A new tool was recently unveiled at the 11th Conference of Parties – Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-CBD) in India. It will help countries meet their existing obligations regarding development, poverty eradication and maintenance of biodiversity.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has long emphasized the need for integrating or 'mainstreaming' biodiversity into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies. National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans 2.0 (NBSAPs) is a three-year project intended to support the revision of NBSAPs, as requested at the 10th COP-CBD conference in Nagoya. It has resulted in a diagnostic tool called "Biodiversity Mainstreaming – Integrating biodiversity, development and poverty reduction", which was recently launched at COP 11 in the Indian city Hyderabad. The tool enables policymakers to assess their countries’ progress in the integration of biodiversity and development, and identify barriers to progress.
Pilot countries as support
Four pilot countries in Africa are already using the tool and have participated in the project to support the integration at the national level. The countries have received support and guidance in the revisioning process and also help in building African leadership in biodiversity mainstreaming.
- The feedback from the countries was that it was really useful and helped them think not just about the current status of biodiversity mainstreaming, but also the opportunities and challenges for better integration with the development agenda. They all stressed the need for cross-sectoral coordination, says Dilys Roe, senior researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) who leads the three-year project together with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).
If well executed in planning, investment and implementation, this could be a project integrating global objectives in poverty reduction and maintenance of biodiversity on a local scale. In this way, the cross-sectoral method of work may create a resilient policy and development regarding both societal and ecological aims.
Multi-tool for multiple opportunities
Trough research, dialogue and action the project aims to achieve better development over multiple sectors. Economic and developmental policy will create incentives to sustainably manage and protect environmental assets. Biodiversity and environmental policy plans and investment will work to support people's livelihoods, help reduce poverty and create wealth. By connecting in-country organizations the intention is to create sustainable development synergies, rather than obstructions, and the hope is that biodiversity will be seen as an opportunity to help achieve broader societal goals.
The new tool can help nations to build an economy around biodiversity through, for instance, trade in biodiversity-based products and services, improved genetic diversity for agriculture, and green jobs in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, and ecotourism. Fields closely linked to, thus affecting poverty and development.
As of now the 193 countries party to the CBD will be revising their own NBSAPs until 2014 when the implementation process is set to start.