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NBSAP Assessment - Oct 2010
Biodiversity Planning: an assessment of national biodiversity strategies and action plans
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Biodiversity Planning: an assessment of national biodiversity strategies and action plans

Published in October 2010

By Christian Prip, Tony Gross, Sam Johnston and Marjo Vierros

National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) were developed to play a key role in the national implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). From 2008 - 2010, the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) carried out an assessment of NBSAPs to draw out lessons learned from national experiences in their development, implementation and revision. The assessment contributed to discussions at the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP-10) in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 on the implementation of the Convention and the development of the revised Strategic Plan.

Among other things, the assessment sought to establish if NBSAPs were successful in integrating biodiversity concerns into sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, including sustainable development strategies, poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs), and national processes to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It also sought to identify any obstacles preventing Parties from making progress.

The assessment includes a desk review of relevant NBSAPs, participation in regional NBSAP capacity building workshops and a series of individual country case studies.

A summary of key findings includes:

  • A large number of NBSAPs adopted (by 88% of CBD parties) were crucial to the implementation process. NBSAPs generated important results in many countries including helping to create a better understanding of biodiversity, its value and how to address threats. In addition, legal gaps in implementation were filled, the coverage of protected areas was extended considerably and in many countries, endangered species received increased protection.
  • The three objectives of the CBD received varying levels of attention in NBSAPs. 'Conservation' received the most attention followed by 'sustainable use'. 'Equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources' received the least amount of attention.
  • There was poor correlation between NBSAPs and poverty alleviation and MDG strategies, as well as between NBSAPs and sectoral policies.
  • Few countries had:

            - time-bound and measurable targets
            - prioritised amongst actions
            - mechanisms for monitoring and review
            - strategies for communication and for financing
            - sub-national strategies and action plans.

  • The design and content of many NBSAPs were impediments to implementation.
  • Second generation NBSAPs are better prepared and focus more on mainstreaming and self-reliance.
  • The main drivers of biodiversity loss were not seriously affected by NBSAPs.


Also see details of the UNU-IAS NBSAP side event held at COP-10 in Nagoya, Japan on 18 October 2010.

Preparation and publication of this book was generously supported by the Governments of Norway, Sweden and Germany, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, SwedBio and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).

Prip, C; Gross, T; Johnston, S; Vierros, M (2010). Biodiversity Planning: an assessment of national biodiversity strategies and action plans. United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Yokohama, Japan. ISBN 978-92-808-4514-3 (print), 978-92-808-4515-0 (electronic). Copyright (c) 2010 UNU

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