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Volume 9 Number 419 - Wednesday, 13 February 2008
WGPA 2 HIGHLIGHTS
TUESDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2008
Delegates to the second meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (WGPA 2) convened in plenary throughout the day where they considered the Review of Implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) and explored options for mobilizing, through different mechanisms, adequate and timely financial resources for the PoWPA. They also heard keynote presentations on innovative financial mechanisms.

PLENARY

COUNTRY STATEMENTS: Delegates continued to present general statements relating to their activities and experiences regarding implementation of the PoWPA and commented on the recommendations contained in the Review of Implementation (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/2/2). MALAYSIA supported an advisory role for the multi-stakeholder coordination committee as well as a reference to technology transfer. ETHIOPIA expressed its commitment to establishing an institution to oversee coordination and implementation of the PoWPA, and called for financial resources to facilitate this. TURKEY reported on the establishment of a biodiversity monitoring unit and emphasized the importance of capacity building and technology transfer. SAUDI ARABIA and COSTA RICA highlighted the relevance of regional workshops and training on biodiversity issues. IUCN-WCPA announced the forthcoming publication of its revised PA management guidelines and offered support for convening regional workshops and technical clinics.

Regarding participation, GUINEA and LEBANON underscored the involvement of indigenous populations in the management of PAs. GUINEA-BISSAU elaborated on the creation of marine protected areas based on a participatory approach and capacity building for local communities. The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) and the INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIVE IN SUPPORT OF FISHWORKERS (ICSF) called for enhanced efforts to implement the PoWPA elements on indigenous participation, benefit-sharing, and recognition of indigenous land rights and customary laws, including review of national laws and policies consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

YEMEN highlighted the conclusion of memoranda of understanding between the Asian Gulf countries and Red Sea states as examples of inter-regional cooperation to protect biodiversity.

SAUDI ARABIA reported on the use of ecologically-based criteria for site selection consisting of: representative marine and terrestrial biotopes; biodiversity and productivity hot spots; and viable populations of key plants and animal taxa. SWAZILAND detailed recent activities, including an ecological gap analysis, legislative rationalization and agreements with South Africa and Mozambique regarding transfrontier conservation areas. TURKMENISTAN, UKRAINE and ARMENIA highlighted constraints including weak legislative frameworks, inadequate capacity and lack of biodiversity databases. BRAZIL, ARGENTINA and AUSTRALIA opposed reference to the multifunctionality of PAs, cautioning against possible trade impacts. NIGERIA proposed strengthening the link between PA management and development. The NETWORK OF CENTRAL AFRICAN PROTECTED AREAS called for regular regional coordination meetings and proposed national institutions to oversee stakeholder activities. GREENPEACE urged parties to address pressing issues such as illegal logging and funding constraints.

MOBILIZATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES: Keynote Presentations: Marcela Aguiñaga, Minister of Environment, Ecuador, said the national PA system is estimated to contribute US$1 billion annually to the economy. Acknowledging the need to substantially increase investment for in situ conservation, she emphasized the importance of participatory management, sustainable financial planning and needs assessment, and highlighted the potential of the national PA system in terms of economic development and poverty alleviation.

Marcela Aguiñaga, presented Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, with a gift for the CBD Museum for Nature and Culture.

Following her presentation, Matthew Hatchwell, Wildlife Conservation Society, presented on reduced carbon emissions in PAs as an innovative sustainable financing tool. He explained how accredited voluntary emission reductions can contribute towards reducing global carbon emissions. Outlining a project in the Makira Plateau, Madagascar, where deforestation is being reduced through trading voluntary emission reduction credits, he explained that a sustainable revenue stream has been generated for the government and correspondingly benefits local communities. He urged delegates to consider emission reductions from avoided deforestation as an innovative funding mechanism, taking into account social and environmental additionality.

Financial Resources: Delegates considered options for mobilizing financial resources (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/2/4), with many countries calling for financial assistance to implement the PoWPA. PANAMA urged moving from needs assessment to funding strategy implementation. The BAHAMAS highlighted long-term instruments such as endowment funds. Slovenia, for the EU, suggested among other items: mainstreaming PA financing into large development programmes; promoting synergies between development strategies and the CBD objectives; and improving the efficiency of national structures regarding the use of additional resources. INDIA underscored the importance of integrating PAs in the broader development agenda and the MDG framework.

Concerning funding through international mechanisms, CHINA and others highlighted the GEF’s role in providing finance for implementing the PoWPA and proposed that the CBD Secretariat elaborate a uniform method for calculating financial needs. CANADA opposed recommending an increase in the GEF funding for PAs, observing that additional official development assistance for biodiversity and PAs is contingent on developing countries identifying their priorities and needs through national biodiversity strategies and action plans. He also stressed that any strategy for resource mobilization should be appropriate, voluntary and flexible. COSTA RICA, supported by NIGERIA, proposed the creation of appropriate institutional platforms to support progress on financial sustainability and the enhancement of the GEF activities related to PAs. Noting increased funding for PAs within every replenishment cycle, the GEF outlined its programmes in support of developing new funding mechanisms.

Cautioning that a proliferation of innovative financing mechanisms could undermine indigenous rights, the IIFB and the GLOBAL FOREST COALITION (GFC) called for capacity building and funding to assess potential impacts. The GFC also drew attention to the inherent tension between efficiency and equity associated with market mechanisms such as carbon offsetting. THAILAND suggested that countries make use of innovative funding mechanisms to supplement financial assistance, and broaden their PA priorities to attract diverse sources of funding. MALAYSIA supported the introduction of green taxes and public-private partnerships to finance the implementation of the PoWPA. Expressing regret that previous funding commitments have not been honoured, GREENPEACE highlighted avoided deforestation through PAs as the most cost effective method of combating climate change. ARGENTINA, supported by CUBA, cautioned against reliance on market mechanisms, preferring funding to be obtained from other streams. BRAZIL, supported by CUBA and ETHIOPIA, questioned the emphasis on innovative funding mechanisms, stating that new and additional funding, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, should be the primary source of funding for PAs. NORWAY explained its strategy of linking climate change to biodiversity through its development policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, enhancing biodiversity and protecting the rights of local communities. NEW ZEALAND emphasized innovative financial mechanisms to support PAs taking into account broader social, economic and political considerations.

MAURITIUS recommended that local institutions support conservation projects and also proposed regional collaboration efforts. COLOMBIA called on donors to support developing countries by earmarking resources for PAs. CAMEROON highlighted trust funds and supported financing derived from carbon trading.

On public-private partnerships, SYRIA preferred referencing partnerships between governmental, non-governmental and private actors. TUNISIA said innovative financing mechanisms should be adapted to the specific needs of countries.

IUCN proposed that the COP call on it to design and deliver a plan of action for national implementation of the PoWPA, and use its expertise to overcome impediments to implementation. UNESCO detailed the Madrid Action Plan, which addresses responses to challenges faced by biosphere reserves from 2008-2013.

IN THE CORRIDORS

As delegates turned their attention to funding mechanisms, many felt that the meeting was now addressing its core issue. Disagreements among delegates spilled into the corridors with delegates expressing divergent views about the future funding of PAs. Whilst many acknowledged that funding sources should diversify from the traditional donor-recipient relationship, several disapproved of the current emphasis on innovative funding mechanisms. One delegate was opposed to giving precedence to alternative types of funding, arguing that “first we talk about new funding, then additional funding, and now innovative mechanisms.” Another argued that such mechanisms serve as a means to attract “new and additional funding.”

Funding generated through carbon emissions trading was proposed as one such innovation, to which reactions were equally divided. Some saw it as a “potential windfall” for PAs, while another pointed to the “yet uncertain costs and benefits of such climate change money,” noting that this issue should be resolved by the UNFCCC before making reference to it under the CBD.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Asheline Appleton, Claudio Chiarolla, Harry Jonas and Stefan Jungcurt, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Ángeles Estrada. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). General Support for the Bulletin during 2008 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Funding for the translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. 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., 11A, New York, NY 10022, USA. The ENB Team at the Second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas can be contacted by e-mail at <asheline@iisd.org>.
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