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Side Event

Managing Biodiversity Conservation and Wildlife Protection at Landscape and Transboundary Scales in South Asia

Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)

Date and Time
18 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45

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

Biodiversity conservation has largely focused on protected areas, which are dispersed in wider landscapes, often surrounded by land use that exerts pressure on them. A number of significantly rich biodiversity areas also lie at the international boundaries between countries in South Asia. It is increasingly becoming evident that conservation approaches would have to look beyond the protected area boundaries for achieving long term conservation outcomes and human well-being. Landscape approach provides the necessary scale to identify and address threats that subject biodiversity and natural resources to a range of pressures that undermine their survival. Poaching and illegal trade in wildlife parts and products is an imminent threat to a number of keystone species in South Asia. Addressing this would require cooperation and collaboration amongst countries with shared borders. This Side Event will showcase two ongoing externally aided (World Bank) projects, one in India and the other a regional project in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal that provide the scale and opportunity to influence conservation for positive outcomes. A draft discussion paper on “Implementing Landscape Approach to Biodiversity Conservation in India“would be presented at the side event inviting stakeholder comments. This paper is being developed by the Wildlife Institute of India under the 'Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihoods Improvement Project (BCRLIP)'. The other project on 'Strengthening Regional Cooperation in Wildlife Protection' is the first attempt by South Asian countries at promoting regional collaboration in protecting natural habitats and biodiversity conservation by focusing attention on the control of illegal trade in wildlife and its associated conservation benefits. The project gives priority to strengthening the capacity of participating countries to encourage wildlife protection and conservation through sharing knowledge and developing best practice applications tailored to the special conservation needs of Asia. Institutionalization of regional cooperation in wildlife protection and conservation is South Asia will be explored through the recently established South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN). The event will include brief presentations on both the projects outlining their objectives, scope and expected outcomes. This will be followed by a panel discussion on implementing the landscape approach for conservation and the importance of regional cooperation in wildlife conservation in controlling cross border illegal wildlife trade.