In April 2012, IUCN and partners were granted the European Commission funding for the project “Building partnerships and awareness of Europe overseas biodiversity and climate change for the future of an EU Voluntary Scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST)”.
About the project
The project aims to strengthen biodiversity conservation and climate change adaption in Europe overseas by:
- raising Europe overseas’ profile and generating support for action;
- proposing mechanisms to enhance biodiversity and climate change policies and programmes targeted at Europe overseas.
In particular, between 2012 and 2014 we have joined forces to:
- strengthen EU level partnership mechanisms, information sharing, networking mechanism for coordinated and informed action on Europe overseas, building on existing initiatives;
- develop proposals to the EC for the sustainability of a BEST initiative, based on initial guidance of the Europe Overseas Roundtable on Biodiversity and Climate Change, and informed by expert advice on innovative solutions for governance and financial mechanisms;
- raise awareness and mobilize support for Europe overseas biodiversity and climate change at regional, EU and international levels, showcasing BEST and other Europe overseas initiatives on biodiversity and climate change, thus demonstrating leadership and excellence of Europe overseas in the EU and international fora.
The European Union's BEST Initiative to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate adaptation and mitigation, in the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories is a follow-up to the Message from Reunion Island (2008).
Through the BEST Preparatory Action, initiated by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission, 16 projects were funded under the Open Calls for Proposals BEST-2011 and BEST-2012. 2 reserve list projects were funded through the Agence francaise de Développement.
The 18 BEST projects include activities in the regions of the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean Region, French Guiana, Greenland, Antarctic and Macaronesia. They address issues such as activities for designation and management of terrestrial and marine protected areas, activities for combating invasive alien species, synergies using ecosystem services for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as networking, education, capacity building and outreach activities.