Community Dorf Report - UNDP Participation at the CBD COP9
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UNDP Participation at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 9)

19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany

The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held from 19-30 May 2008, in Bonn, Germany, immediately following the fourth Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP 4) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. More than 4,000 delegates representing the 191 parties to the Convention and other governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental, non-governmental, indigenous and local community representatives, academia and industry participated in the meeting. (Read a summary of CBD COP 9: background and major decisions)

UNDP Participation

The UNDP delegation included UNDP/GEF Biodiversity Program staff based in Dakar, Bratislava and Pretoria, as well representatives of the GEF Small Grants Program (SGP) and the Equator Initiative teams based at UNDP HQ. (See Fact Sheet on UNDP/GEF, GEF-SGP and the Equator Initiative and biodiversity). The delegation received support from UN Volunteers team members based in Bonn. Each member was crucial to delivering UNDP's key positions on biodiversity, protected areas, communities and climate change.

High Level UNDP Activities Included:

* The joint signing of an MOU between UNDP and the CBD Secretariat by Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, EEG, UNDP and Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD during the High-Level Panel Discussion on "Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation". The agreement covers cooperation in areas such as knowledge management, policy, advocacy and technical support and is targeted at issues related to biodiversity and development ­­­­- particularly poverty reduction, environmental governance, mainstreaming biodiversity into production sectors and strengthening protected areas. "The strategic partnership will allow the 191 parties of the Convention to benefit from the unique technical assistance and outreach capacity of [UNDP] including representation at the national level, said Mr. Djoghlaf. "By combining our efforts we will be better able to assist governments to integrate biodiversity management with their national MDG strategies and other development activities," said Ms. Vandeweerd.

* The UNDP Commitment Statement delivered by Ms. Vandeweerd to the High Level Ministerial Segment of the COP.

Ms. Vandeweerd, in addition to taking part in the High Level Segment of the COP, spoke and made presentations in a number of side events, including:

* The Mayor's Conference: Local Action for Biodiversity;
* Equator Prize Reception and Awards Presentation to honor Equator Prize 2006 finalists and winners, and to welcome the Government of Norway as the newest member of the Equator Initiative partnership;
* The Local-Global Leader's Dialogue in the Equator Initiative-organized Community Dorf
* The Future of GEF's Biodiversity Program
* Meeting of the ‘Network of Women Leaders and Ministers of Environment', which focused on the Gender Plan of Action of the CBD.

Other Major Events Co-organized By UNDP Included:

* Charles McNeill, Senior Policy Advisor, EEG, UNDP organized and moderated Achieving Synergies between the CBD and UNFCCC: The Potential for Pro-Poor and Pro-Biodiversity REDD with representatives from The Government of Norway, SwedBio, IUCN, UNFPII, and ODI (see webcast);
* Charles McNeill chaired the launch of the book: Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity; sponsored by Harvard, CBD, IUCN, UNDP and UNEP (see webcast);
* Charles McNeill moderated a panel on "Challenges in Dealing with Multiple Targets and Agendas on Conservation and Development" during the Biodiversity Forum, which was organized by UNEP, CBD and other key stakeholders, such as Countdown 2010.
* Nik Sekhran, Senior Technical Advisor on Biodiversity, UNDP/GEF gave a presentation on UNDP's work on protected areas during a panel on UNDP/GEF/CBD Support for the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA). One of the most recent UNDP/GEF global projects, which provides assistance to implement critical PoWPA activities, is Supporting Country Early Action on the PoWPA.

· Nik Sekhran made welcoming statements and moderated a panel on Biodiversity & Business: Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Commodity Supply Chains. The panel showcased the UNDP/GEF work on mainstreaming of biodiversity principles into the private sector - focusing on two sectors and the partner institutions; Fair trade/flower production with Marks & Spencer (South Africa), transforming productive practices in the coffee sector by increasing market demand for certified sustainable coffee with the Rainforest Alliance (regional - Latin America).

· Nik Sekran participated in an event on GEF Biodiversity Strategy: Catalyzing Sustainable Biodiversity Conservation. The event presented GEF's strategic objectives and programs on biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing for the period of FY2007-2010.

* Terence Hay-Edie, Biodiversity Programme Specialist, GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) made a presentation on SGP and Indigenous Peoples during a panel on GEF and Indigenous Peoples. The event presented GEF's experience with projects involving indigenous communities and provide opportunity for a dialogue between the indigenous peoples and GEF on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
* Adriana Dinu, Regional Technical Advisor, Biodiversity, UNDP gave a presentation on Measuring Progress: Financial Sustainability Scorecard during a panel on GEF support towards Sustainable Financing of Protected Areas Systems. The event presented GEF's strategy towards supporting developing countries and countries in economic transition on sustainable financing of protected areas.
* Fabiana Issler, Regional Technical Advisor, Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP/GEF presented the UNDP-UNEP global GEF project "Towards 2010 / 4NR" during an event on the Fourth National Report to the CBD and Towards 2010 Targets.
* Yinfeng Guo, Programme Manager, UNDP-China, gave a presentation on the EU-China Biodiversity Programme (ECBP) during a panel on the ‘EU-China Biodiversity Partnership: Lessons on Mainstreaming Biodiversity'. The event showcased the multi-donor partnership to protect China's biodiversity.
* The Photo Exhibition: "Nature, Our Precious Web", co-sponsored by GEO, the feature magazine; the CBD Secretariat; Countdown 2010 Initiative; GTZ, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); IUCN, The World Conservation Union; and UNDP.

Equator Initiative - Community Dorf

The opening of the Community Dorf at CBD COP 9 marked the ninth "dialogue space" hosted by the Equator Initiative. Designed as a platform for local voices at regional and international fora, the "dialogue space" model has evolved to leverage the unique partnerships of the Equator Initiative to position local advocacy and knowledge sharing within larger policy dialogues on biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. In the Equator Initiative tradition of drawing dialogue space names from local nomenclature for "village" or "place of sharing", the space in Bonn, Germany was dubbed The Community Dorf.

The Dorf opened on May 19th and ran through May 28th, 2008 (daily reports and daily photos are available). Over the 10-day event, community representatives - including all recipients of the 2006 Equator Prize - and Equator Initiative partners worked cooperatively to offer workshops and special events covering:

* CBD and COP processes and effective bridging between the community dialogue space and the official CBD sessions, hosted by the CBD and introducing to participants the publication A Guide to Understanding and Participating Effectively in The Ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9), the updated version of the UNDP - UNU publication The Convention on Biological Diversity: Understanding and Influencing the Process;

* The Community Knowledge Service (CKS) and CKS Online web portal, hosted by Ecoagriculture Partners, the Equator Initiative and web portal architects from Carnegie Mellon University. The workshop resulted in a CKS resolution in which community participants committed to maintain linkages and an active network between dialogue spaces;
* Dialogue with Delfin Ganapin, GEF SGP Global Manager on NGO stakeholder concerns pertaining to the work and operational procedures of the SGP, currently operational in 104 countries around the world.
* Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) hosted by GEF-SGP in partnership with TILCEPA in order to prepare for joint activities on ICCAs during the 4th Operational Phase of the GEF SGP. The special event on ICCAs will be included as one of the main themes of the UNDP Community Poble to be held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2008. As a result of this session, UNDP EEG, GEF SGP, TILCEPA and UNEP WCMC will be working together at the global level with a view to forming a Global Alliance on ICCAs.
* Social marketing of biodiversity conservation initiatives, hosted by RARE Conservation;
* Access and benefit sharing (ABS) and Article 8(j), hosted by GTZ;
* Marine and coastal biodiversity, hosted by the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN). The workshop resulted in a community declaration;
* Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and 2010 poster training, hosted by GTZ (for more information please visit the MDG Poster Online Generation Tool);
* Agricultural biodiversity, hosted by Ecoagriculture Partners;
* Biodiversity and business, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations University (UNU);
* Biodiversity and community entrepreneurship, hosted by TribalLink;
* The trademark policy event of Equator Initiative dialogue spaces, the Local-Global Leader's Dialogue; and
* The signature outcome of Equator Initiative dialogues spaces, the Community Declaration.

As with past dialogue spaces, the Community Dorf evolved as a dynamic, community-driven, and community-hosted space, facilitated by the Equator Initiative to be conducive to the open sharing of local ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. As such, the Dorf was in high demand as a venue for COP 9 side events. A few such events included:

* The book launch of Amazon Your Business; and
* The screening of two documentaries - Voices of the Chichinautzin (see webcast) and Saving the Ayuquila River - by United Nations University and UNEP.

The keynote event of COP 9 for the Equator Initiative and Dorf participants was a Reception and Awards Presentation to honor Equator Prize 2006 finalists and winners, and to welcome the Government of Norway as the newest member of the Equator Initiative partnership. Equator Initiative partner representatives were in attendance to congratulate prize recipients. The event marked the inaugural screening of Voices from the Taba, a short documentary that chronicled the dialogue space hosted at COP8, the Community Taba. Seven of the 25 Equator Initiative honorees have also been SGP grantees.

For the first time at a CBD COP, the Equator Initiative held an official seat within the main plenary space. In line with the Equator Initiative objective of "informing policy", several community members were able to make valuable connections with members of their respective country delegations and high-level policy makers. Notable outcomes included:

* Representing 2006 Equator Prize finalist "FEPTCE" from Ecuador, Vicente Guaillas Medina was able to meet and exchange information with Marcela Aguiñaga, the Ecuadorian Minister of Environment. Both agreed to continue their dialogue upon their return to Ecuador;
* 2006 Equator Prize honorees Naranjo Venegas (Costa Rica), Yusuf Ole Patenya (Kenya), Gladis Rodriguez and Adèrito Chayax (Guatemala), and Mariter B. Quiñonez and Apolinario B. Cariño (Philippines) were able to connect with representatives from their national delegations and give a voice to local perspectives;
* Wolimata Thiao, delegate of the Senegalese 2006 Equator Prize finalist "COPRONAT", and Donato Bumacas, representative of the Filipino 2004 Equator Prize finalist "KAMYCIDI", were invited to become members of the official delegations of Senegal and the Philippines, respectively;
* Gladman Chibememe (Zimbabwe) represented 2004 Equator Prize finalist "CHIEHA" in the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity and has been elected as a technical advisor to the national Article 8(j) working group. Mr. Chibememe was also published in the May 2008 issue of "Pachamama", ‘a Traditional Knowledge Newsletter of the CBD'. He authored the article, "International Regime on Access and Benefit-Sharing - Thoughts and Reflections from the Grassroots".
* Gladman Chibememe, on his own initiative, consulted widely with indigenous and local communities attending the CBD COP9 in order to prepare a joint statement on the sustainable financing of national NGOs, CBOs and indigenous peoples organizations through the delivery mechanism of the GEF SGP.
* Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, addressed the Dorf during a workshop on biodiversity and climate change, including a discussion of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD);
* Local-Global Dialogue panelists with senior representatives of the GEF, GTZ, UNDP, The Nature Conservancy, and the Government of Norway, engaged actively in discussions with community representatives in the Dorf on linking biodiversity conservation policy and practice.

The reach and impact of community and local voices outside the dialogue space was substantial. Community Dorf participants were represented and the Equator Initiative and the SGP were present at a number of COP 9 side events, including:

* During the weekend before the official opening of the COP, the Equator Initiative, CBD Alliance, German NGO Forum, and The Nature Conservancy co-hosted a Convention on Biological Diversity Capacity Building Day for indigenous and local participants new to the process. The day-long event attracted over 100 participants and provided background information and training on the Convention.
* On the first day of the plenary, Dorf participants attended the plenary session as a group to hear opening remarks and inform the Dorf agenda;
* Dorf participant, Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi, and Eileen de Ravin, Manager of the Equator Initiative, participated as panelists in a UNEP-UNU side event on ABS, Communities, Business and Livelihoods (see webcast);
* Eileen de Ravin moderated a panel on which Dorf participants, Donato Bumacas, Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan Abdul, Utkarsh Ghate, and Benny Gowep spoke, during the "Biodiversity and Poverty Reduction Day", organized by the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG), together with the Equator Initiative;
* Dorf participants contributed to a side event hosted by Ecoagriculture Partners entitled Applying the Ecosystem Approach to the Programme of Work on Agricultural Biodiversity;
* A presentation of the Community Knowledge Service (CKS) was made by Dorf participants, Arturo Massol, Benson Venegas and David Kuria at the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Fair, which was held in parallel to the COP;
* A panel discussion and reception hosted by AVEDA, entitled: Indigenous Entrepreneurship and Biological Diversity (see webcast);
* Alongside representatives from the CBD, GEF, and GTZ - as well as the President of Palau, French Ambassador for the Environment, the Ministers of Environment from Tanzania and from Madagascar - Dorf participant and 2006 Equator Prize finalist Juan Chavez Munoz participated in a High-Level Panel Discussion on Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation and highlighted the importance of the work the Equator Initiative is doing and the need for national governments to respect the rights of local and indigenous peoples (see webcast);
* Key consultations were held by Delfin Ganapin, SGP Global Manager with: the ASEAN Biodiversity Center; REDLAC for partnerships with environmental trust funds in Latin America; the CBD Secretariat on supporting a global greening movement with schools; Government officials of SGP start up countries; UN Volunteers to facilitate UNV support to SGP (see MOU between UNV and UNDP regarding SGP); the International Alliance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests to refine SGP's partnership to build capacity of indigenous people's leaders in implementing advocacy work and local action related to the CBD.
* Jeffrey Sachs, Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Equator Prize Jury member, delivered the second annual Linnaeus Lecture and highlighted the importance of sustainable technologies in achieving the 2010 biodiversity target and the MDGs (see webcast).

The local and community perspectives offered by Community Dorf participants were recognized by a range of stakeholders, referenced in a variety of venues, and covered by a number of media sources at COP 9. Coverage included:

· A press release on the Government of Norway joining the Equator Initiative partnership and the Local-Global Leader's Dialogue;

· An official press conference, moderated by Charles McNeill, and featuring Dorf participants Utkarsh Ghate, Lauro Vincent Guaillas Medina, and Wolimata. The press conference recognized the Government of Norway partnership and provided community representatives an opportunity to share lessons learned from their respective projects and work with the Equator Initiative;

· Several highlights in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), including:

o ABS Capacity Development in Africa;

o The Potential for Pro-Poor and Pro-Biodiversity REDD;

o ABS, Communities, Business and Livelihoods;

o Marine Biodiversity and the International Year of the Reef;

o The Equator Initiative Partnership Welcomes Norway;

o High-Level Panel Discussion on Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation; and

o Indigenous Entrepreneurship and Biological Diversity;

· A statement by Juan Chavez Munoz at the High-Level Panel Discussion on Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation which highlighted key messages from the Community Declaration.

Other Evidence of Success of the Dorf:

* Many Community Dorf participants arrived with products and crafts that helped display the nature of their organizations' work. These products included accessories such as jewelry, key chains, handbags, and ceramics from diverse communities in Brazil, Peru, Kenya, and Senegal; textiles from Lao PDR and the Philippines; carvings from the Congo; tiger balm from India; essential oils and paper products from Nepal. Due to the audience's positive response to these exhibits the Equator Initiative team decided to open a small store front next to the dialogue space. Within only a few days the "Equator Store" reached a sales total of EUR 3,200 with all proceeds going directly to the producing communities. The "Equator Store" offered a much appreciated trial market for the products of Equator Prize communities and promises to be an interesting point of attraction during future dialogue spaces.
* During a Dorf excursion to Eifel National Park, Dorf participant, Dominique Bikaba, Coordinator, POPOF / Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Bukavu, D R Congo, connected with a German organization Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe (Direct Assistance for Gorillas and Rainforests), which was presenting its work at a booth in the park. Familiar with the NGO from his work with its publication Gorilla Journal, Dominique noticed papers and posters on the stand which contained photos and information from Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Mr. Bikaba spent the afternoon answering questions from visitors to the booth. As a show of appreciation and support Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe bestowed Mr. Bikaba with a new laptop computer, to help him scale-up his admirable community-level efforts. (Read Dominique's story)
* Juan Chavez Munoz was elected by the Community Dorf participants to represent them on the High-Level Panel Discussion on Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation on 27 May. Juan wrote his speech and sought input from other community representatives. Before the speech Juan was invited to join the other speakers in the VIP room, including Heads of State, Ministers and other high level dignitaries. Juan entered and everyone stood to greet him and shake hands with the Chief who wore his traditional clothing and headdress. The respect offered to him was palpable. In turn Juan bestowed on each of those present a garland of beads from his community in the Bolivian Amazon. They began to speak, each in their own language and soon realized that no one in the room beside Juan spoke Spanish. This made little difference as they connected on a deeper level in their common commitment to biodiversity and life on this planet we all share.