Sri Lanka's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

NBSAP consultation workshop

Project title: Preparation of Sri Lanka’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) for 2016-2022

Location: Sri Lanka

Duration: July 2015 – April 2016

Project Background : Sri Lanka, along with the Western Ghats, is one of 34 ‘biodiversity hotspots’ of the world, with a large proportion of endemic species and a high dependence on its biodiversity for tourism and other social and economic activities. Sri Lanka ratified the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994. Article 6 of the CBD requires contracting parties to develop a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), or an equivalent instrument. This strategy acts as the principle instrument for the implementation of biodiversity conservation at both the national and global level. The CBD also emphasises that the NBSAP should match local needs and context and be realistically implementable. To achieve the Aichi Biodiveristy Targets, it is also proposed that the NBSAP process includes the adoption of global tools and capacity development.  

In response to its obligation to the CBD, Sri Lanka developed the Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity in 1994, and the biodiversity conservation action plan (BCAP) under the title Biodiversity Conservation in Sri Lanka: A framework for action in1998. Although an addendum was made to the BCAP in 2007 to address several key issues, Sri Lanka’s last NBSAP, which was published in 1999 needs to be updated as it does not fully reflect the post-conflict rapid infrastructure developments, current threats, new global developments - including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets - all of which are essential to mainstreaming biodiversity conservation.

As per the 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) of CBD it was recommended that NBSAPs be reviewed, updated and revised, as appropriate, in line with the CBD strategic plan and the guidance adopted, including  integrating  national targets into NBSAPs. In response, the Biodiversity Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment, the focal point for implementing the CBD in Sri Lanka, initiated the process of revising the Sri Lanka NBSAP with the help of the GEF/UNDP funded "National Biodiversity Planning to Support the Implementation of the CBD 2011-2020 Strategic Plan in Sri Lanka" project. The Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the focal ministry for CBD in Sri Lanka, then appointed IUCN to provide technical assistance, and take the lead in revising and updating Sri Lanka’s NBSAP covering the peirod 2016 - 2022.         

After conducting a series of stakeholder-driven, consultative and participatory workshops and information sharing sessions, IUCN proposed a draft NBSAP which was revised and finalised upon recieving stakeholder inputs. National-level stakeholders from the In-situ and Ex-situ biodiversity conservation sector, food and nutrition sector, climate change and development sector and coastal and marine sector were engaged along with the Biodiversity Expert Committee, appointed by the Biodiversity Secretariat.

Objectives of the project:

  • To develop the country strategy and action plan to mainstream biodiversity conservation concerns into  sectoral and cross-sectoral polices, plans and programs.
  • To set national biodiversity conservation targets in line with the framework of the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi targets.
  • To ensure Inclusive Societal Engagement in the development, implementation and updating of NBSAPs.
  • To set provisions for biodiversity planning for states, provinces, cities and other local authorities to develop a sub-national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
  • To mainstream gender considerations in the development and implementation of NBSAPs.

Expected Outputs:

  • Final NBSAP (2016-2022) document that is accepted by stakeholder agencies as a feasible strategy and action plan relevant to country context. 

Donor/s: Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment

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