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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Events convened on 27 October 2010 | Nagoya, Japan

CBD COP 10 - Side Events

(click on the following links to see our daily web pages)

Monday, 18 October | Tuesday, 19 October

Wednesday, 20 October | Thursday, 21 October

Friday, 22 October | Monday, 25 October

Tuesday, 26 October | Wednesday, 27 October

Thursday, 28 October
| Friday, 29 October

Late nights at the COP 10 venue.

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Identifying Impacts and Planning Adaptive Management Responses to Climate Change

Presented by BirdLife International and the MacArthur Foundation

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L-R: Hum Gurung, CEO, Bird Conservation Nepal; Jorgen Thomsen, MacArthur Foundation; Colin McQuistan, WWF Greater Mekong Region; Alex Ngari, Conservation Manager, Nature Kenya; and Ken Mwathe, Birdlife Africa Partnership Secretariat.

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Jorgen Thomsen, MacArthur Foundation, noted that BirdLife International has always been an important partner in the Foundation’s work. He highlighted the Foundation’s support for BirdLife International’s work in the Mekong region, a partnership he said he hopes will continue. He added that the Foundation also hopes to find ways to scale up the work so that it could relate to policy change not only in the Mekong, but also in the rest of the world.

On the projected impacts of climate change on bird distribution and other biodiversity, Hum Gurung, CEO, Bird Conservation Nepal, said goals of the project include assessing impacts of climate change in the Eastern Himalayas and Lower Mekong region and building the capacity of partner institutions. He highlighted that future climate change impacts include a decrease in the number of bird species due to shrinking habitats, stressing that sharing knowledge and experience is vital to mitigate this situation.

Outlining aspects of adaptive management planning in Africa, Ken Mwathe, Birdlife Africa Partnership Secretariat, described modeling work undertaken to predict future climate impacts. He said management actions include: maintaining ecosystems and habitats’ optimal conditions; mitigating threats and restoring habitats; and creating migratory corridors.

Colin McQuistan, WWF Greater Mekong Region, highlighted existing pressures in the region, including habitat loss, wildlife trade and poorly planned infrastructures. He underscored that there is a lot of natural capital in the region, but that most of it is transboundary in nature. He highlighted challenges to carrying out the WWF Greater Mekong Region’s climate change assessments, including knowledge gaps in climate change impacts and lack of tools and techniques. He stressed the need for integrated planning mechanisms and increased coordination and cooperation.

On the benefits of ecosystem-based approaches, Alex Ngari, Nature Kenya, presented a case study on a local conservation approach on the Kikuyu Escarpment in Kenya. He said the approach emphasized local community partnerships, agro-forestry, crop and livestock diversification and ecotourism. Benefits of this approach, he noted, include that it is cost-effective and locally manageable.

Rodrigo Fuentes, Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, stressed the need to ensure that local-level activities are understood at a policy level.

Jorgen Thomsen, MacArthur Foundation, explained that the MacArthur Foundation has contributed over US$20 million to support climate change projects with a focus on adaption since 2006, when adaption was like “declaring defeat on climate change.”

Colin McQuistan, WWF Greater Mekong Region

Alex Ngari, CEO, Conservation Manager, Nature Kenya




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Steppes and Deserts of Eurasia:
A Refuge for Migratory Species

Presented by UNEP and the Convention on Migratory Species
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Elizabeth Mrema, CMS Executive Secretary, stated that although Eurasian steppes and deserts are considered void of biodiversity, these ecosystems harbor an abundance of plants, animals, landscapes and biogeographic zones.

Marceil Yeater, CITES

This event outlined the importance of biodiversity conservation in Eurasia’s steppes and deserts, particularly for migratory species.

Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), explained that the Eurasian steppe and desert ecosystems comprise the world’s largest interconnected landscape. Noting that there are few barriers to migration, she stressed the importance of preserving the region’s integrity for protecting migratory species.

Melanie Virtue, CMS, informed that Central Asian deserts are one of the most underrepresented eco-regions in the global protected areas network, with only 2% protected. She described CMS instruments relevant to the region, including encouraging range States to list threatened species from CMS Appendices that would benefit from action.

Crawford Prentice, International Crane Foundation, outlined a UNEP/GEF project to secure the ecological integrity of a transboundary network of wetlands needed for the survival of the Siberian crane. He said the project helped lead to the establishment of a new World Heritage Site in northern Kazakhstan and four new Ramsar sites, as well as upgrading the conservation status of protected areas and expanding size along flyways.

Anada Tiega, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention, emphasized that wetland conservation in deserts is critical because life concentrates around wetlands. He highlighted the need for a network of sites that are representative of the different wetland types that sustain migratory species.

Simba Chan, BirdLife International, Asia, described BirdLife International’s work in identifying Important Bird Areas in the Eurasian drylands. He said information on birds can help to identify potential protected area sites.

Marceil Yeater, CITES, argued that the trade of species can contribute to conservation and development if it is well-regulated. She outlined new work under CITES to control trade related to the saiga antelope.

Thomas Tennhardt, Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU), noted that the saiga population dropped from 1.25 million to 30,000 following the Soviet Union’s collapse. He outlined NABU’s activities to protect the saiga, including the distribution of 25,000 children’s textbooks on the saiga in hotspots in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Melanie Virtue, Convention on Migratory Species

Crawford Prentice, International Crane Foundation

Anada Tiega, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention

Thomas Tennhardt, Nature and Biodiversity Union

Simba Chan, BirdLife International, Asia



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Poverty Alleviation and Biodiversity Conservation

Presented by Japan International Cooperation Agency
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L-R: Takahisa Kusano, JICA; Luis Suárez, Conservation International, Ecuador; Yam Malla, Executive Director, Center for People and Forests Bangkok, Thailand; and Girma Amente, Director General of Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise, Ethiopia.

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This event highlighted the contribution of biodiversity conservation to poverty alleviation through showcasing examples in Malaysia, Ethiopia, Nepal and Ecuador.

Noting that the poor depend heavily on the natural environment, Shinya Ejima, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), emphasized that changes to the environment can negatively impact livelihoods and that therefore JICA places human security at the heart of their efforts.

Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, provided the keynote speech, emphasizing that if governments are able to contribute to poverty alleviation through biodiversity conservation, access and benefit sharing and sustainable resource use, then their job has been accomplished.

Girma Amente, Director General of Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise, Ethiopia, described how a participatory forest management project in Belete-Gera Forest in Ethiopia has helped halt deforestation, thereby contributing to biodiversity conservation and improving the livelihoods of local communities. He explained that this was accomplished through a forest-coffee certification programme.

Yam Malla, Executive Director, Center for People and Forests Bangkok, Thailand, highlighted an example of community forestry in Nepal, saying community forestry is a practical strategy for ensuring human security and creating a sustainable environment. To work, Malla highlighted the need for, inter alia: an enabling policy and law that provides secure land tenure, rights to use and benefit from the forest; and simple management plans.

Luis Suárez, Executive Director, Conservation International, Ecuador, outlined Socio Bosque, a national conservation agreement in Ecuador between the government and forest owners. He said the agreement aims to reduce deforestation rates and associated greenhouse gas emissions and improve the living conditions of the poorest 1 million people. He added that the agreement provides a direct yearly monetary incentive per hectare of forest conserved.

Eduardo Mansur, ITTO, summarized the discussions, highlighting: the vulnerability of humans due to their dependency on biodiversity; the links between biodiversity, economic strength and development; and community benefit as a key to conservation.

Luis Suárez, Conservation International, Ecuador

Girma Amente, Director General of Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise, Ethiopia

Highlighting the terms poverty reduction, mitigation and eradication, Takahisa Kusano, JICA, said poverty alleviation has been treated like a social disease without a remedy. He said the vital link between biodiversity and human life is the cure.

Yam Malla, Executive Director, Center for People and Forests Bangkok, Thailand


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Accelerated Local Solutions to Global Biodiversity Challenges

Presented by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
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L-R: Event organizer assistant; Imma Mayol, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona; Bonnie James, Environment Canada; Andrew Rudd, UN-HABITAT; Kobie Brand, ICLEI; Hans Friedrich, IUCN.

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David Cadman, President, ICLEI, explained that the event would launch two ICLEI-LAB guidebooks on biodiversity management for local governments.

Bonnie James, Environment Canada, lauded CBD COP 10 for increasing its focus on cities. She stressed the importance of local authorities’ involvement for effective implementation of the CBD and noted that the two guidebooks can make this task easier.

Hans Friedrich, IUCN, highlighted that all stakeholders must be involved in conservation, including urban authorities. He noted that the IUCN Europe office has a number of activities underway that are focused on local authorities, including “Green Capitals of Europe” and “European Capitals of Biodiversity.”

Imma Mayol, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Spain, emphasized the importance of biodiversity partnerships, communication and public awareness for achieving CBD objectives and conserving urban ecosystems within the city. She also highlighted the need to engage with NGOs as they have experience, capacity and the ability to mobilize citizens for biodiversity conservation projects.

Highlighting that cities occupy 2% of the Earth’s surface, house 50% of its population and consume 75% of its resources, Andrew Rudd, UN-HABITAT, said cities cannot be reduced to a prescriptive formula. Acknowledging the link between poverty and biodiversity loss, he outlined UN-HABITAT’s programmes for addressing biodiversity conservation through capacity building with the Localizing Agenda 21 Programme and future collaboration with UNEP.

Oliver Hillel, CBD Secretariat, praised parties to the CBD for recognizing that sub-national and local authorities and institutions are imperative to implementing the CBD and for making collaboration with local and sub-national authorities a commitment of the Convention.

Kobie Brand, ICLEI, officially launched the publication on the role of national governance for conserving biodiversity.

Christine Alfsen-Norodom, UNESCO, announced the establishment of the URBIS Partnership at COP 10, which is a process through which sustainable management practices can be developed and disseminated.

Imma Mayol, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Spain, outlined a number of biodiversity conservation projects undertaken by the city of Barcelona, including: sustainable procurement policies; urban allotments; and artificial reef parks.

Bonnie James, Environment Canada


More Information:

Kobie Brand (Chair) <>
Andrew Rudd <>
Oliver Hillel <>
Christine Alfsen-Norodom <>


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Latin America and the Caribbean: A Biodiversity Superpower

Presented by UNDP
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L-R: Olav Kjørven, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP; Ginmardo Kromosoeto, Minister of Labour, Technology Development and Environment, Suriname; Marcos Vaz, NATURA; Andrew Mitchell, Director, Global Canopy Programme; and Antonio Brack-Egg, Minister of Environment, Peru.

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Chris Briggs, UNDP, explained that the side event would elaborate on the “Latin America and the Caribbean: A Biodiversity Superpower” Initiative, which demonstrates to policy makers the need to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem services into national strategies.

Olav Kjørven, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP, said Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) possesses vast natural capital, which can be a critical source of economic growth and poverty alleviation. He suggested that by reforming its development model to protect natural capital, the region can remain a biodiversity and ecosystems services superpower.

Kjørven announced that a major output of the Initiative is a report that will present concrete financial and economic benefits and costs to countries from implementing sustainable ecosystem management. He said the Executive Summary and Policy Brief are now available, while the full report will be launched in December 2010.

Ginmardo Kromosoeto, Minister of Labour, Technology Development and Environment, Suriname, emphasized that Suriname’s new government is committed to conserving biodiversity and will incorporate the Initiative’s findings where they align with national legislation and the country’s cultural context. He showcased case studies of biodiversity conservation in his country, including in wetlands, the World Heritage-listed Central Suriname Nature Reserve, and three multiple-use management areas.

Antonio Brack-Egg, Minister of Environment, Peru, stressed that LAC is a biodiversity superpower because of the genetic resources, contributions to food security and traditional knowledge associated with its biodiversity.

Marcos Vaz, NATURA, stated that NATURA, a cosmetics company, had identified biodiversity as a key driver for growth and made biodiversity conservation central to its strategic plan in 1998. He identified as reasons for doing so the potential for biodiversity to: respond to many of humankind’s ailments; and reduce the company’s expenses by providing renewable raw materials to replace non-renewable ones. Vaz urged policy makers to be proactive and pragmatic in developing a framework in which all companies use biodiversity sustainably.

Andrew Mitchell, Director, Global Canopy Programme, highlighted that while the current level of funding for biodiversity and ecosystem services is US$36-38 annually, the need is between US$100-300 billion. Noting that the bulk of this money comes from government and philanthropy, he argued that other sources must be tapped. He highlighted how some of the innovative sources described in his organization’s publication “The Little Biodiversity Finance Book” could help to bridge this gap.

Speaking on behalf of Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, a representative commended the Initiative, noting its importance for raising policy makers’ awareness around the need to integrate biodiversity into production functions. He emphasized that biodiversity is a primary safety net in particular for the region’s rural population, accounting for 89.9% of their total income in some areas. Noting that LAC could lead the world’s green economy, he cautioned that the region has a large number of threatened species.

Olav Kjørven, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP, said that to remain a global biodiversity superpower, Latin America and the Caribbean must lead the way in establishing “pro-life” economic and development policies.

Andrew Mitchell, Director, Global Canopy Programme, described the potential of various innovative financing mechanisms, including: natural capital bonds; water trusts; and “greening of commodities” using premiums or penalties for sustainable or unsustainable production.

Ginmardo Kromosoeto, Minister of Labour, Technology Development and Environment, Suriname



Related Links
CBD resources
*CBD website
*CBD COP 10 side event website
*CBD COP 10 website

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of CBD COP 8, 20-31 March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 8, 20-31 March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil
*IISD RS biodiversity and wildlife page
*Biodiversity-L - A mailing list for news on biodiversity and wildlife policy
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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