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  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.    Field visit “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
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26 July 2018, Amman “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. Links Report: Climate Change Adaptation in the Arab States Executive Summary 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
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Our 2018 Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services Brochure is out!  Find more information on BES-NET activities in ringing science, policy and practitioners together for face to face talks, National Ecosystems Assessments and an online package for networking. Have a look at our funding partners and much more!   Click to view or download the 2018 brochure 
Date: 26 June 2018
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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.    
Date: 23 May 2018
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  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    
Date: 18 May 2018
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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. 
Date: 22 March 2018
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