security, Djoghlaf said that water shortages, disease outbreaks and famines caused by extreme weather events will be the catalyst of many conflicts in the future. In support of one participant’s call for better representation of community actors in international bodies, Venegas said the Equator Initiative allows local communities to exchange knowledge and experiences among equals and develop solutions in partnerships.
Noting that a better harmonization of economic, environmental and social fields would enable businesses and NGOs to address urgent issues, a civil society representative inquired about ways to make environmental rules and standards more enforceable. Kjørven agreed that environmental conventions need stronger means of implementation, while Djoghlaf said cooperation and leadership are more effective than coercion. Regarding a question on measures for urban biodiversity, Djoghlaf drew attention to the critical role of local governments and a new network of mayors under the CBD for the exchange of experiences in implementing the 2010 target.
MESSAGE TEXT: The Message conveyed to the G8 summit by the CBD, the Countdown 2010 initiative, the Equator Initiative and UNDP is entitled “Statement on Biodiversity and Climate Change on the Occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2007.” It reiterates statements made by global environmental leaders on the importance of recognizing the linkages between climate change and biodiversity loss, including Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, and Olav Kjørven, UNDP. The message states that the threats of climate change to biodiversity have been recognized as a threat to international peace and security by a special session of the UN Security Council and that these strongly linked issues are poised to interfere with, and even reverse, progress that is being made towards the MDGs. It notes that the cost of inaction on climate change has been estimated by the Stern Review and that a similar report will soon provide estimates for the cost of inaction on biodiversity loss. The message further recognizes the outcomes of the Potsdam G8+5 Environment Ministers meeting in March 2007 as an encouraging step that demonstrates the way ahead for addressing the dual challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The message calls on G8 leaders to take leadership on these issues and contribute to increased global momentum for further action. It notes that a high-level political commitment from Heiligendamm will help guide the COP to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in shaping the collective response of the international community once the Kyoto targets expire in 2012, as well as the next ministerial meeting during the CBD’s COP in May 2008 in Bonn, Germany. The full text of the message is available at:
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION: The recommendations for action presented by the Equator Initiative and Countdown 2010 underline the conclusions of the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that 30 percent of species face an increased risk of extinction if temperatures rise by 2ºC. It calls upon G8 leaders to live up to the commitment of contributing 0.7 percent of their GDP to ODA by 2015, noting that this amount must be allocated to efforts to achieve the MDGs and directed at environmentally-sustainable approaches to economic and social development. In addition to reaching the 0.7 percent ODA target, the G8 should provide the global leadership to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation, and implement innovative financing mechanisms to direct funds from carbon markets towards sustainable development in the world’s poorest countries. The message:
The full text of the recommendations is available at:
The policy dialogue took place on Tuesday afternoon, 5 June. The event consisted of two panels on the strategic opportunities and priority actions for G8 members and global leaders to build upon synergies between the biodiversity and climate change agendas. The first panel focused on key policy issues, while the second addressed implementation.
Manfred Niekisch, IUCN, moderated the panel on policy. Regarding new initiatives on forest protection, Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends, said that forest protection contributes to combating climate change, maintaining ecosystem services and conserving biodiversity. Noting that only one percent of the trade in carbon certificates is allocated towards forest projects, he underlined the potential of market-based mechanisms for compensating investments into ecosystem services. On development aid effectiveness in relation to action on climate change and adaptation, Michael Hofmann, BMZ, emphasized the need for monitoring mechanisms that take the effects of climate change into account. He highlighted the importance of a holistic approach for development and the need for coherent policies and division of labor among donors, as well as reducing reporting burdens of recipient countries.
Camilla Toulmin, Executive Director, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), said that politicians and business actors often mistake development for economic growth, leading to negative impacts of development policies on the environment, or vice-versa. She suggested a review of the economics of biodiversity in order generate private sector interest in conservation projects.
On options for parliamentarians to raise the profile of climate change and biodiversity on the political agenda, Christian Ruck, Member of Parliament, Germany, said that parliamentary hearings and decisions at the EU level provide useful opportunities to have a positive influence. As impediments, he noted the division between national and international policy making and divergences among NGO policies and strategies. On the changing role of the CBD as umbrella body for biodiversity-related conventions, Djoghlaf said that the CBD needs to move beyond the conservation of species and habitats towards mainstreaming biodiversity into all sectors.
In the ensuing discussion, a civil society representative asked how the principle of ownership by the people and implementation from the bottom up can be achieved in practice. Noting that ownership is not well supported in practice, Toulmin suggested that it requires an architecture that delivers incentives to the people involved in conservation without transforming property rights regimes. Hofmann called for education programmes and innovative financing mechanisms to realize ownership.
Martin Meister, GEO Magazine, opened the second panel on implementation, drawing attention to potential contradictions in development policies, such as improving access to energy, while at the same time preventing increases in carbon emissions. Olav Kjørven, UNDP, said climate change should not place an additional burden on poor communities, but that instruments such as carbon financing can ensure access to energy in a sustainable way.
Benson Venegas, ANAI, Talamanca Initiative, described the role of networks of practitioners who connected to resource mobilizers and engaged with UNDP, stating that these networks were of key importance for the implementation of projects for sustainable livelihoods in the Talamanca region. Astrid Klug, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Environment, Germany, said that industrialized countries have the responsibility to protect and restore their own biodiversity and to help poor countries protect theirs.
Peter Seligman, Conservation International, said the main issue is not whether action is necessary, but how fast we can take action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. He noted that the systemic threat of climate change must be addressed in multiple ways combining, for instance, increased fuel efficiency with measures to avoid deforestation. Jeff McNeely, IUCN, said some measures are contradictory or ineffective, such as growing biofuel crops on peat swamps, stressing that many species threatened through climate change are crop and animal species that are crucial for human nutrition. He called for a new paradigm and incentives that would allow farmers to engage in biodiversity conservation. Sven Hameling, Germanwatch, described NGO activities relating to avoided deforestation and adaptation to climate change, noting that substantial measures are necessary to stabilize the world’s climate.
In the ensuing discussion, panelists debated how to increase the political profile of biodiversity and climate change. McNeely and Seligmann suggested raising awareness among the private sector of economic threats and opportunities, noting that the private sector can become an important supporter of environmental policy if there are clear opportunities. Klug said that the Stern Review on the economic aspects of climate change has helped move climate change to the top of the agenda and proposed conducting a similar review on the economic aspects of biodiversity.
Delegates attended the inauguration of the 2010 Biodiversity Target Photo Exhibition, a partnership project of the CBD Secretariat, IUCN, GEO Magazine, UNDP and the GTZ, which promotes the 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss. The exhibition aims to raise public awareness about biodiversity and to prepare for the ninth meeting of the CBD COP to be held in May 2008 in Germany.
Noting that 2010 will also be the international year of biodiversity, Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, said the exhibition brings biodiversity to the people by raising awareness of biodiversity loss and related problems. Cornelia Richter, GTZ, said that people conserve only what they know. Therefore, the exhibition conveys central reasons for the urgency to take action on biodiversity conservation, such as the high rate of biodiversity loss, the loss of ecosystem services and the loss of aesthetic values.
Manfred Niekisch, IUCN, reported on awareness-raising activities in Viet Nam, underlining Viet Nam’s particular vulnerability to climate change because of resulting impacts on biodiversity. Noting that 2010 is only three years away, he reiterated the need for awareness-raising activities, such as this exhibition.
Peter-Matthias Gaede, GEO Magazine, said that the public needs images in order to understand the threats of biodiversity loss, but that images alone do not mean action. He explained that people will turn away from environmental issues if the media reports only on disasters and problems and advocated a different way of awareness raising that focuses on the more silent issues and aims at rendering the complexity of the issues at stake.
Following the inauguration of the exhibition, participants were offered a choice of guided tours through the Museum of Natural History.
The Equator Prize Award Ceremony and Dinner took place on Tuesday evening, 5 June. Charles McNeill, UNDP, welcomed participants to the third award of the Equator Prize, noting that the event provides a unique opportunity to meet the winners and to learn from their experience in using biodiversity in a sustainable way to achieve poverty reduction.
Gudrun Grosse-Wiesmann, BMZ, lauded the winners’ contributions to biodiversity conservation noting that they demonstrated innovative thinking and entrepreneurship, and best practices that should be an inspiration for all. She said local knowledge and approaches are critical to finding solutions and addressing the linkages between climate change and biodiversity loss. She also reiterated Germany’s commitment to achieve a yearly contribution of 0.7 percent of its GDP to ODA by 2015. Olav Kjørven, UNDP, thanked the Equator Initiative partners for their help and commitment to the Initiative. He described the review process and selection of the Equator Prize winners, noting that all winners have proven that they are experts in managing their own landscape and that they show the way towards sustainable development.
The Equator Prize for the African region was presented by Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, to the Village of Andavadoaka, Madagascar, for their success in sustainably-managing octopus resources. Peter Seligmann, Conservation International, presented the Equator Prize for Asia and the Pacific to Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, Bangladesh, for establishing a network of river-boat based educational resource centers to deliver information on sustainable agricultural practices and market prices. Jeff McNeely, IUCN, presented the Equator Prize for Latin America and the Caribbean to Alimentos Naturales, Guatemala, a local initiative that has resolved malnutrition, rural poverty and dependence on imported food stuffs by marketing Maya-nut-based school lunches to local school districts.
The Equator Prize for a World Heritage Site was presented by Gudrun Grosse-Wiesmann, BMZ, to Asociación de Mujeres de Isabella “Pescado Azul, ” Ecuador, for marketing tuna smoked with guava wood as a way of promoting alternative uses of marine resources and controlling an invasive plant species. Benson Venegas, ANAI, Talamanca Initiative, presented the Equator Prize for sustainable business to Shompole Community Trust, Kenya, for creating a robust, profit-driven ecotourism venture, benefiting the Massai people, while conserving vast scenic grasslands and savannahs. A more detailed description of the winners’ projects is available at:
Gudrun Grosse-Wiesmann, BMZ, and Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the CBD and the GTZ for increased support by the GTZ to the implementation of the CBD.
In closing these events, Djoghlaf said the message to the future has been conveyed to the first G8 meeting focusing on the environment, noting that the message could not have been conveyed without the local actors and communities supporting the sustainable use of biodiversity. He recognized Germany for its leadership on environmental issues and thanked the Equator Prize winners for their commitment and all participants for their support.
SWEDISH ï¿½MIDNIGHT SUNï¿½ DIALOGUE ON CLIMATE CHANGE: This ministerial meeting, hosted by Sweden, is scheduled for 11-14 June 2007 in Riksgrï¿½nsen, Sweden. For more information, contact: Caroline Dickson, Swedish Ministry for the Environment; tel: +46-8-405-1000; fax: +46-8-723-1160; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2066
THIRD INTERNATIONAL GREEN ENERGY CONFERENCE: Taking place from 18-20 June 2007, in Vï¿½sterï¿½s, Sweden, this conference will seek to provide a multi-disciplinary setting to exchange the latest technical information, research and developments. For more information, contact: Professor J. Yan, Chair of IGEC-III; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.igec.info
WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE RELATED RISKS AND EXTREME EVENTS UNDER THE NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME: This event, which is being held from 18-20 June 2007, in Cairo, Egypt, will focus on the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php
CBD SBSTTA-12: The twelfth session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the Convention on Biological Diversity is taking place from 2-6 July 2007, in Paris, France. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.shtml
SECOND MEETING OF THE CBD OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: The second meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention is being held in Paris, France from 9-13 July 2007. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.shtml
UNFCCC DIALOGUE AND KYOTO PROTOCOL AWG 4: The fourth workshop of the ï¿½Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Conventionï¿½ and the fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG), are expected to take place from 27-31 August 2007, in Vienna, Austria. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int
FIFTH TRONDHEIM CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: Scheduled for 29 October to 2 November 2007, in Trondheim, Norway, and hosted by the Norwegian Government in cooperation with UNEP, this conference aims to provide input to the CBD and its preparations for the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP-9), to be held in Germany in 2008. The focus of the Trondheim Conference will be on the critical role of biodiversity and ecosystems in providing goods and services that are necessary for human well-being and security and for economic development. Its key objectives will be to: illustrate and highlight the role of biodiversity in poverty alleviation and in reaching the MDGs; consider progress on the 2010 target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss; and provide insights and inspiration for enhanced implementation of CBDï¿½s Strategic Plan. For more information, contact: Norwayï¿½s Directorate for Nature Management; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.dirnat.no/content.ap?thisId=500025295&language=0
TWENTIETH WORLD ENERGY CONGRESS: This event is taking place in Rome, Italy from 11-15 November 2007. The main topic of the congress is ï¿½The Energy Future in an Interdependent World,ï¿½ and it will also focus on social issues that developing and emerging countries face in relation to the international energy market, and sustainable progress for industrialized countries. For more information, contact: The World Energy Council; tel: +44-20-7734-5996; fax: +44-20-7734-5926; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.worldenergy.org
THIRTEENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC AND THIRD MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: UNFCCC COP 13 and Kyoto Protocol COP/MOP 3 will take place from 3-14 December 2007 at the Bali International Conference Center and adjacent Nusa Dua facilities, Indonesia. These meetings will coincide with the 27th meetings of the UNFCCCï¿½s subsidiary bodies and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments from Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol. For more information, contact: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int
CBD COP-9: Scheduled for 19-30 May 2008, in Bonn, Germany, this conference is organized by the CBD Secretariat. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.shtml