23 May 2018 As Cameroon joins the global community to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)  on the occasion of the 2018 International Day of Biodiversity, the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) organized the Mini Trialogue on Science Policy for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on 22 May in Yaoundé with support of the BES-Net, GIZ and other partners. The event aimed to: Raise awareness of the critical role scientific information can play to improve decisions on species, ecosystems and biodiversity and to contribute to the national efforts to comply with the commitments under CBD; Raise awareness on the role of ecosystems in achieving the Cameroon Vision 2035, whilst providing greater climate resilience for national food security and agricultural production targets; and Secure national validation of the scoping report developed within the framework of the national assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services currently conducted under the BES-Net framework.    The Mini Trialogue event was opened by the MINEPDED Minister, Hon. Pierre Hele and participated by the wide range of stakeholders representing policy, science and practice communities. The event provided an opportunity to explore how valuable and diverse biological heritage in Cameroon drive development at the national and local level, by providing food security and improving the livelihood of local communities. The participants discussed the importance of scientifically informed policy/decision-making and reviewed the progress made thus far through the national biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment process. Implementation of the assessment work has been led by the Network For Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Africa (NESDA-CA), following the approach and conceptual framework developed by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and with technical backstopping support of the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).     In support of the IPBES’s capacity-building rolling plan, the Government of Cameroon launched the French version of the Summary for Policy Makers for the Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and presented the findings and recommendations of other recently approved thematic/regional assessments during the mini-Trialogue.     The event was held back-to-back with the joint meeting of the National Biodiversity Committee and the National Platform for Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on 23 May, which deliberated further on the Mini-Trialogue outputs and reflect on the options for a post 2020 national strategy for biodiversity as a critical process to inform the post 2020 global biodiversity agenda setting.    
  16 May 2018 By  Katja Heubach; Beraterin im Project ValuES / Advisor ValuES project Following the successful release of the Regional Assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Africa at the IPBES-6 in Medellin, Colombia in March, experts from the African region had held a unique type of workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in April. Co-organised by the Minister of Health, Environment and Sustainable Development (MINSEDD), Swiss Research and Scientific Center (CSRS), WABES, WASCAL, UFZ, PROFIAB and ValuES, supported by the IPBES Secretary, this workshop was the first of this kind in the world. The three-day intensive workshops dialogues focused on how to draw lessons from the IPBES regional assessment and raised questions on how to better inform national governments. During the event, some 40 participants from seven French-speaking African countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad) discussed about adequate strategies and tools to make use of the IPBES assessment report including, for example, the establishment of national platforms to coordinate country-level activities. The participants concluded with draft roadmaps sketching out how they are planning to use the assessment results at the national level. The results of the workshop and lessons learned from the process itself form the basis for further such consultation processes of IPBES and its partner structures. For more information, contact: Katja Heubach, ValuES; Hans-Ulrich Caspary, PROFIAB Read more: http://www.environnement.gouv.ci/actualite.php?rd=598 http://www.csrs.ch/detail_articles.php?idArt=210    
20 March 2018 Nature and biodiversity are the first victims of a peace agreement, especially in the first two years following the end to armed conflict. That is why there is an ecological imperative and urgency in Colombia to work on the linkages between peace and environment. This compelling call to action was made by Wendy Arenas, the Advisor to the Presidential High Council for Post-Conflict, during the dialogue workshop held in Medellin in the margin of the sixth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES6), to launch Colombia´s first ever National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA). Using the guidance developed through the IPBES, NEA intends to deliver a robust evidence base of the interface between ecosystems, biodiversity and human well-being in Colombia.    Left to right : Angela Andrade, Wendy Arenas, Pippa Heylings, Claudia Martinez, Jose Manuel Sandovar  A full house of around 120 people gathered to engage in a dynamic TV talk-show type dialogue between the group of experts for the assessment and a panel. That included Wendy Arenas, Jose Manuel Sandoval, the Director for Green Growth in the National Planning Department, Angela Andrade, the Chair of IUCN´s Ecosystem Management commission and Claudia Martinez, Board member of the Green Climate Fund. This dialogue workshop on Colombian Biodiversity: From Knowledge to Decision-Making was, in essence, a mini Trialogue co-organized by the Humboldt Institute and the Regional Authority of Corantioquia in collaboration with the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), with the support of BES-Net.   Rosario Gomez, the National Coordinator of the NEA process, welcomed the innovative methodology of the BES-Net Trialogues to open up  dialogue  with key political stakeholders and find ways for the Ecosystem Assessment to contribute to Colombia´s overarching policies of Peace and Green Growth. The dialogue workshop was designed and facilitated by Pippa Heylings, the BES-Net Global Facilitator for the Trialogues. This event was a joint effort in engaging key policymakers in ways that can promote policy uptake of assessment findings. This highlights the importance of timing of the Trialogue methodology. Trialogues can (and should) be held at different strategic moments of an ecosystem assessment process - not only at the end of the process once the final assessment report is ready. Building on the momentum generated by this initial event, the BES-Net team continues to work with UNEP-WCMC and the Colombian National Assessment team to identify the strategic moments and opportunities for full-fledged Trialogue to help further overcome the science-policy-practice divide. 
12 March 2018 On the occasion of the sixth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES6), a report was developed, setting out a consolidated progress on the support by UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP to the work of IPBES and its secretariat since #IPBES5. The report outlines the UNDP’s support through BES-Net initiative... Read more  
The first BES-Net Trialogue was held in Sarajevo in October 2017 to reach a common agenda for action around pollinators in Eastern Europe as the driver to foster links between ecosystem services, agriculture and rural development in the region. The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network’s (BES-Net) Trialogue provides a constructive space for the three communities of policymakers, scientists and practitioners to learn together and fostering inter-cultural understanding and interinstitutional coordination around biodiversity/ecosystem issues of common concern. 
The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) invites you to submit good practices and success stories on land degradation and restoration. Your stories will be reviewed and, once approved, shared on the BES-Net portal in a Good Practice Repository to become available in early 2018. In addition, select submissions may be included in upcoming BES-Net newsletters and in BES-Net land degradation and restoration event-related documents to be released in early 2018. The authors will be mentioned as contributors in the publication. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) defines land degradation as the reduction or loss, in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rainfed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as: Soil erosion caused by wind and/or water Deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil Long-term loss of natural vegetation. Land restoration is defined as reversing land degradation processes by conversion to restorative land uses, adoption of recommended management practices and changes to enhance land resilience and restore soil productivity and ecosystem services. Please choose one or more following response options (solutions) to frame and write the story on your good practice:   Key threats to land-based ecosystems and solutions Solutions should examine opportunities to reduce the environmental, social and economic risks, threats and impacts associated with land degradation. Land use change and its impact on land degradation and restoration Solutions that address land use change, including the conversion of land areas to farmlands, pastures, human settlements and urban areas, which can result in land degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Land degradation, restoration and indigenous and local knowledge Solutions should capture and engage various existing concepts and perspectives related to land degradation and restoration, and recognize diverse knowledge systems with a focus on representing indigenous and local knowledge. Land degradation impacts on other natural resources Solutions should address land degradation impacts on other resources such as freshwater, floodplains, wetlands and coastal systems. The focus is on how these ecosystems relate to the provision of services to people – food and water security, and exposure to natural hazards. Land degradation and restoration financing solutions Examples of solutions include financing solutions that have been adopted including public and/or private financing solutions. Land restoration solutions Examples of solutions include land restoration activities, policies and programs at various scales ranging from local to sub-national and national levels. Activities that support the Bonn Challenge, launched a global effort in 2011 to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020, should be highlighted. Climate change and its relation to land degradation and restoration Examples of solutions include targeted habitat creation or restoration to manage refuges and connectivity and increase biodiversity. Eligibility All individuals, communities and organizations are eligible and invited to this opportunity to submit their good practices.  Language The good practices can be submitted in English, Spanish and French.   Submission Guidelines In order to submit your proposal, we invite you to please review these details on submission and use the Good Practice template available here. All submissions should be sent to Marta Panco at marta.panco@undp.org as word documents using the template provided.  
The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) invites you to submit good practices and success stories on pollinators, pollination and food security. Your stories will be reviewed and, once approved, shared on the BES-Net portal in a Good Practice Repository to become available in early 2018. In addition, select submissions may be included in upcoming BES-Net newsletters and in the BES-Net Pollinator Trialogue event-related documents to be released in early 2018. The authors will be mentioned as contributors in the publication. Please choose one or more following response options (solutions) to frame and write the story on your good practice:   Pesticides and their threat to pollination Examples of solutions include: Raise standards of risk assessment and regulations of pesticide use. Reduce usage, seek alternative forms for pest control (IPM), train farmers and land users in good practices. Adopt technologies to reduce spray drift and dust emission. Land use change and its harm to pollination Examples of solutions include: provide food and nesting resources for pollinators; manage or restore habitat patches; establish protected areas, increase habitat heterogeneity favoring diverse gardens and landscape. Intensive agricultural management and the danger to pollination Examples of solutions include: create patches of flower rich habitats, support organic farming, and strengthen existing diversified farming systems, rewards farmers for good practices. Genetically modified (GM) crops and their threat to pollination Examples of solutions include: raise standards of risk assessment for approval of GM crops and quantify the indirect and sub lethal effects of GM crops on pollinators Pathogens, pests and their threat to pollination Examples of solutions include: improve management of bee husbandry, better disease detection and treatment, breeding programmes for disease resistance, improve regulations for trade and mass breeding (nationally and internationally). Climate change and its relation to pollination Examples of solutions include: targeted habitat creation or restoration to manage refuges and connectivity and increase crop diversity (many of these are largely untested). Invasive alien species and the danger to pollination Examples of solutions include: policies and practices to prevent new invasions. Eradication after invasion is rarely successful and very costly. Eligibility: All individuals, communities and organizations are eligible and invited to this opportunity to submit their good practices.  Language:  The good practices can be submitted in English, Spanish and French.   Submission Guidelines: In order to submit your proposal, we invite you to please review these details on submission and use the Good Practice template available here. All submissions should be sent to Marta Panco at marta.panco@undp.org as word documents using the template provided.
15 local and indigenous communities from Africa, Asia, and Latin America have been announced as the winners of the Equator Prize 2017. The winning organizations showcase innovative solutions for tackling poverty, environment, and climate challenges, and they will be honored at a celebratory gala in New York on September 17, 2017. This year's  winners show that investments in nature are an effective and efficient pathway to sustainable development, and they also demonstrate that partnerships are crucial to success – at the international, national, and local levels. If we want to achieve the SDGs, we need to think holistically and combine multiple development benefits. Equator Prize winners do just that in their communities. In Achim Steiner’s words, “Their dedication and commitment  shows  what is possible when communities come together to protect and sustainably manage nature for the benefit of all.”   Please read more in the official announcement here and access the blog post reflecting on lessons learnt from the Equator Initiative’s selection process. More information about this year's Equator Prize winners is available on the website of the Equator Initiative.  
The International Day for Biodiversity is celebrated on May 22 each year. This year's theme, Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism, centers around the important intersection of biologically diverse ecosystems and sustainable tourism. In an effort to celebrate, support and educate, Wiley has put together a special collection of articles about biodiversity and tourism. These articles are free to read and download until June 30th. We hope you find these both interesting and informative. You can access the database here: http://bit.ly/2q2Aj81. We invite you to share this collection with all who might enjoy!  
Biodiversity provides the essential foundations for our very existence, livelihoods, and prosperity. It provides us with clean water, air, soil, food, medicine, and resources for jobs and growth. It underpins global tourism – one of the world’s fastest growing industries with tremendous potential for contributing to sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development. Biodiversity enriches our lives and culture with its many surprises and breathtaking wildlife, instilling in us a sense of wonder, excitement, peace and happiness. We, of course, are a part of biodiversity, too, sharing this finite and astonishingly beautiful planet with all other species, great and small.  Poetry, like literature, philosophy, music, design and all the creative arts, is often inspired by nature - landscapes, wildlife, and the natural world we live in. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that also takes nature as its focus. It is based on a system of three lines and a set syllable pattern. The first and last lines of a haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. This 5-7-5 pattern provides a simple structure around which moving images can be woven together to reflect a common respect, admiration and love for all living things on our shared planet. This simplicity of haiku helps convey the profound beauty of the world around us. UNDP, in cooperation with GEF and CBD have prepared a collection of haikus to help celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, 2017, and this year’s theme of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Download Inspired by nature: Celebrating biodiversity with Haikus here: http://bit.ly/2qJMZQf. Here is a sample, written by Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility: Once in a lifetime Let nature inspire us all We’ll rise up and act