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E-Forum on the Post 2010 Strategic Plan of the CBD: An Invitation to Contribute to the Updating and Revision of the Strategic Plan of the Convention

Question 17.2
What are your views on the past review of the Strategic Plan, including the value of national and thematic reports, and the role of the clearing house mechanism of the Convention, if possible?
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Good day,

This is a reply to the question 18. I have some trouble in replying there.

Appendix 6.a.

Lack of appropriate policies and laws

Should read:
Lack of appropriate policies and laws
Lack of individual determination and job security to enforce the policies and laws
Lack of internal checks to ensure appropriate enforcement takes place

First, I think we have appropriate policies and laws in Finland. Our village association is fighting to save an ecosystem which we believe to be the densest group of small lakes, ponds, streams, brooks, trickles, springs, and whatever other small scale waters in the whole European Union. The same area in Kuhmo's Vuosanka is a central habitat of wild forest reindeer, Rangifer tarandus fennicus, an EU directive species. Vuosanka, an ancient Same language name, stands for reindeer calf. It sounds as if it should be easy for us to achieve our goal. Not so. The same patch of land of around 2000 hectares, with appr. 100 small lakes and ponds interconnected by an intricate stream system, happens to belong to a target area of heavy artillery of the Finnish army. Small arms units started there in the sixties but the major "development" of the area has taken place since 2000. Only now that the first master plan covering the area and showing the army activity is under preparation, did we have any say in the matter. And we have said a lot. No one has even tried to challenge our main findings nor claims. Yet it has been extremely difficult and laborious to make people act. The reasons are clear to us. The Kajaani Regional Environment Center & others all know having made terrible mistakes in allocating that place to the military. The documents we obtained from the military, the local Regional Environment Center and others clearly show that the parties have collaborated closely to find excuses and knowingly missed to implement the laws meant to protect small waters etc., i.e. such a jewel. Most likely they didn't fully comprehend the value of the area, and now that it is known they refuse to write a word of the value. So, they think it is in their interest to stay the course. Our main obstacle in their favor is the lack of a clear enough definition of such an ecosystem and it to be worth protecting. The counterparts prefer to see the system water by water. Maybe none of them alone is invaluable, but we refuse to accept that such a unique system (No. 1 in Europe!) could be destroyed. At the end the laws will be implemented, we hope, but it is shocking to realize that without our persistence that unique ecosystem would be gone for ever. We should be pleased if our experience is of any use for the Convention.

Happy New Year to you!

Best regards,
Timo Niskanen
direct e-mail: timo.niskanen@vieksi.fi
submitted by Timo Niskanen
National and thematic reports are an important tool but their effectiveness is greatly reduced by the fact that many Parties produce them late or not at all and most Parties carry them out with no effective participation of indigenous and local communities and other relevant organisations.

Maurizio and Caroline, Forest Peoples Programme

submitted by Maurizio Ferrari

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme