Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation Conference
19-21 September 2006 | Paris, France

IISD's Summary

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Web coverage:
Tuesday, 19 September - Wednesday, 20 September - Thursday, 21 September
The message from Paris

The Message from Paris was presented by James Leape, Director General, WWF International on Thursday morning. It was compiled from workshop recommendations 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.

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

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 PSRPs with monitoring to insure 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 the poor and indigenous peoples.

Challenge 3, “Instruments and Policy Coherence,” refers to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005 and calls for more mainstreaming of environment in development policies. It urges EC and EU member States to:

make full use of opportunities presented by instruments such as budget support and SWAPs to advance mainstreaming of environmental concerns in development;

support systematic use of SEAs in support of mainstreaming; improve coherence between EU development policies and ECAs 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 worlds forest and ocean resources; and

work at an international level to reform global government and strengthening UNEP, MEAs 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, titled “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 EU Finnish 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 “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.

Web coverage:
Tuesday, 19 September - Wednesday, 20 September - Thursday, 21 September
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