“Parks, People, Planet – Inspiring Solutions”


The IUCN World Parks Congress Sidney 2014 is taking place from 12 till 19 November and will gather around 4000 delegates from over 160 countries. The WPC is held once in a decade and provides an ideal platform for a global conversation around issues related to protected areas. This year’s congress is themed Parks, People, Planet: Inspiring Solutions and will showcase the essential role and diverse benefits of protected areas for people and communities. Hence, partners of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative such as the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study for Sustainability (UNU-IAS) will actively engage in the event and highlight the relevance of parks for health and human well-being at large. Through sharing ideas and experiences, this years WPC aims to take stock of the achievements in implementing the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, agreed by the international community during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. The congress will further highlight the role of protected areas for sustainable development and identify challenges and innovations towards reaching the Aichi Targets and

Follow the highlights of the WPC 2014 through the live stream here

Biodiversity for Sustainable Development – some outputs of COP 12


The 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened concurrently with the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (COP/MOP 1) from 6-17 October 2014, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. During this COP, around 3,000 delegates gathered and agreed to the Pyeongchang Roadmap, containing five decisions on: (i) mid-term review of progress towards the goals of the Strategic Plan; and the Aichi targets; (ii) biodiversity and sustainable development; (iii) review of progress in providing support in implementing the objectives of the Convention; (iv) cooperation with other conventions; and a (v) strategy for resource mobilization.

In line with this COP’s theme ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development’ participating Ministers of Environment stressed the mutually supportive nature of the Aichi Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This message was conveyed through the Gangwon Declaration. Learn more on the role of biodiversity for sustainable development through the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s engagement during COP12 here.

Read more about the key issues of discussion during COP 12 here.


International recognition for the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative


During the last meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Montreal, the international community recognised the relevance of our work once more! It was further highlighted that cross-cutting initiatives on biodiversity, food, nutrition and health are key to reach international development goals. Together with our partner Bioversity International, we were acknowledged for our work to foster the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in particular Target 14. Read the statement here and find out more about the linkages between health and biodiversity here.


Working towards island conservation and sustainability


This years International Day for Biodiversity is dedicated to Island Biodiversity and coincides with the designation by the UN General Assembly proclaiming 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States. The theme was chosen to correspond with the timing of COP decision XI/15 paragraph 1(a), in which the Conference of the Parties “urges Parties, and invites other Governments, financial institutions and other relevant organizations to strengthen the implementation of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity”.

CBD LogoTo mark the occasion, the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) – a key partner of the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative (BaCH) dedicated a publication with contributions from the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) on island conservation and sustainability to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

glispa-logo-larger-2The Convention’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity, adopted in 2006 by the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides a strategic framework to significantly reduce island biodiversity loss, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation and the sustainable development of islands. The programme contributes to meeting at least 14 of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the Barbados Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals. As the publication shows, these projects, several of which also support community involvement, are making a difference in advancing conservation and sustainable livelihoods, with a strong focus on community involvement for long-term sustainability solutions.


The publication features initiatives such as the Program for Island Resilience, to create local participation and community support for the goals of the Micronesia Challenge. The program centers on creating a community-driven education and behaviour change campaigns to restore and maintain healthy reefs and resilient livelihoods. These campaigns seek to inspire people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique while introducing alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Read more here