On 3 September, in the margin of the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) event in New Delhi, India, the BES-Net organized a side together with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
While LDN setting and implementation process are largely led by Government in many countries, as the UN Secretary General firmly stated, it is everybody’s business to put degraded lands back to life. We, humans, all depend our life and livelihoods on land directly or indirectly. With just over a decade left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets, including SDG15.3, it is of critical importance to bring all the stakeholders together for the land rehabilitation, restoration and management actions, building on the latest scientific evidences as well as the long-established traditional local knowledge and practice.
The aim of the side event was to demonstrate the potentials of scaling up and accelerating the implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by strengthening the science-policy-practice interface. The event presented the latest land-related scientific evidences produced by IPBES, as well as the BES-Net’s Trialogue tool, as a window of opportunity to promote the integration of these new findings and recommendations into national/sub-national policies and on-the ground practices. The representatives of from Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia also shared their respective insights including the key highlights of the country team’s experiences at the Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue and brief summaries of any post-Trialogue actions ongoing and/or planned by science, policy and practice communities in support of LDN implementation.
The Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue was organized on 28-30 May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, with the financial support of to the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and SwedBio at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
For more information please press here.
Date: 04 September 2019
As part of the implemention of the national strategy to protect pollinating species threatened with extinction, Nigeria joined the ‘Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators’, a global alliance of like-minded countries for promoting pollinator protection. To affirm this commitment, the nation’s federal officials signed the Declaration of the Coalition of the Willing on 25 July 2019 in Abuja.
By signing the Declaration, Nigeria reaffirmed its commitment to take action to protect pollinators and their habitats by developing and implementing national pollinator strategies consistent with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) thematic assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production; sharing experience and lessons in developing and implementing national pollinator strategies; reaching out to seek collaboration with a broad spectrum of stakeholders; developing research on pollinator conservation; and supporting the collaboration.
Mr Sikiru Tiamiyu, the Deputy Director in the Forestry Department of the Federal Ministry of Environment said: “The project is about pollinators and how it relates to land degradation. The idea behind the project is that, for any crop to yield, there must be pollination.”
During the signing event, participants also reviewed and adopted the Pollinator Friendly Land Degradation Neutrality Country Action Plan, which was the key outcome of the Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue: Bright Spots for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), Pollinators and Food Security, which was organized by the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) on 28-30 May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Regional Trialogue reviewed the key messages of the two inter-linked thematic assessment reports produced by IPBES on pollinators, pollination and food production and land degradation and restoration and their relevance to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
Nigeria becomes the 28th signatory to the Declaration, following Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ethiopia, Ireland, Luxemburg, Mexico, Slovenia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, BES-Net, Norway, Estonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Morocco and Burundi.
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Please download the Press Statement here: [ENG] [DUTCH]
Date: 30 July 2019
Environment News, Nigeria
Dr. Venecia Alvarez, a participant in the BES-Net’s Caribbean Regional Trialogue, recently contributed an article to the Verdor Magazine - the magazine of the Dominican Academy of Sciences in the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Alvarez is a member of the Commission of Natural Sciences and Environment of the Dominican Academy of Sciences and a member of the panel of experts of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for the Caribbean and Latin American region. Her article titled “IPBES’s role in the Dominican Republic” sheds light on the BES-Net Trialogue, which was held on 4-6 September 2018 in Santo Domingo, and the post-Trialogue actions having taken to date in the Dominican Republic.
Inter alia, the author analyzes the relevance and importance of the United Nations’ collaboration to promote the uptake of the IPBES assessment findings and messages in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, through the lenses of the first IPBES Global thematic Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. The author highlights how the Trialogue brought together the seven island countries of the Caribbean Region and facilitated the multisectoral dialogues of political, scientific and practice communities around the themes of protecting the pollinators with the improved understanding of their roles in food security and the resilience to climate change in the region. Some of the keys agreed on follow-up action points by the participants include:
guarantee a greater diversity of habitats;
promote sustainable agriculture;
support of traditional practices such as:
management of the habitat patch and the rotation of crops
broader education and knowledge exchange;
decreased exposure of pollinators to pesticides;
improve the breeding of bees.
Dr. Alvarez states in the same article that “As a result of the second Regional Trialogue, the participants agreed on the development and implementation of a Regional Action Plan, which includes national and local actions for each country.
As she further emphasizes “The Dominican Republic, through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, committed to comply with the priority actions, identified and included in said Action Plan. With this activity, IPBES made a valuable contribution, to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as food production, to the benefit of the well-being of all the Dominicans.
From the current edition of this Verdor Magazine, the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic will monitor compliance with commitments assumed by the Dominican State, through the Plan of Action 2018-2030.
In this way, this scientific entity intends to do their contribution from an academic point of view to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use for pollinators, their importance in biodiversity, in the production of food and therefore in the reduction of poverty”, stated Dr. Alvarez.
For more information about IPBES in the Dominican Republic, please read the original article in Spanish here.
Date: 02 July 2019
The concept of the Blue Economy has recently attracted considerable attention as a basis to strengthen marine ecosystems, through which to promote economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. This approach underscores the importance of using ocean and other water resources sustainably. A number of initiatives have already been implemented around the world, such as the regulation of coastal activities, sustainable wetlands management, mangroves restoration, management of storm surges and fishing activities, etc., as the strategies to strengthen habitat protection of the marine environment and reduce pollution among other issues.
A side event conducted during the recent UN Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, in May 2019 triggered discourse on how to enhance stakeholders’ partnerships and collaboration at national and international levels to address the common challenges and opportunities between Blue Economy and cities. Several nations recognised that cities take a center stage in solving environmental issues. Cities consume large amounts of natural resources, produce tonnes of waste and emissions, all of which have significant impacts on the regional and planetary environment. Effective urban and regional planning is therefore crucial and must be managed by anticipating, mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Member countries of the UN Habitat Governing Council concurred on the importance of protecting and restoring the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystem to maintain their diversity and to enable sustainable use of resource for the present and future.
The UN Habitat Background Paper on Blue Economy and Cities (2018) stresses that ‘spatial planning, integrated conservation, sustainable and efficient resource use are necessary tools and mechanisms to achieve sustainable development.’ The Paper highlights governance of marine and other water body environments and harmonizing them into national and regional urban policies, goals, plans and actions for better economic, social and environmental outcomes. It also underscores the importance of involving all stakeholders in the Blue Economy infrastructure planning and design for cities, including informal settlements, low carbon plans and basic services while taking into consideration hinterlands, maritime space and foreland to drive integrated solutions. A holistic approach would be further supported by effective governance and financing.
More details are available here:
Date: 25 June 2019
BES-Net’s third Regional Trialogue, “Bright Spots on Land Degradation, Food Security and Pollinators” was held on 28-30 May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Kenya and supported financially by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and SwedBio at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Focusing on Anglophone Africa, the three-day event was participated by a diverse group of people from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, as well as the key resource people from the regional and international organizations. The objective of the Anglophone Africa Trialogue was to inform future land use and management decision-making process at regional, national and local levels based on the improved understanding of land-based ecosystem services, particularly pollinators and pollination, and their contributions to food security, climate change resilience and sustainable development.
“Trialogue reminds us of the need to bring out the nexus between land degradation, biodiversity loss and loss of pollinators more than ever,” said Mr. Richard Mwendandu, Director of the Multilateral Environment Agreement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya. “Unless we build those three up, we will not be able to reverse food insecurity which we are experiencing in most countries in Anglophone Africa region.”
The Trialogue offered a variety of interactive sessions both indoor and outdoor and in both plenary and smaller working groups to unpack the messages of the IPBES thematic assessment reports and encourage all three communities of science, policy and practice to engage proactively and speak more freely. Accordingly, stimulating and inspiring discussions were held, with the exchanges of “bright spots”, or practical good practice examples available, on how to improve the resilience of ecosystems and their fundamental services in support of achieving various Sustainable Development Goals, such as zero hunger (SDG 2) and Land Degradation Neutrality (SDG15.3).
Building on the proven success stories and lessons learned, the participants jointly came up with a series of concrete actions to be undertaken as regionally- and nationally- adapted versions of the policy and management options to uptake the IPBES assessment recommendations. “BES-Net brought together researchers, policymakers and practitioners and helped form a network, bridging the gap that has existed among them for a long time,” said Mr. Benneth Obitte, Director, Small Mammal Conservation Organization. “The most important thing coming out of this network is that, as we move forward, we are committed to serve as the champions and work together to lead the implementation of the national and regional actions.”
Date: 10 June 2019
GEF-UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP), in partnership with all three Rio Conventions, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and TVE, is organizing the 2019 Global Youth Video Competition for the upcoming Climate Summit and Conventions’ COPs.
The 2019 competition will focus on 3 themes: land, biodiversity and climate action. It seeks to encourage young people from around the world to submit videos showcasing positive solutions on three themes: Nature-based Solutions for Food and Human Health; Cities and Local Action to Combat Climate Change; and Nature-Based Solutions to balance the use of land for people and ecosystems.
“Young people have the capacity to influence adults and convince them to act now, and before it is too late”, said Cristiana Paşca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary. The competition recognizes that more and more young people are now voicing concern about environmental degradation and are able to contribute great ideas for solving environmental issues.
One winner will be selected per category and the three winners will attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December 2019. The winning videos will be screened in front of a global audience at the conference. In addition, the videographers will have the opportunity to work with UN Climate Change’s communications team, covering highlights of the conference.
To apply for the competition please press here: https://biomovies.tve.org. The deadline for submissions is 28 July.
More details available from the press release here:
Date: 03 June 2019