Ministers’ Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2002)109 1 August 2002

    807 Meeting, 11 September 2002
    9 Sustainable development

    9.1a Council of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (STRA-CO)

    Abridged report of the Second Intergovernmental Conference on "Biodiversity in Europe" (Budapest, 24-28 February 2002)


    The Committee of Ministers is invited to take note of:

    - the abridged report of the Second Intergovernmental Conference "Biodiversity in Europe" (24-28 February 2002, Budapest);

    - the Chairman's conclusions.

    1. The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), endorsed at the Third Ministerial Conference "'An Environment for Europe" (Sofia, October 1995), was intended to be a European regional response to support the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In order to stimulate and promote the regional co-operation in the implementation of the CBD, governments, in co-operation with the Council of Europe and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), organise Intergovernmental Conferences "Biodiversity in Europe" as a regional preparatory meeting for the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

    2. The Second Intergovernmental Conference "Biodiversity in Europe" was convened from 24 to 28 February 2002 in Budapest, Hungary 1 . It was organised by the Government of Hungary in co-operation with the Regional Office for Europe of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Council of Europe.

    3. The meeting of the Council of the PEBLDS was organised within the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    4. Back-to-back with the Conference, the Committee for the activities of the Council of Europe in the field of biological and landscape diversity (CO-DBP) and the Sofia Biodiversity Initiative held meetings on 24 February 2002.

    1. Opening, adoption of the agenda and election of officers

    5. The Joint Secretariat for the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy opened the Conference at 9.30 am on 25 February 2002 and called for the election of H.E. Mr Béla Turi Kovàcs, Minister of Environment of Hungary, as Chairman of the Conference.

    6. Mr Turi Kovàcs (Hungary) was unanimously elected Chairman of the Conference. He welcomed participants on behalf of the Government of Hungary.

    7. The participants adopted the agenda, as contained in Appendix I. They also adopted, on a provisional basis pending the consideration of item 5.2, an amendment of the Terms of Reference of the Council for PEBLDS to allow for a full participation of the European Community in deliberations at the Conference. Following a proposal by the Chairman, Mr Peter Skoberne, Slovenia, was elected Vice-Chair of the Conference.

    2. Preparations for the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP-6)

    a. Forest biological diversity

    8. A summary of recommendations made on forest biological diversity is presented in the Chairman’s Conclusions (see Appendix II).

    b. Invasive alien species

    9. A summary of recommendations made on invasive alien species is presented in the Chairman’s Conclusions (see Appendix II).

    c. Financing biodiversity

    10. A summary of recommendations made on financial resources and mechanisms for biodiversity is presented in the Chairman’s Conclusions (see Appendix II).

    d. Indicators, monitoring and the clearing house mechanism

    11. A summary of recommendations made on indicators, monitoring and the clearinghouse mechanism (CHM) is presented in the Chairman’s Conclusions (see Appendix II).

    e. Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity

    12. A summary of recommendations made on the Strategic Plan for the CBD and the implementation of the Convention is presented in the Chairman’s Conclusions (See Appendix II).

    3. Rolling work programme of the PEBLDS and progress reports

    13. The Chairman introduced an updated Rolling Work Programme of the PEBLDS as prepared by the Joint Secretariat on the basis of comments from members and observers of the Council for PEBLDS.

    14. Tadjikistan, supported by Belarus and Uzbekistan, expressed concerns that so far no funds were made available to cover travel and subsistence expenses of representatives of Belarus and Central Asian countries, except for Kazakhstan, to attend the Pan-European Conference.

    15. Interventions on the issue were also made by Switzerland, the Council of Europe and UNEP.

    16. UNEP reported on the development of a framework for co-operation between the PEBLDS and the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe.

    17. ECNC presented a progress report on the European framework and Action Plan for integration of globalisation, ecology and economy as a follow-up of the Tilburg Conference held in 1999.

    18. UNEP briefed the participants on the progress in the implementation of the UNEP/IUCN/ECNC/REC Biodiversity Service in 2001.

    19. EEA informed of the progress in the development of the European Biodiversity Monitoring and Indicator Framework.

    20. ECNC reported on the establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN), including an indicative map of PEEN in Central and Eastern Europe.

    21. The Council took the following decisions:

    - members and observers of the Council for PEBLDS are invited to submit their comments and recommendations concerning the inclusion of new activities in the Rolling Work Programme to the Joint Secretariat;

    - the Bureau of the Council for PEBLDS will review and discuss in detail the Rolling Work Programme in the light of the decisions taken at the CBD/COP-6 at its next meeting.

    4. Preparations for the Kyiv Conference

    22. The Chairman of the Council for PEBLDS, who chaired the session, informed of the process of organisation of the Fifth Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine, in May 2003. He presented a number of proposals as to main topic(s) for debate at the biodiversity session, subject(s) for endorsement, options for presentation of subjects for endorsement, reports and other documents, possible side events, profiling of biodiversity under other agenda items and timetable for the preparations.

    23. The Council took, inter alia, the following decisions:

    - the seventh meeting of the Council for PEBLDS will serve, inter alia, as a special meeting to prepare the biodiversity-related outputs of the Kyiv Conference;

    - the Bureau of the Council for PEBLDS will further discuss and elaborate the proposal for the biodiversity session and its outcome at its next meeting.

    5. Administrative and financial issues.

    a. Organisation of work and financing of the Joint Secretariat for PEBLDS

    24. UNEP presented a statement on the organisation of work at the Joint Secretariat and a proposal on a system for its stable and predictable funding, including a tentative budget for 2003.

    25. The Council took the following decision:

    - the Joint Secretariat will approach potential donors with a request to contribute to the budget of the Council for PEBLDS and its Secretariat and will hold bilateral consultations as to modalities, timing and amounts of contributions, as well as to their contributions for building the financial reserve.

    b. Terms of Reference of the Council for PEBLDS and its Bureau

    26. The Council of Europe presented amended Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedures of the bodies responsible for the implementation of the PEBLDS. The proposed amendments were intended, inter alia, to enlarge the membership of the Council for PEBLDS to include the European Community and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; to amend the composition of the Bureau of the Council for PEBLDS to include European members of the Bureau of CBD/COP and representatives of main Pan-European sub-regions; and to allow for convening of the meeting of the Council and its Bureau outside the seat of the Secretariat.

    27. The Council took the following decisions:

    - the Council adopted the amended Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedures of the bodies responsible for the implementation of the PEBLDS with account of comments expressed in the meeting. Pro forma, the document will be submitted for approval to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and to UNEP;

    - the term of office of the Enlarged Bureau in its current composition will be extended till the seventh meeting of the Council, when the election of a new Bureau will take place;

    c. Dates and venues of the next meeting of the Council and Bureau

    28. The Council took the following decision:

    - the next meeting of the Bureau will be held in May or June 2002 to discuss, inter alia, the outcome of the CBD/COP-6 and the preparations for the Kyiv Conference.

    6. Presentation and adoption of the Chairman’s conclusions

    29. The Council took the following decision:

    - the Chairman’s Conclusions were endorsed as contained in Appendix II.

    Appendix I


    1. Opening, adoption of the agenda and election of officers

    2. Preparations for the CBD/COP-6:

    2.1 Forest biological diversity
    2.2 Invasive alien species
    2.3 Financing biodiversity
    2.4 Indicators, monitoring and CHM
    2.5 Strategic Plan for the CBD

    3. Rolling Work Programme of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS) and progress reports

    4. Preparations for the Kyiv Conference

    5. Administrative and financial issues:

    5.1 Organisation of work and financing of the Joint Secretariat
    5.2 Terms of Reference of the PEBLDS Council and its Bureau
    5.3 Dates and venues of next meetings of Council and Bureau

    6. Consideration of Chairman’s conclusions

    7. Other business

    Appendix II

    Chairman’s Conclusions of the Second Intergovernmental Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"


    1. In 1999, a group of European Governments took the initiative of organising a Pan-European regional preparatory meeting for the Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP-5). The resulting Intergovernmental Conference “Biodiversity in Europe”, held from 20 to 23 March 2000 in Riga, became the first forum at the Pan-European level, where global and regional biodiversity policies were discussed by Governments, international and non-governmental organisations.

    2. Building on the success of the Riga Conference, the Government of Hungary offered to host the Second Intergovernmental Conference “Biodiversity in Europe” from 24 to 28 February 2002 in Budapest. This Conference was held under the overall umbrella of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), thus providing an interface between the CBD, as the global instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and “Environment for Europe”, as the Ministerial process addressing biodiversity related developments in the Pan-European region.

    3. The Conference benefited from advice and experience of several Ministers and other high-level officials and attracted a broad participation of European Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.

    4. The Conference had two main objectives:

    - to facilitate the preparations for the CBD/COP-6 in the region, and
    - to strengthen the cooperation on biodiversity in Europe.

    5. The Conference resulted in a clearer vision of how to advance the European biodiversity agenda. It reviewed relevant ongoing Pan-European processes, identified priorities and made a number of recommendations for action at the regional level. It also took decisions regarding the implementation of the PEBLDS.

    6. The Conference thoroughly discussed most of the main items of the CBD/COP-6 agenda, which were of special European concern, with a view to developing a regional input in the forthcoming negotiations at The Hague.

    7. The main message from Budapest to the global biodiversity community is that European countries are committed to work jointly for attaining common goals of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Europe is keen to learn from a wide range of experiences of other regions with a view to enriching the Pan-European biodiversity processes, and ready to share its achievements and innovations with other regions of the world.

    8. Europe is convinced of the importance of integrating biodiversity issues into sustainable development and, to that end, encourages the promotion of cooperation between the CBD and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and relevant agencies and organisations within and outside the United Nations system.

    The message from Europe to the CBD/COP-6

    9. The CBD should, at its highest level, deliver a strong message for transmission to the World Summit on Sustainable Development emphasizing the fundamental role of biodiversity as a cornerstone for sustainable development and the importance of the full implementation of the CBD and its provisions.

    10. This message should be introduced as soon as possible in the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development and translated in Johannesburg into concrete activities reflecting renewed political commitment to the CBD as main instrument to protect biodiversity.

    11. As regards the main topics of the CBD/COP-6, the Conference made the following recommendations:

    Forest biological diversity

    12. Given the crucial role of all types of forests, inter alia primary forests, the Convention on Biological Diversity should assume a leading role on issues related to forest biodiversity. In this regard the following requires attention:

    - mutual supportiveness and increased synergy between the CBD and international instruments related to forests, in particular the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), should be ensured;

    - the Accra-workshop, which has identified important areas for collaboration between UNFF and CBD. In this respect the links between the CBD work programme on forest biological diversity and the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IPF/IFF) proposals for action, the UNFF’s Multi Year Programme of Work and the Plan of Action, should be enhanced;

    - climate change as well as measures under the Kyoto Protocol might have serious impact on biodiversity. Focused work by the CBD and closer co-operation between the UNFCCC and the CBD, e.g. by joint activities, organising joint workshops and integrating biodiversity concerns into the work under the UNFCCC, should be developed;

    - the role of the Secretariat of the CBD as lead agency on forest biological diversity within the CPF should be enhanced;

    - the co-operation between the Environment for Europe / Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy and the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) at the regional level should be highlighted with a view to developing models for the co-operation between forest and biodiversity related processes worldwide.

    13. While considering an expanded work programme on forest biological diversity, the CBD/COP-6 should address the following issues.

    - An action oriented work programme should be adopted identifying priorities, respective actors, targets and timeframes, indicators of progress, and possible ways and means for the implementation of the activities. Among the respective actors, a main actor for each activity should be clearly defined. Taking into account needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition (capacity building, financing, technology transfer), the priorities should emphasise the most urgent activities to be carried out as the first step in a phased approach to implement all elements of the expanded work programme.

    - Priority in the efforts to conserve biodiversity should be given to the most endangered and environmentally significant forest ecosystems and species, in particular primary forests.

    - The following criteria could guide the selection of issues in the expanded work programme for the first phase:

    - having a clear and immediate potential for reducing the loss of forest biological diversity;

    - covered both in the draft work programme of the CBD and in the plan of action of the UNFF;

    - not covered by other work plans and programmes of the CBD.

    - Based on the criteria listed above, the following issues (indicated with a key term) of the expanded work programme as proposed by the Seventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-7) could be prioritised for the first phase of the work programme:

    ecosystem approach and sustainable forest management (Goal 1, Objective 1)
    threatening processes to forest biological diversity (Goal 2)
    conversion and fragmentation (Goal 2, Objective 6)
    restoration of forest ecosystem (Goal 3, Objective 1)
    protected forest areas (Goal 3, Objective 3)
    sustainable use enhancing the conservation of forest biodiversity (Goal 4, Objective 1)
    voluntary third party credible forest certification schemes (Goal 4, Objective 1)

    integration of forest biological diversity into forest and other sectors and programmes (Goal 1, Objective 2)
    good governance (Goal 1, Objective 3)
    combating illegal logging and related trade (Goal 1, Objective 4)
    economic distortions and failures (Goal 2, Objective 1)
    increase of public awareness (Goal 3)
    valuation of forest biodiversity and its goods and services (Goal 3, Objective 1)

    forest classification systems (Goal 1, Objective 1)
    criteria and indicators within the framework of sustainable forest management (Goal 2, Objective 1)

    - Implementation of the work programme on the ground should be ensured by, inter alia, capacity building, awareness raising, stakeholder involvement and communication activities, taking also into account indigenous and local communities rights and interests. National and international forest industries should be encouraged to support the implementation of the work programme through adopting and implementing adequate ecological policies.

    - A mechanism for reviewing and monitoring the implementation should be included into the work programme.

    - The Parties and other actors addressed in the work programme should be invited to report at the CBD/COP-7 on respective measures they have taken and progress achieved in the implementation of the work programme.

    - The work programme should make use of the work and experiences of regional level processes, such as the MCPFE and Environment for Europe/PEBLDS. In this regard, the Pan-European work on national forest programmes, criteria and indicators and protected forest areas should be taken into account.

    14. Adequate consideration of the elements and provisions of the expanded work programme on forest biological diversity, in relevant regional instruments and processes as well as in national biodiversity strategies, plans or programmes, national forest programmes and national sustainable development strategies in a coherent and synergistic manner, will be of vital importance for its implementation.

    Invasive alien species

    15. Clear definitions and terminology with regard to “invasive alien species” should be agreed upon.

    16. SBSTTA guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) should be adopted, focusing, inter alia, on the need:

    - for adequate assessment of the real and potential threats to biodiversity and for the application of the Precautionary Principle set forth in Principle 15 of the 92 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, further elaborated in, inter alia, the Preamble of the CBD and Article 10 of the Cartagena Protocol, including within a risk analysis framework.;

    - to take into account that, in cases of intentional introductions of invasive alien species, the burden of proof that a proposed introduction is unlikely to cause harm to ecosystems, habitats or species, should be with the proposer of the introduction;

    - for states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. In the context of invasive alien species, activities that could be a risk for another state include:

    - the intentional or unintentional transfer of an invasive alien species to another state (even if it is harmless in the state of origin); and

    - the intentional or unintentional introduction of an alien species into their own state if there is a risk of that species subsequently spreading (with or without a human vector) into another state and becoming invasive.

    17. Practical application of these guiding principles should, inter alia, be promoted through existing instruments, mechanisms and programmes, and, on the basis of the outcomes of the SBSTTA analysis of options, new arrangements should be developed, if appropriate. International cooperation should be reinforced inter alia by means of collaborative arrangements with relevant instruments and organisations.

    18. The effectiveness of a regional approach to the issue of invasive alien species should be acknowledged.

    19. All Parties to the CBD should be encouraged to ratify and implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

    20. Support should be given to research and development of methods to predict and prevent invasive behaviour of alien species and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), before they are released into the environment.

    21. Adequate global communication structures should be elaborated, such as the tailoring of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) for IAS purpose and the establishment and maintenance of an "Early Warning System".

    22. Experiences of prevention, control and eradication of IAS should be collated and supplemented by new pilot projects to improve the scientific, technical and technological basis, as well as to further capacity building with regard to prediction, prevention, control, eradication, restoration, and mitigation. Results should be communicated e.g. through the CHM.

    23. Awareness raising initiatives should be launched and supported to address widespread lack of understanding of IAS and the need for strengthening preventative measures.

    Financial resources and mechanisms for biodiversity

    24. While discussing the item “Financial instruments and mechanism”, the CBD/COP-6 may address the following points, and entrust their further consideration to its subsidiary bodies as appropriate.

    - Partnerships between financial institutions and the biodiversity community, which will support the mainstreaming of biodiversity into banking policy and operations, should be promoted. The European Biodiversity Resourcing Initiative (EBRI) should be highlighted as a positive innovative example of regional cooperation for the global community.

    - A global biodiversity private venture capital or private investment funds for bankable biodiversity related programmes and projects should be established, to act as a catalyst along with the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

    - Awareness of governmental and non-governmental biodiversity stakeholders regarding investment opportunities should be enhanced. Integration of biodiversity concerns in rural and urban development projects should be promoted.

    - The importance of economic valuation for biodiversity related decision-making should be acknowledged.

    - Tax and other financial incentives should be introduced at the appropriate governmental levels to facilitate investments in biodiversity and allow for a normal financial return from investment.

    - Activities aiming at full assessment of both market and non-market values of ecological services provided by biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity, for inclusion into economic and financial relations and policies should be promoted.

    - Perverse financial incentives should be identified, such as environmentally damaging subsidies, tax breaks, export credits, and financial investment, and should be reformed to support financial incentives contributing to the prevention of biodiversity loss.

    - Options for better coordination between existing financial institutions, mechanisms and financers should be explored. The issue of forest biological diversity could be an important test case.

    - The sharing of knowledge and experience should be promoted. The Clearing House Mechanism of the CBD could include a thematic Banking/ Business and Biodiversity focus, containing information of interest and relevance to financial institutions and the private sector, including a banking/biodiversity portfolio for financers and recipients, and examples of good “business and biodiversity” practice, thereby building on the existing CBD “Database on biodiversity related funding information”.

    - Ways and means, including alternative predictions of the future of biodiversity, to stimulate the banking/business sector to support the development and implementation of bankable projects with a substantial biodiversity component, should be explored.

    - GEF funding and implementation procedures must be made more effective and efficient.

    Indicators, monitoring and the Clearing House Mechanism

    25. In response to Decision V/7 of the Conference of the Parties and SBSTTA Recommendation VII/11, regional cooperation and synergy between national, regional and global indicator developments should be promoted, with a view to enhancing comparability and efficiency of biodiversity monitoring programmes. In this respect the European Biodiversity Monitoring and Indicator Framework (EBMI-F) can serve as an example of a regional coordination effort.

    26. Support for increased scientific and technical cooperation through CHM worldwide should be ensured. The Pan-European workshop on “Building the CHM partnership: facilitating scientific and technical cooperation” is a good step in this direction.

    27. The use of CHMs for exchanging indicator-based monitoring information and on-line reporting should be stimulated at the national, regional and international levels.

    28. In line with Recommendation VII/11 of SBSTTA, the CBD/COP-6 should invite the Parties and relevant organisations and processes to report to the CBD/COP-7 on the development of national-level monitoring systems and sets of indicators for biodiversity; and in line with Recommendation VII/2 of SBSTTA, the Parties should welcome the development of improved biodiversity assessment methods and processes.

    Strategic Plan for the CBD and the implementation of the Convention

    29. The decline in global biodiversity is continuing at an alarming rate. A renewed and increased political commitment is highly needed to change this situation. The CBD must be implemented much more efficiently and a Strategic Plan to this end is needed. It should:

    - focus on priorities for the coming years;

    - provide guidance to the Parties and assist them in implementing the obligations of the CBD and decisions adopted by the Conference of Parties;

    - support the ecosystem approach in biodiversity conservation and management and sustainable use of its components;

    - promote synergies between various biodiversity-related multilateral treaties;

    - guide the Multi-year Programme of Work for the period 2002-2010 as an essential part of the Strategic Plan, and facilitate a critical review of the existing programmes and decisions and the way they were made.

    30. From a European perspective, the integration of biodiversity considerations into the relevant sectors at various levels and the development of interconnected ecological networks of areas important for biodiversity, should form essential elements of the Strategic Plan.

    31. The importance of regional collaboration and region-to-region cooperation should be emphasised.

    32. With regard to synergies between the CBD and other biodiversity related treaties and programmes, practical collaboration should be pursued, for example through adoption and implementation of the third joint work plan of the CBD and the Ramsar Convention as well as the new joint work programme of the CBD and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

    33. Given the vital importance of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAP) for the implementation of the Convention, effective means and mechanisms to support priority actions in NBSAPs should be explored. In this respect, appropriate capacity building is needed.

    34. The Global Initiative on Education and Public Awareness developed by a CBD, UNESCO, IUCN, UNEP expert group to the CBD/COP-6 should be actively used as a tool by the Parties to reach the objectives of the Convention and the COP decisions.

    Recommendations for Europe

    35. Acknowledging the effectiveness of the regional approach to addressing various aspects of biodiversity conservation, the Conference reviewed relevant ongoing Pan-European processes, identified priorities for action and made the following recommendations:

    Forest biological diversity

    36. The MCPFE and Environment for Europe/PEBLDS should continue working towards the development of a framework for cooperation on forest biological diversity between the two processes with a view to its endorsement by the Vienna Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe and the Kyiv Ministerial “Environment for Europe” Conference, both in 2003.

    37. This framework should be built on recent work and strongly connected to the expanded programme of work on forest biodiversity of the CBD, to be adopted at the CBD/COP-6 taking into account the relevant work of UNFF. In addition, the relevant work of other initiatives (e.g. of NGOs) should be recognised.

    Invasive alien species

    38. A European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, fully compatible with the CBD guiding principles and based on the work being undertaken in the framework of the Bern Convention and other existing instruments, should be developed and agreed upon.

    39. Trade, transport, travel and tourism regulations and instruments should be used to the extent possible to contribute to preventing unwanted introductions. This should include increased co-operation between the various authorities controlling borders, such as veterinary, phytosanitary, the International Plant Protection Convention (Rome 1951) and CITES authorities.

    40. Other elements to be considered for the development of the European Strategy on IAS may include:

    - voluntary codes of conduct for important sectors e.g. trade, transport, travel and tourism, as well as for the use of alien species in urban environment management;

    - a regional list of IAS based on a biogeographical approach;

    - harmonisation of national policies and structures;

    - a regional system for monitoring and communication;

    - wide stakeholder participation;

    - education, training and awareness raising of IAS issues;

    - scientific and research programmes on various aspects of IAS, including e.g. genetic introgression;

    - consolidation and coordination at the national level involving authorities responsible for environment, agriculture, trade, health etc.

    41. Sensibilisation and capacity of border control authorities should be enhanced in order to improve the present situation of impact of decreased border controls, inter alia, on the introduction and spread of invasive alien species

    Financial resources and mechanisms for biodiversity in Europe

    42. The further development and implementation of the European Biodiversity Resourcing Initiative, should be encouraged and supported by involving existing financial mechanisms like the Project Preparation Committee (PPC). The results should be reported and discussed at the Fifth "Environment for Europe" Conference (Kyiv, 2003).

    43. The special needs of the Newly Independent States (NIS) and non-EU candidates should be recognized as they face challenges such as:

    - the need to balance conservation priorities with declining public funding for protected areas management;

    - restitution/privatisation of land, in particular forest land;

    - the move from a "strict reserve" system to a participatory approach.

    44. To this aim, bilateral and multilateral aid agencies and international financial institutions (IFIs) should be encouraged to strengthen their analytical work on how biodiversity conservation fits into their corporate agenda of poverty reduction and economic growth as well as in sustainable management of global public goods. Further, bilateral aid agencies should be encouraged to co-finance preparation and implementation of investment projects, which address the above-mentioned linkages.

    45. Financial sectors and other relevant stakeholders, including governments, should establish operational partnerships on banking, business and biodiversity, including an Ad Hoc European Task Force on Banking/Business and Biodiversity.

    46. Priorities for action should include:

    - the provision of adequate and realistic resources to implement the PEBLDS, the European Biodiversity Strategy and its Action Plans;

    - exploration of public-private partnerships for increasing investments in biodiversity relevant projects and programmes;

    - mainstreaming of biodiversity concerns into financial policies and investment programmes of financial institutions, in particular the European banks, while using instruments such as Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) biodiversity guidelines, the biodiversity assessment toolkit, focused training and workshops, and biodiversity and banking handbooks, and pooling expertise on banking and biodiversity;

    - integration of biodiversity concerns in public procurement policies;

    - the mobilisation of resources or the development of new funds for biodiversity investments, leading to increased opportunities for biodiversity investment;

    - an increased and targeted information flow between the biodiversity sector and financial institutions, inter alia, via the establishment of a European "Banking/Business and Biodiversity" information network integrated into existing CHMs, including the CBD Clearing House Mechanism;

    - the need for the integration of biodiversity in the NIS resourcing under OECD Environmental Action Plan (EAP) Task Force and also EU TACIS Programme;

    - the development of project portfolios to be prepared jointly by financers and recipients. Financers should consider transparent working mechanisms to allow and support the engagement of all stakeholders, and help build capacity as appropriate.

    - identification and elimination of perverse incentives, such as subsidies, tax breaks and export credits with a negative environmental impact, and channelling of the resources to promote positive incentives.

    47. The development of bankable biodiversity programmes and projects, for specific banks or for inclusion into European lists and portfolios of bankable biodiversity projects, should be promoted. The introduction of appropriate financial incentives, including fiscal measures such as tax deduction, should be encouraged.

    48. Examples of good “business and biodiversity” practice should be more widely disseminated across Europe. Consideration should be given to the possibility of scenario modelling as a useful means of communicating biodiversity concerns to the business community.

    Indicators, monitoring and the Clearing House Mechanism

    49. European countries should make a collective effort to include biodiversity indicators in international, European and national monitoring systems involving all stakeholder groups and to harmonise approaches on indicators and monitoring programmes. Tools to achieve this include capacity building, information exchange, test cases, and best practices. The European Biodiversity Monitoring and Indicator Framework and CHMs are helpful platforms for this purpose.

    50. Indicators should be credible, scientifically sound, reflect local and biogeographical characteristics and be understandable to stakeholders and the general public. A gradual simple approach for developing indicators is recommended to national and European organisations and authorities: 1) begin by implementing indicators that are ready for use and are relevant for the CBD; 2) continue concept development, and improve indicators for sectorial integration; and 3) challenge policymakers to identify for which measurable objectives they want indicators to be developed and monitored.

    51. A report with European experience and recommendations with regard to indicators should be produced to feed into the CBD/COP-7.

    52. The CHM is a key tool in the implementation of the CBD and a mechanism to enhance communication among stakeholders within and between countries. The CHM should therefore be used to make available information regarding indicators, monitoring and reporting. To this end, the further development and maintenance, with adequate funding, of national CHMs throughout Europe should be strongly encouraged. Adequate support should be provided to European CHMs and to those countries that are yet to start the CHM development, including, inter alia, through enhanced Pan-European CHM cooperation.

    53. A common set of Europe-wide indicators should be agreed upon before the CBD/COP-7 building on the CBD work in this field. Such a set should also build on results of the work carried out by the European Environment Agency (EEA) as well as on existing sets of indicators at national, regional and international level, e.g. work on criteria and indicators on sustainable forest management under the MCPFE, and agrobiodiversity indicators work of OECD. The identified sets of indicators should also serve to streamline the dataflow from monitoring to reporting.

    Strategic Plan for the CBD and the implementation of the Convention

    54. All European Parties to the CBD should actively use the Strategic Plan, once adopted, to improve the implementation of the CBD through national actions as well as existing mechanisms for regional and sub-regional cooperation such as the PEBLDS and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

    55. The effectiveness of CBD provisions will be considerably enhanced through regional and sub-regional implementation. The PEBLDS as a Pan-European regional instrument to support the CBD implementation as well as other relevant European instruments and tools should be further strengthened. The Work Programme of the PEBLDS should be harmonised with the CBD and its programme of work, as to its goals, priorities for action, and expected outcomes. The Strategic Plan will be a guiding instrument here.

    56. Referring to the International Environment Governance (IEG) process and the need for increased synergies between biodiversity and related instruments, the PEBLDS could be developed into a main strategy and forum for promoting collaboration and coherence of activities under these instruments.

    57. Support for the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States should be increased, in particular through bilateral cooperation and the Biodiversity Service operated by UNEP, IUCN - the World Conservation Union, the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC).

    58. The European Plant Conservation Strategy, prepared by the Council of Europe and Planta Europa, is a good example of the implementation of the CBD activities, namely of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, at the regional level.

    Next steps

    59. In order to keep the momentum of the Budapest Conference and its excellent spirit, and to build upon its results, the participating Governments, supported by other stakeholders, have agreed:

    - to present the message from the Budapest Conference to the CBD/COP-6 for consideration under relevant agenda items;

    - to incorporate the recommendations made in their plans and programmes and the Pan-European biodiversity process as appropriate;

    - to use and integrate the outcomes and experience of the Budapest Conference in the preparation of biodiversity related agenda items of the Fifth “Environment for Europe” Conference (Kyiv, 2003);

    - to mobilise the Pan-European Biodiversity CHM partnership to support the implementation of the recommendations, and widely disseminate the results of the Budapest Conference.

    1 The list of participants can be obtained from the Natural Heritage and Biological Diversity Division.



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