The URBES project (BiodivERsA 2010-2011 call) has been awarded the opportunity to present their work in the animated video part of the first BiodivERsA Prize for Excellence and Impact. This prize acknowledges the excellent, pioneering research performed in URBES. The project demonstrated, for the first time at this scale, the importance and value of ecosystem services and nature-based solutions provided by urban biodiversity in European cities, enabling authorities to work with these concepts part of their urban planning strategies.
Check it out here: “What’s the role of nature? Scientists involved in the URBES project inspire sustainable urban planning for people and nature.”.
Date: 12 October 2018
Building on the discussions during the BES-Net’s Caribbean Regional Trialogue, an interactive online platform was established to jointly track pollinators and pests of plant species across the countries in the Caribbean region. This initiative encourages people to take photos of the animal species on plants they see in the gardens, fields, school, etc., and upload on the platform as ‘citizen scientists’ to help scientists record and identify pollinators and pests across the countries.
"The idea is to create a community of pollinator citizen scientists”, said Dr. Lena Dempewolf, who used the iNaturalist platform to create the Caribbean pages for data input. “It is a collaborative effort between different people which will help educate the general public, including school children and farmers. It brings everybody together to increase awareness and knowledge of useful pollinators and harmful pests. The data coming out of the initiative is free and can be used for the government policymaking and scientific research.”
The pilot sites are open in Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia and Grenada, and the available data is also viewable at the regional level. In Trinidad and Tobago, a flyer was produced by the Ministry of Planning and Development to promote the effort as part of the country’s Vision 2030 Initiative.
BES-Net Trialogues are multi-stakeholder dialogues focusing on specific policy questions at the national and regional levels. The Trialogues bring together the three BES-Net communities of science, policy and practice into clear and constructive dialogue. At the regional level, Trialogues aim at strengthening the interface between science/traditional knowledge, policy and practice, and enhance national capacity to integrate findings and recommendations from the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Thematic Assessments into policy, planning and on-the-ground programmes and projects.
The Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience was organized on 4-6 September 2018 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with the aim to raise awareness of the findings of the IPBES Thematic Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and promote policy uptake of the report’s recommendations in the Caribbean region, particularly the seven IPBES Member States in the Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Date: 24 September 2018
BES-Net’s second regional Trialogue was successfully organized on 4-6 September 2018 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Building on the experiences and lessons learnt from the Eastern European Regional Trialogue in October 2017, the event was held with the aim to raise awareness of the findings of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services‘ (IPBES) Thematic Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and promote policy uptake of the report’s recommendations in the Caribbean region.
The Trialogue brought together BES-Net’s three target communities of science, policy and practice for face-to-face dialogue around the theme of Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience from seven IPBES Member States in the Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Terms like pollinators and pollination may still be uncommon in many parts of the Caribbean, yet the Caribbean island countries are in a challenging ecological position. They are blessed with the benefits of rich and unique insular biodiversity, but these benefits have been increasingly threatened as a result of land use change, recurrent extreme climate events, and invasive alien species, etc.” said UNDP’s Director for Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification and BES-Net Project Manager, Anne Juepner. “The Trialogue applies various innovative tools and approaches so that participants are encouraged to use all five senses fully and see, hear, taste, smell and touch the theme of pollinators and pollination, which in turn will enable them to frame it not as a pure environmental but as broader economic, social and cultural issue.”
Field visit and tasting of pollinator-dependent food
During the three-day journey, the Trialogue participants jointly reviewed the status of pollinators in the region; analyzed their importance to sustainable local food production and climate resilience; assessed ways to address the challenges of invasive pests and pathogens, land-use change and pesticide use; and identified response options on how to face these obstacles and maximize important co-benefits of sustainable management and protection of pollinators and their habitats.
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, as a new member of the Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators, hosted the event and expressed their commitment to lead and facilitate the national/regional efforts to promote pollinators in the Caribbean.
Lic. Daneris Santana, Vice-Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic
Lic. Daneris Santana, Vice-Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, highlighted that the Trialogue provided the country with an important opportunity to deepen the knowledge on relevant role of pollinators in staple food production and other exportable goods that contribute to foreign trade in our country. He added that uniting policymakers, scientists and representatives from the local communities to deliberate and reflect on the contributions of wild pollinators to biodiversity, food security and human well-being is an innovative experience, which will lead to positive policy actions, ensuring that ecosystems and various pollinators species within the Caribbean receive suitable protection.
Date: 18 September 2018
The 22nd meeting of the Convention’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-22) and the second meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-2), which were held from 2 to 13 July 2018 in Montreal, Canada, represented the last preparatory processes before the UN Biodiversity Conference 2018 being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt this November.
The meetings resulted in recommendations to accelerate and scale up actions needed to achieve existing global biodiversity targets by 2020 (the Aichi Biodiversity Targets). During SBSTTA-22, delegates discussed pollinators and pollination and they welcomed the draft global Plan of Action 2018-2030 for the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators and recommended that COP 14 adopt it. In the new Plan of Action, governments urged the engagement of businesses, indigenous peoples and local communities, and other relevant actors, involved in production landscapes, to address the drivers of loss of wild and managed pollinators in all ecosystems.
SBBSTA also considered the role of pollinators beyond agriculture and food production. The draft full report on the relevance of pollinators and pollination to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in all ecosystems beyond their role in agriculture and food production will be posted for peer review comments, and it will be available for the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
 Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 17 - 29 November 2018 Egypt; Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, 17 - 29 November 2018; Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, 17-29 November 2018; and the High-Level Segment of the fourteenth meeting of Conference of the Parties and concurrent meetings of the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols, 14-15 November 2018.
 Recommendation SBSTTA-22/9 Conservation and sustainable use of pollinators - https://www.cbd.int/doc/recommendations/sbstta-22/sbstta-22-rec-10-en.pdf
 CBD/SBSTTA/22/INF/21 - https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/3bf6/6dd2/f2282b216e6ae4bd24943d44/sbstta-22-inf-21-en.pdf
Date: 06 August 2018
26 July 2018,
“The Arab region is full of potential. Over the past decades, the region has seen significant economic and social progress. Climate risks threaten to derail these development gains. This could disrupt efforts to build peace, cause a spike in ‘eco-migrants,’ and undermine efforts to end hunger, poverty and inequality by 2030,” said Adriana Dinu, Director, Global Environmental Finance, UNDP.
The region is home to rising levels of conflict and the world’s largest population of refugees and displaced people, according to the report. Simultaneously, it is now the planet’s most water-scarce and food-import-dependent region, and the only region where malnutrition rates have been rising. “The Arab region was the birthplace of agricultural civilization and for thousands of years has been able to cope with risks from climatic hazards. But climate change is now happening at a pace unlike anything before, stretching the ability of societies to cope,” said Mourad Wahba, Assistant Administrator and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States. “Over the past decade, the region has witnessed cycles of drought, the frequency and severity of which are beyond anything seen for hundreds of years in the region. This has contributed to situations of famine and food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and life, and the displacement of millions.” The impacts of climate change are exacerbating the existing challenges of sustainably managing limited natural resources across the Arab Region. Climate change-related desertification has expanded, greatly increasing the vulnerability of the local population. The region’s environment is highly vulnerable to rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and increased risks of floods and droughts, according to the report. Current climate change projections show that by the year 2025, the water supply in the Arab region will be only 15percent of levels in 1960. With population growth around 3 per cent annually and deforestation spiking to 4 per cent annually to produce charcoal and fuel the Gum Arabic trade, the region now includes 14 of the world’s 20 most water-stressed countries. In fragile countries such as Somalia, illegal armed groups such as Al-Shabaab have increasingly attracted young people who are affected by drought-induced food insecurity and who have limited job prospects, according to the report findings. UNDP supports countries in the four sub-regions of the Arab region (Mashreq, Maghreb, Arab Gulf and the Horn of Africa) to adapt to climate change impacts and to prepare for disaster risks. Climate change adaptation projects in the region support improved natural resource management practices, diversified incomes, policy support, and ecosystem-based adaptation approaches designed to improve productivity for farmers and pastoralists. “UNDP works closely with our national partners to build the resilience of institutions and communities to anticipate, absorb and adapt to increasingly complex risks from climate change. UNDP has rapidly expanded its support in recent years in this regard, through a strong partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and key bilateral donors. As we empower countries and communities, UNDP promotes integrated solutions to achieve SDG 13 on climate action and the Paris Agreement, while bringing co-benefits for SDGs on food and water security, health, gender equality, combating land degradation and reducing the loss of biodiversity,” said Mahba. “To address the myriad challenges that climate change is bringing to the Arab States, we need to be innovative, we need to be bold, and we need to support the people in building the enabling environments they need to thrive in our fast-changing world,” Dinu said.
Report: Climate Change Adaptation in the Arab States
UNDP in the Arab States
UNDP Climate Change Adaptation
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer a global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations
Date: 27 July 2018
In the margin of the second meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-2) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) organized a side event entitled “The role of National Ecosystem Assessments (NEAs) in the post-2020 agenda: opportunities for policy impact” on 12 July 2018 in Montreal, Canada.
The event showcased the practical examples of the NEA works undertaken within BES-Net framework in four countries thus far, namely Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia and Viet Nam, and the anticipated impact the project will have at both the national and global level. An active panel discussion was also held on the role of NEAs in the post-2020 biodiversity agenda setting and national decision-making processes. Read more >
Date: 17 July 2018
Land degradation affects us all directly or indirectly: food insecurity,
pests, reduced availability of clean water, increased vulnerability
to climate change, biodiversity loss, and much more.
However, policy often fails to acknowledge this problem or is
incapable to identify solutions.
That’s why we offer this MOOC, to help understand how to
influence policymaking to foster sustainable soil protection and
Theoretical and methodological input by experts will help you to
clarify specific policy objectives, the preferred modes of communication
of your target group, and to identify the most suitable
engagement techniques or activities. You will have the opportunity
to exchange views and experiences with experts and
participants and work on the topic in an international network of
practitioners, scientists and policymakers.
Date: 12 July 2018