Aichi Target 17 predicates that NBSAPs become 'effective policy instruments' at the national level for achieving key objectives that pertain to a country’s obligation before the CBD.
It also tells us that NBSAPs ought to be ‘implemented' – and it should not be another “shelved” government document. It further tells us that the on-going process of updating the NBSAPs should be ‘participatory'.
But what does this imply in reality?
A policy instrument can take the form of laws and regulations.
This is very commonly used by governments to achieve specific objectives. Passing laws, regulations may however take time and require consultation, not always free of controversy.
A policy instrument can also take the form of an economic instrument.
We would be looking at tax credits or incentives for certain types of investments, or subsidies to certain activities or products. It can also mean removing a harmful subsidy or tax incentive. The general goal of economic instruments is to influence the actions of individuals and corporations. Some of these instruments can also be market-based. Often, economic instruments are very powerful and fast means of achieving policy change.
The question in NBSAPs is whether BIODIVERSITY will gain or loose with what policies.
The role of NBSAPs, as policy instruments, is exactly to provide the overarching guidance at the country level on what needs to change in a country’s set of policies to achieve biodiversity goals. And these goals should be preferably be embedded in the Aichi inspired targets that countries are including in their NBSAPs.
NBSAPs also represent a key national contribution to the global achievement of biodiversity objectives in the realm of the CBD.
Needless to say, the process is delicate and important. It requires a good technical base for formulating what a policy instrument should do and how.
The NBSAP Forum provides guidance on all this.
Join us in making the achievement of Aichi Target 17 happen.