UN Biodiversity Conference: UNDP Capacity-Building Portal, Yucatán Peninsula Agreement on Sustainability 2030 Launched
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The first week of the UN Biodiversity Conference concluded with the launch of a UN Development Programme (UNDP) web portal to build capacity for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the signing of the Yucatán Peninsula Agreement on Sustainability for 2030 (ASPY).

On 9 and 10 December, the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) addressed three themes: ‘Forest and Agriculture: Complementing the roles of agriculture and forestry to achieve socio-ecological and sustainable development priorities’; ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Biodiversity, Nutrition and Health’; and ‘Linking Public Health and Ecosystem Management: A One Health approach’.

Various side events took place throughout Friday and Saturday.

10 December 2016: The first week of the UN Biodiversity Conference concluded with the launch of a UN Development Programme (UNDP) web portal to build capacity for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the signing of the Yucatán Peninsula Agreement on Sustainability for 2030 (ASPY).

On Friday, 9 December, and Saturday, 10 December, the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) addressed three themes: ‘Forest and Agriculture: Complementing the roles of agriculture and forestry to achieve socio-ecological and sustainable development priorities’; ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Biodiversity, Nutrition and Health’; and ‘Linking Public Health and Ecosystem Management: A One Health approach.’ Various side events took place throughout Friday and Saturday.

The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES-Net) Web Portal launched on 9 December will be managed by the UNDP. BES-Net is a capacity-building “network of networks” that promotes dialogue in the science, policy and practice communities for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystem services, contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

On Saturday, 10 December, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Mexican REDD+ Programme and the Latin American Conservation Council (LACC) launched the Yucatan Peninsula Agreement on Sustainability for 2030 (ASPY). Signing the ASPY, the state governments of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán in Mexico, together with civil society organizations (CSOs) and over 50 companies, committed to green growth and conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

Signing the ASPY, the state governments of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán in Mexico, together with civil society organizations (CSOs) and over 50 companies, committed to green growth and conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula.

On 9 December, Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative (BKEI) presented a side event on the role of human awareness in preserving biodiversity. Themed ‘Awakening Biodiversity Consciousness,’ the event highlighted the importance of developing environmental consciousness and values to address the world’s pressing environmental problems. Participants emphasized, inter alia, that the best way to engage people is to underline that humans are always connected to nature, and that the question is “how.” Among other issues, participants discussed ways in which the international legal system can evolve beyond an anthropocentric approach to allow better manifestation of “Mother Nature.” [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

Reforestamos México, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) presented an event titled ‘Landscape Restoration: Bridging the Gap between Sustainable Rural Development and Biodiversity Targets at the Sub-National Scale,’ on 9 December. It focused on ways in which sub-regional governments promote on-the-ground concrete actions and short-term sustainable rural development. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

New approaches to access and benefit sharing (ABS) were addressed in an event convened by the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA). It made the case for “natural information and bounded openness.” Participants considered whether tangible and intangible characteristics of genetic resources can be distinguished for ABS. During a discussion held at the end of the event, participants considered, inter alia: the checks and balances that can be implemented to protect both users and providers; the application of royalty payments that is eroding the value of gene diversity; types of payment triggers; the importance of tailoring ABS to future realities in economics and administration; and the point along the supply chain where payments would be made. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

On Saturday, 10 December, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a workshop on the theme, ‘Biodiversity-Related Development Finance: Towards Better Tracking.’ The workshop comprised two sessions on approaches to tracking biodiversity-related development finance, and on how the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) can be used to track biodiversity-related official development assistance (ODA). Participants discussed, inter alia: the complexities of reporting, particularly against the backdrop of mainstreaming biodiversity; the need to ensure that ODA actually benefits biodiversity; the importance of sharing information to avoid overlaps and improve transparency; and the need to consider biodiversity finance related to private lands. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

Other events held at the end of the first week of the UN Biodiversity Conference addressed, among others: using solutions to share knowledge and create evidence-based innovation; and the impacts of “philanthrocapitalism” on biodiversity. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

The RCP convened on 9 and 10 December. The theme for the Friday’s RCP was ‘Forest and Agriculture: Complementing the roles of agriculture and forestry to achieve socio-ecological and sustainable development priorities.’ Participants discussed, among other issues: biodiversity mainstreaming for climate-smart agriculture; food security and sustainable forest management; the role of forests and forest ecosystem services as essential elements of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation; land use frameworks for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and ecological intensification and ecosystem services.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) launched a report titled, ‘Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity into Agricultural Production Management in the Pacific Islands.’ The event was organized by the FAO, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and Mexico, together with Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) member organizations, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Bank and others. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio Conventions Pavilion]

On Saturday, the RCP convened under two themes. The event held under the first theme, ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Biodiversity, Nutrition and Health,’ was presented by the CBD, International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), with FAO, UN Environment and UN University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) as contributing organizers. The event held under the second theme, ‘Linking Public Health and Ecosystem Management: A One Health approach,’ was organized by EcoHealth Alliance, with the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), Future Earth, World Health Organization (WHO) and partners.

The first session explored co-benefits of promoting sustainable and healthy food systems and diets for the environment, biodiversity and health; and made recommendations on the transition towards sustainable and healthy food systems. The second session sought to: explore the links between forests and health, including risk factors; plan approaches and preventive measures; and identify priorities for knowledge products that can be developed under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio Conventions Pavilion]


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