Dear Members of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network
Since the publication of the September issue of the BES-Net newsletter, several activities have been carried out in parallel at national, regional and global/online levels.
At national level, BES-Net partners in Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia and Vietnam have been working continuously in close consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to refine the country’s National Ecosystem Assessments with the aim to release the final assessment reports and their summaries for policymakers in the course of 2020. The Vietnam National Trialogue and Stakeholder Consultation Workshop was held on 6-7 November 2019 as part of this effort to solicit diverse views, perspectives and inputs on the assessment findings and messages.
At regional level, the fourth BES-Net Regional Trialogue was organized in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 9-11 October 2019 jointly with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and convened science, policy and practice community representatives from six countries, i.e. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Trialogue provided the participants with a unique opportunity to raise awareness, build capacity and foster networking to effectively address key issues highlighted in the IPBES thematic assessments at national and region-wide levels. This Trialogue event was held back-to-back with the International Biodiversity Day (IBD 2019) capacity building workshop.
At global level, the BES-Net team remains committed to disseminate key biodiversity related news and update through various online channels to promote dialogues, interactions and collaborations among like-minded organizations, initiatives and individuals across boundaries. We warmly welcome the Nature-Based Solutions Initiative as our newest partner and will keep featuring the important work of our over 100 partners through these channels.
While we are moving into the final year of the existing BES-Net initiative, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) kindly offered to support the second phase of BES-Net from 2020. Please stay tuned for further details on BES-Net II in our next newsletter (January 2020)!
In October 2020, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet in Kunming, China for the 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP), and to finalise the negotiation of a new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2021-30 to replace the expiring 2011-2020 Strategy which, for the most part, has not achieved its main (Aichi) targets (See draft Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 [GBO-5]).
From 25-29th November 2019, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) held its 23rd meeting - the first of three major meetings to be held before CoP15 and tasked with “digesting” the content of the IPBES Global Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment, now available as full draft chapters, and bridging the science-policy-practice interface to shape the new Global Biodiversity Strategy out to 2030 or 2050.
In addition, the SBSTTA meeting reviewed the first draft of GBO-5, itself a digest of the “stark and sobering” IPBES assessment, as seen through the 20 global Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Those wishing to avoid that “sober” feeling can skip GBO-5’s Section 3: “Transitions to a better future”, but even here the GBO report stops at proposing new scenarios, with no real-world practical, but flexible, “macro-mechanism” in sight in this early draft.
“One emerging candidate “macro-mechanism” is an extension of the mitigation hierarchy and no net loss methodologies that are evolving out from project level environmental impact assessment into broader conservation arenas. A recent research article proposes that a “net positive outcomes” could provide an over-arching framework for new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. The full article is behind a paywall, but this blog describes the approach in easy language, whilst an earlier research article by the same authors is available here.
With biodiversity loss at, or beyond, it’s planetary boundary, it is time to draw “a line in the sand” – and forests, and all other ecosystems. “Net positive outcomes” may be a good rallying call for biodiversity in the “radical transformations” we are being urged to make.
Sustainable use of wild species is key to achieve sustainable
Wild species provide half of the world’s seafood and a significant proportion of timber and energy, and remain a major source of protein, fiber and medicines for many communities in both developing and developed countries. The complex social and environmental issues related to the use of wild species will not be solved by implementing simple and often ineffective policies.
IPBES is conducting a comprehensive and ambitious intergovernmental assessment - Sustainable Use of Wild Species Assessment - that aims to build on previous assessments and to address the challenges faced by policymakers. The assessment to be published in 2022 will provide a solution- and policy option- oriented approach to the sustainable use of wild species.
Monitoring natural resources in protected areas: Developing
biodiversity indicators in and around protected areas in East
and West Africa and the Middle East
The Convention on Biological Diversity and other conventions recommend the development of indicators as a key tool for monitoring the implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans for reporting at global, national and sub-national levels and as part of the National Development Plans of each country.
Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (CEBIOS) is developing biodiversity indicators for protected areas in East Africa (Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) and West Africa (Ghana) and the Middle East (Palestine). The indicators vary between countries and cover diverse issues, including: Human-wildlife conflict (Number of crop raids per year reported by the farmers, Mole National Park, Ghana; Number of snares removed by park services, Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda); Fuelwood exploitation in and around protected areas (Count of firewood collection in the Cyamudongo forest, Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda); Freshwater resources in and around protected areas (Annual catch (number of fish) for tilapias in lakes Nyamusingiri and Kyasanduka, Queen Elizabeth Biosphere Reserves, Uganda).
As lessons learned, CEBIOS suggests that institutions managing natural resources and governments should continuously collect data used in the development of indicators in a consultative and participatory manner involving policy makers, implementing authorities and the population. Governments should facilitate multi-sectoral committees that will review the relevance and use of the indicators for their National Development Plans.
Pollinator agenda into the Global Biodiversity Framework
for the Post-2020 Era
With the support of some 30 countries and other non-state members, including BES-Net, the Coalition of the Willing – also known as Promote Pollinators - delivered a statement at the Plenary Sessions of SBSTTA-23, proposing the adoption of the protection of pollinators as a goal in the Post 2020 framework of the CBD. The members of Promote Pollinators expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Ad Hoc open-ended working group to further explore a specific target and indicators for pollinators and pollination.
Promote Pollinators warmly welcomes two new members during
On Thursday the 28th of November 2019, Promote Pollinators, the Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators, warmly welcomed two new members during the twenty-third meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (CBD SBSTTA-23) held in Montreal, Canada. Morocco and Switzerland, who joined the coalition earlier this year, presented themselves and explained their motives.
During the Sign-Up Event, Dr. Rachid Mrabet, Research Director of Morocco’s National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) elaborated upon the current situation of pollinators in Morocco. He pointed out how Morocco works towards the creation of a National Strategy for Pollinator Protection, and what the country aims and expects for the future. Subsequently, the Head of the Swiss Delegation Mr. Norbert Bärlocher took the stage to address the importance of pollinators and elaborated on the issue of insect decline in Switzerland, pointing out some alarming facts and figures. He further highlighted existing action plans, such as the Bee health national plan and ongoing work to better protect pollinating species.
Any country that is willing to join Promote Pollinators is welcome to do so. There is no formal procedure, except for signing the declaration.
BIOFIN News: Overcoming barriers to reform subsidies in the
agricultural sector in Kyrgyzstan
BIOFIN Kyrgyzstan together with UNEP and PAGE is working on a finance solution to reform harmful agricultural subsidies in the small Central Asian nation. BIOFIN identified six out of the nine agricultural subsidies to be potentially harmful to the biodiversity and that need to be reformed. Among them is the exemption of VAT import taxes for fertilizers and pesticides that leads to overuse of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers by farmers.
Reforming subsidies particularly in the agricultural sector can create strong resistance among certain stakeholders. The many barriers to subsidy reform, now well known, were considered and discussed at a recent side event during the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Green Economic Week in Bishkek in mid- November. A central purpose of the event was to inform people of a potential reform and to allow them to start building coalitions.
GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships is working with
developing countries to minimize the impacts from invasive
aquatic species transferred through aquatic biofouling
The introduction and establishment of invasive aquatic species is one of the greatest threats to the world’s freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. The main vectors for unintentional transfer of non-indigenous species are ships' ballast water, biofouling of mobile marine structures, and aquaculture. To address the biofouling issue, the GloFouling Partnerships project - a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - was launched in December 2018 with the ultimate goals to raise awareness of how to protect marine biodiversity from the introduction of non-indigenous species into new ecosystems through biofouling; and to provide capacity building activities to the participating countries.
Twelve Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs), industry and institutional partners are participating in the GloFouling Partnerships project. Nine LPCs (Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Philippines and Tonga) have hosted their first National Workshops and established their National Task Forces (NTFs). The remaining three LPCs (Ecuador, Peru and Sri Lanka) will host their first meetings early in 2020. Each National Task Force will define a national policy on biofouling and invasive aquatic species, and will draft the national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines. The GloFouling Partnerships is working with seven regions (South America, South Asia, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Pacific, Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Wider Caribbean) to deliver outputs more broadly within target regions and to deliver sustainable biofouling management measures beyond the life of the GloFouling Partnerships project.
The UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 will take place on 2–13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain, under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. A key objective of the COP 25 is to complete several matters with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The conference will provide a platform to build ambition ahead of 2020, the year in which countries have committed to submit new and updated national climate action plans. Crucial climate action work will be taken forward in areas including finance, the transparency of climate action, forests and agriculture, technology, capacity building, loss and damage, indigenous peoples, cities, oceans and gender.
For more information about the conference please click here.
Peace Park Development and Management focuses on building the skills needed to make a strong case for Peace Park establishment, providing the trainees with the guidelines to effectively plan, manage and monitor a Peace Park. This self-paced course provides an opportunity to explore the intersection between biodiversity conservation and community peacebuilding using innovative methods to build skills necessary to address challenges associated with creation and management of transboundary protected areas.
Vulnerability to food insecurity in mountain regions: land degradation
and other stressors
Mountains play a very important role by providing homes to more than one billion people and supplying a high percentage of the earth’s freshwater. This study highlights the importance of government actions to combat land degradation, adapt to climate change, strengthen agricultural value chains and promote economic develop to reduce vulnerability to food insecurity in mountain regions.>
This is a new podcast series produced by the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN). In the first episode we are joined by Mabel Niala from the fintech company, GCash in the Philippines and Anabelle Plantilla, the national coordinator of BIOFIN in the Philippines to discuss the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, GCash Forests initiative, which is using a mobile money app to engage users to take steps to be more environmentally friendly and earn points through their app to plant a virtual tree. These virtual trees once earned will be planted as real trees for the restoration of the Ipo watershed, which provides much of the water for the Philippines Capital Manilla.
Organization: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Location: Gland, Switzerland Closing date: 17 December 2019
Technical Officer, Biodiversity Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Location: Italy, Rome Closing date: 9 December 2019
See hereSenior Post-Doctoral Fellow
Location: Cambridge, UK
Closing date: 8 December 2019
See hereInternship: Research and Content Management Organization: UNCCD
Location: Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 15 December 2019
The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) is a capacity sharing “network of networks” that promotes dialogue between science, policy and practice for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems, contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development.