Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sustainable use of Biological Diversity: African Regional Workshop Summary

IISD Reporting Services Here at the Wilderness Foundation we take a particular interest in the African continent, that's where our roots are - that's where many of our journeys are. Thus we thought the workshop summary below might be of interest:

"The African Regional Workshop on Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity convened from 12-15 December 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya. Organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), Bioversity International, and the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the workshop was attended by 33 participants, including 13 designated representatives of CBD parties from the African region as well as representatives of UN and specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), indigenous and local community organizations, research institutions and farmers federations.

The Workshop was organized in response to the request of the seventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Executive Secretary to convene a series of technical expert workshops on ecosystem services assessment, financial costs and benefits associated with conservation of biodiversity, and sustainable use of biological resources, in order to initiate a process for the implementation of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Addis Ababa Principles). The Workshop was also requested to explore the applicability of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity.
The Workshop addressed agenda items on issues including: a review of the Addis Ababa Principles and recommendations on their application to agricultural biodiversity; ecosystem services assessment; and financial costs and benefits associated with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. On Tuesday, participants agreed on organizational matters, and heard presentations from the CBD Secretariat, partner organizations and others. In the afternoon, participants began discussing the application of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity, heard presentations, and decided on a methodology for their work during the week, including convening in informal working group (WG) sessions. On Wednesday, participants heard a presentation on Decision V/5 (Agricultural biodiversity), and worked on establishing guidelines for the agricultural sector grounded in the Addis Ababa Principles in three parallel WGs, one consisting of the francophone representatives."
- Full text on the ISSD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) website here.

This website also has a useful brief history of related processes including a section specifically on Africa:

Africa has a large heritage of biodiversity forming the region’s natural wealth on which its social and economic systems are based.
A significant proportion of these biodiversity resources are either endangered or under threat of extinction. African governments have created ministerial processes and programmes of action to ensure the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resource base, of which the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity form a significant component.

AFRICAN CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (the Algiers Convention) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its fifth ordinary session (September 1968, Algiers, Algeria). A revised Convention text was adopted at the second Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The main features of the Convention include that: conservation imperatives must be considered in development plans; conservation areas must be established and maintained; endangered species must be given special protection; land resources and grasslands must be rationally utilized; and conservation education must be instituted at all levels.

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, a permanent forum of African environment ministers, guided the development and subsequent adoption of the Environment Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD) at the second Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The action plan is organized into clusters of programmatic and project activities to be implemented over an initial period of 10 years. It includes programmes on: biodiversity, biosafety and plant genetic resources; land degradation, drought and desertification; Africa’s wetlands; invasive alien species; conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal and freshwater resources; and cross-border conservation or management of natural resources.
- More on the ISSD site here.

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