Grand Hotel, Malahide, Ireland
25-27 May 2004
Forward-looking paper on the EC Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the European
This paper has been prepared by the Secretariat to Working Group on the BAP-EDC
(Working Group 4) established under the EC’s Biodiversity Expert Group, and is based on the proceedings of the Working Group.
The working group met twice, on 6 October 2003 and on 31 March 2004. Working group members also made written input on the basis of a questionnaire as well as written comment.
The Working Group was co-chaired by DG Development (Unit B4) and the Netherlands.
Membership of the Working Group was open to all members of the Biodiversity Expert
Group (Member States, Acceding Countries, civil society organisations). The following is a list of the nominated representatives (and alternates) to the Working Group
(excluding Commission staff)
Glyn Davies, United Kingdom; Patrick Hollebosch, Belgium; Els Martens, Belgium;
Dana Dvorakova, Czech Republic; Christian Prip and Robert Jensen, Denmark; Dirk
Schwenzfeier, Germany; Sofia Markopoulou, Greece; Maite Martin Crespo and Carlos
Martin Novella, Spain; Hanno Zingel, Estonia; Remi Gouin and Marc Fagot and Naïg
Cozannet and Geoffroy Mauvais, France; Marta Hibbey, Hungary; Silvio Vetrano, Italy;
Felix Hoogveld and Ton Van der Zon, the Netherlands; Jussi Soramäki, Finland; Maria
Berlekom, Sweden; Josceline Wheatley and Linda Brown and Joanna Robertson, United
Kingdom; Joanna Phillips, RSPB/Birdlife Int; Jos Noteboom, EEA; Clairie Papazoglou,
EFH; Joanna Phillips and Jean-Claude Jacques, Jos Noteboom, EES; EHF; Juliette
Young and Sybille Van der Hove, EPBRS; Barney Dickson, Fauna & Flora
International; Zbigniew Karpowicz and Richard Holland, Fauna & Flora International;
Berenice Muraille, FERN; Isla Leal-Riesco, IFAW; Krystyna Swiderska, IIED; Herve
Lefeuvre, WWF-EPO; Glyn Davies, ZSL, Alexandra Mueller, GTZ; Alexia Maniakis,
EBCD; Tomme Rosanne Young and Jean-Claude Jacques, IUCN-ELC Bent S. Jepsen,
Carl Bro As.
Further details of the review process and the mandate of the working groups is provided in the paper Malahide/Intro. Minutes of Working Group meetings are available on request to Mia.Lahteenmaki@cec.eu.int
Importance of biodiversity in developing countries
Many people in developing countries depend on biodiversity to support their livelihoods, through the direct and indirect use of a wide range of goods, including domesticated and semi-domesticated crops, livestock, trees, and fish, supplemented by products collected from the wild, including medicines, minor foods, and building materials. Ecosystem services (water regulation, flood control, soil formation etc) play an equally crucial role, and poor people and communities are often the most vulnerable to natural disasters which may increase or become aggravated when ecosystem resilience decline. Rights to and sustainable use of biodiversity are critical for local livelihoods, and are intimately linked to fundamental development aspects such as poverty, food security, equity, health, and trade. Sustainable use of biodiversity is thus a prerequisite for sustainable development and poverty alleviation in both local and global perspectives. Biodiversity is regarded as being of particular value to the very poorest of the poor, providing renewable local resources essential for basic livelihoods. This is especially true at times of particular environmental stress, and for many often-marginalized groups, such as nomadic peoples.
Causes and consequences of biodiversity loss in developing countries
Biodiversity loss has many causes, and the reasons as well as the effects can vary considerably between areas and countries. Two facts are clear though:
1. Most of the world’s biodiversity is found in developing countries. There is a considerable overlap between high incidences of poverty and the world’s biodiversity hotspots. 2. Biodiversity loss (from genetic to ecosystem levels). in many cases leads to increased poverty. Poor people furthermore many times pay a disproportionately high cost of biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is also being increasingly recognised for its value in terms of the global services it delivers or supports – such as water purification, pollination, soil retention, climate regulation etc. In relation to this, it is important to recognise that there is profound inequity in the burden sharing of biodiversity goods and services at a global level. The majority of the global returns enjoyed by the developed world are delivered as a result of burden carrying from limited management of natural resources by local communities in the developing world.
These two concepts are both key to the global maintenance of biodiversity and to the achievement of sustainable poverty eradication. As a result of biodiversity loss many poor groups are getting poorer, increasing the pressures on the remaining resources. It is clear that biodiversity losses can only be reversed if the costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use are integrated into the social and economic development aspirations of individuals and nations.
EU international commitments and obligations
The European Community has taken a number of international commitments
(CBD, WSSD, MDGs) with respect to halting biodiversity loss. Following the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) by the EC and the Member States, a Biodiversity Strategy (1998) was prepared with a set of objectives for biodiversity as well as 4 action plans including the
Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and Development Co-operation
(BAP-EDC 2001) for the international aspects. The BAP-EDC is therefore the main tool for the EC’s international commitment to implement CBD globally, in particular to comply with Articles 5, 18 and 20 of the CBD.
Following COP6 and 7, the CBD moves "from words to deeds", and this should be reflected in the EC’s response. At WSSD the need for more financial and technical resources for developing countries to achieve the
2010 target was emphasised, and the EU Development policy plays a key role in this respect.
The ‘trade footprint’ gap
The bulk of EC development co-operation spending is currently on activities that do not have primarily environmental aims, but often have important direct or indirect impacts on biodiversity. Also, a number of EC/EU policies have potentially a strong impact (both positive and negative) on biodiversity in developing countries. These include trade policy (e.g. quotas and tariffs on goods imported from developing countries), agriculture (e.g. subsidies for
European crops) and fisheries (e.g. fisheries agreements), for which the EC has competence to develop Europe-wide policies and actions. The focus of the BAP-EDC is on Economic and Development Cooperation, and the above issues are being dealt with in different working group, but there is a need to specifically address trade issues. It is therefore necessary to send a strong message to the other working groups and the BEG: the EU footprint and the impacts of EU policies (Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries ..) on Global
Biodiversity should be fully taken into account while elaborating priorities for a 2010 delivery plan.
TATE AND TRENDS
THREATS AND PRESSURES
State and trends of biodiversity in developing countries
Most of the world's biodiversity is found in developing countries in tropical regions, often highlighted as “hot spots”. This biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates. The Global Biodiversity Outlook of the CBD (2001) gives a good overview of state and trends of biodiversity loss at all levels – genetic, species and ecosystem. More specifically, tropical forest ecosystems are the most biodiversity rich environments. Although they cover less than
10% of the world’s surface, they may contain 90% of the world’s species.
Coral reefs and Mediterranean heath lands are also highly species rich. As well as species richness, the conservation status and rarity of individual species is also important. Many endemic species are under threat. Small islands developing states often have a high level of endemism and their biodiversity is particularly vulnerable to a number of threats. Indonesia is
MALAHIDE/WGP/Towards2010/4 thought to support more species than any other country, including marine species in the Indo-Australasian archipelago.
Direct threats on biodiversity in developing countries, and underlying driving forces
For the purposes of the current exercise it is useful to distinguish between major direct threats (loss, degradation, fragmentation of habitats, alien invasive species, climate change, over-exploitation of natural resources …), and indirect threats in the form of driving factors that hinder the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The Annex to the Strategic Plan of CBD COP7 identifies a number of underlying causes (driving factors). Two types of obstacles can be recognised: in general, obstacles in developing countries (see list approved by COP6 as Annex to the CBD Strategic Plan), these include policy, market and governance failures; demographic and climatic conditions; lack of knowledge and limited institutional capacity. Economic development activities (eg. based on unsustainable use of biodiversity, infrastructure/ industrial development without addressing biodiversity conservation). In many developing countries increased poverty as well as economic development activities that harm or insufficiently address biodiversity conservation, can also contribute to over utilisation and biodiversity loss.
Another type of driving factors is those that are specific for the implementation of the BAP/EDC, and this exercise should focus on identifying and addressing these, a number of which are listed under
The response to date
Apart from the fact that there has been a long tradition of EC spending on wildlife and conservation projects in certain key biodiversity hotspots
(Central Africa, Brazil, Indonesia
), the EC response to this has been, following the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity
(1992) by the EC and the Member States, to prepare a Biodiversity Strategy
(1998) which established a set of objectives for biodiversity as well as 4 action plans including the Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and
Development Co-operation (BAP-EDC 2001) for the international aspects.
The “Biodiversity in Development Group/T-BAG was reactivated in 2003 in order to follow up on this Action Plan.
SSESSMENT OF THE
Assessment of implementation
of the BAP-EDC has been generally poor. Although a number of biodiversity-specific projects have been successfully implemented, the impact of these is very localised. One of the main objectives of the Biodiversity Strategy is the mainstreaming of biodiversity
MALAHIDE/WGP/Towards2010/4 objectives into other (non-environment) sectors, and in this respect implementation has been singularly disappointing. This is largely due to lack of understanding and awareness of the linkages between biodiversity and the key development objectives (poverty alleviation, food security etc), and lack of ownership of biodiversity issues in the EC as well as in partner countries, and the lack of awareness of the links between poverty and biodiversity.
Assessment of effectiveness
The BAP-EDC has not been
in influencing policy, programmes and projects. The Action Plan should have influenced programming by incorporating biodiversity issues in PRSPs, CSPs and RSPs and through the universal use of ECPs, SEAs, and EIAs. This has only happened to a small extent and on an occasional basis. There is no detectable general mainstreaming effect at the project level. This is partly due to lack of awareness and political will, but also to the fact that biodiversity has to compete with a number of emerging other priorities, such as migration, terrorism, conflict prevention, etc
Assessment of appropriateness
The actions of the BAP-EDC are not the most
to achieve the overall policy target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. The BAP-EDC is lacking in internal coherence and logic, and has no clear prioritisation and responsibilisation. Certain actions may have been overambitious and unrealistic in the context in which they were proposed.
Complementarity of EC-MS treatment of biodiversity in economic and development assistance
Due to lack of information it is at this stage not possible to assess complementarity of EC-MS treatment of biodiversity in economic and development assistance (Spain, NL, Sweden, Greece and Austria have submitted this info). In order to be sure coordination will improve in the near future, a specific indicator should be selected (see
Key obstacles (political, administrative, financial...)
Key obstacles to implementation include:
Lack of political will, awareness and human and financial resources (both in EC, MS and in partner countries). Biodiversity is usually not high on the agenda of the most powerful Government departments in partner countries, and this means in practice that it is difficult to obtain their support for biodiversity projects
. Many developing countries are
It could also be argued that it is ‘short-termism’ that sees biodiversity as an expensive luxury. A recent study led by the RSPB and Cambridge University concludes that for less than $50 billion a year we could protect nature’s services worth some $5 trillion a year. The authors estimate that the overall benefit:cost ratio of an effective global programme for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1.
Counter-examples include Gabon or Madagascar which have recently put biodiversity issues high on their agenda, and plan to develop huge systems of protected areas. Enforcement of these systems may be
MALAHIDE/WGP/Towards2010/4 signatories to biodiversity related MEAs, but environment ministries and departments are generally weaker than those of trade and finance.
Inadequate general development policy objectives (financial support restricted to six specified focal areas (which do not include natural resource management), a demand-driven EC development policy and, a
"fatigue" for the need to take into account many environmental and social issues,
Inadequate financial instruments and rules (difficulty to provide small funds, long term commitments difficult, geographical coverage).
Lack of participation of those who will benefit or feel the impacts (the rural poor including indigenous peoples) in national decision making.
Problems with BAP/EDC itself (poor internal logic and coherence, absence of targets, priorities, actors, etc…)
Difficulty in reporting: it is impossible to report on even the most simple indicator, for example how much EC Aid is going to biodiversity conservation.
The ongoing devolution process in EuropeAid may make it more difficult to address biodiversity conservation. However, through restructuring, opportunities could be found to develop schemes to offer small grant funds open to civil society, and training at field office level of EC, member states, and partner countries staff should also help to overcome this obstacle.
Institutional weaknesses (biodiversity issues are not explicitly addressed in policy, programming and project guidelines).
Gaps that need to be addressed in the biodiversity action plan are to redefine the actions to clearly identify tasks and targets; to identify responsibilities; to set priorities; and to establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, including indicators. There is a need to better link to general development policy and the PRSP processes. Lessons can be learned from the WSSD process (including the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and Protected
Areas on how to more clearly demonstrate the biodiversity-livelihood linkages and thus on how to up-date and frame the United Nation’s WEHAB work) to better phrase the new BAP Action Plan in a development context. difficult. Many Latin American countries have established (sometimes since many years) national "systems" of protected areas (under different status), which are ambitious enough (they normally account for 10% to
20% of the entire national territory). But these countries frequently lack the means to actually ensure effective protection (both in terms of vigilance and control systems and enforcement), and there is often a problem of internal policy coherence and political "weakness" of the national ministries/bodies in charge of protected areas.
Commitments from COP6 and COP7 decisions should be incorporated (such as the work programmes on ABS, 8J, Protected Areas, forest biological diversity, Sustainable Use, Mountain Biodiversity, technology transfer and technological & scientific cooperation). The biodiversity-poverty relationship should be emphasised. A lot of information on this is available
(Sweden, UK, NL, Spain, Millennium Assessment, CBD, London meeting,..) and should be used, and more should be done on valuation of biodiversity in the development cooperation context. The CRIS and other databases need to be improved in order to make reporting possible.
The BAP-EDC itself should not be completely re-written, but improved in order to make it more coherent and consistent (internal logic), make it more targeted and
'deliverable' (include priorities, targets, actors and indicators). As regards financial instruments, a two-track approach could be used, with both mainstreaming (by including a stronger biodiversity angle in using existing instruments such as EDF,
ALA, NGOs, Water facility,…) and earmarking (e.g. possibly establish a specific
EC-biodiversity facility including small grants). It is clear, however, that funds available for promoting the wise use of biodiversity will be considerably larger through mainstream development assistance than through specified or ear-marked funds. The integration of biodiversity concerns into development planning is the only way to assure real and sustainable results, as most of EU spending will continue to be on activities not directly targeting biodiversity. The key is to use this investment to contribute to meeting the 2010 goals. To this end, raising awareness at
EU and partner country level is necessary, to assure that actions with positive impacts on biodiversity are encouraged and that those with negative impacts are avoided or the potential impacts mitigated.
There must be a clear list of actions to be implemented in the next 2 years together with a realistic time frame. Priorities could focus both on issues
(ABS, 8J, Sustainable Use, Food security & Agricultural Biodiversity, trade
& biodiversity, health & biodiversity, Local/Community management of
, Ecosystem services, Invasive Alien Species, Forests and
Marines, Biosafety, bushmeat) and on processes (mainstreaming, funding, internal capacity building, internal and external awareness raising (awareness and capacity building in the developing countries is important and should also target NGOs and CBOs: it is there where the demand should be formulated, and the capacity of donors to respond has to develop accordingly). The implementation of key planned actions towards the objective of mainstreaming biodiversity must be given priority. These actions include the completion of the environmental integration manual,
With respect to protected areas, a "niche" should be identified where the limited financial support available through the EC budget can produce value added and complement existing programmes - WB's
GEF and Member States' in the first place. In some countries of Latin America, National Environment
Funds have been set up which focus on protected areas and to which MS contribute sometimes through debt swaps.
MALAHIDE/WGP/Towards2010/4 help-desk and training; revised programming guidelines; a “biodiversity toolbox” including CEP and SEA guidelines. A three-pronged approach to biodiversity mainstreaming could therefore include programming; capacity building and awareness-raising. Germany is probably the most active MS in this area (including in financial terms). France has even set up its own
Global Environment Fund.
Opportunities (linked to EU's policy schedule)
Opportunities linked to EU's policy schedule to address the gaps are through the following: CSPs for ACP countries are currently being reviewed, and the next round of programming will take place in 2006. For the ACP countries, a
Country Environmental Profile is required, and this should be used as an entry point to address biodiversity issues. ALA/MED CSPs are continuously being prepared between 2004/2006. The EU Sustainable Development
Strategy and the environmental integration strategy are to be reviewed during
2004. These reviews provide an ideal opportunity to incorporate biodiversity issues in programming, as an essential first step towards biodiversity mainstreaming. These two processes need to be supported and given political momentum. Other opportunities include COP6 and 7 outcomes,
Environmental Impact Assessments and Strategic Environmental
Assessments, Trade agreements, MDGs focus and WSSD, Health, Security,
Equity, Sustainable Financing Initiatives (e.g. EBRD biodiversity facility, the
Conservation Finance Alliance), the EU Water facility.
Output-oriented targets need to be identified and could for example include:
number/percentage the number of CSPs including analysis of BD-issues – and quality of analysis;
number/percentage of EIAs/SEAs undertaken and percentage of these including analysis of BD-impacts and consequences;
number/percentage (amount of funds) of NRM-projects/programme including a pro-active and deliberate attempt to incorporate sustainable management of biodiversity;
number/percentage of specific BD activities- ( aiming at reversing biodiversity loss as one of the main objectives), within the overall focus of poverty reduction.
NOTE: This will need to be developed with the up-dating/formulation of the
BAP-EDC (ie targets to be found to correspond with each proposed action).
Three main categories of indicators are relevant for development in relation to the BAP/EDC:
Indicators on overall poverty-biodiversity connections/linkages for the
CSPs could focus on capturing relationship and the complex dynamic between the two areas. This would include role of institutions, macroeconomic policies, regulator regimes, utilization linkages, exercise of power/privileges etc. They would thus more clearly link on to the key concerns from a development perspective and capture both crucial aspects of trends/status from a cause/drivers perspective, and efficiency and extent of response measures. There is a growing wealth of experiences on poverty-environment indicators which to some extent also include biodiversity-related dimensions. Work has for example been undertaken by DFID, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, World Bank, and the
WWF – macro-economic programme. The latter is for example now developing an initiative on indicators for valuing ecosystem services linked to PRSPs in eight African countries. The provisional framework on global targets and indicators, which was taken as an annex to the
Strategic Plan, at COP7, can also provide a starting point for identifying possible useful indicators for the CSPs.
Indicators showing extent and efficiency of BAP-EDC implementation, which can be directly linked to the out-put oriented targets above.
Relevant indicators at project/programme level, which again should focus on poverty-biodiversity linkages. The bush-meat paper provides examples of projects that may have an impact on exploitation of bushmeat. There are also other good example (IUCN has done some on linking human and ecosystem well-being, some of the proposed indicators by the WWFmacro-economic programme is more suitable for project level etc)
Indicators elaborated in the EEA indicators paper, and also the bushmeat indicators paper (for certain projects) should be incorporated in a revised
BAPDEV. Most important (level-2) indicator: amount of money and projects funded which help implementing CBD and achieving 2010 target.
Other indicators could include, for example:
level of illegally logged timber imported into the EU;
no. of staff able to access and use (i.e. trained) the environment/ biodiversity manual;
no. of CSPs addressing biodiversity etc.;
% of EU funding earmarked for biodiversity programmes or projects;
% of EU funding spent on supporting local communities' sustainable management of natural resources;
minutes of coordinating meetings with MS regarding biodiversity issues;
EIA (or not) for non environmental policies and programmes or projects and subsequent endorsement of EIA recommendations by recipient governments.
Implementation arrangements (key actors, coordination, complementtarity, resources...)
Improved co-ordination is essential at all levels to enable the mainstreaming of biodiversity issues, including between the Member States and the
Commission. A consultative committee such as the current working group 4 of the Biodiversity expert group should be maintained and meet at least twice a year to monitor and assess implementation of the BAP-EDC. The
Development Council should periodically address implementation of the
BAP-EDC and take appropriate decisions aimed at improving its implementation. A “biodiversity and development secretariat” within the
Commission could co-ordinate and monitor implementation of the Action