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Aichi Targets


Side Event


Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)

Date and Time
17 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

India is a mega diversity country, and home to four global hotspots of biodiversity. It is also home to 1.2 billion people, or to approximately one out of every sixth person in the world. Hence it is appropriate that COP 11 is taking place in India. The theme of this side event is focused on trying to reconcile the need for food security and the growing aspirations of people for greater economic prosperity, while at the same time conserve its rich suite of species, habitats and landscapes. Other biodiversity rich developing countries too face similar challenges ranging from subsistence use to commercialization of biodiversity products and services. This calls for appropriate policies, strategies and actions that are effective at multiple scales, from the local to the national. This panel discussion is being organized by ATREE, an internationally recognized research institute and think tank, headquartered in Bangalore with projects and programs primarily in the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas, two of the 4 hotspots of biodiversity in India. ATREE organizes its research activities in four broad program areas: Ecosystems and Society; Ecosystems Services and Human Well Being; Forests and Governance; and Land, Water and Livelihoods. Climate change and Governance are two significant themes that cut across all the programs. The panel will address the sustainable use of biodiversity for food security and poverty alleviation from an “ecosystem services” lens. Ecosystem services may be defined ‘as the components of nature, directly enjoyed, consumed or used to yield human well-being’ (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). Such use of biodiversity products and services is recognized under the CBD, the International Plant Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Wetlands (Ramsar) convention and the one on World Heritage sites. The specific questions that the panel will address include: • How are different ecosystem services interlinked with each other and to various components of biodiversity • How can we quantify, map, and monitor bundles of different ecosystem services at landscape scales • What are the potential trade-offs and synergies among services, biodiversity based livelihoods and economic growth, and how will these trade-offs change in the face of climate change. • What are the socio-economic and political impediments to better governance of socio-ecological systems for sustained resource use, and • How can we evolve an equitable framework for governing biodiversity and ecosystem services from local to national scales Introduction to the panel discussion: Dr. Ganesan Balachander, Director, ATREE