Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities. To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day. BES-Net has been supporting the growing worldwide effort to protect bees and other pollinators by organizing Regional Trialogues. The Trialogues provide scientists, policymakers and practitioners with an enabling space to jointly review the key findings and messages of the Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2016, and to identify the concrete and practical pollinator-friendly actions for implementation at regional and national levels. On the #WorldBeeDay this year, many of the participants of the post Regional Trialogues joined celebration proactively. For example, Ms. Ruth Spencer, an Advisory Member of the Women4Biodiveristy Network and the participant of the Caribbean Regional Trialogue, contributed a video message, highlighting the potential of wild pollinators not only for improving nutrition and enhancing local livelihoods but also for providing opportunity for building women’s capacity.  Immediately after the Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue, the participants from science, policy and practice sectors in Nigeria formed a working group to support implementation of agreed actions from the Trialogue. As part of the post-Trialogue effort and under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the working group undertook a coordinated social media campaign, circulating messages on bees and other pollinators widely throughout the day. As a result, the working group’s dedicated hashtag, #WeNeedHoneyBee was ranked the 2nd most popular trending Twitter hashtag in the country. The efforts of the Regional Trialogue participants demonstrate that there are various different opportunities to pursue the BES objectives even amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In the framework of its activities to enhance capacities in its partner countries, the CEBioS program organized two training workshops about the ‘Measurement, Reporting and Verification’ (MRV) concept for biodiversity. This concept, developed by CEBioS, offers an approach to valorize scientific data and translate them into biodiversity indicators that can be communicated to decision-makers. Such indicators help measure the impact of policies and projects, support decision making, and monitor on the implementation of biodiversity strategies. During the first workshop, held 26-28 February 2020 in Entebbe (Uganda), scientists and decision-makers from Uganda, Tanzania and Palestine gathered to share their experience and knowledge, and to further refine their MRV projects proposals. The workshop addressed subjects that are relevant for the adequate formulation of MRV projects. The MRV concept was explained, as well as the basic principles of the Theory of Change and Project Cycle management. Topics as ‘Biodiversity governance’ and ‘Mainstreaming of biodiversity monitoring in policy sectors and development plans’ were treated and illustrated with case studies by the Ugandan National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).  A comparison of online biodiversity data portals and training about data quality related to biodiversity indicators was also part of the program. The participants had the opportunity to present their project proposals and improve them following discussions with resource persons from different fields. The second workshop was held 5-7 March 2020 in Bukavu (DR Congo), with an audience mainly consisting of biology professors and researchers from the provinces of North and South Kivu, and from Tanganyika and Burundi. The focus was put on the introduction to the MRV concept in the region. CEBioS, Beninese experts and representatives of the national and provincial ministries of environment talked about the development of biodiversity indicators, the science-policy interface, data quality and database management, and the impeding factors with regards to the flow of policy-relevant information from scientists to decision makers.  The presentation of ongoing Congolese, Beninese and Burundese MRV projects contributed to a better understanding of the concept. Group discussions in a ‘World Café’ format led to a host of recommendations to mitigate the numerous impediments of biodiversity monitoring and research in the region. They will be made public soon in a joint document. More information: •    CEBioS •    the MRV concept •    MRV calls launched by CEBioS
Following the Regional Trialogue for Anglophone Africa on "Bright Spots for Land Degradation Neutrality, Pollinators and Food Security" held on 28-20 May, 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya, Nigeria has demonstrated exemplary proactive voluntary set of actions for the implementation of the Action Document. These include among others the joining the Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators, a global alliance of like-minded countries for promoting pollinator protection and the organization of a series of communities/school awareness-raising and sensitization sessions on the protection of pollinators and their habitats.   Along the same line, the first quarter review meeting of the national trialogue on pollinator-friendly Land Degradation Neutrality country action plan was held on 11 March 2020, in Calabar, Cross River State. The meeting brought together key stakeholders from the forestry, agriculture, researchers, academia, government ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations and others to come up with a national implementation and work plans that will guide the action plan that was developed during the Trialogue in Kenya.  The meeting was featured by various media outlets including the Guardian and the Leadership. In recognition of its leadership role, Nigeria is selected to participate in the Phase II of BES-Net (BES-Net II), which seeks to formalize the scientists-policymakers-practitioners partnership and strengthen synergy and complementarity in decisions and actions for sustainable biodiversity and ecosystems conservation in target countries. To this end, Nigeria will benefit from BES-Net II catalytic funding for a pilot project with strong focus on the implementation of the action plan for real impacts on the ground.
*/   Bi-monthly Newsletter | Issue No 21 | January 2020 A word from the BES-Net team Dear Members of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network   Happy New Year to all! 2020 is widely considered as a super year for nature to shine a renewed spotlight on environment and reset our relationship with nature. It is a special transitional year for BES-Net too, as we are moving from the first phase (2016-2020) to the second phase (2020-2028) with the generous support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), amounting 20 million Euros. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will work together, as a consortium, to enhance support to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) rolling work programme up to 2030, particularly the IPBES Capacity-building Rolling Plan.    BES-Net team will proactively explore various innovative ways to coordinate and collaborate with our institutional partners and individual users, who are working in, with and for these target countries.  We also look forward to regularly updating the status, progress and results of the BES-Net initiative through future issues of the BES-Net newsletter and other relevant channels.     Photo: Representatives of BES-Net/UNDP and BMU    Biodiversity Year in Review Biodiversity at Crossroads: Review of Year 2019 and What Lies Ahead in 2020   The year 2019 was a prolific year for biodiversity conservation. As we transition to a new decade, it is a perfect time to look back at key achievements that made a difference in 2019 from ground-breaking research to high-level political engagement, and to get a sneak peak at the year ahead widely refers to as the ‘Super Year for Biodiversity’.    Science - Policy - Practice Discussion: Insights from David Duthie China’s Biodiversity Red Line   The new year 2020 marks the final year for implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and associated global Aichi Biodiversity Targets (ABTs), first adopted at CBD COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan.      A new post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be finalised and adopted at CoP 15 to be held in Kunming, China on 15-28 October. Preparations for the meeting are well underway and a zero draft of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework has been posted (on the re-vamped CBD website) in all six UN official languages, along with a wealth of additional preparatory materials. The zero draft is the result of extensive comments received from Parties and other stakeholders, and further issues to be considered have been distilled into 26 questions contained in a useful discussion paper.   It is now widely accepted that the majority of the components of the current ABTs will not be met by the end of the year (see here), so one of the “hot” issues under discussion, both within the CBD process and in the broader conservation community, is how to set targets that are both ambitious and achievable.    China, as the incoming President of the CBD and host of the CoP, will play an important role in the final negotiations of the framework, and has set the theme for the CoP as “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”, matching China’s constitutional commitment to build a national Ecological Civilization.   A rare “insider” look at China’s ambitions for the CoP can be seen in a recent news piece and report from the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) and this short article from Nature journal.   Post Trialogue: Results from Africa and the Caribbean Active Post-Trialogue Dialogue Continues in Africa around Pollinator-Land-food Nexus     The Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA-15) was held on 12-16 November 2019 in Accra, Ghana. The event brought together over 100 representatives of Africa’s science academies as well as representatives from governments, universities, research institutes, farmers associations, agricultural board, and development partners, among others.   One of the key discussion topics for the event was how to ensure food security for Africa’s growing population in the face of climate change, structural changes in land use and management, and intensification of agriculture, including the use of pesticides. Read more.   Strengthening Capacity on Beekeeping/queen Rearing for Biodiversity Conservation and Improved Livelihoods in Antigua    After the BES-Net Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience and subsequent national dialogue in 2018, awareness and interest in pollinators and pollination issues has increased significantly in Antigua and Barbuda, notably the protection of local pollinator species from various threats. For example, ongoing media campaigns encourage the general public to contact   members of the Antigua Beekeeping Cooperative on pollinator issues, such as removal of swarms and bees in residences and commercial spaces, where rampant land clearing is observed, cutting of trees and use of chemicals and pesticides. Recently with the outbreak of mosquito infestation and cases of dengue fever on the rise, malathion has been used in the fogging exercises, but this has been harmful to the bees. Read more.     Source: BES-Net   Highlights from BES-Net Partners New Policy Brief Highlights the Unintended Consequences of Projects that Promote Invasive Alien Woody Plants   Planting of alien tree species has been promoted by national and international organisations, including NGOs, with the aim of addressing social and environmental problems in Eastern Africa. These species are promoted for agroforestry purposes, to re-green degraded landscapes or to alleviate fuelwood shortages. Some of the promoted trees have spread widely and now cause serious environmental problems that impact human wellbeing, including losses of grazing land, reduced water availability and increased land management costs.    Despite the well-known unintended impacts of such actions in the past, planting of alien tree species continues to be promoted in developing countries, while leaving these countries to deal with the unintended consequences. Project proposals and funding calls should therefore be critically reviewed by experts from diverse backgrounds to avoid promoting any alien tree species that could have serious impacts. A new policy brief provides recommendations to support decision making about funding for projects that aim to introduce new, or promote established alien woody plant species.   The policy brief was developed by the Woody Weeds project (www.woodyweeds.org), a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC). It aims to quantify the impacts of invasive woody plant species on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human wellbeing in selected study areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, and to develop sustainable land management strategies in the invaded areas.   Download: here    Photo legend: The introduction of Prosopis in Baringo, Kenya, in the 1980s to combat soil erosion and as a fodder supplement is an example of unintended consequences of promoting alien tree species. Mr Simon Choge of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Baringo, Kenya: “The opinion of the community in Baringo is that Prosopis has destroyed their grazing lands.”      Source: Woody weeds   A Technology Serving the Environment and Social Well-Being   Technological innovation is undoubtedly the epicenter of any answer to global challenge, including environmental protection. As our generation experiences unprecedented challenges, technology, now more than ever, can play a crucial role in decoupling development and environmental degradation. GELVITER provides a prominent example of technology with high value for environmental protection, but also socio-economic benefits.   The GELVITER is a gelled hydro-retentor that can absorb up to 500 times its weight of water sweetness, to which nutrients and natural fertilizers are added. The vocation of this product is to allow, in the first place, a complete control of the water consumption necessary for agricultural production, while ensuring better agricultural productivity, especially in countries affected by drought (regions arid or semi-arid). GELVITER is biodegradable, functional in soils for a period of 5 years. It can contain inputs that improve crop performance and their frequencies and can be stored and transported in solid form.    The use of GELVITER allows the afforestation of deserts, the fight against desertification, ensures the food security of populations. Governments can promote the use of GELVITER under the implementation of their water resource management policy and programs through pilot projects in arid or semi-arid regions.    GELVITER is produced by the company AGROMTRAD INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY LIMITED. AGROMTRAD presented the GELVITER product at different United Nations events, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) COP 14 in New Delhi, India and COP 13 in Ordos, China. AGROMTRAD offers various technical assistance to GELVITER users, as is the case right now with cooperative companies in Kouoptamo, Cameroon.   For more details, please visit website (French) here     Source: AGROMTRAD   PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet: An Exciting 2019-2020 Transition Year   PANORAMA is a partnership initiative to document and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics, enabling cross-sectoral learning and inspiration.   PANORAMA is having a very exciting 2019-2020 transition year with some major achievements. PANORAMA and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of Germany signed a major funding agreement during the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention of Biological Diversity last November in Montreal, Canada. Under this agreement, BMU will invest two million Euros in the long-term sustainability and strategic advancement of the PANORAMA’s initiative to promote and share “what works” in nature conservation and sustainable development. PANORAMA web platform is being revamped with the launch of a new section "Resources" and upcoming launch of a new thematic community "Nature-Culture" in 2020.   More information here.      Source: Panorama.   Upcoming Events Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) 8 – 13 February 2020     Tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10)The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) today signed an Agreement with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) for the city of Abu Dhabi to host the Tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in 2020. This will be the first time an Arab country hosts the landmark Forum.   WUF10 will be convened by UN-Habitat and jointly organized with the Abu Dhabi DPM, along with partners including the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the General Secretariat of the Executive Council.   Read more here   Source: UN Habitat   Courses and Webinars BIOFIN Online Course BIODIVERSITY FINANCE   The Biodiversity Finance Initiative BIOFIN has created the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) known as “Biodiversity Finance” through the Learning for Nature platform. This course will provide you with the tools to assess the policy, institutional and economic context for biodiversity finance. The BIOFIN course it is completely free and you can take self-paced.   The course will cover the following topics: Introduction to biodiversity and sustainable development Introduction to biodiversity finance Biodiversity finance policy and institutional review Biodiversity expenditure review Biodiversity financial needs assessment Biodiversity finance plan Implementing the biodiversity finance plan    BIOFIN experts realize the MOOC and you can find information in different languages   More information, register and enroll here     Source: BIOFIN   Latest resources Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Use and Effects in African Agriculture   African agriculture is in a state of rapid change, with the need to provide food security for a growing population against pressures such as climate change while seeking to protect biodiversity. Much of the continent’s agriculture continues to rely on smallholdings by individuals, families, or small villages, where traditional methods of crop management include making full use of the natural pollinators and pest control functions of the surrounding natural ecosystems.   However, increasing areas (particularly those involving substantial purchases of land by countries outside Africa) are applying intensive agriculture typical of Europe and the Americas, which is dependent on high inputs of fertilisers and chemicals, strongly encouraged by agrochemical companies. While Africa needs eco-friendly means to increase its productivity and to ensure its food security, experience in Europe and America has demonstrated that some agrochemicals – in particular the systemic insecticides typified by neonicotinoids – have serious negative effects on ecosystem services such as pollination and natural pest control, which has led to their restriction in several countries.   Download report here   Jobs and other opportunities Administrative Officer Organization:Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Location: Samoa-Apia Closing date: 7 February 2020 See here  Senior Manager, Evaluation, CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat Organization: Bioversity International Location: Italy, Rome Closing date: 14 February 2020 See here  Senior Programme Officer Organization: UNEP-WCMC Location: Cambridge, UK Closing date: 23 February 2020 See here  Social and Online Media Language Consultant Organization: UNEP Location: Bonn, Germany Closing date: 10 February 2020 See here      Copyright © 2019 BES-Net, All rights reserved. You receive this email because you registered as a user or participant in one of our events.   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.
The Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA-15) was held on 12-16 November 2019 in Accra, Ghana. The event brought together over 100 representatives of Africa’s science academies as well as representatives from governments, universities, research institutes, farmers associations, agricultural board, and development partners, among others.   One of the key discussion topics for the event was how to ensure food security for Africa’s growing population in the face of climate change, structural changes in land use and management, and intensification of agriculture, including the use of pesticides. Maintaining the biodiversity that supports ecosystem services such as pollination and natural pest control is critical to the sustainability of African agriculture, to ensure food security and its contribution to African economies and to support rural communities.   A new study, “Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Use and Effects in African Agriculture. A Review and Recommendations to Policymakers” was launched during the meeting. Developed though the collaboration of Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), the study examines the implications of neonicotinoid insecticide use for ecosystem services and sustainable agriculture in Africa. It calls for a timely and decisive action to prevent deterioration in the sustainability of African agriculture and African biodiversity through regulatory measures, extension services, alternative practices.    During a panel discussion, Prof. Peter Kofi Kwapong from the University of Cape Cost, Ghana, shared the highlights of the BES-Net’s Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue, which was held in May 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya. He presented the key messages of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) thematic assessments on pollinators and land degradation, and emphasized the importance of promoting pollinator-friendly farming and sustainable land management policies and practices, as highlighted in the Trialogue Action Document.   
Bees and honey combs
After the BES-Net Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience and subsequent national dialogue in 2018, awareness and interest in pollinators and pollination issues has increased significantly in Antigua and Barbuda, notably the protection of local pollinator species from various threats. For example, ongoing media campaigns encourage the general public to contact   members of the Antigua Beekeeping Cooperative on pollinator issues, such as removal of swarms and bees in residences and commercial spaces, where rampant land clearing is observed, cutting of trees and use of chemicals and pesticides. Recently with the outbreak of mosquito infestation and cases of dengue fever on the rise, malathion has been used in the fogging exercises, but this has been harmful to the bees. Honey is a major commodity in Antigua and Barbuda. At present, due to the difficulty to meet the local honey consumer demands, the country depends highly on honey and honey products import estimated at 35,329 kg in 2017, valued at ec$244,106/US$91,084.32. Thanks to the ongoing awareness raising campaign, the Antigua Beekeeping Cooperative is receiving growing number of beekeeping training requests, as an opportunity to generate new income particularly for the youth. The main objective of the training is to split strong vibrant colonies of bees and raise new queens.  Ms. Ruth Spencer, National Coordinator of GEF/SGP and a participant of the Caribbean Regional Trialogue, is working to build a coalition with the Antigua Beekeeping Cooperative and the Ministry of Agriculture to support the training, including the promotion of south-south cooperation by engaging the experts from neighboring island countries. The vision of the cooperative is to increase the local production of honey and honey products (e.g. food items and cosmetics) and therefore, reduce import by 50 per cent in the next few years. This work is expected to contribute to the ongoing recovery effort in Barbuda severely hit by Hurricane Irma in 2018.  Building on the Trialogue experience, Ms. Spencer has also been playing a pivotal role in linking the concerned local farmers, community groups and citizen scientists to government technicians and researchers to create an environment where knowledge on pollinators/pollination are better communicated and decisions and actions undertaken in more informed and collaborative manner.    
The International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) awarded EUR 20 million to support Phase II of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) initiative for the period 2020-2028.  The award will allow the BES-Net consortium partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to build on the achievement of, and continue the proven practices of, Phase I.  As a capacity sharing ‘network of networks’, BES-Net has been dedicated to the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between science, policy and practice for effective biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) management since 2016, with the objective of contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development. Leveraging from the experiences of Phase I, BES-Net Phase II will aim at formalizing the scientists-policymakers-practitioners partnership and strengthening synergy and complementarity in their BES-related decisions, actions and subsequent impacts in the target countries.  BES-Net Phase II will be implemented in alignment with the IPBES Work Programme and contribute particularly to the platform’s Capacity-Building Rolling Plan. The initiative will support evidence-based policymaking, strategic planning and the implementation of transformative solutions for BES protection in 18 countries. It will also upscale methodologies and approaches tested under BES-Net Phase I, by extending the National Ecosystem Assessment support in four new countries and facilitating triangular dialogues in 40 countries around the new BES thematic assessments to be produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).   “It is very timely to transform BES-Net from Phase I to more action-oriented Phase II in 2020, as we are going into a ‘biodiversity super year’”, said Anne Juepner, Director of the UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification and Manager of the BES-Net initiative. “Nature is increasingly seen as one of the most effective ways to tackle a myriad of socio-environmental challenges and achieving sustainable development goals. In close partnership with UNEP-WCMC and UNESCO, we will support the countries to ensure that their effort towards nature-based solutions and commitment in implementing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is underpinned by the best scientific evidence and the wealth of indigenous and local knowledge.”   
The introduction and establishment of invasive aquatic species is considered to be one of the greatest threats to the world’s freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, the global economic impacts of invasive species, including through disruption to fisheries, biofouling of coastal industry, infrastructure and interference with human amenity, have been estimated at several hundred million dollars per year. The main vectors for unintentional transfer of non-indigenous species are ships' ballast water, biofouling of mobile marine structures, and aquaculture.   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. Its main goals are: 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. Biofouling is the process by which marine organisms can build up on ships' hulls and the surface of other marine structures.   Since the launch of the project twenty-five Member States expressed their interest to take part, out of which twelve countries were selected as Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) and the remaining thirteen will participate in the project as Partnering Countries (PCs) at the regional level. In the first year of the project nine LPCs (Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Philippines and Tonga) have hosted their first National Workshops and as a result established their National Task Forces (NTFs). In early 2020 the remaining three LPCs (Ecuador, Peru and Sri Lanka) will host their first meetings. Each LPC’s 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.   For a broader approach 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). This approach will help to deliver outputs more broadly within target regions and to deliver sustainable biofouling management measures beyond the life of the GloFouling Partnerships project.   Simultaneously other activities are being and will be implemented throughout the duration of the project, these include: A creation of a knowledge hub, which holds a pool of research documents, regulations and other information on biofouling; Organization of Research and Development (R&D) Forums on biofouling management and invasive aquatic species. The purpose of these international conferences is to bring together regulatory bodies, maritime industries, academia, leading scientific experts and technology development leaders in the field of biofouling management for a comprehensive overview; GloFouling Partnerships will establish and work closely with a Global Industry Alliance (GIA). Members of GIA will support improved biofouling management and marine biosafety initiatives via collectively identifying and developing innovative solutions; In addition to many other activities that are planned to be carried out, the project will also develop promotional material such as animations and leaflets to raise awareness on biofouling and invasive aquatic species.  
The Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators, or Promote Pollinators, delivered a statement at the ongoing (25-29 November 2019) Plenary of the 23rd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, urging member countries to adopt the protection of pollinators as one of the goals within the Post 2020 CBD framework. “We need to recognize and acknowledge pollination as a key element in the conservation of biological diversity”, stressed Martijn Thijssen, the Secretary of Promote Pollinators in his statement.  Expressing the Coalition’s willingness to support the group, he emphasized that the creation of a pollinator/pollination related target in the post 2020 CBD framework will bring us one step closer to the ultimate goal of giving pollinators and pollination the protection they deserve. Promote Pollinators was established during the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CBD (COP13) in 2016 in order to place the protection of animal pollinator species on the World’s political agenda. Following on the recommendations from Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, Promote Pollinators is committed to take action to protect pollinators and their habitats by developing and implementing national pollinator strategies, with members mutually supporting each other, sharing experiences and lessons learned and promoting research on pollinator conservation. The coalition currently includes some 30 participating countries, as well as non-state members such as the European Union and BES-Net. As a way forward, Promote Pollinators recommended the creation of an ad-hoc open-ended working group to propose a specific target and indicators for pollinators and pollination. For the full statement please click here.  
Although Vietnam has hundreds of policies and regulations related to biodiversity conservation, it still lacks a comprehensive methodology and capacity for ecosystem assessment in the context of science-policy-practice interface. Under the framework of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net), an effort is currently ongoing to undertake the national ecosystem assessment (NEA) in Vietnam. NEA is a tool to support decision-making on ecosystem management planning, investments in ecosystem protection and development, as well as ecosystem service prioritization.     The initiative is by the Center for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), in collaboration with the Institute of Strategy and Policy for Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE)/ Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). In addition to the delivery of Vietnam’s first NEA, the initiative also provides an opportunity to establish/strengthen stakeholders’ partnerships to improve the science-policy-practice interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Information and experiences compiled in Vietnam will be shared with seven other countries (i.e. Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Grenada and Vietnam) undertaking NEA through BES-Net and beyond.     The Vietnam NEA team, including representatives from relevant government and non-government organisations (NGOs), is currently refining the NEA Report and the associated Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). A consultation workshop is convened by CBC and ISPONRE/MONRE in collaboration with WWF Vietnam at this important juncture to make the NEA Report fully responsive to key policy windows and inclusive of different knowledge types.     The workshop will bring together about 80 participants from different ministries, institutes, universities, international and local NGOs and representatives from the provinces to review the contents of the draft NEA and explore mechanisms to strengthen collaboration between the three communities of science-policy-practice. The workshop is supported financially by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and WWF. For more information, visit the event page