Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation Bulletin

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in collaboration with in collaboration with IUCN - The World Conservation Union

 

Vol. 126 No. 1
Sunday, 24 September 2006

SUMMARY REPORT OF THE BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION CONFERENCE:

19-21 SEPTEMBER 2006

The conference “Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation - supporting the sustainable development of partner countries,” (the BEDC Conference) convened in Paris, France, from 19-21 September 2006. The BEDC Conference, organized by IUCN - The World Conservation Union and the European Commission (EC), was attended by over 500 participants representing developing countries, European member States and other donor countries, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as academia and the private sector.

The BEDC Conference aimed to contribute to transforming political commitments into concrete actions by developing recommendations for the EC and European Union (EU) member States on how to pro-actively address the integration of biodiversity concerns into development cooperation programmes and policies. The specific objectives of the BEDC Conference were to: help developing countries and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) integrate biodiversity conservation into their development strategies; and help EU member States and the EC integrate biodiversity into their development cooperation strategies and programmes, and put in place a monitoring and reporting mechanism to monitor progress in the pursuit of the target to reduce significantly the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 and halt it by 2015.

The BEDC Conference was organized in plenary sessions and workshops on eight themes: ecosystem services’ contributions to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); ecosystem services in national development and poverty reduction strategies; challenges for present aid modalities; communication and education; innovative financial mechanisms; trade and economic cooperation; governance and stakeholder engagement; and OCTs.

The Conference outputs consist of a summary of the proceedings and a Message from Paris, including recommendations for the EC and EU member States.

This report chronologically summarizes the proceedings of the BEDC Conference, including the presentations and the outcomes of the plenary and workshops, as well as a summary of the Conference Message.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

Biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth, encompassing genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. Today’s biodiversity is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. To date, about two million species have been identified. While many scientists think that there are about 13 million species on Earth, other estimates range from 3 to 100 million. Biodiversity supplies a large number of goods and services that sustain human life, including: the provision of food, fuel and building materials; purification of air and water; stabilization and moderation of the Earth’s climate; moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and wind forces; generation and renewal of soil fertility; provision of genetic resources as inputs to crop varieties and livestock breeds, medicines, and other products; and provision of cultural, recreational and aesthetic benefits.

Over the past few hundred years, biodiversity has faced major challenges, including growing demands for biological resources caused by population growth and increased consumption. This increased exploitation of biological resources has resulted in the loss of species at levels currently estimated to be 100 times faster than the natural rate of loss prior to significant human intervention. Recognition of this problem is hardly new, and scientists and policy makers have worked to develop mechanisms to document, conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. The following is a brief account of the international institutional history of efforts to protect biodiversity, which provides the context for the Conference’s focus on biodiversity in European development cooperation.

UNCHE AND UNEP: The UN Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE, 5-16 June 1972, Stockholm, Sweden) led to the adoption of a number of regional and international agreements, and resolved to establish the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which was codified by UN General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 1972. UNEP administers a number of international instruments related to biodiversity, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species, and the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities.

BRUNDTLAND REPORT: In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (also named the Brundtland Commission, after its Chair, then Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland) concluded that economic development must become less ecologically destructive. In its landmark report, “Our Common Future,” the Commission noted that “humanity has the ability to make development sustainable - to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It also called for “a new era of environmentally sound economic development.”

EARTH SUMMIT: At the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit” (3-14 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), world leaders adopted three key international instruments: the CBD; the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification; as well as the Forest Principles, a non-binding authoritative statement on the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests. The Rio Declaration, adopted at UNCED, sets out 27 principles on environment and sustainable development, including the precautionary approach and the polluter pays principle.

THE CBD: The CBD came into force in 1994 and currently has 188 Parties. The Convention sets out three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The CBD’s Conference of the Parties (COP) has developed a series of work programmes to address ecosystem biodiversity, and work programmes and activities on cross-cutting themes, including invasive alien species, incentive measures, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, traditional knowledge, technology transfer, education and public awareness, and protected areas.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The UN Millennium Summit (6-8 September 2000, New York, US) adopted the MDGs - eight goals comprising 18 targets and 48 indicators regarding, inter alia, the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, the reduction of child mortality, environmental sustainability and combating disease. The MDGs are universally accepted as a framework for measuring progress in development. In 2002, the UN launched the Millennium Project to devise a plan of implementation for enabling developing countries to meet the MDGs by 2015, and to assess progress towards their achievement by 2005.

THE BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN FOR ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION: The Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and Development Cooperation (BAP-EDC) was adopted by the EC on 27 March 2001. The BAP-EDC aims to identify actions that will: address the objectives of the Community Biodiversity Strategy; integrate biodiversity into policies, programmes and projects being implemented through EC economic and development cooperation; and help build the EC’s capacity to address biodiversity issues in the context of its economic and development cooperation.

THE 2001 GOTHENBURG COUNCIL COMMITMENT: At the Gothenburg Summit (15-16 June 2001, Gothenburg, Sweden), the EU heads of State committed to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 and make this a headline objective in the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development.

2010 BIODIVERSITY TARGET: In decision VI/26, the sixth meeting of the CBD COP (COP-6, 7-19 April 2002, the Hague, the Netherlands) adopted the Strategic Plan for the CBD. In its mission statement, Parties committed themselves to a more effective and coherent implementation of the three objectives of the Convention and to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth. COP-6 also adopted a Ministerial Declaration, which recognizes the need for timetables and to review mechanisms and targets, including a 2010 target to adopt measures to halt biodiversity loss.

THE EU’S SIXTH ENVIRONMENT ACTION PROGRAMME: On 22 July 2002, the EC adopted the Sixth Environment Action Programme (2002-2012), which includes a biodiversity objective to protect and restore the structure and functioning of natural systems and halt the loss of biodiversity both in the EU and on a global scale by 2010.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (26 August - 4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa) adopted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration. Key commitments relevant to biodiversity include: achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010; negotiating, within the CBD framework, an international regime for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources; and establishing by 2004 a regular process for global reporting on, and assessment of, the state of the marine environment. The JPOI also calls for building greater capacity in science and technology for sustainable development. The Summit agreed on nineteen actions as a means of achieving the 2010 objective.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: The International Conference “Biodiversity: Science and Governance” (24-28 January 2005, Paris, France) was convened to contribute to the ongoing global effort to reverse the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 and ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources. Meeting participants adopted the Paris Declaration on Biodiversity and the Conference Statement. The Paris Declaration on Biodiversity is an appeal by scientists that focuses on the values of biodiversity and the goods it provides to humanity, and the irreversible destruction caused by human activities. The Conference Statement recognizes that biodiversity is a vital and poorly appreciated resource that is essential to achieving the MDGs.

THE PARIS DECLARATION ON AID EFFECTIVENESS: The Paris Declaration was endorsed on 2 March 2005 by over 100 ministers including from countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), heads of agencies and other senior officials, as well as about 40 international organizations and NGOs. The Paris Declaration is a commitment to continue to increase efforts in harmonization, alignment and management of aid for results with a set of monitorable actions and indicators.

THE MESSAGE FROM MALAHIDE: The EU Conference “Sustaining Livelihoods and Biodiversity: Attaining the 2010 Target in the European Biodiversity Strategy” (24-25 May 2005, Malahide, Ireland) resulted in a Message from Malahide entitled “Halting the decline of biodiversity - Priority objectives and targets for 2010.” The Message includes Objective 11, which specifically addresses economic and development cooperation.

2005 WORLD SUMMIT: The 2005 World Summit (14-16 September 2005, UN Headquarters, New York, US) discussed progress towards the MDGs and a reform of the UN. It also reconfirmed State leaders’ commitment to sustainable development and the 2010 biodiversity target.

THE EUROPEAN CONSENSUS ON DEVELOPMENT: In the European Consensus on Development (20 December 2005), the EU commits to delivering more and better aid. The Consensus stresses the link between development and environment and that halting biodiversity loss is essential for achieving the MDGs.

20TH SESSION OF THE GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM: A series of workshops were held at this session (24-25 March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), focusing on the 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss. The workshops addressed: reaffirming the role of biodiversity in achieving the MDGs; financing biodiversity action for achieving the 2010 target; measuring progress towards the 2010 target; taking the 2010 target forward by thinking globally and acting locally; and 2010 challenges in verifying biodiversity trade.

COMMUNICATION ON “HALTING THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY BY 2010 - AND BEYOND”: This Communication was adopted by the EC on 22 May 2006 and sets a roadmap to halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010. It includes an EU Action Plan with detailed responsibilities for EU institutions and member States and specifies indicators to monitor progress. It reaffirms the need to enhance funding earmarked for biodiversity and to strengthen measures to mainstream biodiversity in development assistance.

REPORT OF THE BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION CONFERENCE

OPENING

SETTING THE STAGE: Ibrahim Thiaw, Acting Director General, IUCN, opened the Conference on Tuesday afternoon. He welcomed participants and stressed humans’ reliance on natural resources. Thiaw underlined the challenge of conserving nature while providing livelihoods for the poor and explained that the Conference aims to help the EU mainstream biodiversity conservation in its cooperation policy. Participants viewed a short film produced by IUCN, entitled “What Nature Does for Development.”

WHY IS BIODIVERSITY IMPORTANT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PARTNER COUNTRIES? Three keynotes speakers presented viewpoints from the African, Meso-American and Asian regions.

Jessica Eriyo, State Minister for Environment, Uganda, underlined the role of biodiversity in fulfilling Africa’s development aspirations, urging that funding respond to emerging issues and be readily accessible to biodiversity conservation actors. She highlighted the aims of Uganda’s new biodiversity strategy and action plan to: mainstream biodiversity into macroeconomic and sectoral policies; build capacity for biodiversity conservation; and ensure the representation of biodiversity management in all sectors of government. As priority actions she suggested: integrating environmental impact assessments into development planning; further mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in development planning; and involving European development assistance in macroeconomic planning and management, and in strengthening environmental governance in the region.

Hugo Barrera, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador, stressed the significance of ecosystem services for clean water and health, and outlined El Salvador’s national land-use planning policies for realizing these objectives. He referred to Meso-American regional cooperation for maintaining critical ecosystem diversity through establishing biological corridors. He described national projects on a payment system for ecological services and a network of protected areas. Noting the current focus on development, Barrera called for a shift of emphasis to the CBD goals of sustainable use and benefit sharing, and linking those to poverty reduction and harmonized actions of government and civil society.

Kim Sean Yin, Secretary of State for the Environment, Cambodia noted the Conference offers an opportunity to seek alternatives for cooperation in order to conserve and use biodiversity for sustainable development. Stressing that 33% of Cambodians live below the poverty line and that 90% of the poor are farmers living in rural areas, he stated that poverty alleviation is his government’s main priority. He identified biodiversity protection as fundamental to poverty reduction and underscored his government’s commitment to eradicate illegal activities. Sean Yin outlined Cambodia’s legal framework for environmental protection and highlighted the limitations caused by reduced resources and capacities, and lack of awareness of the impacts of environmental degradation.

HOW CAN BIODIVERSITY BE ADDRESSED THROUGH DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION? Brigitte Girardin, Minister for Cooperation, Development and Francophonie, France, drew attention to the alarming rate of biodiversity loss as well as its relationship to global warming, species extinction, disturbed water cycles, erosion and desertification. Affirming France’s commitment to sustainable development, she noted progress from biodiversity projects in Africa. She stressed that, together with the fight against poverty and climate change, biodiversity conservation is one of the main three challenges of the century. Girardin lamented the relative lack of interest in biodiversity, supported the creation of an international biodiversity expert panel and called for an improved institutional framework.

PLENARY

Plenary met on Tuesday and Thursday to hear presentations and hold roundtable and panel sessions addressing:

•  the presentation of findings of the preparatory phase;

•  bridging the gaps;

•  from consultation to action: the Message from Paris;

•  European overseas in the spotlight;

•  preparing for the future: CBD COP-9 an opportunity for linking biodiversity to the development agenda;

•  the way forward; and

•  from words to action – implementing the Message.

PRESENTATION OF THE FINDINGS OF THE PREPARATORY PHASE: Hillary Masundire, University of Botswana and Chair of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, summarized the Conference background document. He noted the importance of ecosystem services for human well-being as well as the intrinsic value of biodiversity, and highlighted eight proposed actions, including: upscaling existing biodiversity initiatives; finding more “breathing space” for biodiversity issues through dialogue with partner countries; improving mainstreaming of biodiversity by donor and partner countries; and improving coherence with non-development issues, particularly trade.

Stressing the need to address causes of poverty rather than its effects, he highlighted biodiversity conservation as a route to poverty alleviation as well as the obverse. As remaining challenges, he identified building capacity, enhancing training, good governance and engagement of civil society. He challenged the audience to consider the three following assertions: development programmes that ignore environmental factors are not true development programmes; protected areas threaten biodiversity by confining protection to park areas; and non-environmental development activities such as agriculture cause the most damage to the environment.

BRIDGING THE GAPS: This roundtable took place on Tuesday afternoon and was chaired by Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP. He refuted the myth that cooperation donors and partner countries have no interest in biodiversity, and asserted that both must address the link between conservation and social and economic policy. To mainstream biodiversity in sustainable development, he said it must be linked with policies on climate change, infrastructure development, economic policy instruments such as green taxation, and markets and trade. He said rational investment policies must include biodiversity.

Teresa Siricio Iro, Minister of Environment and Physical Development, Sudan, outlined her country’s legal environmental framework. Noting that poverty reduction is constrained by civil unrest and lack of resources, she drew attention to the signing of the Darfur Agreement, which put and end to the conflict in southern Sudan. On the way forward, she recommended removal of sanctions and trade barriers, and the enhancement of technology transfer, capacity building, and the relationship with international donors to mobilize resources.

Abel Mamani, Minister of Water, Bolivia, identified access to clean water as a human right and described Bolivian policies to make it a reality, including elements of the new constitution and laws addressing industrial wastes and agriculture. He said legal effects of ensuring access to clean water include employment rights, such as the benefit to fishermen of reducing water pollution.

Walter Kennes, Director General for Development, EC, highlighted the explicit recognition by the European Consensus on Development of environment and environmental mainstreaming as priority areas. He said the EU is increasing commitment to development cooperation, including through increased funding for environment and biodiversity issues. He noted that much remains unknown about the relationship between poverty alleviation and biodiversity, and called for enhanced capacity building.

Shri J.C. Kala, Director General of Forests, India, called for stabilizing the world population and making sustainable development “the way of life” rather than the exception. He explained how biodiversity conservation can lead to improved quality of life and that success stories should be used to convince governments to increase investment in biodiversity.

Simon Brooks, Vice President, European Investment Bank (EIB), discussed ensuring biodiversity conservation in EIB projects. He stated that beyond seeking to minimize damage to biodiversity with its projects, EIB can also be proactive and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IUCN to draw on its networks of experts.

Olivier Consolo, Director, European NGOs’ Confederation for Relief and Development, addressed bridging four types of gaps between: different efforts undertaken by compartmentalized disciplines; intentions on paper and actions on the ground; governments’ and institutions’ intentions and civil society engagement; and standards of good governance applied to partner countries and those applied to donors themselves.

William Jackson, World Programme, IUCN, explained that the Conference’s outputs will comprise of a report of the proceedings and a Message from Paris. He stated that the Message should be brief and to the point, and that the drafting team will include the chairs of the workshops, and representatives of countries, NGOs and the EC. He added that the Message will be presented to the EU Presidency.

FROM CONSULTATION TO ACTION: THE MESSAGE FROM PARIS: On Thursday morning, participants viewed the short film produced by EuropeAid on EU-funded grassroots projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Chair James Leape, Director General, WWF International, reaffirmed that taking the 2010 target seriously is a prerequisite to achieving the MDGs. He noted that we are “in danger of losing the fight” unless the EU makes more effort to direct development assistance towards biodiversity targets, and to ensure that all other policies and practices are consistent with these targets. He said biodiversity conservation is still highly under-funded, and noted the unique position of civil society to foster innovative solutions.

Stressing the importance of clear communication, Robert Hepworth, Executive Secretary, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), lauded the EC’s facilitating role in conservation, naming as an example its support of the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza.

EUROPEAN OVERSEAS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: This panel took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Jean Ronald Jumeau, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Seychelles, who addressed threats to biodiversity and livelihoods from climate change.

A specific EU development challenge: EU OCTs: Asii Chemnitz Narup, Minister of Health and Environment, Greenland, emphasized cooperation with the EU on research and action on biodiversity and climate change. She mentioned adverse effects of climate change on the livelihoods of inhabitants of Arctic islands and noted that while Greenland needs more biodiversity research, it cannot bear its cost. She requested that the EU contribute to the International Polar Year 2007-2009 with particular emphasis on research on biodiversity, climate and marine science.

Georges Handerson, Minister of Sustainable Development, French Polynesia, stressed the EU’s special challenge of protecting the biodiversity in its OCTs and Outermost Regions. He highlighted that OCTs face the challenges arising from the consequences of rapid economic development and population growth, noting that biodiversity conservation has received little attention compared to issues such as sanitation and waste management. He outlined French Polynesia’s ambitious new policy to protect biodiversity, including education, strict regulations, establishment of sanctuaries, a sound institutional and operational structure, local involvement and public-private partnerships. Handerson noted significant progress, but brought attention to persistent needs for additional financial resources, logistical support and knowledge exchange, calling upon the EU to assume its special responsibility towards its OCTs. Outlining negative impacts of climate change on OCTs, he underscored the importance of regional cooperation.

One participant called for increased attention to the severe problems faced by the Amazon region. Describing the Amazon as the “lungs” as well as the “air conditioning” of the planet, she said the EU’s actions to combat climate change should focus more on this region.

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: CBD COP-9 AN OPPORTUNITY FOR LINKING BIODIVERSITY TO THE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA? This panel took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Robert Hepworth, CMS Executive Secretary.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, noted that commitment to the 2010 target was reiterated at CBD COP-8 by ministers, heads of delegations, civil society, multilateral and bilateral donors, and the private sector. He stressed the importance of implementing agreed norms and goals by eliminating barriers between sectors. He called on Germany to: take the opportunity of COP-9 to transmit the Message from Paris to the whole world; invite trade and environment ministers to start a dialogue; and continue engaging with the private sector on technology transfer.

Jochen Flasbarth, Director General, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Use of Nature, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, described Germany’s plans for hosting CBD COP-9, including establishing links to the 2010 goals and the Message from Paris. He suggested further linkages to the MDGs and additional commitments for outreach to the private sector and civil society. He also suggested that the access and benefit sharing debate will make substantial progress if there is a new regime on this issue for consideration at COP-9.

Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), referred to the Paris Declaration’s principles of integrating biodiversity into economic and policy decisions. He said the Message from Paris will support the 2010 target, but asked how many messages are necessary to halt biodiversity loss. He urged more and better linkages between principles and actions in biodiversity and development cooperation, particularly in networking protected areas and urban ecology planning. He stated that UNESCO will be supporting these efforts and will host the twelfth meeting of CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice as a platform for a stakeholders’ dialogue to prepare for COP-9 in 2008.

THE WAY FORWARD: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by Laurence Tubiana, Director, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations.

Setting the scene: a vision beyond Paris: On Thursday afternoon, Agnes van Ardenne, Minister of Development Cooperation, the Netherlands, emphasized the need to consider the impacts on biodiversity of the increased demand for biofuels to address climate change. She discussed how these markets place pressure on the environment by encouraging overexploitation and marginalization of the poor. She described some Dutch bilateral programmes on transboundary ecosystem management and rainforests. She called for mainstreaming biodiversity in EU programmes and in trade negotiations and suggested engaging ministries of trade and finance as well as those of environment and development.

From Words to Action – Implementing the Message: Charles Sylvain Rabotoarison, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Water, Madagascar, outlined national efforts to link biodiversity conservation to development, including reforestation initiatives and the creation of a trust fund for protected areas. He underscored the importance of awareness raising, close partnerships and regional approaches. He recommended that the Cotonou Agreement on cooperation between the EU and the African Caribbean and Pacific group of States include biodiversity protection as a prerequisite for projects funded by the EC.

Samuel Nguiffo, Director, Environment and Development Center, Cameroon, noted consensus on the need to link biodiversity protection and poverty alleviation and called for concrete actions to implement the Message from Paris, in particular by enhancing good governance in the North and the South. He suggested adopting guidelines on the promotion of civil society’s participation in the elaboration of development strategies and mainstreaming environmental issues in the international trade regime.

Jean-Luc Roux, Greenpeace International, asked for leadership and determination to achieve the world’s ambitions, including combating poverty and halting the loss of biodiversity. He advocated a radical paradigm shift in global economic thinking, including reflection on over-consumption and a real commitment to existing international agreements. He called for: stronger sanctions on illegal exploitation of natural resources; immediate moratoria on sites where exceptional biodiversity values are threatened; and rapid establishment of a global network of protected areas, particularly covering the marine and forest realms.

Philip Mikos, Head, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Directorate General (DG) Development, EC, noted progress on ongoing initiatives, including certification. He stated that international organizations have a role to play in controlling legal trade, and said progress can still be achieved in the area of public awareness. On connecting the worlds of environment and development, he called for political will from donor communities and the active involvement of beneficiary governments.

Olav Kjørven, Director Energy and Environment, UN Development Programme (UNDP), pointed out that more UNDP resources are spent on biodiversity-related projects than on any other environmental issue. He highlighted a recently launched private MDG support system aimed at scaling up action to achieve the MDGs.

WORKSHOPS

On Wednesday, workshops were held on eight themes. On Thursday, representatives of each workshop reported their group’s recommendations to plenary.

Editor’s note: IISD Reporting Services was unable to attend two of the eight workshops that were held during the day. These were: Challenges for Present Aid Modalities, and Governance and Stakeholder Engagement.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: This workshop was chaired by Emile Frison, Director General of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. He stated that the workshop aimed to produce suggestions for investment decisions by governments and intergovernmental organizations.

Erastus Wahome, Head of the EC Division, Ministry of Finance, Kenya, discussed poverty issues such as housing and food security that impact biodiversity.

Christian Mersman, Director, Global Mechanism, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, described deforestation in Africa.

Ruud Jansen, Chief Technical Advisor, Environment Support Programme, UNDP, detailed a community-based natural resource management project in Botswana.

Javier Méndez, Community Technical Officer, Indigenous Peoples and Peasant Coordinating Association for Central American Community Agroforestry, listed a number of ecosystem services in Meso-America, including medical resources and eco-tourism.

Gill Shepherd, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, outlined a number of aspects of the MDGs, including those on poverty, health and education, where biodiversity is invloved.

Stewart Maginnis, Head, IUCN Forest Conservation Programme, discussed the value of natural resources in the rural economies of developing countries, and the need to address the MDGs through biodiversity conservation.

In the ensuing discussion, participants stressed the need to ensure that rural development is included in national policies and strategies, and called on development officials to regard biodiversity as a productive asset. They also supported empowering the poor by strengthening institutions and policies that give them greater control over natural resources.

Participants also stressed the need to go beyond these general points and make specific recommendations for mainstreaming biodiversity goals in EU programmes relating to migration, climate change, and conflict prevention.

Recommendations: In plenary, workshop Chair Frison summarized discussions on ways to integrate the development and conservation sectors, stressing that the MDGs cannot be achieved without renewed focus on rural development.

Highlighting general recommendations, he stressed the need to:

•  strengthen policies and institutions that support formal recognition of rural people’s rights to manage natural resources and benefit from them;

•  improve data collected by national household budget surveys to capture the value of on-farm and off-farm biodiversity use, in order to inform national-level economic planning cycles; and

•  utilize genetic, species and ecosystem diversity as an asset for rural poverty reduction by enhancing its contribution to poor people’s strategies to minimize risk, improve food security, nutrition and health, and increase resilience.

He also noted that by getting people out of extreme poverty, EU investment in sustainable rural development in developing countries can help the EU address major policy issues such as migration and security.

He said the group recommended that the EU:

•  systematically seek inputs and opinions from civil society as well as government viewpoints to set country-level aid priorities;

•  support the development of valuation tools for biological assets at community and macroeconomic levels, and incorporate the output of biological assets valuations in country strategy papers;

•  support participatory research on enhancing productivity in agricultural systems while improving their resilience through the deployment of greater genetic-, species- and landscape-level diversity, through existing funding mechanisms such as the European Development Fund, the budget line on food security and through the seventh EC research framework; and

•  aim for greater policy coherence among its development aid, agricultural, economic, fisheries, migration and security policies.

Workshop Chair Frison said the group further recommended that the conservation community:

•  increase attention to components of biodiversity that underpin production systems and design conservation interventions, including sustainable use, accordingly; and

•  form partnerships with research and development organizations to develop and test economic valuation tools and empower key stakeholders to use these.

He said national governments were requested to:

•  direct their national statistics agencies to collect data on the value of on-farm and off-farm biodiversity use, and use this information in national economic planning; and

•  give higher priority in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers to investments in pro-poor rural development that minimize risk, improve food security, nutrition and health, and increase resilience.

COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION: This workshop was moderated by Gwen van Boven, IUCN Commission on Communication and Education. Brief introductions by panelists were followed by a group discussion.

Identifying key aspects to communication and education, Nick Hanley, Head of Communication, DG Environment, EC, called for honesty and transparency.

Marie Tamoifo, Cameroon Green Youth Association, recommended using understandable and effective terminology.

Michael Ginguld, Programme Officer, World Education, said education should facilitate processes for biodiversity conservation while bringing out the content necessary to understand the relevant objectives.

Marco Vinicio Cerezo, FundaEco, Guatemala, suggested learning from mistakes, particularly communication problems with communities and non-conservation actors.

Sebastian Winkler, Head, IUCN Countdown 2010 Secretariat, recommended keeping the message simple, creating hope, and motivating people.

Participants discussed ways to find common ground among the various stakeholders, noting that: the concept of biodiversity is almost incommunicable; political timeframes are often ill-suited to longer-term thinking; and conservation still has a negative image. They recommended stressing common benefits of, and the economic need for, conservation, and involving economists in the debate.

One participant called for a rights-based approach and said the challenge lies more in governance than in technology. Another underscored the importance of involving younger generations, stressing the applicability of conservation to everyday life, and suggesting use of alternative communication forms like music and theatre. Participants agreed upon the importance of:

•  listening, rather than hammering down concepts;

•  timely communication;

•  getting the message across to communication and education professionals;

•  starting at an entry point relevant to the stakeholders involved;

•  promoting protected areas as a confluence for development and environmental objectives; and

•  stressing mutual interests in the natural resources concerned.

Participants also shared practical experiences, noting challenges regarding: reconciling local interests and political objectives; training new generations of educators; using local languages; integrating biodiversity concepts into “life skill education” in existing school curricula; and encouraging the incorporation of biodiversity concerns into demand-driven official development aid.

Recommendations: In plenary, Ginguld said this workshop aimed to improve the role of communication and education in promoting environmental considerations in development cooperation programmes. He highlighted the workshop’s recommendations, including the need to:

•  apply communication and learning approaches to remove barriers between the environment, development and other sectors; and

•  provide greater attention to capacity building and learning of young people, stakeholders and professionals to increase their capacity to deliver on sustainable development over the long term.

He said participants recommended that the EU:

•  stimulate the creation of and support for multi-stakeholder platforms for dialogue and collaborative action in partnership between development and environment communities at various levels; and

•  support individual and institutional capacity building for sustainable development, and support integration of biodiversity conservation and environmental awareness into relevant education and training.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES: This workshop was co-chaired by Princess Basma Bin Ali, Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, and Olav Kjørven, Director, Energy and Environment Group, UNDP, and was moderated by William Jackson, Director, Global Programme, IUCN. Opening speeches were followed by a panel on national experiences and a discussion.

Workshop Co-Chair Bin Ali presented the specific objectives of the workshop, namely: identifying useful approaches from integration of sound environmental management in poverty reduction strategy papers; exploring environmental and other challenges for the national development strategies called for in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit; and considering the EU’s response options.

Aboubacry Demba Lom, Director, National Planning and Coordination with Regional Planning, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Senegal, stressed the importance of establishing information systems, capacity building and awareness campaigns.

Leif John Fosse, Department for International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment, Norway, underlined community conservation as particularly important in countries with poor governance and stressed that the MDGs are unattainable without local action.

Blandina Ceche, Division of Poverty Eradication, Office of the Vice President of Tanzania, identified the need for: capacity building; research and analytic work on ecosystem services; and local awareness raising.

Valmir Ortega, Director of Ecosystems, Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Renewable Resources, highlighted economic benefits generated by ecotourism.

Jan-Peter Schemmel, German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ), stated that strategic environmental assessments are suitable for local-level planning and achievement of strong stakeholder ownership, and stressed the need for capacity building at the local level.

Abdullahi Majeed, Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Water, Maldives, provided an overview of how his country is addressing biodiversity in the national development plan and across sectors.

Sally Nicholson, WWF European Policy Office, called for EU member States to adopt a harmonized approach to implementing the new guidelines on European cooperation.

In ensuing discussions, participants addressed: the importance of economic information on ecosystem services; pricing the impacts of environmental degradation; and the need to focus on the rural poor and the local level.

Recommendations: Workshop Co-Chair Olav Kjørven presented to plenary the recommendations of the workshop participants, namely, that the integration of environment into poverty reduction and development be supported through, inter alia:

•  improved information systems and knowledge management about the links between environment and development, accessible at all levels;

•  greater support to approaches, experiences and tools that work;

•  greater recognition of the value of integrating environment and development at the local level, with better integration of the environment in macroeconomic and fiscal policy at all appropriate levels;

•  more friendly administrative rules and procedures of the EC and EU member States; and

•  greater engagement from international and national development NGOs and the conservation community.

CHALLENGES FOR PRESENT AID MODALITIES: This workshop aimed at bettering the use of existing tools for integration of biodiversity into development cooperation programmes. The workshop was chaired by Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office.

Presentations were made by: Iola Leal Riesco, Coordinator, Development Cooperation, EC Forest Platform; Jean-Paul Ledant, Coordinator, Environment Integration in EC Development Cooperation, Agreco; and Rémy Paris, Strategic Management of Development Cooperation Division, Development Cooperation Directorate, OECD.

A case study on Somalia was presented by Chihneyo Mvori, Regional Focal Point for East Africa-IUCN regional Office for Eastern Africa-Kenya, and Edmund Barrow, Coordinator Forest Conservation and Social Policy IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Africa-Kenya.

A round table was then held with the following speakers: Hans Wessels, Head, Section Natural Resources and Ecosystems, Directorate Environment and Water, Ministry of Development Cooperation, the Netherlands; Maria Berlekom, Programme Coordinator, Swedish International Biodiversity Programme; Simon Le Grand, Administrator, DG Development, EC; Juan Jose Echanove, Project Officer, delegation of the EC, the Philippines; Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Regional Director for Asia; and Matti Nummelin, Finnish Development Agency.

Recommendations: In plenary, Johanna Phillips, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, presented workshop participants’ general recommendations, including to:

•  ensure greater funding flexibility by granting smaller amounts;

•  consider funding mechanisms for biodiversity challenges;

•  improve support for regional projects;

•  improve the implementation of existing commitments and instruments, such as the CBD;

•  strengthen civil society in development dialogues; and

•  appoint an ombudsman or contact for partner countries to address constraints or issues.

She said participants recommended that the EU:

•  complete the implementation manual by the end of 2006;

•  recognize the cost of mainstreaming biodiversity;

•  increase and improve internal environmental capacity;

•  systematically mainstream ecosystem services and biodiversity issues in support of productive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, transport, and infrastructure, including through the use of strategic environmental assessments;

•  make country environmental profiles public and available;

•  strengthen reporting and tracking mechanisms for biodiversity;

•  develop a framework for indicators for the EC to monitor its own progress; and

•  support partner countries in developing quantifiable indicators to monitor environmental conditions and ensure full integration with existing national economic and social indicators to inform national and sectoral policy planning.

She said workshop participants also called on:

•  partner countries to develop appropriate country environmental profiles to help raise the profile of environmental and biodiversity issues and opportunities;

•  donors to enhance coherence of their activities at all levels; and

•  NGOs and donors to support the effective participation of local communities whose livelihoods depend on biodiversity in policy and planning at the relevant level.

GOVERNANCE AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT: This workshop was moderated by Mohhammad Rafiq, Head, Business and Biodiversity Programme, IUCN. The workshop aimed to explore how stakeholders can be mobilized and institutions strengthened in support of sustainable development and achieving the MDGs.

Presentations were made by: Olivier Behra, Director, Man and the Environment, Madagascar; Vladimir Bocharnikov, Information Officer, Project “Indigenous peoples’ Network for Change;” Rosalia Arteaga, Executive Secretary, Amazon Cooperation Treaty, and former President of Ecuador; and Paul Mitchell, Secretary General, International Council on Mining and Metals.

Recommendations: Juan Marco Alvarez, SalvaNatura – El Salvador, stated in plenary that the workshop participants called on the EU to:

•  invest in research in clarifying stakeholders’ roles and institutionalize these roles;

•  invest in expanding and strengthening civil society in partner countries to be equal partners;

•  demonstrate leadership in developing a better understanding of the causes of failures of the “aid promise,” develop clear and transparent rules for the allocation and use of development funds, and ensure necessary institutional capacity at both ends;

•  provide leadership and means for partner countries to create a level playing field for business to be an effective partner in delivering conservation;

•  invest in strengthening civil society’s understanding of business to enhance prospects for public-private partnerships;

•  allocate part of its development aid in each region or country into a fund that civil society and governments can draw on to leverage additional funding for conservation and sustainable development from the private sector and other sources; and

•  use and strengthen indigenous knowledge.

INNOVATIVE FINANCIAL MECHANISMS: This workshop was chaired by Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Regional Vice President and Director of Conservation International’s Mexico and Central America Program and former Minister for Environment, Water and Industry, Costa Rica. It was moderated by Mattias von Bechtolsheim, Sector Specialist, Natural Resources and Agriculture – KfW Banking Group. Two case studies were followed by panel presentations.

Leon Rajaobelina, Vice President, Conservation International - Madagascar, and Jean Paul Paddack, West Indian Ocean Programme Officer, WWF Madagascar, described the creation of a trust fund for protected areas and biodiversity in Madagascar.

Samuel Sangüenza, Executive Director, National Environment Fund of Ecuador, described the use of trust funds for financing national parks in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: the EU’s absence in endowment funds; funding for sustainable use; incentives for biodiversity conservation; debt swapping as a means to finance trust funds; and administrative costs of trust funds.

Denis Loyer, Head of Environment and Natural Resources Division, French Development Agency, suggested reintroducing loans to finance profitable projects, and stated that business plans give credibility and visibility to projects.

Noting that trust funds are not new mechanisms, Hans Wessels, Head, Natural Resources and Ecosystems Management, Ministry of Development Cooperation, the Netherlands, called for innovative mechanisms that engage the private sector and for the identification of clients to pay for ecosystem services.

Grethel Aguilar, Coordinator, Environmental Impact Assessment Project, IUCN Meso-American Regional Office, noted that international cooperation is diminishing in some countries and called for innovative instruments that will enable developing countries to fund their conservation initiatives.

Robert Tippmann, Coordinator of Policy Advisory Services, Ecosecurities, said an international regulatory framework under the CBD is needed to mobilize additional resources for ecosystem services payment schemes that are not restricted to carbon projects or voluntary measures.

Duncan Marsh, The Nature Conservancy, supported carrying out pilot projects on linking avoided deforestation and climate change.

Tatiana van Lier, Nationale Postcode Loterÿ, explained that this Dutch lottery gives 50% of its profits to human rights and environmental charities.

Pablo Gutman, Senior Policy Officer, Macroeconomics for Sustainable Development Program Office, WWF US, called for bringing together the interests of the rural poor and of the conservation movement.

Recommendations: In plenary, Hans Friederich, Head, Conservation Finance and Donor Relations, IUCN, noted the workshop participants’ call for sustainable, innovative financing, stressing that a larger share of existing financing should be directed towards environmental and biodiversity objectives.

Among the group’s recommendations, he highlighted the need to:

•  promote the creation of environmental funds where possible, and explore the possibilities for overseas development assistance (ODA) contributing to them;

•  mainstream environment in development cooperation, taking into account other policy issues such as agriculture, trade, and fisheries, and making connections between poverty reduction and conservation; and

•  promote market-based instruments and create successful public-private partnerships where recipient governments, ODA and business find synergy and opportunities for collaboration.

TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION: This workshop was chaired by Alain Lipietz, European Parliament Member. He listed trade, development and environment as key issues for the European Parliament, with regulation regimes as a major focus for governments and civil society.

Kamal Gueye, Programme Manager, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), gave a keynote speech on behalf of Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, ICTSD Director, explaining that ICTSD has analyzed declining fish stocks and forest areas as biodiversity losses due to trade problems. He noted that only six out of 60 EU Country Strategy Papers contain environmental analyses, and only three include strategic environmental assessments. He argued that public opinion strongly supports environmental analysis and said ICTSD recommends intervention modalities to: prevent and mitigate adverse environmental impacts of trade; reduce adverse impacts of environmental and safety measures on trade; and use trade measures and development cooperation to achieve environmental policy goals.

Sophie des Clers, University of London, stated that fisheries agreements in West Africa have not generally addressed biodiversity concerns.

Papa Samba Diouf, WWF Senegal, noted possible conflicts between World Trade Organization rules and EU fisheries agreements with African coastal States, and discussed the biodiversity impacts of overfishing.

José Parajuá Aranda, Managing Director, Cluster of Fishing Companies in Third Countries, Spain, argued that salinity, climate change and pollution are as important as overfishing in causing the decline of fisheries stocks.

Saskia Ozinga, Coordinator, Trade and Investment Issues and Forest Peoples, Forest and EU Resource Network, noted that biodiversity conservation rarely goes together with international cooperation because of weak legislation and governance, corruption, and lack of public participation and law enforcement.

Joaquim Machado, Director, Governmental Affairs on Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Syngenta, described farming practices in Brazil that address concerns related to soil and water losses, and deforestation.

Sebastien Risso, EU Policy Officer Forests and Trade, Greenpeace Europe, noted that EU policies have not always incorporated environmental protection, and called on the EU to reduce its ecological footprint by decreasing consumption.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, IUCN Regional Director for Latin America, promoted multifunctionality as a key concept for biodiversity and urged the EU to maintain subsidies to conserve biodiversity for its ecosystem services.

Walter Kennes, EC Director General for Development, said the EC is now mainstreaming environment in development programmes, although their primary mission is poverty alleviation.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: multifunctionality as a means of conserving biodiversity; agricultural subsidies as distortions in both trade and development programmes; the need for ecosystem service analysis and internalizing the externalities of production; the problems of restricting trade by certification; and asymmetries in trade negotiations between the EU and its trading partners.

Recommendations: In plenary, workshop Co-Chair Lipietz summarized discussions on various impacts of trade on biodiversity, and how to manage these, stressing coherence between trade, economic and development cooperation in support of sustainable development. He called for a clear division of responsibilities, noting that trade regulations are ineffective if there are loopholes and if enforcement is lacking.

On participation, capacities and information, he said workshop participants stressed that:

•  biodiversity can only be defended with active social participation;

•  national capacity building is needed to promote sustainable development through trade; and

•  international trade can put excessive pressure on living resources or induce ecosystem change. Trade agreements must therefore be preceded and accompanied by integrated assessments and must be compatible with the CBD.

On protecting and valuing biodiversity in trade, he said workshop participants recommended that:

•  measures to protect biodiversity, such as quotas or prohibitions, be accompanied by legal measures to ensure their enforcement;

•  certification not be optional, and the public be informed and involved in the standard-setting process;

•  all subsidies that encourage production harmful to biodiversity be eliminated;

•  the non-market value of biodiversity be recognized and eco-compatible uses, such as ecotourism, carbon sequestration, and community intellectual property rights be promoted; and

•  global or inter-regional trade agreements promote high environmental and social standards and avoid unfair competition.

OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES: This workshop was co-chaired by Willem Ferwerda, IUCN Netherlands Committee, and Jean-Marc Michel, Director of Nature and Landscape, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, France.

In a keynote address, Kalli de Meijer, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, highlighted that although the EU’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) span all of the world’s oceans and include many biological hotspots, they receive relatively little attention and funding. She called for: improving EU policy frameworks and legislation to address OCT-specific issues; mainstreaming OCTs in EU policies and existing EU projects; and increasing finances for biodiversity conservation in OCTs, including through small grants.

Josianne Irissin-Mangata, Regional Council of Réunion Island, introduced the European Research Area Network, a joint research programme on sustainable development in OCTs.

Mike Pienkowski, Chairman, UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, highlighted Environmental Charters signed between the UK and some of its OCTs, which set out guiding principles and concrete undertakings by both parties to promote sustainability.

Pascale Joannot, National Natural History Museum, France, outlined efforts undertaken under the Coral Reef Initiative in the South Pacific to: establish marine protected areas; develop knowledge, protection, restoration and valuation of ecosystems; generate funding; and promote communication among stakeholders.

Asii Chemnitz Narup, Minister of Health and Environment, Greenland, called for increased assistance to OCTs to facilitate: OCTs’ access to EU environmental programmes; development of concrete environmental action plans; and increased funding for education and communication. She drew attention to the serious impact of climate change on Greenland’s economy and culture, stressing the global consequences of its melting icecap, and highlighted indigenous peoples’ concerns.

Corinne Desforges, Assistant-Director of Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Overseas Territories, France, outlined her country’s efforts to establish national parks in its OCTs.

Régis Dick, WWF France, described WWF’s OCT biodiversity awareness-raising programme.

Stéphane Verwilghen, DG Development, EC, outlined EC initiatives on OCTs, noting that EU legislation applies to Outermost Regions (ORs) but not to OCTs. He announced the tenth phase of the European Development Fund (EDF) (2008-2014), highlighting the EC’s commitment to cooperate with OCTs to better integrate OCT issues in actions under the EDF.

Etienne Coyette, DG Environment, EC, said OCTs’ access to EC programmes remains under discussion, noting that all action has to be channeled through geographically coordinated programmes.

Georges Handerson, Minister of Sustainable Development, French Polynesia, called for increased funding for research programmes in the Pacific region and coordination to address transboundary environmental issues.

Participants stressed the need for: increased regional cooperation between different OCTs as well as between OCTs and international organizations; synergies between territorial and regional cooperation and between different EU policies; an improved political framework within the EC to address OCT issues; increased funding and research; mainstreaming policies for OCTs; and increasing focus on ways to increase the EU’s profile internationally through their OCTs.

Recommendations: In plenary, workshop Co-Chair Ferwerda said workshop participants concluded that:

•  the EC and its member States should increase their efforts to assume their special responsibilities towards OCTs;

•  OCTs harbor a significant amount of the world’s biodiversity, and are of global importance in terms of the ecosystem services they provide, particularly in mitigating the effects of climate change;

•  there is a dramatic lack of proper EU funding and strategy, while OCTs also lack access to global funds; and

•  OCTs provide a huge potential added value for research and action on climate change and biodiversity.

He said recommendations to the EC and member States include to:

•  develop a coherent framework for the environment in OCTs, aiming at, inter alia, sustainable management of important biodiversity areas, and also allowing joint efforts with ORs as they are the entities with the most similar stakes within the EU;

•  ensure that adequate funding is given to environment and biodiversity in the OCTs, including improved access to European programmes for local bodies and NGOs in coordination with the local authorities, and establishment of an outsourced small grants facility;

•  develop joint research programmes focusing on the biodiversity of OCTs and ORs, and also strengthen joint efforts with regional partner countries; and

•  strengthen both the OCTs and the EU positions in the international debate on climate change, making use of the worldwide and diverse network of OCTs and ORs to evaluate interactions between ecosystems, climate change and local communities.

THE MESSAGE FROM PARIS

The Message from Paris was presented on Thursday morning in plenary by James Leape, Director General, WWF International. It was compiled from the workshop recommendations by a drafting committee composed of the Conference’s chairs and will be presented to Finland, which holds the current EU Presidency. The Message consists of an introduction, four challenges and a conclusion. Further to comments received in plenary, the Message’s challenges were slightly amended and read on Thursday afternoon by William Jackson, World Programme, IUCN.

The introduction, entitled “From Commitments to Action,” notes the decline in biodiversity and its adverse impacts on development programmes, half of which are funded by the EU. It alludes to the EU 2010 goal to halt biodiversity loss, and the OECD and EU commitments to support environmental considerations in development programmes.

Challenge 1, “Supporting Mainstreaming in Partner Counties,” urges EC and EU member States to support partnerships with developing countries that:

•  promote sustainable development using biodiversity as an asset to reduce rural poverty;

•  develop and use innovative financial mechanisms for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and poverty reduction;

•  strengthen efforts of civil societies, particularly local communities and indigenous peoples, to integrate environment and development; and

•  integrate environmental issues in poverty reduction strategy papers with monitoring to ensure they turn policy into action.

Challenge 2, “Governance,” calls for equitable, transparent and effective government systems for poverty reduction and conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, operating from international to local levels, to empower local communities and indigenous peoples to control natural resources. It calls for the EC and EU member States to:

•  incorporate effective measures in EC Country Strategy Papers and sector policies;

•  strengthen policies and institutions that support recognition of rural and indigenous peoples’ rights to manage and benefit from natural resources; and

•  systematically seek inputs from civil society, particularly poor and indigenous peoples.

Challenge 3, “Instruments and Policy Coherence,” refers to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and calls for further mainstreaming of environment in development policies. It urges EC and EU member States to:

•  support systematic use of strategic environmental assessments in support of mainstreaming;

•  improve coherence between EU development policies and economic partnerships agreements in relation to development, trade, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, transport and infrastructure;

•  provide leadership in creating conditions where business can be an effective partner in conservation and development;

•  support knowledge development and participative research on productivity of agricultural services through increased use of biodiversity;

•  act on market demand to reduce the ecological footprint of trade and consumption on the world’s forest and ocean resources; and

•  work at an international level to reform global government and strengthen UNEP, multilateral environmental agreements and their enforcement mechanisms.

Challenge 4, “Recognition of Biodiversity in Overseas Countries and Territories,” urges the EU to develop a coherent framework for environment in OCTs to promote sustainable management of biodiversity areas, including adequate funding mechanisms.

The conclusion, entitled “The Way Forward,” refers to the 2010 biodiversity target in relation to the MDG framework to promote mainstreaming of biodiversity in development, and urges the Finnish EU Presidency to transmit the Message from Paris to the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council in December 2006. It further encourages the EC and the European Parliament to discuss and act on the 2006 EC Communication “Halting the Loss of Biodiversity in 2010 and Beyond.”

A list of 37 recommendations stemming from the eight workshops held during the BEDC Conference is annexed to the Message.

CLOSING

CLOSING WITH ACTION – A 2010 COMMITMENT: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon, and was chaired by Tamas Marghescu, Regional Director for Europe, IUCN. He underlined the importance of awareness raising and communication about the need to halt biodiversity loss.

Jan-Erik Enestam, Minister of Environment, Finland, noted that nature provides food, water, fuel and shelter to billions of people, and that while biodiversity conservation can improve the quality of human life, it continues to decline. He outlined some of the actions Finland will undertake to bring the agreed commitments to action, highlighting the signing of an agreement with Peru in support of the protection of Amazonian biodiversity.

José Salazar García, Minister of Agriculture, Peru, noted the rising awareness about the need to certify companies that export wood and food products in his country but stressed the need for more work in linking biodiversity conservation and development. He welcomed Finland’s support in conserving Amazonian biodiversity and invited other countries of the region to learn from the successes of the project.

Rosalia Arteaga, Executive Secretary, Amazon Cooperation Treaty, and former President of Ecuador, stressed that six out of the eight Amazonian countries are megadiverse and that most of their inhabitants live in poverty. Noting that the region is a victim of biopiracy, she underscored the potential of medical applications of biodiversity research.

CLOSING SPEECHES – A REFLECTION ON THE OUTCOMES: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by Ibrahim Thiaw, Acting Director, IUCN.

Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, EC, asserted that nothing is more important than stopping biodiversity losses, and that business as usual is not an option since the rate of these losses is accelerating. He noted that EU policies, including development and economic policies, must include biodiversity to support attainment of the MDGs on poverty eradication, health and water. He called on developing countries to integrate biodiversity into development plans and said actions must be taken on: trade liberalization to remove subsidies for agriculture and fisheries; economic analysis to value ecosystem services; innovation in approaches on climate change and forests; and EU funding for biodiversity.

Jan-Erik Enestam, Minister of Environment, Finland, stressed that in order to accelerate the mainstreaming of biodiversity into development policies, an enhanced knowledge base is needed at all levels, in developed as well as developing countries. He encouraged developing countries to improve the political and administrative frameworks of environmental issues, and called for increased political strength and long-term vision. He also called for enhanced coherence in EU policies and for EU assistance to developing countries to implement existing global environmental agreements. Lauding Countdown 2010 as an effective platform to share information and experiences, and as a framework for action, he pledged Finland’s commitment to ensure that future EU decisions reflect the Message from Paris.

Nelly Olin, Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, France, cautioned against short-term decision making and conflicts between environment and development objectives. She reaffirmed France’s commitment to sustainable development and international cooperation, and outlined its national biodiversity strategy. She commended IUCN for its successes in drawing public attention, initiating fieldwork and practical actions, and advising decision makers, and highlighted progress achieved with regard to an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity.

Thiaw closed the conference at 5:30 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

31ST MEETING OF THE CMS STANDING COMMITTEE: The 31st meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on Migratory Species will take place in Bonn, Germany, 28-29 September 2006. For more information, contact: NEP/CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2401 / 02; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: secretariat@cms.int; Internet: http://www.cms.int

54TH MEETING OF THE CITES STANDING COMMITTEE: This meeting will take place from 2-6 October 2006, in Geneva, Switzerland, and is being organized by the CITES Secretariat. For more information, contact: CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: cites@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/calendar.shtml

FIRST INTER-AMERICAN MEETING OF MINISTERS AND HIGH-LEVEL AUTHORITIES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will be held from 5-6 October, 2006, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, and is organized by the Organization of American States (OAS). Participants will identify and advance concrete partnerships at the regional and hemispheric level to integrate environmental considerations into development, poverty alleviation, social and economic policies. The meeting will take into account progress in implementing sustainable development and identify specific opportunities for cooperation among OAS member States. For more information, contact: Joaquin Tamayo, OAS; tel: +202-458-3506; fax: +202-458-3560; e-mail: JTamayo@oas.org; Internet: http://www.oas.org/dsd/MinisterialMeeting/ReunionInterAm_eng_v1.htm

INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEFS INITIATIVE: The International Coral Reefs Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting will be held in Cozumel, Mexico, from 22 to 23 October, 2006. For more information, contact: ICRI Secretariat at UNEP-WCMC, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL; e-mail: icri@unep-wcmc.org; Internet: http://www.unep-wcmc.org

FIRST WORLD CONGRESS ON COMMUNICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT: This congress is jointly organized by FAO, the World Bank and the Communication Initiative, and will be held in Rome from 25-27 October 2006 at FAO headquarters. For more information, contact: FAO Secretariat; tel: +39-6-57051; fax: +39-6-570-53152; e-mail: fao-hq@fao.org; Internet: http://wwww.fao.org

66TH IUCN COUNCIL MEETING: This meeting will be held from 6-8 November 2006, at IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Fiona Hanson, Council Affairs Unit; fax: +41 22 999 0020; e-mail: fiona.hanson@iucn.org; Internet: http://www.iucn.org

THE 10TH APEID INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: LEARNING TOGETHER FOR TOMORROW: EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:  This event will take place from 6-8 December, 2006, in Bangkok, Thailand. The Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), UNESCO Bangkok, is convening this Conference, which will emphasize the importance of education to address pressing issues facing our society today and to help find solutions to ensure a future that balances societal, economic, environmental and cultural needs. For more information, contact: APEID; tel: +66-2-3910577; fax: +66-2-3910866; e-mail: apeidconf@unescobkk.org; Internet: http://www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=4276

3RD FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS CONFERENCE: ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND DEVELOPMENT - ANALYZING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REDUCING POVERTY: This meeting will take place from 14-16 December, 2006, in India. This meeting is organized by the Institut Veolia Environnement (IVE), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relationships (IDDRI). For more information, contact: Ulka Kelkar, TERI India; e-mail: eed@teri.res.in; Internet: http://www.teriin.org/events_inside.php_id_17298

FIFTEENTH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-15):  This event is scheduled to take place from 30 April to 11 May, 2007, in New York, US. CSD-15 will build on the �review year� discussions at CSD-14, focusing on �policy� options for energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, and climate change. For more information, contact: Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; tel: +1-212-963-8102; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/policy.htm

14TH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO CITES: This meeting will take place from 3 -15 June 2007, in The Hague, The Netherlands, and is being organized by the CITES Secretariat. For more information contact: CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: cites@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/calendar.shtml

BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL COP/MOP-4 AND CBD COP-9: This conference will take place in 2008, in a German city to be determined. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org
 

The Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation 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 Alice Bisiaux, Nienke Beintema, and William McPherson, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Reem Hajjar <reem@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 IUCN - The World Conservation Union. 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 (HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the IISD RS 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 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.