Project title

Sub-global Assessment Network LAC Hub Work Programme 2016-2018

Implementing Institutions

Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt Humboldt Institute, Bogotá,Colombia

Country/Countries

Latin America and the Caribbean Region  – according to the UN: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Anguilla*, Aruba*, British Virgin Islands*, Cayman Islands*, Curaçao*, Saint Maarten* (* Associate Members)

Abstract

In January 2015, the IPBES Plenary approved a list of priority capacity building needs. Amongst these is “enhancing the capacity to undertake, use and improve national assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. The proposed project will focus on building capacity in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries to undertake and use ecosystem assessments at the national and subnational levels, principally by facilitating capacity, and information sharing, holding targeted trainings workshops and organizing mentoring schemes.

Project Description

National policies and decision-making processes often do not take full account of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some of the challenges include the lack of understanding of the value of BES; the fractures that exist at the science-policy interface; and the inadequate application of tools that could support the mainstreaming of BES considerations into development planning and decision-making across sectors. National and subnational ecosystem assessments, both through their processes and products, can help to address some of the challenges related to BES management that are being faced in LAC. They can deliver evidence that meets the needs of different sectors, and they can help to facilitate the mainstreaming of BES across sectors. Effective stakeholder engagement and communication strategies that are developed as a part of assessments can also help to promote dialogue amongst practitioners within countries  and the assessments can therefore serve as a very useful tool to help bridge the science-policy interface. The LAC Hub as part of the SGAN will connect and support ecosystem assessment practitioners within the LAC region with the overall intention of building capacity to undertake and use ecosystem assessments and other related BES-related tools at the national and sub-national levels. Working closely with the SGAN Secretariat and the IPBES TSU for the Americas, the Hub will develop and deliver a set of priority, user-driven capacity building activities in LAC to support national decision-making, the IPBES process and other relevant BES-related MEAs.

Project Objectives and expected Achievables

1. Strengthen the capacities of LAC practitioners to undertake and use ecosystem assessments and other related policy support tools through targeted activities (e.g. workshops, webinars and fellowships), and through the facilitation of communication and exchange

2. Assist in promoting and catalysing ecosystem assessment work at the national and sub-national levels in LAC countries

3. Provide support and complementarity to the IPBES process in the LAC region through the provision of capacity building and networking opportunities

4. Seek the success, relevance and sustainability of the SGAN LAC regional Hub

Outcomes
a) Increased interest and capacity to undertake and/or apply ecosystem assessments and other BES policy support tools will assist in efforts to bridge the science-policy interface in LAC countries, and to mainstream BES considerations into development planning and decision-making at the national and sub-national levels. This can ultimately help to strengthen the ability of LAC countries to manage their biodiversity-related resources.

b) The sharing of experiences and lessons learnt through the LAC Hub and the global SGAN, as well as from other support networks, communities of practice & south-south exchanges will promote collective learning within and beyond the region. Such networking can help to avoid duplication; more effectively fill gaps in knowledge and data; and ultimately help to promote better resource efficiency (i.e. human and financial) in BES management at all scales.

c) Increased capacity (both individual and institutional) to undertake ecosystem assessments and apply policy support tools will directly help to support process such as IPBES; and it will also help to improve countries’ abilities to meet their reporting and implementation commitments under biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (e.g. CBD, Ramsar and the UNCCD, among others).

d) The active inclusion of the younger generation of ecosystem assessment practitioners in many of the LAC Hub activities will help to promote sustainability of the Hub and assessment activities in the region

Outputs 
a) A strong network and communities of practice related to ecosystem services to support regional and national ecosystem assessment processes and the use of their findings.

b) Support and guidance provided to ecosystem assessment practitioners not only to ensure that existing experience and lessons learned are built upon, but also to promote and facilitate guidance materials and tools developed by IPBES and others.

c) Database of ecosystem assessment practitioners in the region that will be used to match experts with country needs within the region

d) 4 training workshops and their outcome reports

e) 8 webinars on ecosystem assessments’ experiences with different assessment and policy support tools within the region.

f) Communication materials on ecosystem assessments in at least two languages

g) LAC Hub presentations given at various fora

h) An dedicated and active website page for the LAC Hub

i) Report of experiences and lessons learned from the Hub, highlighting opportunities for upscaling/ downscaling and exchange both within and outside of the region

Objective 1: Strengthen the capacities of LAC practitioners to undertake and use ecosystem assessments and other related policy support tools through targeted activities (e.g. workshops, webinars and fellowships), and through the facilitation of communication and exchange

o Organize two technical workshops in selected topics such as ILK, scenarios, valuation, depending of the region’s identified needs and priorities.

• For example, on ILK a workshop could focus on building capacities on the IPBES ILK approaches and procedures, addressing the following questions: How is ILK integrated into ecosystem assessments? How is the evidence validated?

o Establish a fellowship-mentoring scheme for young ecosystem assessment practitioners.

o Develop communication materials and methods for disseminating the experiences and lessons

• Carry out a series of webinars, 4 per year, on different topics such as National Accounting, TESSA, Economic and Non- Economic Valuation, etc.

• Maintain the LAC Hub’s website content to provide access and information to online tools and resources.

o Organise a regional LAC Hub meeting to take stock of progress, to share experiences and lessons learned among LAC countries and define next steps of the Hub

o Establishment of a LAC regional database on EA experts and practitioners.

Objective 2: Assist in promoting and catalysing ecosystem assessment work at the national and sub-national levels in LAC countries

o Organize two regional training workshops for government and key stakeholders to undertake national ecosystem assessments.

• Year one - Pilot approach on national ecosystem assessment workshop targeting three to four countries interested in pursuing national ecosystem assessments – which will build upon the NBSAP process and reinforce links between CBD – IPBES. This workshop will use the current SGAN national ecosystem tools and materials, but will support translating materials in to Spanish.

• Year two – Based on the pilot approach experience of Year 1, target SIDS to roll out the second national assessment workshop. 

o Participate and disseminate the Hub’s work at relevant meetings and events especially those in the intergovernmental and high-level meetings in the LAC region (e.g. produce short videos, short brochures)

Objective 3 – Provide support to the IPBES process in the LAC region through the provision of capacity building and networking opportunities

o Ensure the IPBES authors and key stakeholders particiate in SGAN LAC Hub activities.

o Work closely and in consultation with the IPBES TSU for the Americas to identify capacity building activities, making sure it’s guided by the region’s needs (e.g. ILK and policy support tools).

o Develop a Report of experiences and lessons learned from the Hub, highlighting opportunities for upscaling/ downscaling and exchange both within and outside of the region

Objective 4 - Seek the success, relevance and sustainability of the LAC regional Hub, through:

o Identifying and undertake activities oriented to ensure additional sources of funding and support.

o Organize professional meetings to create and ensure synergies with the IPBES process within the Americas region and other key ecosystem assessment processes.

o Building strategic partnerships with relevant organizations and initiatives to potentiate the LAC Hub’s role

o Carry out consistent outreach and engagement to raise awareness and visibility about the SGAN LAC Hub.

Timeframe

3 years

Geographic Scale

Multinational

Seeking Resources for:

Project implementation

Type of Resources/Support needed:

Financial

Project relevance: 
Projects aligned with IPBES' work on capacity-building seeking support