The third and final National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans 2.0 (NBSAPs) workshop took place in Namibia from the 23rd to the 25th of July 2014, to consider what successful mainstreaming of biodiversity and development would look like in the future.
The NBSAPs 2.0 project aims to guide build African leadership in biodiversity mainstreaming in four pilot countries: Botswana, Uganda, Namibia and the Seychelles. The workshop was held at Midgard Estate, near Windhoek in Namibia. It focused on looking at the challenges of implementing NBSAPs and asked 'What does successful biodiversity mainstreaming look like?’
The 193 countries party to the global Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are currently revising their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs). NBSAP 2.0 is a Darwin Initiative-funded project that is making sure poverty alleviation is included in the strategies and plans in four developing countries. Done well, these could help integrate poverty alleviation with environmental policy, plans and investment in support of both development and biodiversity objectives. The NBSAPs 2.0 project aims to guide the revision process. Working in collaboration with the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the project builds capacity for biodiversity mainstreaming, develops tools, provides technical support and shares learning.
The NBSAPs 2.0 project partners and collaborators are working on:
• Strengthening leadership and building technical capacity
• Showcasing experiences and successes of mainstreaming biodiversity into planning and policy
• Identifying ways to influence policymakers to incorporate biodiversity into policies and potential entry points for changing existing policies
• Developing a business case for biodiversity as a development asset
• Assessing the opportunities and constraints for mainstreaming biodiversity.
Success in each of these areas will bring about the emergence of resilient and effective national biodiversity strategies and action plans that influence development decisions and improve outcomes for biodiversity and poverty in the four countries.
Partner countries, including South Africa, shared their experiences with regard to biodiversity mainstreaming and the progress on their respective NBSAP reviews. Here, it is important to note that partner countries’ mainstreaming experiences seem to resonate well with South Africa’s apart from the fact that South Africa has made relatively greater strides. All the target countries have already initiated their NBSAP review process, with Namibia and Botswana having already completed their NBSAPs. These are awaiting approval and endorsement by their respective senior government officials, before being submitted to the CBD secretariat.
The workshop revealed that the countries are making an effort in placing a significant number of biodiversity mainstreaming targets in their revised or draft NBSAPs as per the CBD secretariat requirement. As a result, the NBSAPs 2.0 will act as effective ‘vehicles’ for mainstreaming biodiversity.
According to a 2014 CBD report, South Africa has made relatively good strides in biodiversity mainstreaming and implementation of the NBSAP. There are, however, significant lessons to be learnt from the NBSAP 2.0 project, as we are embarking on a process of reviewing and developing the second generation NBSAP.
Coverage from the event can be found at http://www.iied.org/nbsaps-20-mainstreaming-biodiversity-development