Pacific charts course for conservation of nature

04 October 2011 | Event

Pacific Island Countries committed to reviewing and updating their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) at a recent regional meeting held in Nadi earlier this month.

The 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity last year approved a series of far-reaching decisions that seek to refine the implementation of the convention and define clear targets to move forward on.

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the twenty Aichi targets outline the approach to meet these targets.

The meeting was well attended by representatives from regional non-government organizations including SPREP, IUCN, RARE, BirdLife International and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and participants from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Discussions focused on the approach to develop national targets and processes to review National Biodiversity Action Plans to fulfill commitments set out in the strategic plan.

Andrew Seidl, Head of the IUCN Global Economics and Environment Programme, provided guidance on target 3 of the Strategic Plan which sought to identify mechanisms to “by 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies,
harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied”.

Bernard O’Callaghan, Regional Program Coordinator, IUCN Oceania Regional Office, highlighted the work the regional office was doing to compile a Pacific Red Listing Process in the Pacific. This will contribute to assisting countries reaching Target 12 of the Strategic Plan, which is “by 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained”.

The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with the financial support of the Government of Japan and hosted by the Government of Fiji.

Other important meetings that were held during the week were the Sub-Regional Workshop for the Pacific on Capacity Building for Implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas and a workshop to introduce to countries the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in conjunction with GIZ specialists.

Over the next 4 years, Pacific Islands Countries will be supported in their efforts towards implementation of the ABS protocol through the BIOPAMA Project, a new European Union funded initiative.

For more information contact:
IUCN Oceania Regional Programme Coordinator, Bernard O’Callaghan. Ph: +679 3319084; E: bernard.ocallaghan@iucn.org