Mesoamerica CEPA workshop for biodiversity action plans

10 December 2011 | News story

 CEC member Tania Moreno delivered a CEPA presentation at the recent CBD Regional Workshop for Mesoamerica on Updating NBSAPs.

By Tania Moreno, CEC member

A presentation on CEPA was delivered by CEC member Tania Moreno at the Mesoamerica Workshop that took place in Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica from the 28th November to 2nd December 2011. The regional event organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity gathered more than 30 experts and officials responsible for the development and application of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans from Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic.

The session on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) was titled “Public Participation and Strategic Communication”. The organizers asked me to include stakeholders participation as part of my presentation because they feel that the participation topic was a gap in other workshops. This session was the last one of the workshop and we only had 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Taking into account the level of the participants I felt it was best to presente on the them of “CEPA, three points to remember in strategic communication”. We didn´t have time to work in groups with the flip chart template but we did a brainstorming about what works in biodiversity communication in the Mesoamerica region, and these were the most important points:

  1. Dissemination of success stories
  2. Bring attractive information
  3. Use of diagrams and pictures instead of text
  4. Communicating science in a simple way
  5. Relate human well being to ecosystem services
  6. Mainstreaming actions and work with all institutions
  7. Use of the local media like radio spots
  8. Use of popularized versions of documents
  9. Put the heart and soul in the work

The video “Love. Not Loss” was well-received, though I would have liked more time to dicuss it.

In the presentation I included background information about the importance of communication and participation in planning processes for ensuring the appropriation of the stakeholders. Also by recommendation of Nadine Saad from the CBD, I included an exercise to reflect about the status of participation processes in each country. Most countries conclude that in their NBSAP planning processes there are in a level of shared decision making.