CBD International Day for Biological Diversity 2013: re-energizing cooperation with the IPPC

Posted on Fri, 24 May 2013, 12:24

Today, May 22, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity. As in the past,this day will kick off a one-year campaign to raise awareness and encourage international engagement on challenging issues in biological diversity. This year’s focus, titled the “International Year of Water and Biodiversity” was chosen by the 2010 UN General Assembly. Throughout the year, events and educational programmes will be hosted by various stakeholders located around the globe. Two essential components to the scope and mandate of the IPPC are water and “the protection of the world’s plant resources from pests.” Biodiversity: it is essential that we protect our biodiversity and in the case of the IPPC, this means protecting it from pests, particularly new pests. As the IPPC is mandated to “protect the environment, forests and biodiversity from plant pests,” the issue of protecting biodiversity (particularly agricultural biodiversity) is essential to the entire work programme. Additionally, as more effort and resources is being spent on issues related to water and invasive species, the IPPC has undertaken a study of “Aquatic Plants Their Uses and Risks: A review of the global status of aquatic plants.” This is a relatively new area for the IPPC and is attracting a lot of attention for the IPPC and its members. Importance of the IPPC to the CBD During the Eighth Session of the IPPC governing body in April 2013, Mr Braulio F. De Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of CBD, had a number of important points to make regarding the importance of the IPPC for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) community, including: “A large number of alien species threatening biodiversity are species recognized as “pests” under the IPPC, and such unwanted species, if introduced outside their natural range, are called “invasive alien species” under the CBD. Quarantine and surveillance, as described under the IPPC, is the most powerful tool in place to detect and consequently prevent alien species from entering new environments.” “The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) provide effective guidance, not only for protecting plant health, but also for protecting the health of ecosystems, habitats and native species.” “The work on “Minimizing the Pest Movement by Sea Containers” is critically important and I thank the Expert Working Group and the Secretariat of the IPPC for providing an opportunity for the CBD to participate to this important standard setting process, noting also the participation of industry representatives in the development of cleanliness criteria. I hope for its speedy adoption as a new ISPM to ensure that the spread of alien species as well as pests of plants through this pathway will be further contained.” “Capacity development in the area of plant protection is essential.” “Some countries in which the Phytosanitary systems are well-equipped can serve as regional champions in addressing invasive alien species. This, however, requires additional efforts and resources. Further coordination and communication among the diverse sectors of Government and other stakeholders including industry, academia and civil society are necessary to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 9.” Collaboration between the IPPC and CBD The IPPC has a long history of collaborating with the CBD to protect environmental biodiversity of plants. This collaboration will focus on increased collaboration through a joint work programme, particularly given the above context. Specific elements of this programme include: - the IAS Inter-agency Liaison Group which will promote consistency in the international regulatory framework through the development of standards, guidelines , and risk assessment tools and the capacity building for implementation of CBD Article 8 and other relevant decisions - opportunities to promote and raise awareness of each other’s activities and mandates - capacity building activities to create synergies and avoid any unnecessary duplication of work - National Reporting Obligations should be utilized by sharing information relevant to both Conventions - collaboration on the development and implementation of standards on topics of mutual interest, such as aquatic plant species and sea containers - cooperation in using consistent terminology where it is relevant and appropriate Additional Resources 1. (IPPC Strategic Framework](/node/19926) 2. CBD Statement to CPM-8 3. Publication: Aquatic Plants Their Uses and Risks 4. IPPC FaceBook page 5. IPPC on Twitter




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