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The recently concluded World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in agreement with several national governments, international and multilateral organisations, stakeholders and communities declared specific goals with regard to sustainable development. WSSD comes 10 years after the Rio Earth Summit (1992) which pledged political and financial support to enhance the quality of human life through better environment and equity. WSSD also marks the 30th anniversary of the Stockholm Summit on Sustainable Development.

Despite all these commitments many are concerned with the lack of integrated on-the-ground work to deal with better environment. Even though Rio gave birth to three international Conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Framework Convention on 8246Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), the implementation of these Conventions are at varying stages. The Forestry Principles (FP) derived directly from the Rio Summit is often forgotten.

Each of these instruments focus on a particular set of problems, yet each also recognises that activities to address its own issues must also take into account those of the other instruments. Inter-dependency of these instruments are visible, imminent and required. Each of these individually aims to achieve sustainable development. However, one element often forgotten is how at ground level integration is possible and is needed.

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IUCN RBP is seeking to promote action on the ground to effectively demonstrate how synergies between conventions would work. As a plan of implementation, RBP is undertaking the following activities:

1. Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Climate Change

A Asia Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Climate Change was organized in Dehradun, India between 6-11 April 2003, in partnership with the Secretariats of UNFCC, UNCCD, CBD, UNDP and IISD. The Government of India hosted this workshop in Dehradun through Wildilife Insitutue of India. The target group for the workshop are the country focal points of CBD and UNFCCC in the region. The focus of the workshop has been to mainstream Climate Change into Biodiversity, mainstream Biodiversity into Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), mainstream Climate change into MDGs and develop country priorities for implementing actions at national and regional levels.The training programme also attempted to internalize the incorporation of biodiversity concerns into NAPs and climate change actions into NBSAPs through hands-on exercises. A detailed proceedings of the workshop is planned to be published soon. The major recommendations that emerged from group discussions of the workshop are summerised and a comprehensive workshop report is herewith hosted.

2. Climate Change and Biodiversity Resource Kit

This CD-ROM is a compilation of information on issues of climate change and biodiversity and is aimed to provide a comprehensive set of information for both planners and practitioners of biodiversity conservation and climate change negotiators. The CD-ROM will be updated quarterly and is available free of charge for those interested.

3. Assisting countries to address synergies through NAPAs and NBSAPs

RBP will be developing guidelines on how to integrate biodiversity concerns into NAPAs and climate change concerns into NBSAPs. As a pilot case, this till be tested in Bangladesh and Lao PDR both of which are developing NBSAPs and will soon embark on the NAPA preparation.

Further information:
Dr Balakrishna Pisupati
Head, Regional Biodiversity programme, Asia
53, Horton Place,
Colombo-07
email: pbala@sltnet.lk

Literature

UNFCCC 2002 Annotated Guidelines for the preparation of national adaptation programmes of action. UNFCCC, Bonn.

UNDP 1997 Synergies in National Implementation: The Rio Agreements. UNDP, New York.

Balakrishna P., 2002 Synergies in Rio Convention. IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia, Colombo.
Websites
UNDP :
OECD : www.oecd.org
World Bank : www.worldbank.org
CBD: www.biodiv.org
UNFCCC : www.unfccc.org
UNEP: www.unep.org 

Events

Launch of RBP,s Mountain Biodiversity Resource Kit
SBSTTA-8 Montreal
10-14 March 2003

GLOBE-India,IUCN Regional Workshop for Parliamentarians on Environment and Biodiversity
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
New Delli 21 March 2003

Climate Change training Programme
India 7-11 April 2003

Global Biodiversity Forum South Asia
Bangladesh 16-18 June 2003

South East Asia Regional Training Programme on Environmental Law
7-10 July 2003

Archives

Established in 1996, the IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia aims to help countries in the region effectively implement the provisions of Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) in addition to supporting national and regional initiatives on securing community and household livelihood securities.

The Programme is one of the significant regional initiatives working across 18 countries in Asia through a partnership approach to help build capacity and decision making at various levels.

Contact:
  53, Horton Place,
  Colombo 07,
  Sri Lanka.
  Telephone: (94) 74 710439,
                (941) 662941
  Fax: (941) 662941
  E-mail: iucn-rbp@sltnet.lk
The Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia is currently implementing projects in about 12 countries in Asia on a range of issues concerning conservation and development with a commitment to work in partnership to build capacity in the region. The programme is aiming for both strategic and sustainable presence in the region.

The programme's strategy for 2002-2005 emphasises the fact that creating an enabling environment is the prelude to successful development as well as implementation of policies and programmes.

Currently the programme is strengthening its funding base, human resources and strategic linkages with other regions and internationally.

Balakrishna Pisupati Ph.D.