1.Biodiversity is crucial to eradication of poverty, due to the basic goods and ecosystem functions and services that it provides. It is integral to key development sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, pastoralism, and tourism, among others, on which around 1.5 billion people heavily depend for their livelihoods. The impacts of environmental degradation in general and biodiversity loss in particular are most severe among people living already in poverty since they lack other livelihood options.
2.Although the relationship between biodiversity and poverty is complex, multidimensional (environmental, social, political, cultural, and economic) and multi-scale, and involves multiple actors, the integration of biodiversity and poverty eradication and development can be achieved by identifying and using opportunities and entry points specific to each context, reflecting on the different root causes and drivers of biodiversity loss that exacerbate poverty and taking measures to overcome them. This is highly dependent on the different visions and approaches of countries to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication as recognized in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development outcome document, “The future we want” (para. 56). These visions and approaches may include: green economy as a tool available for achieving sustainable development, contributing to eradicating poverty as well as sustained growth; and Living Well in Harmony and Balance with Mother Earth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems.
3.Integration of biodiversity and poverty eradication needs to take into consideration the differences in national circumstances, goals and priorities, as well as cross-cutting issues related to gender, indigenous and local communities, smallholders, and inequalities, and to promote an understanding that maintaining biodiversity is not a problem to be solved but rather an opportunity to help achieve broader social and economic goals in addition to a healthy environment and society. This is important for adaptation and resilience to continuously changing environmental and socioeconomic conditions. The implementation of the integration of biodiversity considerations into sectoral and cross-sectoral policies at the regional and national levels and in the budget process at the national level, as well as the incorporation of the sustainable development dimensions and the issue of poverty eradication into national biodiversity strategies and action plans and subnational strategies and action plans, are also important.
4.The following voluntary Guidance is proposed to facilitate the integration of biodiversity and poverty eradication for development and thereby to overcome some of the main root causes and drivers of biodiversity loss that hinder poverty eradication and to address key issues to enhance relevant policies and facilitate poverty eradication. This guidance takes into account countries’ own visions, approaches and national priorities as well as cross-cutting issues related to gender, indigenous and local communities, and inequalities, and special circumstances of countries, in particular developing countries, as well as the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “The future we want”. It is of the utmost importance to take into consideration that there is not a single approach valid for all countries and that this guidance, if applied, needs to be adapted to national circumstances and priorities.
5.This guidance is intended for use by Parties and organizations engaged in the issues of biodiversity and poverty eradication and development, as appropriate, in accordance with national laws, circumstances and priorities, and to be taken into account in their related plans, policies and actions, and in the implementation of related programmes;
1.Integration of biodiversity and poverty eradication for sustainable development
(a)Identify linkages between biodiversity and poverty eradication for sustainable development, as well as drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty, inter alia, by using specific voluntary tools such as mapping of social and environmental vulnerability, regional poverty-environment profiling, and distributional studies assessing country- and region-specific links between biodiversity and poverty, ensuring that the selected tools are gender sensitive and consider the diversity of views from indigenous and local communities, women, the poor, marginalized and vulnerable;
(b)Promote the integration of poverty eradication and development concerns and priorities into national biodiversity strategies and action plans, local and regional biodiversity strategic action plans, and other appropriate plans, policies and programmes for the achievement of the objectives of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, taking into account different visions and approaches of countries to achieve sustainable development;
(c)Promote the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services concerns into national development strategies and sectoral development plans, fiscal and, as appropriate, national accounting systems, and their implementation and reporting. The use of national economic tools may be effective for mainstreaming poverty-environment into national planning and budgets;
(d)Use, as appropriate, the biodiversity indicators adopted by the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the indicators used in the Millennium Development Goals, the Rio Markers, and indicators addressing both biodiversity and poverty for sustainable development, adapted, as appropriate, to national circumstances and priorities;
(e)Integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions in implementing the agreements reached in the United Nations General Assembly on the post-2015 United Nations development agenda and the sustainable development goals;
2.Minimizing adverse impacts, and facilitating participation
Prepare and implement effective biodiversity management plans for minimizing and/or mitigating any potential adverse impacts on the biological resources and the well-being of society, in the context of poverty eradication and development, including through:
(i)Identifying resource persons and organizations at the national (for example the national focal point of the Convention or development cooperation agency) and subnational levels (for example indigenous and local communities) to provide technical assistance or advice on developing such plans for each sector where biodiversity is integrated into poverty eradication and development, and promote the implementation of these plans;
(ii)Designing and implementing tools/mechanisms to avoid negative impacts on customary use and access to biological resources enjoyed by communities, in accordance with national legislation;
(iii)Improving farming systems in order to secure food and nutritional security while conserving biodiversity;
(iv)Including indigenous and local communities, and smallholder experts in all processes, as appropriate;
Encourage the understanding and implementing of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 68
to promote secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development and enhancing the environment;
(c)Promote wide stakeholder consultations that are gender sensitive, including, as appropriate, through the principle of prior-informed consent or approval and involvement and accounting for the input from this process during the development of sectoral integration plans in order to identify potential adverse impacts, develop appropriate measures to minimize/mitigate them, implement the plans, and monitor and evaluate them;
(d)Promote, as appropriate, the implementation of safeguard measures, such as mitigation hierarchy, to avoid adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, and to improve long-term livelihood and well-being of indigenous and local communities, and smallholders, with special attention to women, the poor, marginalized and vulnerable people in particular, according to national circumstances and priorities by:
(i)Taking measures to promote land management transparency and access to natural resources for the poor and landless, paying special attention to women, indigenous and local communities and marginalized groups;
(ii)Taking measures, as appropriate, in all sectors and from local to national level, to promote more sustainable patterns of resource use that conserve biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services for the poor and vulnerable communities in particular, in line with the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “The future we want”;
(iii)Strengthening community-based management and the role of collective action in the management of natural resources and traditional indigenous knowledge systems and local communities and smallholders’ traditional knowledge systems;
(iv)Instituting mechanisms of redress, at the national and local level including restoration and compensation for damages caused to biodiversity and the poor, with the liabilities to be borne by the responsible party, in accordance with national laws, circumstances and priorities.
3.Capacity-building, enabling environment and funding support
Support the development of curricula that are gender sensitive and intercultural, on the importance, linkages and interaction of biodiversity, ecosystems and poverty eradication for sustainable development, in particular sustainable production and consumption patterns, for primary, secondary, and tertiary education, taking into account traditional knowledge;
Support joint training of practitioners among relevant ministries and other bodies (e.g., on use of indicators and monitoring systems among others);
Encourage coordination of activities and creation of synergies among the providers of capacity-building by:
(i)Ensuring capacity-building programmes that include both scientific and traditional knowledge and involve participatory processes, community-based management, and the use of the ecosystem approach, and the management of systems of life, and take into consideration the needs of relevant stakeholders, and particularly indigenous and local communities, women, the youth, vulnerable and marginalized;
(ii)Giving special attention to gender and social equity, access to genetic resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, including non-market-based approaches, sustainable management of ecosystem services, appropriate incentive mechanisms in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, scaling-up of best practices, and to the empowerment of indigenous and local communities;
(iii)Encouraging and facilitating North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and the exchange of experiences;
(iv)Enabling local decision makers to assess the effective outcomes of investments and development projects as regards poverty eradication and biodiversity protection.
B.Strengthening the enabling environment
Take into consideration national, regional and international successful experiences and best practices, such as the landscape approach, ecosystem-based adaptation, stewardship, the mitigation hierarchy, environment safeguards and transparent land management for integration of biodiversity and poverty eradication at the local, national and regional levels, in order to enhance holistic views, understanding and values of biodiversity, through cross-sector coordination, and strengthening oversight bodies;
Consistent with Article 10(c) on customary use, take into account, inter alia
, the work on customary use of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 69
in dealing with issues of natural resource governance, the need to appropriately recognize indigenous and community conserved territories and areas and their traditional knowledge and conservation practices as the basis for local biodiversity conservation plans without interfering in their customary governance systems (helping to meet Aichi Biodiversity Target 11), and to set local biodiversity conservation plans as the basis for programmes aimed at poverty eradication for sustainable livelihoods in order to enhance the basis for the achievement of sustainable development goals.
C.Providing adequate funding
Mainstream the link between biodiversity and poverty eradication for sustainable development into development cooperation programmes and technical assistance;
Provide technical and financial support to capacity development activities that combine biodiversity and poverty eradication for sustainable development, and for the scaling up of biodiversity financing mechanisms.