Capitalising on regional cooperation for post-2020 dialogue

The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity set the stage for more than 190 countries to step up efforts to protect the world’s ecosystems. The conference took place in Egypt, 17 – 29 November 2018, under the overarching theme “Investing in biodiversity for people and planet” and resulted in the Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration.

The Conference included the High-level Segment with the statements from Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, ministers, and other high-level officials; panel discussions on the importance of investing in biodiversity for people and planet, and the post-2020 framework and 2050 vision; and roundtables on mainstreaming biodiversity into five core sectors of the economy – infrastructure, mining, energy and gas, manufacturing, and health.

In such a setting, a side event was organized to catalyse ideas on the role of regional cooperation in the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and in shaping the post 2020 regime. It was hosted by the Republic of Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, South-East Europe Biodiversity Task Force (BDTF), Southern African Development Community (SADC), IUCN ECARO and GIZ – Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Implementation of Biodiversity Agreements (ORF BDU). Aiming to stimulate dialogue and demonstrate how regional cooperation accelerates progress on biodiversity topics through selected keynote presentations and panel discussion, the event brought together inter-governmental organisations, regional platforms, global initiatives and the donor community to share success stories and lessons learned from biodiversity partnerships.

The BDTF was represented by BDTF members, Vlatko Trpeski, Milena Batakovic and Jelena Ducic. The SADC was represented by Tawanda Gotosa, Regional TFCA Adviser and Sibongile Mavimbela, Senior Programme Officer – Environment and Climate Change. Matthias Krause from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director of DG Env-D Unit on Natural Capital took part as the panelists.

Participants shared their views and discussed both opportunities and challenges for streamlining biodiversity goals into sustainable development processes and maximising their impact. This side event attracted over 60 attendees, who agreed with the main conclusion - a unified voice on biodiversity-related issues can help inspire sustainable development through regional approaches. The discussion was substantiated with a new Aichi Poster demonstrating best practices and outcomes of regional cooperation from the SEE Region.

Boris Erg, Director of IUCN ECARO presented the new IUCN publication on this occasion: “State of nature conservation systems in South-Eastern Europe”, a first comprehensive report on institutional arrangements for nature conservation in the region that will serve decision-makers, experts and the donor community to shape and implement nature-related policies and activities.

The video and report prepared by the IISD reporting service are available here

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