Funding and implementation the biggest challenges to biodiversity project


Yesterday’s second national workshop on the NBSAP project

The funds are expected to be sourced from a mixture of government sources and international donors as well as non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

This emerged at the second national workshop on the NBSAP project, which is partly funded by the Global Environment Facility (Gef), held yesterday at the Seychelles Fishing Authority.

Hosted by the government of Seychelles (GoS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Gef’s joint Programme Coordination Unit (PCU), the workshop aimed to identify priority actions in relation to the proposed objectives and targets of the NBSAP project, with the funding for technical help provided from Gef currently standing at US $200,000 (approximately R2.4 million).

The national focal point for the CBD in the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Marie-May Jeremie, said that while the CBD had done remarkable work over the years, it was widely recognised that there are still many plants and animal species disappearing in the world.

“There is thus a need to have in place a new action plan to address the current status. That means incorporating sustainable development and climate change among others in the long-term management of biodiversity,” said Ms Jeremie.

“We aim to have a plan that has implementation at its core, whereby the government and its partners will have to commit actively towards the achievement of all the goals and actions that we put down in the plan.”

Ms Jeremie added that it was important to ensure that resources are utilised optimally, and said that for this reason the NBSAP plan would have to align with and feed into the national sustainable development strategy 2012-2020.

The workshop, attended by principal secretary for environment and energy Wills Agricole, and other representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Energy and members of the UNDP along with NGOs and other partners, was chaired by the lead consultant, Canadian biodiversity policy expert Jacques Prescott, who said that finding the most effective ways to implement the action plan was also one of the major priorities of the meeting.

The project’s primary function is to make specific recommendations for national action on conserving biological diversity and sustainably using its components. The NBSAP is seen as an effective tool for determining which items on the action plan are priorities, especially given the limited resources at Seychelles’ disposal.

The workshop was also used to introduce and discuss the tasks of three newly-appointed international consultants who will provide guidance on incorporating financing and capacity building, climate change issues and biodiversity valuation into the NBSAP project.

As several of the consultants have previously worked in civil service in various countries around the world, they have also offered to lend their expertise to the delegates in mapping effective methods of lobbying government and international organisations for funding and awareness of issues connected with the project.