Aichi Targets Newsletter

Towards more effective biodiversity planning

At COP-10, Parties not only adopted an ambitious Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 with 20 time-bound Aichi Targets, they also set themselves a tight timetable to translate these commitments into national targets and updated National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. Parties are to report on the targets by COP-11 and on their updated NBSAPs at the same time or by COP-12 at the latest.

At the regional capacity building workshops held so far, nearly all countries have reported they are committed to honouring this timetable. Such prompt implementation of the Aichi-Nagoya commitments will be essential. It will allow the urgent on-theground action necessary to halt biodiversity loss to be taken in all countries, as called for in the mission of the Strategic Plan. In turn, this will enable us to achieve the vision of the Strategic Plan of “Living in harmony with nature”.

The development of this “second generation” of NBSAPs allows countries to learn from the lessons of the earlier attempts at biodiversity planning. The effectiveness of earlier NBSAPs have been examined by the United Nations University (see Article in this edition by Christian Prip), as well as by the Convention’s Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention. On the basis of lessons drawn from this experience, the Conference of the Parties, at is ninth meeting, adopted, updated and consolidated guidance for the development, updating and implementation of NBSAPs. Some of the key points are:

  1. NBSAPs are key implementation tools of the Convention. They must address all three objectives of the Convention:
  2. Conservation of biodiversity
  3. Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity
  4. Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits deriving from the utilization of genetic resources. The adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on access and beneft sharing provides new impetus to this third objective.
  5. The NBSAP should highlight, and seek to maintain the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to human well-being (including having the basics for a good life, health, good social relations, security and freedom of choice and action), poverty eradication, and national development as well as the economic, social, cultural and other values of biodiversity.
  6. The NBSAP is a strategic instrument for achieving concrete outcomes, and not a scientific study, review or publication that sits on a shelf. Its role is to identify and prioritize the action required in order to meet the objectives of the CBD at national level, and to devise a plan of how to implement that action.
  7. In order to be effective, it is important that the NBSAP be jointly developed, adopted, and owned by the full range of stakeholders involved. For this the NBSAP process must be open, participative and transparent. It is also important that high-level government support be secured in the process of developing, updating and implementing the NBSAP.
  8. The NBSAP must include measures to mainstream biodiversity into sectoral and cross-sectoral policies and programs. Conservation involves much more than protected area management and implementation of conservation actions; it necessarily requires mainstreaming. To an even greater degree, achieving sustainable use objectives will require mainstreaming.
  9. Biodiversity planning is a long-term, cyclical and adaptive process. It will involve continual monitoring, evaluation, and revision, as progress is made, conditions evolve, and lessons are learned.

The CBD Secretariat, together with UNEP, UNDP, UNU and other partners has developed some capacity building tools to help countries and stakeholders apply these the new guidance (see link to NBSAPS webpage). These materials are used in the ongoing series of regional workshops.