The SADC Secretariat in collaboration with IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have embarked on a process of developing the Southern Africa Regional Biodiversity Action Plan demonstrating a commitment to the 2010 Biodiversity Target.
“The Regional Action Plan will enable operationalisation of the strategy which was developed in 2006,” says Mr Alex Banda, Senior Programme Manager, in the SADC Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR). The plan will among other things aim to minimize adverse impacts on biodiversity, eliminate significant adverse impacts; and encourage and promote beneficial effects on biodiversity.
The Action Plan is aimed at enhancing the regional and national capacities to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provisions, through addressing institutional and human capacity gaps, and adopting a more integrated approach to biodiversity conservation.
The plan will be used as a blue print to guide Member States in developing and implementing their own National Action Plans (NAPS).
“IUCN mobilized resources from the European Union through its Countdown 2010 Initiative to support SADC on this important endeavour which will be a key achievement towards meeting the Biodiversity 2010 and post-2010 targets,” said Hastings Chikoko, Head of the IUCN South Africa Office. The IUCN South Africa Office is facilitating the development of the Regional Biodiversity Action Plan for Southern Africa on behalf of SADC.
In an effort to further the conservation of biodiversity in the region, the SADC region prepared its Regional Biodiversity Strategy in 2006 with technical support from IUCN. The strategy provides a framework for cooperation on biodiversity issues that transcend national boundaries. It is premised on the fact that the state of the environment, including biodiversity, is a major determinant of the growth and development of the region and impacts on the lives of its citizens.
The SADC Regional Biodiversity Strategy identified a wide range of biodiversity problems and challenges being faced by the region in trying to conserve biodiversity and offers various strategies to reinforce biodiversity conservation and management. The Action Plan will thus provide a tool for operationalising this strategy.
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