The stingless beekeeping workshop held in 18th May at the Permaculture Trinidad- Wa Samaki Ecosystems. This one-day workshop was organised by Erle Rahaman and Lena Dempewolf, with the objective to raise awareness on the threats that are faced by the bees and demonstrated how these bees can be kept and managed in order to not only increase and conserve local populations, but also to provide livelihoods for people. This one-day workshop served as an introduction to the identification, use, products and husbandry of native stingless bees of Trinidad and Tobago and was delivered by David Rostant, founder of the TrinBago Stingless Beekeepers Network. The additional benefit of being stingless means that these bees can be kept anywhere and the usual distance restrictions from residential areas do not apply. Persons who attended the workshop expressed an increased appreciation for pollinators and several have since made contact with the organizers sharing pictures and stories of pollinators observed, their intention of starting their own hives, and placing their names on waiting lists. This workshop comes after multiple other activities initiated after the Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators held last year in Santo Domingo, which brought together a number of persons with similar interests in protecting pollinators throughout the region. In Trinidad and Tobago specifically, it inspired a number of high impact projects that required little capital. Other activities include the creation of iNaturalist projects for every island of the English-speaking Caribbean; a Caribbean iNaturalist umbrella project; numerous presentations throughout the country about the importance of local pollinators, citizen science and how to join the iNaturalist projects; and a presentation in conjunction with the local pest control company Rentokil at an energy organization (DeNovo) about the importance of bees and bee safety. Planned activities for the remainder of the year are a one-day workshop on managing habitat for pollinators; iNaturalist projects for Spanish, Dutch and French speaking islands; pollinator activities at children’s summer camps; a national stakeholder pollinator dialogue; the enhancement and distribution of a bee removal network connecting persons with bees on their properties with beekeepers that are able to remove them; and finally, the formation of a Caribbean pollinator NGO.
The Global Landscape Forum (GLF) Kyoto 2019 took place in Kyoto, Japan, from 13th to 17th May 2019 with the theme of “Climate, Landscapes and Lifestyles: It is Not Too Late”. GLF Kyoto 2019 brought together representatives from government, the private sector, development agencies, youth, indigenous peoples, civil society, science, project implementers and media, to share ideas and practical experiences on how to move from commitment to action in creating more sustainable landscapes. This included identifying nature-based solutions in climate adaptation and mitigation for a climate-smart future. Based on recent studies that the prevention of irreversible climate catastrophes requires the world’s population to commit to transformative change within the next decade, the event appealed to the world to pursue all necessary measures and advance concrete actions toward ‘net zero’ carbon dioxide emissions around 2050. This will help to keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius on the basis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5-degree special report. One of the key outcomes of GLF Kyoto 2019 was the announcement by the city of Kyoto that it would reach zero emissions by 2050. GLF is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on sustainable land use as a critical part of the climate solution, and is dedicated to achieving the SDGs and Paris Climate Agreement. For more information please press here
“ Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history - and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating “, according to the Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The report was approved at the 7th session of the plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7), which was held from 29 April to 4 May 2019 in Paris, France. The report was released following a detailed assessment on deteriorating health of ecosystems, instigated by grave concerns about the accelerating extinction of species and the impact on people around the world. The assessment reveals that ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. Taking cognizance of the complex factors surrounding damage to biodiversity, the report underscores the importance of articulating the history of the drivers for change across the globe, including social, demographic and economic factors. Compiled by some 150 expert authors from over 50 countries in the past three years, the assessment was described as the most comprehensive of its kind. This report presents opportunities for achieving sustainability in areas that include agriculture, forestry, marine systems, freshwater systems, urban areas and energy, highlighting the importance of adopting an integrated approach for effective policies and mechanisms. It further calls for urgent action across the globe to transform and restore nature. For more details about the report, please click here. https://www.ipbes.net/news/Media-Release-Global-Assessment.
Scientists and government officials convene in Paris to finalise a key assessment report on humanity's relationship with nature
Scientists and government officials are convening in Paris to finalise a key assessment report on humanity's relationship with nature. The seventh session of the plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7) will bring together some of the world's leading researchers in the field of biodiversity in Paris, France, this week to work on the intergovernmental Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Report which addresses past losses and future prospects for nature and humans. The report highlights "social and ecological emergency" that the world is now facing. This includes tropical tree loss at high levels, threat to food as biodiversity declines and 'Beast of Beddau' as new millipede find. The Global Assessment Report, which is the first of its kind since the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment published in 2005, emphasizes the importance of governments working together to develop a new global biodiversity framework. It builds on earlier IPBES assessment reports, especially the recently-released Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment and the Regional Assessment Reports for Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and Central Asia. The report will be discussed, finalized and considered for approval during the course of IPBES7 between 29 April and 4 May, 2019. Representatives from 132 governments are expected to attend. More details available here:
IPBES (The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) is organizing a youth workshop for young professionals and practitioners, 27 - 28 June 2019 in São Pedro, Brazil. The workshop aims to expand involvement in IPBES' efforts and to increase use and uptake of IPBES products among early-career scientists, policymakers and practitioners. It will bring together Governments, organisations and networks working on issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services, to familiarize them with the work of IPBES, and explore opportunities for the young generation to contribute to IPBES' work on various scenarios and models. IPBES is inviting nomination for participants to the workshop, latest by 6 May 2019. For more information please click here
BES-Net Cameroon National Trialogue: Enhancing Science Policy Relevance of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment
“Experts brainstorm on contribution of biodiversity and ecosystems to Cameroon’s development”, stated the headline in The Guardian Post Daily on 28 February 2019 after the interview with Ms. Prudence Galega, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) and Chair of the ongoing National Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Assessment. The bilingual National Trialogue event was held from 24 to 27 February 2019 in Mbankomo, Cameroon. The Trialogue hit both national newspaper headlines and radio news for the focus that it placed on engaging both scientists and national policymakers in dialogue on the fundamental role that nature plays in Cameroon’s development drive to achieve its Vision 2035, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post Growth and Employment Strategy. Within the framework of BES-Net, and with facilitation and technical backstopping support of the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the leading scientists and experts from across Cameroon are working together to develop the country’s BES Assessment. The assessment is currently at a crucial stage for multi-stakeholder engagement, as the author team is finalizing the First Order Draft report and initiating peer-review. In order to achieve policy impact, the assessment needs to be demand-driven and policy-relevant, as per the guidance from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Against this backdrop, the National Trialogue on the Science-Policy Relevance of Cameroon’s BES Assessment was organized by BES-Net, MINEPDED and its local partner, the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Africa (NESDA-CA) with the aim to: Review across and between First Order Draft Chapters for coherence and to ensure relevant policy questions are being addressed, where the gaps are, and how to improve where necessary; Understand the expectations of policy makers regarding the usefulness of the key findings for specific policy areas; Fine-tune policy questions where relevant, and add new ones if appropriate; and Agree on the purpose of the Summary for Policy-Makers and how it will draw on key policy-relevant findings. In order to ensure an iterative process of multi-stakeholder engagement, the Trialogue was divided into two parts: i) the co-authors’ meeting as an opportunity to jointly read across all chapters to ensure synergy and consistency as an integrated document; and ii) an interactive policy-dialogue meeting between the authors’ team and the National Platform for Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (NP-SPBES) to present the outputs of the co-authors’ meeting and refine further the assessment’s policy questions as per the latest government policy demands and priorities. Trialogue provided unique dialogic space, a trusted, technical and interactive environment, where the authors were able to compare and contrast the initial results of their research, identify gaps, and critically reflect on the extent to which their research addresses the key policy questions and areas of interest identified by NP-SPBES. Although the event was not attended by indigenous people and local communities (IPLC) groups, the Trialogue methodology guided the participants in reflecting on and incorporating the diverse views and perspectives of three communities of science, policy and practice into the discussions. Accordingly, three significant agreements were reached by NP-SPBES as a way forward of the BES Assessment: Recognize explicitly IPLC for any data and information used in the assessment process, which are sourced through contributions from these groups; Create a section in the assessment which is dedicated to the values of rich and diverse indigenous and local knowledge on BES; and Adapt the IPBES-recognised “multiple-evidence based” approach, through which the representative members of IPLC can participate in the review of the Second Order Draft of the assessment. For more details about the National Trialogue event, please click here.