26 Oct 2010

BirdLife to sign agreement with the Convention on Biological Diversity

By Nick Askew

BirdLife and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat will shortly sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in support of effective implementation of the Convention. The news came from the CBD Conference of Parties meeting (COP) which is currently being held in Nagoya, Japan. “The mission of BirdLife International mirrors the objectives of the CBD. Numerous BirdLife Partners work closely with their Governments to support national CBD implementation, and we have also been working together for many years through the COP, the scientific and technical advisory body and the Secretariat”, said BirdLife’s Muhtari Aminu-Kano from Nagoya. Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life on Earth. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend. Scientists have so far described around 1.8 million species, and birds, with over 10,000 described species, are the best-known and most researched group of all. The CBD is a global treaty ratified by 193 countries, who have formally committed themselves to the conservation of biodiversity in the context of sustainable development. Its main objectives are: (i) the conservation of biological diversity; (ii) its sustainable use and; (iii) the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources. “BirdLife and the CBD recognise that birds are excellent indicators for the status and trends of biodiversity, and that BirdLife’s data on threatened species and Important Bird Areas are of major significance for implementing the convention. BirdLife’s Partners provide essential civil society underpinning to putting the CBD into effect at national level”, added Aminu-Kano. The new MoU provides a framework to:

  • Support the development, testing and application of a framework of indicators for measuring progress in achieving biodiversity targets adopted by the Convention and contribute to strengthening capacities in selected countries to adapt global biodiversity targets to their national contexts and make data available for biodiversity monitoring.
  • Make data on avian biological diversity available to Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity for, inter alia, national clearing-house mechanisms, national reports and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.
  • Continue to strengthen the implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas, in collaboration with the Friends of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas and with particular focus on the conservation of Important Bird Areas, and support the active participation of BirdLife Partners in similar mechanisms at the national level.
  • Support the growth of the LifeWeb Initiative as a means to strengthen financing for implementing the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas, including by supporting Parties in the development of their invitations for support based on highest national priorities, and encouraging donors to use this platform to inform their decision making and support projects profiled on it.
  • Strengthen collaboration on the practical application of the CBD criteria for the identification of Ecologically and Biologically Sensitive Areas in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and other aspects of the implementation of the Programme of Work on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity.
  • Facilitate linkages between national BirdLife Partners and CBD Parties’ national focal points, and strengthen collaboration on the local, national and regional implementation of the CBD including by contributing analysis, experiences case studies, best practices and practical guides towards the development and implementation of CBD work programmes linking biodiversity with development and poverty eradication.
  • Strengthen the science and policy efforts to link biodiversity with climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Raise awareness on the value of biodiversity and the steps that people can take to protect it by supporting Parties to strengthen the implementation of Communications, Education and Public Awareness programmes, especially through the activities of national BirdLife Partners, their members and local networks.