News & Blog

Two Articles re: BIODIVERSITY and Small Island Interests

Posted on May 7, 2009

from the MEA Bulletin from IISD Reporting Services

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TWO articles of importance for small islands — ESPECIALLY the HARMONIZATION of REPORTING for Biodiversity (and OTHER MEA’s too!!) multilateral environmental agreements (and I see VERY LIITLE ISLAND INTEREST in MEA Reporting Harmonization, and EVEN LESS participation by islands in the international fora, such as the ASEAN meeting reported below. . . )

The second article is about the need to link Biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development.


Held from 15-17 April 2009, in Hanoi, Viet Nam, a workshop on harmonization of reporting to biodiversity-related conventions gathered representatives of seven Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) countries and Australia. Its goal was to provide a venue to develop a framework to harmonize national reporting to the CBD, CITES, CMS, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the World Heritage Convention. A strong focus was put on building the capacity of ASEAN countries to improve and streamline national reporting as an output of implementation of global conventions. The workshop was lead by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, in partnership with the Vietnam Environment Administration and with the support of the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the biodiversity-related convention secretariats ( =article&id=322:asean-member-statesto-streamline-reporting-to-global-environmental-agreements&catid=65:acbnews&Itemid=92).

this is that press release

ASEAN Member States to Streamline Reporting to Global Environmental Agreements

Resolving global issues require international agreements, and this is particularly important in environmental Conservation. Loss of Species and habitats, Biodiversity conservation, wildlife trade, pollution, and Climate change are concerns requiring concerted global effort in addressing them.

A number of international conventions and agreements have been developed to establish wide-ranging cooperation in protecting the environment, including the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD), Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar), Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the World Heritage Convention (WHC).

These multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) require national reporting from all signatory countries (Parties) to create a global picture of environmental efforts as well as provide directions for the future. Reports often require data from different national agencies covering a wide range of bio-geographical, social, economic, legal and political information. These have to be meticulously prepared by the focal points or reporting agencies and crafted according to formats set by the secretariats of MEAs.

In some cases, there are similar reporting agencies for different MEAs. Some also require similar information, such as Habitat coverage, species inventory, composition of local communities, human activities that may affect the local environment, protected area status, number of rangers, and others. Since a number of issues may need to be presented in reports to various MEAs, there is a need to harmonize the gathering of and management of data. Streamlining reporting to MEAs will reduce reporting burdens on Parties, encourage more data sharing, and create synergy in environmental work among concerned national and international agencies.

To facilitate national reporting to MEAs, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) will conduct the ASEAN Workshop on Harmonization of Reporting to Biodiversity-Related Conventions on 15 – 17 April 2009 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop will focus on the development of a framework to harmonize reporting on the implementation of efforts to conserve inland waters biodiversity for the CBD and the Ramsar Convention.

Ms. Rusyan Coburn, Policy Research Specialist of ACB, said the workshop aims to promote national and regional efforts to harmonize or synergize reporting to biodiversity-related conventions; strengthen national capacities in harmonized reporting by providing training on use of relevant tools and approaches; and discuss possible ways and means for harmonization of reporting at the global level.

“The workshop will emphasize information exchange and active learning. This will allow ASEAN Member States to analyze and strengthen national processes and capacities for synergizing reporting to biodiversity-related conventions, as well as provide recommendations for harmonization at the global level, Ms. Coburn explained.

ACB will lead the organization of the workshop in partnership with the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) and with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre; the Secretariats of the CBD, CITES, CMS, Ramsar and the World Heritage Convention; and the Government of Australia.  For more information, log on to



On the occasion of the G8 Environment
Ministers Meeting Opening Working
Session on Biodiversity, held on 23
April 2009, in Syracuse, Italy, Ahmed
Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the
Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD), stressed that the Syracuse Charter
on Biodiversity provides an outline
for the way ahead in addressing unprecedented
biodiversity challenges. He
to the upcoming International
Year of Biodiversity 2010 (

In a communiqué issued by the CBD
Secretariat following the conclusion of
the G8 Environment Ministers meeting,
Djoghlaf notes the Charter marks a new
era in the environmental dialogue of the
G8 and their partners, adding that their
commitment to work together for the
completion of the international regime on
access and benefit sharing by 2010 and
finalize a post-2010 biodiversity strategy
should be applauded (;

In related news, the Global Environment
Facility has recently approved
Phase III of a medium-sized project to
of 40 countries, with up to US$20,000
for each country (

The CBD Secretariat has posted the
electronic versions of the promotional
material related to this year’s celebrations
of the International Day for Biological
Diversity under the theme “Invasive
Alien Species,” to be celebrated
on 22 May 2009, at:


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