Women contribute to biodiversity conservation and management in fundamentally important ways. Their role has been underscored in several decisions of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the CBD’s 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action. Previously, gender was absent from Jamaica’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) of 2003. However, Jamaica’s latest NBSAP 2016-2021 includes gender considerations into biodiversity conservation actions and cross-sectoral strategies.
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Namibia is recognized as a global leader in conservation and nature-based rural development. Its State-run Community-Based Natural Resource Management Program (CBNRM) is a successful example of decentralizing natural resource management and recognizing the rights and development needs of local communities.
As a small island in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is susceptible to adverse climate change impacts. The 2004 tsunami confirms that low-lying plains in the coastal zone are vulnerable to any future rise in sea level.
Since 1989, the community of Falealupo, Government of Samoa and foreign parties have signed three Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) agreements for the purposes of Research & Development (R&D) and bio-prospecting. The agreements were put in place for the use of traditional knowledge from local healers and the local plant ‘mamala’ for HIV AIDS research.
Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed accidentally every year in commercial marine fisheries. This includes globally threatened species, such as an estimated 100,000 albatrosses. This bycatch of non-target species is a common side-effect of the fishing industry. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is the world’s first international team of seabird bycatch mitigation instructors. Since 2006, it has successfully reduced the incidental bycatch of albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds in targeted fisheries, by introducing simple and practical fishing techniques and mitigation measures.
Catastrophic declines in the Indian populations of three vulture species led to the discovery that they were being poisoned by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which they ingested when feeding on cattle carcasses. Despite a ban by the Indian Government in 2006, illegal use continued to kill vultures.
In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
European countries are planning massive investments in renewable energy, which will mean that many more transmission lines will be needed to transport the energy produced. This is essential for reducing carbon emissions, but without careful planning, transmission lines can create a range of risks for biodiversity. The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) was launched in 2009 as a neutral platform, enabling Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and NGOs from across Europe to come together as equal partners.
The Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico (RITA) - Red Indígena De Turismo De México - (http://www.rita.com.mx/index.html) promotes indigenous community development by raising awareness about biodiversity using a collaborative and participatory approach. The Network mobilizes indigenous communities to overcome economic marginalization by developing sustainable ecotourism projects and natural resource based micro-enterprises.
Countries often face situations where biodiversity is not positioned on the national agenda and, in that scenario, developing financial mechanisms or mobilizing resources will be much more difficult than when biodiversity is in the mainstream of the country. Safeguarding diverse ecosystems ensures invaluable services essential for sustainable development and improvements in human wellbeing.