Capacity Building & Education

Event: IGAD-ICPAC Workshop on Flood and Drought Management in Greater Horn of Africa [viewed]

The aim of this workshop is to enhance participants' understanding of the different practices for flood and drought management and to familiarize with the new products of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), including a flood hazard map, live web-map and geoportal. The workshop aims to: create awareness about available tools, data and initiatives for flood and drought monitoring in the Greater Horn of Africa region developed through collaboration between IGAD and UN Institute for Training and Research's Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNITAR-UNOSAT); assess specific needs and challenges in flood and drought management in ICPAC member States; illustrate potential ways to further improve national capacities based on shared experiences among participants and organizers; identify potential interest in the integration of available country-level data into IGAD-ICPAC's flood and drought monitoring system; and collaborate with national entities to establish in-country projects.  

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CBD Secretariat Releases Report of Working Group on LMO Risk Assessment [viewed]

CBDFebruary 2016: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released the report of the Ad hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). The AHTEG: revised the Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs based on comments received; considered whether guidance on additional issues could be incorporated into the existing guidance; updated the list of background documents to the Guidance; and developed a plan for further work.

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Event: International Training Course on Combating Desertification [viewed]

Supported by the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency, this training course is part of the programme of action under the Ankara Initiative, launched to strengthen implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the period from 2016 to 2019. The course will address technical issues, including: the causes of desertification and land degradation; seed and seedling production; forestation; erosion control; and participatory approaches that increase regional collaboration. The course will focus on the exchange of knowledge and experiences in combating desertification, promote cooperation among related institutions and technology transfer, share lessons learned from Turkey with regard to combating desertification and land degradation, and support and strengthen implementation of the UNCCD.  

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Port State Measures Agreement on IUU Fishing Moves Closer to Entry into Force [viewed]

USA Flag11 February 2016: US President Barack Obama has signed the instrument that will allow the US to join the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, following the passage by Congress of the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 and bringing the US in line to become the 20th party to the Agreement. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing aims to strengthen international efforts to address IUU fishing and to contribute to sustainable fisheries management and governance at all levels.

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WAVES Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Mangroves and Coral Reefs [viewed]

waves10 February 2016: Engineering and insurance models should be used to reevaluate the benefits of habitats like mangrove forests and coral reefs, rather than building walls against floods and rising seas, according to a technical report published by Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES). Titled ‘Managing Coasts with Natural Solutions: Guidelines for measuring and valuing the coastal protection services of mangroves and coral reefs,' the report aims to demonstrate to an array of decision makers how important mangroves and reefs are as a first line of defense to natural disasters.

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Event: UNEP Special Session on Environment and Human Health [viewed]

At this special session, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner will introduce the report, ‘Healthy Environment, Healthy People,' on the sidelines of the 2nd Open-ended Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) to UNEP, to be held 15-19 February 2016. The 2nd OECPR to UNEP is focused on furthering the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressing the environment-health nexus. The report will be formally launched at the 2nd UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) to be held in May 2016.  

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Event: World Ocean Summit 2017 [viewed]

This Economist event will be the fourth World Ocean Summit, and will discuss how to finance a sustainable ocean economy, including consideration of the types of investment frameworks and capital necessary to bring the blue economy to scale. The event will convene over 360 global leaders from government, industry, multilateral organizations, the scientific community, and civil society to address the risks and opportunities involved in pursuing a blue economy approach and showcase examples of businesses, governments, scientists and others who have successfully aligned economic activity with sustainable management of the oceans. Additional discussion topics include: the global demand for seafood over time; the economic case for addressing marine pollution; and areas for new investments in the ocean economy.  

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Guest Article #54: IPBES to Release its First Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production [viewed]

A bit of history

The Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in Panama in 2012 by over 100 governments. The aim of IPBES, like its older sister the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is to critically review available knowledge and to provide this knowledge to policy makers, in response to their request, in order to inform decision making. The focus of IPBES is on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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December 2015-February 2016 NAMA Update [viewed]

nama_update14 February 2016: This update provides information about individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, and related support, publications and events for the period from December 2015 to mid-February 2016. During this period, NAMAs registered as seeking support included ones on rural electrification in the Gambia and efficient use of biomass in Georgia. NAMAs in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Vanuatu, Peru, Colombia, Kenya and China received support. Several reports, guides and other publications on NAMAs were also launched during this period.

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FOREST EUROPE Publishes Expert Studies on Forest Genetic Resources [viewed]

foresteuropeFebruary 2016: The European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN), operating in the framework of FOREST EUROPE, has published a series of studies on genetic conservation, genetic monitoring, use and transfer of forest reproductive material, forest genetic resource conservation in the climate change context, and policy implications.

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