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published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat
A Special Report on Selected Side Events at CBD COP-8
20-31 March 2006 | Curitiba, Brazil
United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office
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Events convened on Friday, 24 March 2006

Incorporating Biodiversity into National Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Strategies: Lessons from Experience

Presented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, highlighted UNDP’s technical contribution in ensuring that biodiversity considerations are integrated into processes designed to achieve the MDGs, and its support towards meeting the objectives of the Convention.

Frank Pinto, UNDP, stressed the need to share lessons on how countries integrate biodiversity targets and commitments into national development plans and strategies that are designed to meet the MDGs. Pinto indicated that biodiversity conservation is a key development issue, more than a luxury restricted to wealthy countries, and that it is not an option, noting that it provides the “welfare system of last resort” for poor people and communities. He noted that UNDP recognizes the 2010 biodiversity target as a critical milestone towards achievement of related MDGs.

John Hough, UNDP, presented the MDGs, a set of eight time-bounded and measurable goals and targets agreed upon by the world leaders at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity in achieving all eight goals, not only MDG-7 (environmental sustainability). He stressed that embedding biodiversity in the national MDG strategies is likely to have more far-reaching impacts than sectoral National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), noting that countries committed at the 2005 World Summit to adopt and implement comprehensive MDG-based national development strategies by 2006.

Sharing lessons learned at the national level, a series of presentations delivered by government representatives from the Philippines, Brazil, Tanzania, Malaysia, Maldives and South Africa, emphasized the need for awareness as “people need to appreciate the benefits of biodiversity in ways that are meaningful to them”, further emphasizing that “the environment isn’t just trees” to illustrate linkages between poverty and environment.

Teresita S. Castillo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines, noted the need to further harmonize policies on use and conservation of biodiversity.

Paulo Kageyama, Ministry of Environment, Brazil, described actions taken such as the Brazilian Initiative for Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition, and the Central Initiative Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation of the Amazon.

Shaaban R. Mwinjaka, Division of Environment Vice President’s Office, Tanzania, described the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP).

Mohamad Bin Osman, National University of Malaysia, said MDG-7 is integrated into national development strategies, noting the need to ensure access to improved water sources in rural areas.

Ahmed Saleem, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Water, Maldives, noted his country’s extreme dependence on biodiversity and the specific challenges faced as one of the Small Island Developing States.

Leseho Sello, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, emphasized the need for an enabling environment legislative framework to incorporate biodiversity in national strategies.

Frank Pinto, UNDP, noted that experience from 160 countries where UNDP is working demonstrates that poverty and biodiversity are intimately linked, and unless biodiversity is integrated into other sectoral development plans, benefits from conservation cannot be accrued to the most needy
John Hough, UNDP, said “the MDGs are powerful targets and powerful players are striving to achieve them”, the same way, “the 2010 targets cannot be achieved without the engagement of powerful players”
Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, noted that the 2010 is a maximum priority for the Convention and the experience of the UNDP could be used to streamline this process, ensuring that MDGs efforts do not sideline environmental sustainability
From left to right: Leseho Sello, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, Ahmed Saleem, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Water, Maldives, Mohamad Bin Osman, National University of Malaysia, Paulo Kageyama, Ministry of Environment, Brazil, and Teresita S. Castillo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Philippines
Ahmed Djoghlaf <[email protected]>
Frank Pinto <[email protected]>
John Hough <[email protected]>
Teresita S. Castillo <[email protected]>
Paulo Kageyama <[email protected]>
Shaaban R. Mwinjaka <[email protected]>
Mohamad Bin Osman <[email protected]>
Ahmed Saleem <[email protected]>
Leseho Sello <[email protected]>

Wildlife Watching and Tourism

Presented by the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in collaboration with TUI

Micheal Iwand, TUI, challenged the assumption that a reduction in tourism numbers benefits nature. He said, the issue was the manner in which tourist activities are conducted, noting that such activities can provide a sound basis for conservation. He elaborated that business now has a new global multi-stakeholder model of governance and tourism which offers viable options for countries on the fringes of the global economy. He explained how TUI, a leading tourism group and a founding member of Friends of CMS, provides a global outreach for biological diversity and creates the necessary management tools to avoid risk.

Richard Tapper, CMS, discussed his findings in the “Wildlife Watching and Tourism Study” stating that tourism is growing and between 20-40% of all international tourists engage in wildlife watching. He also said that tourism only works if it offers the products that tourists want. He gave the examples of sea turtles in Brazil and the monarch butterfly model forest in Mexico as case studies for managing tourism. He added that evaluation of the effectiveness of tourist conservation projects is inadequate, and that it is necessary to understand the conditions which enhance the sustainability of tourism.

Richard Tapper, CMS, highlighted the benefits of wildlife watching tourism and also stressed the necessity of making the economic link to the resource value that tourism offers

Nicholas Entrup, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Germany, highlighted the opportunities and threats relating to whale watching. He elaborated on the “Out of the Blue” (OOTB) project aimed at laying down guidance for sustainable whale watching and narrated the experience in the Península Valdés in Argentina. He clarified that this approach promoted land-based observation, local community involvement and the creation of guidelines.

Paola Deda, CMS, called for improved understanding of the biology of watched species and the monitoring of the effects of tourism on them, improved guide training, evaluation of the conditions required for wildlife watching tourism to be a viable option, and improved planning and management of tourism in protected areas and wildlife viewing sites.

From left to right:Paola Deda, CMS, Michael Iwand, TUI-AG, Richard Tapper, CMS, Jochen Flasbarth, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, and Nick Nutall, UNEP
Jochen Flasbarth <[email protected]>
Michael Iwand <[email protected]>
Richard Tapper <[email protected]>
Nicholas Entrup <[email protected]>
Paola Deda <[email protected]>

Brazil-German Co-Operation on Biodiversity Research in the Mata Atlântica Region of Brazil

Presented by the German Ministry of Education and Research and the Brazilian National Council for Science and Technology

Prot von Kunow, Ambassador of Germany to Brazil, noted the longstanding research cooperation between Brazil and Germany. Ione Egler, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil, described the Biodiversity Research Program (PPBio), a research network with stations in each Brazilian biome, and noted links with the BIOTA-Africa project.

Ana Lúcia Stival da Silva, Brazil National Council for research and technology, described the evolution of the cooperation project.

Clóvis Borges, Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (SPVS), noted that less than 7% of Mata Atlântica forest remains, with intense population pressures and less than 1% protected, and noted the need for
protection tools and greater knowledge of threatened species. He described their partnership with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and described the long-term process of forest restoration, under the SOLOBIOMA project.

Jörg Römbke, ECT Germany, discussed the theoretical methods used for the project. He noted the importance of defining soil quality in order to protect it, as well as soil organism biodiversity, classification and assessment.

Hubert Höfer, State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe, Germany, presented the SOLOBIOMA project, and stressed the importance of equality in partnership, and the benefit of student exchanges, but lamented the paucity of published research regarding Paraná’s biodiversity.

Renato Marques, Federal University of Paraná, presented the Cachoeira Project, noting the limited amounts of remnant old growth forest, described the long time required for natural regeneration, and how it can be augmented through active forest restoration. He described species selection, noting the importance of the assessment of current biodiversity and structure.

Hubert Höfer, State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe, Germany, noted the importance and uniqueness of old growth forests, and demonstrated the importance of ants as indicators of ecosystem health
Clóvis Borges, Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (SPVS), described their partnership with IBAMA and TNC to undertake the long-term process of forest restoration of the Mata Atlântica region
More information:
Clóvis Borges <[email protected]>
Jörg Römbke <[email protected]>
Hubert Höfer <[email protected]>
Renato Marques <[email protected]>

Conservation and Livelihoods: Experiences and Perspectives from Fauna and Flora International

Presented by Fauna and Flora International (FFI)

Evan Bowen-Jones, FFI, explained that FFI always works through local partners and that the panelists would outline work under the FFI Livelihoods Programme supported by the EU and the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs (DGIS) and on FFI’s policy work on the application of the precautionary principle and on CITES and livelihoods.

Ali Kaka, East African Wildlife Society, described how, in the Kuruwitu coastal area of Kenya, where natural resources have been severely over-utilized by locals and migrants, the community on its own initiative decided to close certain areas to fishing, create other sources of income, monitor fishing areas and instigate self-regulatory systems. He said this has led to improvements on resources and fish takes, improvements in degraded areas and living standards and an improved sense of ownership.

Paulo Sérgio Sgroi Pupo, Amainan Brasil, highlighted some of the challenges in carrying out community conservation and livelihood initiatives a project in the Vale do Ribeira, Brazil.

Referring to 12 guidelines established following a joint FFI, IUCN, Resource Africa and TRAFFIC project on biodiversity, natural resource management and the precautionary principle, Barney Dickson, FFI, emphasized the need to consider social and economic costs when applying the precautionary principle. He suggested that the benchmark for conservation agencies could be to ensure that in pursuing their objectives they do not harm the livelihoods of the poor.

Discussion: Dickson said that although there is a lot of rhetoric about poverty, conservation and livelihoods, and most conservation agencies have stated in the most general terms that conservation should contribute to livelihoods, the extent to which this has resulted in change on the ground is questionable. He urged participants to challenge conservation agencies on this. One participant stressed considering the non-monetary effects of conservation initiatives.

Ali Kaka, East African Wildlife Society, said there are studies which demonstrate an increase in wildlife numbers in community areas benefiting from conservation initiatives versus a decline in protected areas
Evan Bowen-Jones, FFI, said that measures to take into consideration impacts of conservation initiatives on livelihoods is essential for many conservation projects and emphasized the need to be honest about it being a learning experience
Acknowledging the challenges for conservation agencies in addressing poverty and livelihoods issues, Barney Dickson, FFI, said that FFI operates within a notion of livelihoods that is broader than income generation
Evan Bowen-Jones <[email protected]>
Barney Dickson <[email protected]>
Ali Kaka <[email protected]>
Paulo Sérgio Sgroi Pupo <[email protected]>

Addressing the Link Between Conservation and Poverty – Community Conserved Areas

Presented by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)

Lea Scheri, World Conservation Union (IUCN) Technical Group on indigenous people, local community, and equity in protected areas (IUCN-TILCEPA), emphasized the need to apply the concept of social justice in conservation by considering governance, poverty reduction, sustainable development, rights and equitable sharing of benefits.

On Australia’s Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) programme in Australia, Geoff Burton, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia, said there are now 19 declared IPAs in Australia, covering a total of 13.8 million hectares, equivalent to the area of Greece, and that five additional IPAs are expected to be declared in 2006. He said that the IPA programme links indigenous knowledge and culture with contemporary conservation practices and that IPAs are a great source of pride for communities.

Paulo Oliveira, IBAMA, recalled that Brazilian Extractivist Reserves (RESEX) were conceptualized to redress social struggle among traditional extractivist communities in the Amazon forest, particularly among rubber tappers communities in the state of Acre. He said that RESEX are managed collectively by local communities in partnership with the National Center of Traditional Populations of Sustainable Development (CNPT/IBAMA) and that currently there are 44 federal extractivist reserves covering 8 million hectares and benefiting over 20,000 families.

Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), India, warned that marine protected areas (MPAs) can seriously increase poverty and hardship for local communities when implemented in a non-participatory way, and emphasized the distress caused to fishermen by no-fishing and no-trawling zones established in the area surrounding the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary MPA in Orissa State.

On the issue of managing marine extractivist reserves, Soaraya Vanini Tupinambá, Terramar, said the lack of clarity of ownership in coastal areas leads to vulnerability in fishing communities, allied to growing tourism pressure which generates negative impacts due to the expansion of resorts and hotels on coastal areas.

Lea Scheri, IUCN Technical Group on indigenous people, local community, and equity in protected areas (IUCN-TILCEPA), emphasized that while conservation and poverty reduction are separate issues and that one does not need to be the basis of the other, if they are linked “we can lose less and win more”
Geoff Burton, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia, described the effectiveness of the Indigenous Protected Area programme as an effective mechanism to promote and support biodiversity conservation on inalienable indigenous owned lands
Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), said she is concerned that in the quest to reach ambitious quantitative targets, consultative processes will be short-circuited creating great social conflict and poverty
Lea M. Scheri <[email protected]>
Geoff Burton <[email protected]>
Chandrika Sharma <[email protected]>
Alexandre Cordeiro <[email protected]>
Paulo Oliveira <[email protected]>
Soaraya Vanini Tupinamba <[email protected]>

Coherent Implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Presented by UNEP

Arnold Jacques de Dixmude, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium, introduced the event by stating that Belgium provides support to developing countries for more effective implementation of their commitments under MEAs and is in favor of rationalizing implementation costs and harmonizing practices among numerous actors. He noted that the UNEP manual on compliance and enforcement of MEAs and the issue-based modules represent a significant response to Belgium’s capacity building priorities and that Belgium had participated as a pilot country.

Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP, explained that MEA compliance and enforcement is constrained by the multiplicity of agreements which can be overlapping or contradictory. She explained that modalities are required to enable countries to fulfill their obligations under these agreements, adding that it is desirable to avoid duplication by facilitating joint implementation of cross-cutting issues. She clarified that the UNEP Guidelines on Compliance and Enforcement of MEAs are not legally binding but consist of a tool box to facilitate enhanced MEA implementation at all levels.

Peter Herkenrath, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, introduced the Issue-Based Modules (inland waters, sustainable use, invasive alien species and biodiversity, and climate change), explaining that they were developed to support coherent implementation and to promote national cooperation. Herkenrath added that they are targeted at national focal points, experts and agencies working on implementation by providing a database of clustered, structured information which is transformed into issue based tools.

Tone Solhaug, Ministry of Environment, Norway, related her country’s experience as one of the pilot countries, saying that the challenge had been in translating decisions taken in international negotiations into strategies for implementation and that the issue modules have simplified the language and also facilitated easier tracking of decisions relating to multiple conventions.

Alexander Shestakov, WWF, described the Russian experience and explained that despite being such a large country there is limited capacity to address obligations under different agreements. He said the modules will help Russia fulfill its reporting requirements and address staff training needs. He raised the issue of updating, which he stressed is essential for maintaining the integrity of the system.

Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP, explained that if the guidelines are a tool box of approaches for compliances and enforcement, then the manual is a user’s guide for those tools
Peter Herkenrath, UNEP/WCMC, emphasized that a more coherent approach towards implementation on biodiversity commitments could be enhanced if structured information on issues of common concern to the different MEAs was made available to national focal points and other actors
Arnold Jacques de Dixmude <[email protected]>
Elizabeth Mrema <[email protected]>
Peter Herkenrath <[email protected]>
Tone Solhaug <[email protected]>
Alexander Shestakov <[email protected]>
ENB on the Side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Asheline Appleton, Leonie Gordon, Renata Rubian, and Peter Wood. The photographer is Anders Gonçalves da Silva. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at CBD COP-8 is provided by the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office through the British Embassy - Global Opportunities Fund, and the Italian Ministry of Environment. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from CBD COP-8 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at CBD COP-8 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

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