South-South Cooperation

Implementation of the Multi-Year Plan of Action on South-South Cooperation

  1. The Plan of Action is envisioned to be implemented by Parties at subregional, regional and global level. Its duration will coincide with the timeline of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention, taking into account the Plan’s milestones.

  2. Implementation of the Multi-Year Plan of Action for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development will be supported by the G-77 through its chair and its Secretariat, the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation hosted by the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations’ High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, and UNEP’s activities being coordinated under the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building. It is hoped that partnering with the initiatives coordinated by UNDP, UNESCO and UNEP will promote enhanced mainstreaming of biodiversity considerations into on-the-ground activities.

  3. Over recent years, a number of regional organizations have supported the preparation of regional biodiversity strategies and/or action plans. These strategies and plans support the Multi-Year Plan of Action in that they provide an important and concrete platform for South-South cooperation by generating opportunities for interregional exchanges of information, coordinating transboundary projects, enhancing communication between neighbouring countries on biodiversity-related issues, and galvanizing action on mainstreaming biodiversity into trade and development agendas.

  4. The Convention’s clearing-house mechanism (CHM) and the Protocol’s Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) are particularly suited as tools for facilitating South-South scientific and technical cooperation and information exchange, and therefore central to the successful implementation of the Multi-Year Plan of Action. Specifically, a web-based portal will be incorporated into the CHM to provide a database of case-studies related to South-South cooperation on biodiversity for development, important references and web links, including a roster of South-South cooperation expertise, cross-tabulating the needs of countries with available expertise and sources of further research. Links will be made with other relevant clearing-house mechanisms, such as the UNDP Web for Information and Development (WIDE) and the UNEP clearing-house mechanisms for Bali Strategic Plan and South-South Cooperation. Information will also be shared through actual or virtual conferences, seminars, and workshops.

  5. Sources of know-how for South-South cooperation spread well beyond the 23 countries the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) called pivotal or the megadiverse countries within the Group of 77. For biodiversity, it is best to benchmark particular areas within the Convention’s programmes of work in which some countries excel, or may have experienced substantive progress. Countries may be more advanced in certain aspects of the Convention (on which they can be benchmarked as references), whereas their chosen exchange partners may have other fields of excellence that can benefit the first. As reported in many publications, lessons learned indicate that successful South-South cooperation requires what some refer to as “an enabling environment”. South-South cooperation has been most successful in countries where collaborating governments have:

  6. Identified optimal matches between available technology (benchmarking of centres of excellence and best practices) and needs assessed in recipient countries (the significance of the technology or experience to be transferred). It should be noted that in many cases both partners have technologies to exchange (i.e., South-South cooperation is not necessarily a one-way avenue, and centres of excellence also learn in the process of transferring technology);
  7. Put in place explicit policies for South-South cooperation linked with a national development planning process;
  8. Established strong focal points for South-South cooperation for all parties involved, with managerial capacity to support transfers and/or acquisitions, and with the necessary supporting structure;
  9. Earmarked national budgetary allocations or devised means for innovative use of external assistance, including triangular cooperation.

  10. Organizing international meetings and conferences for the key partners of the Plan of Action at the margins of meetings of the Conference of the Parties, such as the South-South Cooperation Forum on Biodiversity for Development organized during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties held in Aichi/Nagoya, Japan in October 2010, will build momentum for implementing the Plan of Action and integrating new objectives and priorities. Additionally, regional capacity development workshops being organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity on specific programmes of work (such as with the regional workshops on protected areas, forests, invasive alien species, climate change, and indigenous tourism) offer concrete opportunities for South-South cooperation and the exchange of best practices and lessons learned.