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Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation Conference
19-21 September 2006 | Paris, France

IISD's Summary

Web coverage:
Tuesday, 19 September - Wednesday, 20 September - Thursday, 21 September

Highlights for Thursday, 21 September 2006

From consultation to action: the message from Paris

On Thursday morning, participants viewed the short film produced by EuroAid “What Nature does for Development.”

James Leape, Director General, WWF International, chaired the session, which started with a EuropeAid movie on EU-funded grassroots projects in the DRC. Chair Leape reaffirmed that taking the 2010 target seriously is a prerequisite to achieving the MDGs. However, he noted that we are “in danger of losing the fight” unless the EU makes more effort to direct its development assistance towards biodiversity targets, and to ensure that all of its other policies and practices are in accordance with these targets. He said biodiversity conservation is still hugely under-funded, and noted the unique position of civil society to foster innovative solutions.

Stressing the importance of clear communication, Robert Hepworth, CMS Executive Secretary, lauded the EC’s facilitating role in conservation, naming as an example its support of the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza.

Robert Hepworth, CMS Executive Secretary

Chair James Leape, Director General, WWF International

L-R: Jean Ronald Jumeau, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Seychelles; Chair James Leape, Director General, WWF International; and Robert Hepworth, CMS Executive Secretary

The outcomes of the workshops

The recommendations from the eight workshops that were presented to Plenary.

Ecosystem services contributions to the MDGs – building assets for rural poverty reduction: Emile Frison, IPGRI, summarized discussions on ways to integrate the development and conservation sectors, stressing that the MDGs cannot be achieved without renewed focus on rural development.

Highlighting general recommendations, he stressed the need to:

strengthen policies and institutions that support the formal recognition of rural people’s rights to manage natural resources and benefit from them;
improve data collected by national household budget surveys to capture the value of on-farm and off-farm biodiversity use, in order to inform national-level economic planning cycles;
utilize genetic, species and ecosystem diversity as an asset for rural poverty reduction by enhancing its contribution to poor people’s strategies to minimize risk, improve food security, nutrition and health, and increase resilience.

More information.

Ecosystem services in national development and poverty reduction strategies: Olav Kjørven, UNDP, presented the recommendations of the workshop participants, namely that the integration of environment into poverty reduction and development be supported, through inter alia:

improved information systems and knowledge management about the links between environment and development, accessible at all levels;
greater support to approaches, experiences and tools that work;
greater recognition of the value of integrating environment and development at the local level, while also working to better integrate the environment in macroeconomic and fiscal policy at all appropriate levels;
more friendly administrative rules and procedures of the EC and EU countries; and
greater engagement from international and national development NGOs and the conservation community.

Olav Kjørven, Director, Energy and Environment Group, UNDP

Participants during Olav Kjørven intervention

Challenges for present aid modalities: Johanna Philipps, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), highlighted workshop participants’ recommendations to the EU to, inter alia:

complete the implementation manual by the end of 2006;
recognize the cost of mainstreaming biodiversity;
increase and improve internal environmental capacity;
systematically mainstream ecosystem services and biodiversity issues in support to productive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, transport, and infrastructure, including through the use of strategic environmental assessments;
make country environmental profiles public and available;
strengthen reporting and tracking mechanisms for biodiversity;
develop indicators framework for the EC to monitor its own progress, from the country level to Brussels; and
support partner countries to develop quantifiable indicators to monitor environmental conditions and ensure full integration with existing national economic and social indicators to inform national and sectoral policy planning.

More information.

Communication and education: Michael Ginguld, World Education, said this workshop aimed to improve the role of communications and education in promoting environmental considerations in development cooperation programmes. He highlighted the group’s recommendations, including the need to:

apply communication and learning approaches to remove the barriers between the environment, development and other sectors; and
provide greater attention to capacity building and learning of young people, stakeholders and professionals to increase their capacity to deliver on sustainable development over the long term.

More information.

Innovative financial mechanisms: Hans Friedrich, Head, Conservation Finance and Donor Relations, IUCN, noted the workshop’s call for sustainable, innovative financing, stressing that a larger share of existing financing should be directed towards environmental and biodiversity objectives.

Among recommendations, he highlighted the need to:

promote the creation of environmental funds where possible, and explore the possibilities for ODA contributing to them;
mainstream environment in development cooperation, taking into account the other policy issues such as agriculture, trade, and fisheries, and make the connections between poverty reduction and conservation; and
promote market-based instruments, and create successful public-private partnerships where recipient governments, ODA and business find synergy and opportunities for collaboration.

Alain Lipietz, European Parliament

Juan Marco Álvarez, Salva NATURA, El Salvador

Willem Ferwerda, IUCN Netherlands Committee

Trade and Economic Cooperation: Alain Lipietz, European Parliament, summarized discussions on the various impacts of trade on biodiversity, and how to manage these, stressing the need to ensure coherence between trade, economic and development cooperation in support of sustainable development. He called for a clear division of responsibilities, noting that trade regulations are ineffective if there are loopholes and if enforcement is lacking.

On participation, capacities and information, he said the group had stressed that:

biodiversity can only be defended with active social participation;
national capacity building is needed to promote sustainable development through trade; and
international trade can put excessive pressure on living resources or induce ecosystem change. Trade agreements must therefore be preceded and accompanied by integrated assessments and be compatible with the CBD.

More information.

Governance and stakeholder engagement: Juan Marco Alvarez, Salva Natura- El Salvador, stated that the workshop had recommended the EU:

invest in research in clarifying stakeholders roles and institutionalize these roles;
invest in expanding and strengthening the civil society in partner countries for them to be an equal partner;
demonstrate leadership in developing a better understanding of the causes of failures of the ‘aid promise’, develop clear and transparent rules for the allocation and use of development funds, and ensure necessary institutional capacity at both ends;
provide the leadership and means for partner countries to create a level playing field for business to be an effective partner in delivering conservation;
invest in strengthening civil society’s understanding of business to enhance the prospects for public-private partnerships;
allocate part of its development aid in each region or country into a fund that civil society and governments can draw on to leverage additional funding for conservation and sustainable development from the private sector and other sources; and
use and strengthen indigenous knowledge.

Overseas countries and territories: Willem Ferwerda, IUCN Netherlands Committee, said the workshop concluded that:

the EC and its Member States should increase their efforts to assume their special responsibilities towards OCTs;
OCTs harbor a significant amount of the world’s biodiversity, and are of global importance in terms of the ecosystem services they provide, particularly in mitigating the effects of climate change;
there is a dramatic lack of proper EU funding and strategy, while OCTs also lack access to global funds; and
OCTs provide a huge potential added value for research and action on climate change and biodiversity.

More information.

Rodolfro Magne, Sociedad Sueca para la Protección de la Naturaleza, Sweden

Alberto Paniagua V., PROFONANPE, Peru

Stefania Petrosillo, Federparchi, Italy

European overseas in the spotlight

This panel took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Jean Ronald Jumeau, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Seychelles, who addressed threats to biodiversity and livelihood from climate change. Panel presentations were followed by a discussion.

A specific EU development challenge: EU OCTs: Asii Chemnitz Narup, Minister of Health and Environment, Greenland, emphasized cooperation with the EU on research and action on biodiversity and climate change. She mentioned adverse effects of climate change on Arctic islands’ livelihood. She said that Greenland needs more research on biodiversity but, with a population of 57,000, cannot bear its cost. She requested that the EU contribute to the International Polar Year, 2007-2009, with particular emphasis on research on biodiversity, climate and marine science.

Georges Handerson, Minister of Sustainable Development, French Polynesia, stressed the EU’s special challenge of protecting the rich biodiversity in its OCTs and ORs. He highlighted the OCTs’ common concern of rapid economic development and population growth, noting that biodiversity conservation has received little attention compared to issues such as sanitation and waste management. He outlined French Polynesia’s ambitious new policy to protect biodiversity, including through education, strict regulations, establishment of sanctuaries, a sound institutional and operational structure, local involvement and public-private partnerships. Handerson noted significant progress, but also a persistent need for additional financial resources, logistical support and knowledge exchange, calling upon the EU to assume its special responsibility towards its OCTs. Outlining the negative impacts of climate change on OCTs, he also underscored the importance of regional cooperation.

One participant called for increased attention for the severe problems faced by the Amazon region. Describing the Amazon as the lungs as well as the air conditioning of the world, she said the EU’s actions to combat climate change should focus more on this region.

Jean Ronald Jumeau, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Seychelles

Asii Chemnitz Narup, Minister of Health and Environment, Greenland

Georges Handerson, Minister of Sustainable Development, French Polynesia
Preparing for the future: CBD COP-9 an opportunity to linking biodiversity to the development agenda?

This panel took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Robert Hepworth, CMS Executive Secretary.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, noted that commitment to the 2010 target was reiterated at CBD COP-8 by ministers, heads of delegations, civil society, multilateral and bilateral donors, and the private sector. He stressed the importance of implementing agreed norms and goals by bringing down barriers between sectors. He called on Germany to take the opportunity of COP-9 to transmit the Message from Paris to the whole world, invite ministers of trade and of the environment to start a dialogue, and continue engaging with the private sector on technology transfer.

Jochen Flasbarth, Director General, Nature conservation and Sustainable Use of Nature, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature conservation and Nuclear Safety, described Germany’s plans for hosting CBD COP-9, including links to the 2010 goals and BEDC’s “Message from Paris.” He suggested further linkages to MDGs and additional commitments for outreach of biodiversity to the private sector and civil society. He also suggested that the access and benefit sharing debate will make substantial progress if there is a new regime for consideration at COP-9.

Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO, referred to the Paris Declaration’s principles of integration of biodiversity into economic and policy decisions. He said that BEDC’s Message from Paris will support the 2010 goals, but asked how many messages are necessary to halt biodiversity loss. He urged more and better linkages between principles and actions in biodiversity and development cooperation, particularly in networking protected areas and urban ecology planning. He said that UNESCO will be supporting these efforts and will host the 2007 CBD SBSTA meetings as a platform for dialog of stakeholders to prepare for COP-9 in 2008.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary

Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

Jochen Flasbarth, Director General, Nature conservation and Sustainable Use of Nature, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature conservation and Nuclear Safety

The message from Paris

The Message from Paris was presented by James Leape, Director General, WWF International on Thursday morning. It was compiled from workshop recommendations and will be presented to Finland, which holds the current EU presidency. The Message consists of an introduction, four challenges and a conclusion. Further to comments received in plenary, the Message’s challenges were slightly amended and read on Thursday afternoon by William Jackson.

The introduction, titled “From Commitments to Action,” notes the decline in biodiversity and its adverse impacts on development programs, half of which are funded by the EU. It alludes to EU 2010 goals to halt biodiversity loss, and the OECD and EU commitments to support environmental considerations in development programs.

More information.

William Jackson, Director, Global Programme, IUCN

The way forward

This panel was chaired by Laurence Tubiana, Director, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations.

Setting the scene: a vision beyond Paris: On Thursday afternoon, Agnès Van Ardenne Minister of Development Cooperation, The Netherlands, emphasized resources from biodiversity that are essential to mankind, including biofuels that will address climate change challenges. She discussed new markets that place pressure on the environment with overexploitation and marginalization of the poor. She described some bilateral programs of the Netherlands on transboundary ecosystem management and rainforests. She called for mainstreaming biodiversity in EU programmes and in trade negotiations and suggested enlisting of ministries of trade, finance and economics as well as ministries of environment and development.

From Words To Action – Implementing The Message: Charles Sylvain Rabotoarison, Minister for Environment, Water and Forests, Madagascar, outlined national efforts to link biodiversity conservation to development, including reforestation initiatives and the creation of a trust fund for protected areas. He underscored the importance of awareness raising, close partnerships and regional approaches. He recommended the Cotonou Agreement to include biodiversity protection as a prerequisite for projects funded by the EC.

Samuel Nguiffo, Director, Environment and Development Centre, Cameroon, noted consensus on the need to link biodiversity protection and poverty alleviation and called for concrete actions to implement the Message from Paris, in particular by enhancing good governance in the North and in the South. He suggested adopting guidelines on the promotion of civil society’s participation in the elaboration of development strategies and mainstreaming environmental issues in the international trade regime.

Jean-Luc Roux, Greenpeace International, asked for leadership and determination to make the world’s ambitions, including combating poverty and the loss of biodiversity, a reality. He advocated a radical paradigm shift in global economic thinking, including through a reflection on over-consumption and a real commitment to existing international agreements. He also called for: stronger sanctions on illegal exploitation of natural resources; immediate moratoria on sites where exceptional biodiversity values are threatened; and rapid establishment of a global network of protected areas, particularly covering the marine and forest realms.

Philip Mikos, Head, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, DG Development, EC, said ongoing initiatives are progressing well, including on certification. He noted that international organizations have a role to play in controlling legal trade, and said progress can still be achieved in the area of public awareness. On connecting the worlds of environment and development, he called for political will from donor communities and the active involvement of beneficiary governments.

Olav Kjørven, Director Energy and Environment, UNDP, pointed out that more UNDP resources are spent on biodiversity-related projects than on any other environmental issue. He highlighted a recently launched private MDG support system aimed at scaling up action to achieve the MDGs.

L-R: Laurence Tubiana, Director, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations; and Jean-Luc Roux, Greenpeace International

Panel on "From Words To Action – Implementing The Message"

Philip Mikos, Head, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, DG Development, EC

Samuel Nguiffo, Director, Environment and Development Centre, Cameroon

Olav Kjørven, Director, Energy and Environment Group, UNDP

Jean-Luc Roux, Greenpeace International

Rodrigo Gámez, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica

Corinda Sebastiana Essex, Government of St. Helena, United Kingdom

Ibrahim Thiaw, Acting Director General, IUCN

Agnès Van Ardenne, Minister of Development Cooperation, the Netherlands

Charles Sylvain Rabotoarison, Minister for Environment, Water and Forests, Madagascar

Closing with action – a 2010 commitment

This panel was chaired by Tamas Marghescu, Regional Director for Europe, IUCN. He underlined the importance of awareness raising and communication on the need to halt biodiversity loss.

Jan-Erik Enestam, Minister of Environment, Finland, noted that nature provides food water fuel and shelter to billions of people, and that while biodiversity conservation can improve the quality of human life, it continues to decline. He outlined some of the actions Finland will undertake bring the agreed commitments to action, highlighting the signing of an agreement with Peru in support of the protection of the biodiversity of the Amazon region.

José Salazar García, Minister of Agriculture, Peru, noted the raising awareness about the need to implement the certification of companies that export wood and foods product in his country but underlined the work ahead. He welcomed Finland’s support in conserving the Amazonian biodiversity and invited other countries of the region to learn from the successes of the project.

Rosalia Arteaga, Former President of Ecuador, stressed that six out of the eight Amazonian countries are mega diverse and that most of its inhabitants live in poverty. Noting that the region is victim of biopiracy, she underscored the potential of medical applications of biodiversity research.

Jan-Erik Enestam, Minister of Environment, Finland

Tamas Marghescu, Regional Director for Europe, IUCN

José Salazar García, Minister of Agriculture, Peru

Rosalia Arteaga, Former President of Ecuador

Closing speeches – a reflection on the outcomes

This panel was chaired by Ibrahim Thiaw, Acting Director, IUCN.

Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, EC, asserted that nothing is more important than stopping biodiversity losses, and that business as usual is not an option since these losses are accelerating. He noted that EU policies, including development and economic policies, must include biodiversity to support attainment of MDGs on poverty eradication, health and water. He called on developing countries to integrate biodiversity into development plans. He said that actions must be taken on: trade liberalization to remove subsidies for agriculture and fisheries; economic analysis to value ecosystem services; innovation in approaches on climate change and forests; and EU funding for biodiversity.

Enestam stressed that in order to accelerate the mainstreaming of biodiversity into development policies, an enhanced knowledge base is needed at all levels, in developed as well as developing countries. He encouraged developing countries to improve the political and administrational frameworks of environmental issues, and called for increased political strength and long-term vision. He also called for enhanced coherence in EU policies and for EU assistance to developing countries to implement existing global environmental agreements. Lauding Countdown 2010 as an effective platform to share information and experiences, and as a framework for action, he pledged Finland’s commitment to making sure future EU decisions reflect the Paris Message.

Nelly Olin, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, cautioned against short-term decision making and conflicts between environment and development objectives. She reaffirmed France’s commitment to sustainable development and international cooperation, and outlined its national biodiversity strategy. She commended IUCN for its successes in drawing public attention, initiating fieldwork and practical actions, and advising decision makers, and highlighted progress achieved with regard to an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB).

L-R: Ibrahim Thiaw, Acting Director General, IUCN; Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, EC; José Salazar García, Minister of Agriculture, Peru; Jan-Erik Enestam, Minister of Environment, Finland; Nelly Olin, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development; Rosalia Arteaga, Former President of Ecuador; and Tamas Marghescu, Regional Director for Europe, IUCN

Nelly Olin, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development

Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, EC

Around the conference
Ravi Ralph, India, and Djafarou Ali Tiomoko, Benin

IUCN Communications team. L-R: Dirk Hendricks, Wiebke Herding, and Claire Warmenbol

Your IISD team. L-R: Diego Noguera, digital editor, Colombia; Alice Bisiaux, writer/team leader, France; William McPherson, Ph.D., writer, United States of America; and Nienke Beintema, writer, the Netherlands. Photo taken by Samuel Sangüenza, Executive Director, National Environment Fund of Ecuador.

Web coverage:
Tuesday, 19 September - Wednesday, 20 September - Thursday, 21 September
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