With the support of, and in collaboration with, the International Academy for Nature Conservation, a division of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) held a regional workshop for Europe on updating National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPS) from 15 to 19 April 2011 on the Isle of Vilm, Germany. This workshop was the second in a global series of meetings aimed at assisting countries in various regions with updating or revising their national strategies and action plans, including development of national targets in line with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, through a mix of sharing of national experiences, discussions and interactive learning related to the development and updating of NBSAPs, mainstreaming biodiversity into various sectors and linking biodiversity planning with broader planning processes at the national level.
Forty-one participants from 25 countries, as well as representatives from different United Nations organisations, research institutions and NGOs, convened and thoroughly discussed the ways and means of the NBSAP updating process. After looking at the outcomes of the Nagoya COP, existing NBSAPs in the European region were reviewed. Participants highlighted that some NBSAPs were completed several years ago while others already incorporate many aspects, if not the precise goals, of the Aichi Targets. Thus the need for updating and/or upgrading NBSAPs differs from country to country. Nevertheless, there was the strong need seen by the participants that target setting and a road map of how and when to reach them is crucial in order for the next generation of NBSAPs to be a success.
Through different forms of group work and plenary exercises, the transformation of the Aichi Targets into national targets within NBSAPs was thoroughly discussed. Among the outcomes of several issues being discussed in this matter was a strong support of stakeholder engagement and ways and means of improving communication and mainstreaming of biodiversity into local and regional plans and actions.
A field trip looked at instruments to achieve integration of biodiversity concerns into renewable energy development and also discussed the opportunities and constraints of offsetting arrangements as a mainstreaming instrument.
It was also underlined that there must be a good connection between policy-making and the science community. Thus a working science-policy interface is needed to ensure science outputs will serve as an input into the actual political target setting and subsequent policy making see also Target 19 of the Aichi Targets). Several examples for the European region were presented.
Besides the target setting process, part of the workshop was dedicated to looking at incentives and financing opportunities. Whereas the report on The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB) which is now being closely looked at by several countries may be a very strong and useful economic argument for ecosystem conservation and safeguarding, there is also the strong need for further studies and projects in the region to break it down to the national level. Several respective examples were presented. It was clearly stated that more guidance is needed for reviewing national and regional incentives schemes in line with the Aichi targets.