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COP 5 Decision V/23
Retired sections: paragraphs 6-9.

Consideration of options for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems

The Conference of the Parties,

1. Establishes a programme of work on the biological diversity of dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland, and savannah ecosystems, which may also be known as the programme on "dry and sub-humid lands", bearing in mind the close linkages between poverty and loss of biological diversity in these areas;

2. Endorses the programme of work contained in annex I to the present decision;

3. Urges Parties, countries, international and regional organizations, major groups and other relevant bodies to implement it, to support scientifically, technically and financially its activities at the national and regional levels and to foster cooperation among countries within regions and subregions sharing similar biomes;

4. Endorses the indicative list of levels of implementation and coordination for the various activities which are proposed in annex II, and the process described in the paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 below, and illustrated in annex III;

5. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to review and assess periodically the status and trends of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands on the basis of the outputs of the activities of the programme of work, and make recommendations for the further prioritization, refinement and scheduling of the programme of work based on the review by the Executive Secretary referred to in paragraph 8 below;

6. Requests the Executive Secretary to review this programme of work and identify expected outcomes, further activities to achieve these outcomes, those who should implement these activities, and timetables for action and follow-up, taking into account the suggestions of the technical group of experts, and to present these to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice for consideration at a following meeting. This process should be carried out in close collaboration with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and other relevant bodies to provide synergy and avoid duplication;

7. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to establish an ad hoc technical group of experts with the following tasks:

(a) Consolidate and assess information on the status and trends of biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, on the possible establishment of an international network of dry and sub-humid areas of particular value for biodiversity, on indicators, on processes affecting biodiversity, on global benefits derived from biodiversity, and on the socio-economic impacts of its loss, including the interrelationship between biodiversity and poverty;

(b) Assess the progress and the effects of the specific measures that have been taken for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, for resource management and for the support of sustainable livelihoods;

(c) Assess international priorities set up at the regional and global levels and make proposals for expected outcomes, further activities, possible actors that may implement them, and timetables for action;

8. Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification, including through the development of a joint work programme, drawing upon the elements contained in the note by the Executive Secretary on coordination between the Convention on Biological diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/INF/15), as well as with other relevant bodies, in the implementation and further elaboration of the programme of work and further requests the Executive Secretary to seek inputs from and collaborate with countries with sub-humid lands, and with other bodies relevant to sub-humid lands;

9. Requests the Executive Secretary to establish a roster of experts on the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands. This should be carried out in close collaboration with the Executive Secretary of the Convention to Combat Desertification and other relevant bodies to provide synergy and avoid duplication;

10. Requests the Executive Secretary to make available relevant information on the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands through various means, including the development in the clearing-house mechanism of a database on dry and sub-humid lands;

11. Invites bilateral and international funding agencies to provide support for the implementation of the activities of the programme of work on the biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, in particular for capacity-building in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Annex 1

DRAFT PROGRAMME OF WORK ON DRY AND SUB-HUMID LANDS

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The overall aim of the programme of work is to promote the three objectives of the Convention in dry and sub-humid lands. 6/

2. The elaboration and implementation of the programme of work should: (a) Build upon existing knowledge and ongoing activities and management practices, and promote a concerted response to fill knowledge gaps while supporting best management practices through partnership among countries and institutions;

6/ The programme of work does not apply to polar and tundra regions. (b) Ensure harmony with the other relevant thematic programmes of work under the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the work on cross-cutting issue;

(c) Promote synergy and coordination, and avoid unnecessary duplication, between related conventions, particularly the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the programmes of various international organizations, while respecting the mandates and existing programmes of work of each organization and the intergovernmental authority of the respective governing bodies;

(d) Promote effective stakeholder participation, including the identification of priorities, in planning, in research and in monitoring and evaluating research;

(e) Respond to national priorities through the implementation of specific activities in a flexible and demand-driven manner;

(f) Support the development of national strategies and programmes and promote the integration of biological-diversity concerns in sectoral and cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies, in furtherance of Article 6 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in seeking harmonization and avoiding duplication when undertaking activities relevant to other related conventions, in particular the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

3. The elaboration and implementation of the programme of work should aim at applying the ecosystem approach adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Implementation of the programme of work will also build upon the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities consistent with Article 8(j) of the Convention.

II. PROGRAMME OF WORK

4. The programme of work is divided in two parts, "Assessments" and "Targeted actions in response to identified needs", to be implemented in parallel. Knowledge gained through the assessments will help guide the responses needed, while lessons learned from activities will feed back into the assessments.

Part A: Assessments Operational objective

5. To assemble and analyse information on the state of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands and the pressures on it, to disseminate existing knowledge and best practices, and to fill knowledge gaps, in order to determine adequate activities.

Rationale

6. Ecosystems of dry and sub-humid lands tend to be naturally highly dynamic systems. Assessment of the status and trends of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands is therefore particularly challenging. A better understanding of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, their dynamics, their socio-economic value and the consequences of their loss and change is needed. This also includes the merits of short-term adaptive management practices compared with long-term management planning. This should not, however, be seen as a prerequisite for targeted actions for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands. Indeed, lessons learned from practices, including indigenous and local community practices, contribute to the knowledge base. Since water constraints are a defining characteristic of dry and sub-humid lands, effective water management strategies underpin their successful management. This requires an appropriate balance between the immediate water requirements of humans, their livestock and crops, and water required to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. Activities

Activity 1. Assessment of the status and trends of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, including landraces, and the effectiveness of conservation measures.

Activity 2. Identification of specific areas within dry and sub-humid lands of particular value for biological diversity and/or under particular threat, such as, inter alia, endemic species and low lying wetlands, with reference to the criteria in Annex I to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Activity 3. Further development of indicators of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands and its loss, for the various ecosystem types, for use in the assessment of status and trends of this biological diversity.

Activity 4. Building knowledge on ecological, physical and social processes that affect the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, especially ecosystem structure and functioning (e.g., grazing, droughts, floods, fires, tourism, agricultural conversion or abandonment).

Activity 5. Identification of the local and global benefits, including soil and water conservation, derived from the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, assessment of the socio-economic impact of its loss, and the undertaking of studies on the interrelationship between biodiversity and poverty, including analysis of: (i) the benefits from biodiversity for poverty alleviation; and (ii) the impact of biodiversity conservation on the poorest.

Activity 6. Identification and dissemination of best management practices, including knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities that can be broadly applied, consistent with the programme of work under the Convention on Article 8(j) and related provisions.

Ways and means

7. The activities of part A are to be carried out through:

(a) Consolidation of information from various ongoing sources, including those under other international conventions, the Global Observing Systems, and other programmes. This process would draw upon ongoing work of these existing programmes, with additional catalytic activities, such as workshops, further use of the clearing-house mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity, and partnerships between organizations, including, where appropriate, joint activities of the secretariats of the Convention on. Biological Diversity and of the Convention to Combat Desertification, drawing upon the elements contained in the note by the Executive Secretary on possible elements of a joint work programme between the two secretariats on the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/INF/15) in determining priorities for these activities;

(b) Targeted research, including existing programmes of international and national research centres and research systems and other relevant international or regional programmes, with additional funding for priority work needed to overcome barriers to the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands;

(c) Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary case-studies on management practices, carried out primarily by national and regional institutions, including civil-society organizations and research institutions, with support from international organizations for catalysing the preparation of studies, mobilizing funds, disseminating results, and facilitating feedback and lessons learned to case-study providers and policy makers. New resources could be needed to promote such studies to analyse the results and to provide necessary capacity-building and human-resource development;

(d) Dissemination of information and capacity-building required by assessment activities.

Part B: Targeted actions in response to identified needs

Operational objective

8. To promote the conservation of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of its genetic resources, and to combat the loss of biological diversity in dry and sub-humid lands and its socio-economic consequences. Rationale

9. The activity needed to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands will depend on the state of the dry and sub-humid lands resources and the nature of the threats. Hence, a range of options needs to be considered, from sustainable use to in situ and ex situ conservation.

10. Many dry and sub-humid land resources must be managed at the level of watersheds, or at higher spatial levels, implying community or inter-community, rather than individual, management. This is often further complicated by multiple user groups (e.g., agriculturalists, pastoralists and fisherfolk) and the migratory habits of some animal species and users of biological diversity. Institutions need to be developed or strengthened to provide for biological diversity management at the appropriate scale and for conflict resolution.

11. Sustainable use of biological diversity in dry and sub-humid lands may require the development of alternative livelihoods, and the creation of markets and other incentives to enable and promote responsible use. Activities

Activity 7. Promotion of specific measures for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, through, inter alia:

(a) The use and the establishment of additional protected areas and the development of further specific measures for the conservation of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, including the strengthening of measures in existing protected areas; investments in the development and promotion of sustainable livelihoods, including alternative livelihoods; and conservation measures;

(b) The rehabilitation or restoration of the biological diversity of degraded dry and sub-humid lands, with the associated benefits arising thereof, such as soil and water conservation;

(c) The management of invasive alien species;

(d) The sustainable management of dry and sub-humid land production systems;

(e) The appropriate management and sustainable use of water resources;

(f) Where necessary, the conservation in situ as well as ex situ,as a complement to the latter, of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, taking due account of better understanding of climate variability in developing effective in situ biological conservation strategies;

(g) The economic valuation of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, as well as the development and the use of economic instruments and the promotion of the introduction of adaptive technologies that enhance productivity of dry and sub-humid lands ecosystems;

(h) The sustainable use or husbandry of plant and animal biomass, through adaptive management, bearing in mind the potential population fluctuation in dry and sub-humid lands, and the support by Parties of national policies, legislation and land-use practices, which promote effective biodiversity conservation and sustainable use;

(i) The establishment and promotion of training, education and public awareness;

(j) The facilitation and improvement of the availability, the accessibility and exchange of information on sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands;

(k) The establishment and promotion of research and development programmes with a focus on, inter alia, building local capacity for effective conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands;

(l) Cooperation with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species with regard to, inter alia, integrated catchment management incorporating wetlands ecosystems as. integral parts of dry and sub-humid lands, and the creation of migratory-species corridors across dry and sub-humid lands during seasonal periods, as well as with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) with regard to rare and endangered species in dry and sub-humid lands;

(m) Cooperation with all relevant conventions, in particular with the Convention to Combat Desertification with respect to, inter alia, the sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, the application of the ecosystem approach, the assessment of the status and trends of this biological diversity as well as to its threats.

Activity 8. Promotion of responsible resource management, at appropriate levels, applying the ecosystem approach, through an enabling policy environment, including, inter alia:

(a) Strengthening of appropriate local institutional structures for resource management, supporting indigenous and local techniques of resource use that enable conservation and sustainable use in the long term, and/or combining appropriate existing institutions and techniques with innovative approaches to enable synergies;

(b) Decentralization of management to the lowest level, as appropriate, keeping in mind the need for common resource management and with due consideration to, inter alia, involving indigenous and local communities in planning and managing projects;

(c) Creating or strengthening appropriate institutions for land tenure and conflict resolution;

(d) Encouraging bilateral and subregional cooperation to address transboundary issues (such as facilitating access to transboundary rangelands), as appropriate, and in accordance with national legislation and international agreements;

(e) Harmonizing sectoral policies and instruments to promote the conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, including by, inter alia, taking advantage of the existing national action programmes under the Convention to Combat Desertification frameworks at the country level, as well as, as appropriate, other existing and relevant sectoral plans and policies.

Activity 9. Support for sustainable livelihoods through, inter alia:

(a) Diversifying sources of income to reduce the negative pressures on the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands;

(b) Promoting sustainable harvesting including of wildlife, as well as ranching, including game-ranching;

(c) Exploring innovative sustainable uses of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands for local income generation, and promoting their wider application;

(d) Developing markets for products derived from the sustainable use of biological diversity in dry and sub-humid lands, adding value to harvested produce; and

(e) Establishing mechanisms and frameworks for promoting fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of the genetic resources of dry and sub-humid lands, including bioprospecting. Ways and means

The activities of part B to be carried out through:

(a) Capacity-building, particularly at the national and local levels, as well as investments in the development and promotion of sustainable livelihoods, including alternative livelihoods, and conservation measures, through participatory and bottom-up processes, with funding from bilateral and multilateral sources, and catalytic support from international organizations;

(b) Establishment of an international network of designated demonstration sites to facilitate the sharing of information and experience in implementing the programme of work, as well as to demonstrate and to promote conservation and sustainable use integration on the context of dry and sub-humid lands;

(c) Case-studies on successful management of dry and sub-humid lands that could be disseminated through, inter alia, the clearing-house mechanism;

(d) Improved consultation, coordination and information-sharing, including, inter alia, documentation on knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities, within countries among respective focal points and lead institutions relevant to the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant global conventions and programmes, facilitated by the secretariats of the various conventions and other international organizations;

(e) Enhanced interaction between the work programmes of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification, through, inter alia, the regional networks and action plans of the latter, drawing upon the elements contained in the note by the Executive Secretary on possible elements of a joint work programme between the two secretariats on the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/INF/15) in determining priorities for this interaction; and (f) Partnerships between all relevant stakeholders at all levels, including international organizations and programmes, as well as national and local partners, scientists and land users.

III. REPORTING FRAMEWORK

12. It is proposed that Parties and other bodies be requested to report on the implementation of the programme of work through, inter alia:

(a) Appropriate sections of the national reports on biological diversity prepared for the Conference of the Parties under Article 26 of the Convention on Biological Diversity; and/or

(b) Reports made in the context of the Convention to Combat Desertification and other relevant conventions, with due regard to, inter alia, promoting harmonization, avoiding duplication, and enhancing transparency.

13. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice is to review such reports and make recommendation for the further prioritization and refinement of the programme of work at that time. Thereafter, the implementation of the programme is to be reviewed as determined by the Conference of the Parties.

INDICATIVE LIST OF LEVELS OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF WORK ON DRY AND SUB-HUMID LANDS

Activity Level of implementation Level of coordination

1 National Ecoregional 2 National Ecoregional 3 Ecoregional 5 National, ecoregional, international 6 Ecoregional 7 a National, ecoregional 7 b National 7 c National, ecoregional 7 d National Ecoregional 7 e National, ecoregional 7 f National, international 7 g National Ecoregional 7 h National Ecoregional 7 i National Ecoregional 7 j Ecoregional, international 7 k National, ecoregional 7 l International 7 m International 8 a National Ecoregional 8 b National Ecoregional 8 c Ecoregional 8 d National, ecoregional 8 e National Ecoregional 9 a National Ecoregional 9 b National Ecoregional 9 c National Ecoregional 9 d National Ecoregional 9 e National, international

ILLUSTRATION OF THE PROCESS OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPHS 5, 6 and 7 OF DECISION V/23

National implementation Ecoregional implementation International implementation Ecoregional coordination Report to Secretariat Review by SBSTTA International assessment by group of experts Refinement by Executive Secretary Consideration by SBSTTA and COP

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme