Members of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Technical Committee on Environment have endorsed the new SADC Biodiversity Action Plan for approval by the SADC Ministers of Environment at the next Ministerial meeting in May 2013. The SADC Technical Committee meeting, which was held from April 9 – 12, in Gaborone, Botswana, convened 11 SADC Member States who thoroughly reviewed and discussed the final draft of the Action Plan that was presented by IUCN ESARO.
“This is an important step towards achieving a more harmonized approach to biodiversity conservation in the SADC region,” says Leo Niskanen, IUCN ESARO Technical Coordinator for Conservation Areas and Species Diversity. “The Action Plan builds on the SADC Regional Biodiversity Strategy and was developed by SADC Secretariat in consultation with all SADC Members States, and with support from IUCN, UNDP and CBD Secretariat.”
Through the implementation of the Action Plan, SADC seeks to ensure that the region’s citizens enjoy a healthy environment and enhanced quality of life derived from effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in line with international and regional commitments, while respecting national spiritual and cultural values.
The Action Plan outlines concrete activities within six strategic areas, namely: biodiversity governance, biodiversity based livelihoods, biodiversity for economic development, biodiversity management systems, biodiversity and climate change, and biodiversity and other development initiatives (such as energy and mining). These activities are aligned with the 10 year biodiversity strategic plan including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as national priorities and strategies of the member states.
IUCN aims to support the implementation of the SADC BAP through various new and existing initiatives, including the BIOPAMA project. IUCN ESARO staff are working with the SADC Secretariat, Member States and other development partners to identify specific projects and support structures for the implementation of the Action Plan.
For more information, please contact Leo Niskanen, IUCN ESARO Conservation Areas and Species Diversity Programme Coordinator on [email protected]