ICIMOD Sets Out Its Agenda for the Convention on Biological Diversity

Pyeongchang, Korea 
6-17 October 2014
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a global instrument that aims to help develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. One hundred and ninety-three countries are party to the Convention, including ICIMOD’s eight regional member countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. 
Recognizing the special vulnerability of biodiversity in mountain areas, in 2004 the seventh Conference of Parties (CoP-7) to the CBD agreed on the ‘Programme of Work on Mountain Biodiversity’ (Decision VII/27). ICIMOD has been assigned the role of observer in this Programme. The Convention specifically mentions ‘mountainous areas’ under Article 20, Paragraph 7, which states that, “with regard to funding and transfer of technology, developed country Parties shall take into consideration the special situation of developing countries, including those that are most environmentally vulnerable, such as those with arid and semi-arid zones, coastal and mountainous areas.” 
ICIMOD uses an integrated ecosystem approach based on regional and bilateral cooperation for the management of six transboundary landscapes it has identified in the Hindu Kush Himalayan regionKailash Sacred Landscape, Karakoram Pamir Landscape, Wakhan Landscape, Kanchenjunga Landscape and Brahmaputra Salween Landscape.  This approach is closely aligned with the CBD’s Programme of Work on Mountain Biodiversity: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. 
In 2010 ICIMOD reviewed the implementation of CBD in the HKH and concluded that certain factors have affected the rate of progress and the degree of importance the respective governments have given to the implementation the CBD. These factors include inadequate scientific capacity, political instability in some countries and violent conflicts in others, lack of capacity development and access to resources, and emerging challenges posed by climate change. Lack of resources and institutional limitations are other major impediments. 
The findings of the review and ICIMOD’s past efforts to fulfill the CBD agenda have guided the activities ICIMOD has planned for the upcoming Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-12) to the CBD. At the Twelfth Meeting, ICIMOD will share and discuss its ecosystem-based approaches and the concept of long-term environmental and socio-ecological monitoring for assessing, managing and sustaining transboundary landscapes.