A capacity-building workshop on achieving Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 12, for the Pacific region, was held from 11-13 July 2016 in Nadi, Fiji.
The workshop is part of a series of capacity-building workshops organized through a request of the Conference of the Parties to enhance progress towards the achievement of Target 11 and 12. Parties are undertaking concerted efforts to implement actions identified in national biodiversity strategies and action plans and other relevant strategies, and are addressing any gaps identified through the regional capacity-building workshops on achieving Targets 11 and 12.
The need for most countries to have more organised, readily accessible, baseline information about their progress (areas, types, ecological representativeness, and management effectiveness) on protected area commitments, was highlighted through activities and discussions at this regional meeting. There were interesting deliberations and insights on how internationally defined governance types and management categories for protected areas either apply, or don't easily apply, in the Pacific Islands region.
The BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Programme by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and other partners had a chance to sit with country focal points and talk about the support willingly available to help with this need as well as help them directly during the workshop on interpreting, and updating, their current situation on meeting Targets 11 and 12.
Information isn’t important simply for the sake of reporting to international agreements was a point reiterated during the workshop. It’s an essential tool for countries in making decisions and setting priorities for conserving their natural assets.
Eleni Tokaduadua, Senior Environment officer with Fiji's Environment Department, is a highly experienced conservation manager and a leading regional advocate for critical capacity needs. She reinforced the importance having up to date, baseline information on national biodiversity and protected area networks and reaching out to partners, such as the BIOPAMA programme, to help move this sort of verification work along.
Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN Global Protected Areas Program, on his first trip to the South Pacific, shared his experiences from a global perspective with the country representatives and gained an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities in the diverse Pacific region.
The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), hosted by the Government of Fiji, with the generous financial support from the Government of Japan, through the Japan Biodiversity Fund.
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets are part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, an overarching framework to protect biodiversity and enhance its benefits for people, approved by governments in 2010 and since recognised by the United Nations as setting the global framework for action on biodiversity.