ASEAN COMMENDS IUCN FOR ITS EFFORTS TO SAFEGUARD BIODIVERSITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
July 13, 2004 The IUCN Reginal Biodiversity Programme – Asia was established
in 1996 to help implement the Convention on Biological Diversity
in Asia. Since then the Programme has been actively supporting
activities in about 14 countries in Asia with a range of partners
and members. In recognition of these services, the 14th Annual
Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and
Biodiversity (AWGNCB) expressed its appreciation to IUCN for
the Union 's activities in the Southeast Asian region. The meeting
highlighted in particular activities related to biosafety; access
to biological and genetic resources and benefit-sharing thereof
as well as the Global Biodiversity Forum for Southeast Asia .
The participants agreed to further collaboration and explore
potential partnerships with the IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme
in Asia . The AWGNCB is the highest body in ASEAN focusing on
conservation of biodiversity, reporting to the Ministers of
Environment in the Association's member countries.
National Adaptation Programme of Action ( NAPA )
National Adaptation Programme of Actions (NAPAs) are documents specifying a list of priority activities that will communicate immediate and urgent needs of LDCs, considering their high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity to climate change. The development of a NAPA document is not only intended to identify and prioritise urgent adaptation needs of LDCs but also help build capacity for the development of NatComs and to meet their obligations to the UNFCCC. An overview of climate variability, and observed and projected climate change and associated actual and potential adverse effects of climate change should be documented. This overview should be based on existing and ongoing studies and research, and/or empirical and historical information as well as traditional knowledge.
The main characteristics of a NAPA is that, it should be easy to understand, action oriented, country driven, and set clear priorities for urgent and immediate adaptation activities identified by each individual country. These adaptation activities and measures will also take into account the national planning processes, development goals and other multilateral environmental agreements and also identify potential barriers to implementation. The objective of a NAPA is to “serve as a simplified and direct channel of communication for information relating to urgent and immediate adaptation needs of LDCs”. The key outcome of the NAPA process is the identification of activities that should be pursued immediately, because further delay in implementing the activities could lead to increased vulnerability, or higher costs for delayed implementation. It has been highlighted by the UNFCCC that NAPAs should have a bottom-up action plan, not be just another lengthy document that joins the ranks of other action plans. The ending product should be a concise and well justified list of actions and projects to address priority vulnerabilities for the country or to build capacity to address those vulnerabilities.
A NAPA should be addressing among other issues, elements of biodiversity and development. However, countries lack guidance on how to mainstream these elements into a NAPA . In consultation with UNFCCC, UNDP and others, IUCN-RBP, Asia has developed a guiding frame for mainstreaming biodiversity and development into a NAPA . Currently, RBP is considering using the guiding frame for operationalizing NAPA process in LDCs such as Lao PDR and Bangladesh .
Is biotechnology relevant to development? Will the adoption of biotechnology 2000 enhance rural livelihoods in Asia ? Are there possibilities for regional cooperation to harness the technology for development in Asia ? These are some of the questions that were raised and answered at the “Second Asian Conference on Biotechnology and Development: Regional cooperation for Access and Capacity Building” organised by Research and Information Systems for the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries in association with IUCN-Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and supported by UNESCO and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
More than 70 participants from Asia and other parts of the world discussed issues of relevance of biotechnology to food security, IPRs, furthering implementation of Cartagena Protocol, options for public-private sector partnerships besides identifying options for regional cooperation.
One of the outcomes of the conference is the agreement on establishment of a ‘Regional Cooperation Network on Biotechnology and Development' to be led by IUCN-Regional Biodiversity Programme-Asia and RIS.
For further details: www.biodiversityasia.org
IUCN AND UNDP LAUNCH JOINT PUBLICATION ON BIODIVERSITY AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
How can biodiversity help eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases? Some answers to these questions may well be found in the joint IUCN-UNDP publication Biodiversity and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) released yesterday at the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. IUCN Director General Achim Steiner, together with Alvaro Umana of UNDP, released the first copies of the book to community representatives at the CBD. "The publication marks an important milestone in our understanding of the need to mainstream biodiversity into the MDGs and the contribution that biodiversity makes to poverty reduction," said Balakrisna Pisupati, Head of the IUCN's Asia Regional Biodiversity Programme, who co-authored the publication with the Emilie Warner of the IUCN Regional Programme for Asia. "It also reflects the need to create synergies between conservation and development at all levels," added Pisupati. For more details and a copy of the publication:
Training Programme :
Outcomes of trade and IPR discussions significantly impact issues of access and benefit sharing as well as biosafety. With the discussions on the possible development of an international regime on benefit sharing, in response to WSSD, the issues of ABS gains significance to influence economic and trade agendas. Discussions under WIPO are weakly linked to CBD discussions while they significantly feed into the WTO discussions. Likewise increasing national and regional debates are emerging on issues of implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and impacts of WTO negotiations.
At the recently concluded Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) South Asia, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16-18 June 2003 participants from 14 countries joined together to discuss issues such as development, poverty and trade. One of the four workshop themes of the GBF dealt with issues of “Access and Benefit Sharing, Biosafety – Relevance of Issues to Trade and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)”. Participants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and China presented country and regional level case studies and discussed the implications for the developing world. The outputs of the workshop are expected to feed into the discussions of forthcoming in WIPO, WTO and CBD meetings.
IUCN RBP in collaboration with Regional Environmental Law Programme is currently preparing a ‘Hand Book on ABS’. This handbook is slated for release at the AHTEG meeting of ABS to be hold in Montréal, during December 2003.
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication on Access to Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowldege.
Lyle Glowka, Balakrishna Pisupati,
Sanjiv de Silva, (Editors) 2001
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.
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.