The third regional capacity building workshop on revising and updating National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) took place in Beirut, Lebanon from 2-7 May 2011.
The workshop was hosted and co-sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Lebanon, the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia and the Government of Japan through its Japan Biodiversity Fund to support implementation of the COP 10 Nagoya outcomes.
The meeting was attended by 32 participants from 17 countries, with additional resource persons from various institutions, including Lebanon American University of Beirut (Lebanon); National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Egypt), Tamunt n iffus (Morocco), SPNL (Lebanon), IUCN-CEC, UNEP-ROWA, League of Arab States, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The meeting provided an opportunity for countries from all Arab States to meet and exchange early experiences with the challenge of integrating the Nagoya Strategic Plan and its associated Aichi Targets into national biodiversity planning processes.
The early part of the workshop started with an overview of the Nagoya Outcomes and review of the status of implementation of existing NBSAPs developed before 2010, after which the current status of national plans to update/revise the NBSAPs to reflect the Nagoya Outcomes was described and discussed.
Subsequent sessions of the workshop focused on the 5 goals of the Strategic Plan, using one or more of the 20 Aichi Targets to explore, in participatory working groups, how to develop appropriate targets and then identify the key stakeholders, activities and resource needs to achieve the target by 2020. In particular, Aichi targets 2, 3, 9, 19 and 20 were the subject of specific capacity building exercises.
Practical examples of the mainstreaming of biodiversity into the broader landscape were included in a one day field trip, organized by the Lebanon Ministry of Environment to see, firsthand, how a protected area (Tannourine Cedar Reserve) can be integrated into the broader multiple-use landscape as an example of mainstreaming ecosystem services.
By the end of the workshop, participants had gained experience with a number of new techniques that are essential to the NBSAP revision process, as well as how to access GEF financial assistance, where eligible. The workshop evaluation revealed that participants valued the highest the following workshop items: the opportunity to work in small groups to explore strategy planning options, the participatory exercises in stakeholder engagement and communication, and the discussions on sectoral integration and mainstreaming. Participants felt that the meeting had helped greatly towards revising their NBSAPs and encouraging more regional collaboration and sharing.