Daily report for 22 November 2018

Rio Conventions Pavilion at CBD COP 14

The sixth day at the Rio Conventions Pavilion focused on support for implementation of Protected Areas in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (Post-2020 Framework) and the long-term strategy for capacity-building that will be adopted at 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the CBD.

The event marked the launch of the ‘Partnership for Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 with Attendant Multiple Benefits,’ a strengthened commitment to mobilize the global community around this target.

The Day was co-organized by a network of partners including the CBD Secretariat, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme (GPAP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the European Union.

Opening session

In his opening remarks, Sarat Babu Gidda, CBD Secretariat, discussed opportunities for the launch of the partnership for achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 (Target 11).

Alexander Shestakov, CBD Secretariat, asserted that it is important to have a realistic understanding of what can be achieved in the remaining two years while also acknowledging the multiple benefits of Protected Areas (PAs).

Stefan Leiner, EU noted that protected areas represent the core of the work of the CBD. He stated that businesses, NGO and other groups should commit to supporting the work of the CBD, working together and learning from each other, and added that this model is what is needed to make a difference.

Matthias Krause, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), outlined the German government’s support for PAs, including through funding, strengthened bilateral relations and capacity building.

Yosuke Kuramoto, Japan, recalled the adoption of the Aichi Targets at COP 10 in Nagoya. He underlined the importance of accelerating achievement of the Aichi Targets in the remaining two years.

Tomas Anker Christensen, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, noted the similarity between SDG 14:5 and the Aichi Target 11, both of which require the conservation of at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020. He highlighted the voluntary commitments and related monitoring process adopted at the 2017 UN Oceans Conference, including the creation of a virtual community for collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

Kathy MacKinnon, IUCN-WCPA, noted the expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. She highlighted the significance of COP 14 for the approval of criteria for Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs), welcoming the growing recognition of multiple forms of governance, including in PAs managed by the private sector and Indigenous Peoples.

Experiences from sub-regional implementation support networks in Asia and the Pacific

Theresa Mundita Lim, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), moderated the first technical session.

Highlighting experiences from East and Southeast Asia, Clarissa Arida, ACB, reported a slight increase in the coverage of terrestrial and MPAs in Southeast Asia and highlighted opportunities to enhance long-term protection through Countries’ Priority Actions, collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and other Target 11 partnerships.

Amanda Wheatley, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), discussed some challenges in the region and highlighted the support provided by the CBD in 2016 to develop a roadmap for addressing the identified gaps and opportunities.

Ruchi Pant, UNDP, stated that currently there is no formal network for Southern Asian countries to address Target 11, but highlighted a mapping exercise undertaken by UNDP on proposed partnerships for a sub-regional implementation support network. Pant further offered updates on India’s work on PAs, reporting that the country is developing a data-sharing protocol focusing on governance regimes.

Experiences from sub-regional implementation support networks in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America

Imèn Meliane, IUCN-WCPA, reported that there are over 1500 PAs across the 16 countries of the Middle East and North Africa region, although MPAs account for only 1% of the overall protected territory. Among recent achievements, she highlighted: progress towards harmonizing country data; incorporating OECMs in regional reporting; and successful efforts to reach audiences beyond the biodiversity community, such as a recent social media campaign promoting a video series on PAs and new connections with migration studies networks and investigative journalists.

Kathy Gregoire and Monica Alvarez, Pronatura, presented on achievements by the Latin American Technical Cooperation Network on National Parks, other Protected Areas and Wildlife (Redparques), which spans 19 countries and one territory in the region. They highlighted good performance in terms of the geographical scope of both terrestrial and marine PAs, but noted that much more needs to be done to enhance governance mechanisms, as well as designation of Key Biodiversity Areas.

Xola Mkefe, Kerry Sink and Alan Boyd, South Africa, discussed recent developments in the country. Mkefe highlighted the recent designation of 20 MPAs – raising the total coverage from 0.5% to 5% of the country’s surface – as a major achievement. Sink reported on data gathering initiatives, including the development of biodiversity maps and a compilation of threatened ecosystems.

Boyd outlined how the country is managing its expanding MPA network, most of which is offshore, noting this requires different management approaches and capacities and close cooperation at national and international levels. He reported that the ecotourism sector, both within and outside MPAs, is closely monitored and includes peer observation among operators.

Protected Areas and synergies with other conventions

Stuart Chape, SPREP, moderated this technical session.

Maria Rivera, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, highlighted interlinkages between the Convention and Target 11, as well as related SDG targets and indicators, including through the biodiversity liaison group and partnerships with the CBD, World Heritage Convention and other multilateral environmental agreements.

Meriem Bouamrane, UNESCO, stated that over 10 million km2 of land is protected through UNESCO’s designated sites. She introduced the World Network of Biosphere Reserves programme, where people live within nature in protected areas, underscoring the underlying message that biodiversity should be part of our everyday lives.

Fernando Camacho Rico, National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, Mexico, discussed the role of PAs in providing nature-based solutions for climate change in the region. He highlighted declarations by 18 Latin American countries recognizing the role of PAs in, inter alia, building green infrastructure, stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases, and reducing the vulnerability of local communities. He further noted the role of Redparques in garnering political momentum for the global recognition of the Amazon. 

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted the importance of strengthening linkages between the Ramsar Convention’s Programme on communication, capacity building, education, participation and awareness (CEPA). Responding to a question on what percentage of Ramsar sites are also protected areas, Rivera noted that while not all sites have legal protection, many countries view a listing under the Ramsar process as an important first step towards formal protection.

Governance and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

Kathy MacKinnon, IUCN-WCPA, facilitated this technical session.

Harry Jonas, IUCN-WCPA, said this COP and Rio Pavilion provides an opportunity to recognize the globally important contributions of OECMs, but pointed to some implementation challenges, which he said requires deepening the connectivity across systems of protected and conserved areas and integrating them into the wider landscape and seascape.

Ana Beatriz Barona, Colombia, noted that self-governance through norms and local agreements for land-use planning as well as participatory activities to generate ownership and commitment is a key way to ensure compliance.

Olaf Jensen and Sabine Jessen, Canada, presented on Canada’s progress towards Target 11, highlighting recent achievements in governing MPAs and a historic CAD 1.3 billion allocation for nature and conservation in the 2018 Federal Budget. They highlighted a targeted CAD 500 million Nature Fund to secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build Indigenous capacity to conserve land and species.

Kim Friedman, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), encouraged implementation with sectorial guidance and speaking to key stakeholders in their own language so that they can understand what is needed and put that into action. Friedman also stressed the need to ensure the interoperability and openness of OECM monitoring data to facilitate its inclusion in national reporting.

Silke Spohn, Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), reviewed some national experiences in integrating diverse models of governance in PA systems and strategies, highlighting, inter alia, expanded coverage of PA systems; empowered land and resource users; and improved livelihood security and well-being of local communities.

Terence Hay-Edie, UNDP, emphasized the importance of well-governed PA systems in both the landscape and seascape. He shared information and lessons learned from the Global Support Initiative for Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA-GSI) Project and highlighted that ICCAs can serve as natural climate solutions for carbon sequestration.

Sharing experiences from the Philippines, Teddy Baguilat, ICCA Consortium, stated that some characteristics of an effective ICCA include a community with close and deep connection with the territory through identity and culture and a community that makes and enforces decisions and rules on their territory through their own governance systems.

Ghanimat Azhdari, ICCA Consortium, said the quality of conservation is one of the characteristics of ICCA in Iran and that communities must adopt long-term perspectives to build systems of governance for future generations.

Dominique Bikaba, ICCA Consortium, shared that the rights of communities in PA governance and management were recognized in the Community Forestry Law adopted in 2014. He emphasized that Target 11 is not just about spatial coverage but will need to be linked to other CBD COP decisions on governance, participation, and equity and benefit-sharing.

Multiple Benefits: Protected Areas as Natural Solutions

This technical session was moderated by Neville Ash, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

Jamison Ervin, UNDP, cautioned that we are witnessing “an unravelling of our planet” that will be further exacerbated by exponential growth in infrastructural development and food production for a growing world population. She called for the Post-2020 Framework to ensure a robust response through: expanding PA coverage and system design to provide a global climate safety net; including much stronger elements of climate connectivity; safeguarding indigenous land rights, especially forests; radically expanding finance and investment for PAs as a viable climate and development solution; setting ambitious apex targets related to nature-climate tipping points; and upscaling ambition for complementary restoration goals to restore nature’s carbon stocks.

Nigel Dudley, IUCN-WCPA, highlighted diverse natural accounting initiatives, noting that communicating the economic value of PAs is particularly important at a time when governments are becoming more populist and “anti-conservation.” He underlined the importance of recognizing that non-economic values also matter and not all PAs “can pay their own way.”

Karen Keenleyside, IUCN-WCPA, discussed the ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People,’ initiative, noting it was initially conceived by Victoria State in Australia with the goal of reversing the disconnect between people and nature. She charted the evolution of the concept internationally and highlighted its potential to unite diverse sectors and communities of practice to strengthen advocacy, capacity building, and evidence generation and monitoring.

Yosuke Kuramoto, Japan, noted the role of PAs and other ecosystem-based approaches in disaster risk reduction, and highlighted Japan’s use of natural solutions such as protection forests to reduce tsunami energy and to capture drifting objects. The RELIEF project was illustrated to underline how it contributes to generate knowledge, develop capacities and inform policies.

Answering questions from the audience, panelists further reflected on: the role of communication; the principle of indivisibility of the SDGs; the need to encourage engagement with more stakeholders, and opportunity to recognize deforestation as a climate risk.

Strengthening Protected Areas for the Future

This technical session was chaired by Trevor Sandwith, IUCN.

Naomi Kingston, UNEP-WCMC, presented key findings from the 2018 Protected Planet Report, noting that while the report is published every two years, the underlying data is updated every month and can be accessed on the UNEP-WCMC website.

James Watson, University of Queensland, emphasized the importance of considering the significant human footprint in PAs, adding that this is not limited to the developing world. He cautioned that this activity will reduce conservation benefits therefore it is important to begin reporting on the measures of human pressures in protected areas.

Caiphus E. Khumalo, South Africa, presented the progress of the Management and Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) for the achievement of Target 11 in South Africa. He said METT evolved over time to suit different kinds of PAs and was strengthened for accurate assessments.

Natasha Ali, IUCN, presented the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas developed by IUCN, its process and its relevance for the Aichi Target 11 and the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

Marie Fischborn, IUCN, explained the objectives of PANORAMA Solutions partnership and how it connects “solution providers” and potential replicators for mutual learning from proven success.

Marie-May Muzungaile, Seychelles, highlighted some pathways for achieving sustainable financing by advocating for policy and legislative innovations; integrating PAs into national development and finance strategies; and improving efficiency of revenue collection and retention.

Midori Paxton, UNDP, shared Seychelles’ innovative approaches to conservation and explained how it is pushing forward the blue economy agenda, ensuring value of PAs and their contribution to community livelihoods.

Mark Zimsky, GEF, talked about how to operationalize CBD decisions on protected areas. He said there is potential for applying a comprehensive land-use approach that links production, conservation, and restoration at scale.

Further information