Held once every 10 years, the 2014 World Parks Congress in November 2014 attracted 6,000 participants from 170 countries, and secured more than 70 new major conservation commitments, including Gabon’s promise to protect 23% of its coastline, and the Elion Foundation and UNCCD’s pledge to plant 1.3 billion trees along the historic Silk Route. Hosted by Australia, the Congress explored eight different themes and four cross-cutting issues, and featured World Leader Dialogues and hundreds of side events.
The outcomes of the Congress are captured in the Promise of Sydney, which recognizes the important role of Indigenous Peoples’ in the community and the opportunities presented by new technologies to advance protected areas conservation. More specifically, the Promise acknowledges the need to invest in nature’s solutions — supported by public policy, incentives, tools and safeguards — that help to halt biodiversity loss, and mitigate and respond to climate change.
IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity team hosted 32 sessions in the Business and Biodiversity Pavilion and at other venues, many of which were directly relevant to biodiversity offsets and the application of the mitigation hierarchy.This included:
- Net Positive Impact for Biodiversity: an exploration in agriculture and forestry sectors
- Landscape approaches to Development and Conservation-the mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsets
- Protected Areas and Biodiversity Offsets
- Rio Tinto’s experience and lessons from application of the mitigation hierarchy, including net positive impact, across its businesses
- Implementation of a mitigation hierarchy: Challenges and opportunities
- IUCN Biodiversity Offset Policy Consultation.
This last session presented and discussed the Biodiversity Offsets Technical Study and the two related input papers discussed above. Steve Edwards, who is leading the initiative on offsets for IUCN, gave an overview of the IUCN policy consultation itself and fielded questions. Groups of participants discussed challenging issues, such as“no-go” decisions, permanence, and additionality. Side sessions included a debate on the appropriateness and potential implementation of offsets in protected areas. IUCN continues to gather input for the policy consultation. For more information on this topic see this article by Steve Edwards.
This information was retrieved from the latest (May 2015) BBOP Newsletter.
See also my related posts on studies that have been presented on Biodiversity Offsets at the World Parks Congress here:
- Biodiversity Offsets Technical Study Paper — new IUCN report out and
- Biodiversity Offsets: Policy options for governments. An input paper for the IUCN Technical Study Group on Biodiversity Offsets and
- Technical conditions for positive outcomes from biodiversity offsets. An input paper for the IUCN Technical Study Group on Biodiversity Offsets) and
- No Net Loss and Net Positive Impact Approaches for Biodiversity — new IUCN study explores the potential for agriculture and forestry