UNEP Report Assesses National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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UNEP released a report assessing country progress in NBSAP development and national implementation.

The report finds that second-generation NBSAPs have paid increased attention to both horizontal and vertical biodiversity mainstreaming, and focused more on the correlation between biodiversity and poverty reduction and sustainable development.

July 2018: Second-generation National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) are “more targeted” than first-generation NBSAPs, according to a report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment). The report assesses country progress in NBSAP development and national implementation and country readiness to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The 10th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Aichi Target 17 calls on each CBD Party to develop, adopt and implement an “effective, participatory and updated NBSAP” by 2015. The report titled, ‘Assessment of Post -2010 National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans,’ reviews 115 NBSAPs submitted by September 2016. These post-2010 NBSAPs are also referred to as “second-generation” NBSAPs.

According to the report, mainstreaming “has been difficult to put into practice at the national level.”

The report focuses on Parties’ readiness to mainstream biodiversity across sectoral policies and plans. According to the report, biodiversity mainstreaming “has been difficult to put into practice at the national level,” with historically poor correlation between NBSAPs and sectoral or cross-sectoral policies. Despite this challenge, the report underscores the importance of biodiversity mainstreaming for achieving both the Aichi Targets and the SDGs. A large number of the second generation NBSAPs, particularly those from least developed countries (LDCs), now align themselves with broader cross-sectoral policies and plans related to poverty alleviation and development. Nearly all NBSAPs address the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors but few address extractive industries, the energy sector or infrastructure development.

On vertical mainstreaming, the report finds that more attention has been paid to the devolution of authority in the second generation NBSAPs and that a large number of NBSAPs explicitly recognize the need for action on biodiversity mainstreaming at the local level. For example, the report highlights Peru’s NBSAP, which recognizes that governance is most efficient and effective and involves citizens when it is “as close as possible to the resources to be managed.”

The report further assesses the preparation and adoption of NBSAPs as a policy instrument, reflecting that the most successful processes adopt a bottom-up, participatory approach to ensure commitment to and ownership of implementation. The report highlights Antigua and Barbuda, Cabo Verde and Peru as countries with particularly broad, extensive NBSAP processes. According to the report, most NBSAPs are adopted by the national authority responsive for the CBD, such as a Ministry of Environment. In Hungary and Norway, the national parliaments adopted the respective NBSAPs.

The report concludes that the second-generation NBSAPs have increased correlation with poverty reduction and sustainable development strategies and offer positive potential for mutually supportive implementation of the NBSAPs and the SDGs. The report further concludes that the second-generation NBSAPs contain much more direct and focused goals, targets and actions but expresses concern that mainstreaming of goals and targets may not be fully coordinated at the political level with sectoral ministries. [Report Webpage] [Publication: Assessment of Post -2010 National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans]

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