FAO Report Provides Guidance on ABS Elements for GRFA [viewed]

abs_elementApril 2016: The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report on the Elements to Facilitate Domestic Implementation of Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) for Different Subsectors of GRFA (‘ABS Elements'). The report aims to support governments considering legislative, administrative or policy measures for ABS to take into account the importance of GRFA, their special role in food security and the features of the subsectors of GRFA while complying with international ABS instruments.

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Host of CBD COP 13 Releases Non-paper Supporting a Declaration on Biodiversity Mainstreaming [viewed]

mexico_cbd22 April 2016: Mexico intends to highlight the importance of biodiversity mainstreaming for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its role as the host of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with the aim of facilitating the adoption of a ‘Cancun Declaration.' Mexico has prepared a non-paper outlining possible elements of the declaration.

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CGIAR Discusses Agricultural Research's Role in Poverty Reduction in a Changing Climate [viewed]

CGIAR14 April 2016: The third Science Forum of the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of the CGIAR Consortium discussed pathways through which agricultural research can support the inclusive development of rural economies under conditions of climate change.

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Countries Pursue National and Regional Actions on Land Degradation Monitoring and Restoration [viewed]

eld_fao_unep_ittoApril 2016: Capacity development efforts by the Action Against Desertification (AAD) programme in West Africa, the first-ever nationwide assessment of contaminated soil in Serbia, a handbook for community restoration of degraded coastal dune ecosystems in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and cost-benefit analyses of sustainable soil fertility management practices in Kenya are among recently-announced initiatives to boost local monitoring of land degradation and desertification as well as community-level adaptation efforts.

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IPBES Secretariat Releases Report of Fourth Plenary Session [viewed]

ipbesApril 2016: The Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has released the report of the fourth session of its Plenary (IPBES-4).

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Event: IWRA XVI World Water Congress [viewed]

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) organizes a World Water Congress every three years. The Congress provides a meeting place to share experiences, promote discussion, and present new knowledge, research and developments in the field of water sciences around the world, bringing together a large cross-section of stakeholders. The sixteenth Congress (XVI) will take place on the theme, 'Bridging Science and Policy.' Specific sub-themes to be addressed at the Congress include: water, sanitation and health; water quality, wastewater and reuse; water security in a changing world; water policy and governance; water ecosystems and physical regimes; and water and sustainable growth. The crosscutting issues of bridging science and policy, building capacity, and stakeholder participation will also be addressed. A call for papers is open from 16 March to 1 September 2016, and abstracts of less than 500 words may be submitted through the Congress website. An international scientific committee will review submissions. Full papers will be due on 1 January 2017, and proposals for side events should be submitted by 1 November 2016. The previous Congress took place in Edinburgh, Scotland.  

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Event: Capacity Development to Improve Management of ABNJ Workshop During Blue Week Grenada 2016 [viewed]

This workshop, titled ‘Capacity Development to Improve Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ): Needs, Experiences, Options and Opportunities,' will bring together governments, international organizations, civil society and regional and national leaders to advance capacity on ABNJ and formulate next steps on capacity development related to marine resource management, especially with regard to a legally-binding international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Global Ocean Forum, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the University of Delaware and partners are organizing the event, which will take place during Blue Week and Investment Conference, from 14-22 May. The Conference aims to harness the blue growth paradigm into a package of bankable projects as well as to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 14.7 to “increase the economic benefits to small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.”  

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Event: First Great Green Wall Global Conference [viewed]

Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) has evolved into a pan-African sustainable landscape program to address land degradation and desertification, boost food, environmental and economic security, and support communities' adaptation to climate change. The First Conference on the GGWSSI will gather representatives from more than 20 Sahelian countries and partners to discuss the further scaling-up of implementation based on commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference with a view to: develop a “road map for transformational action on 
the ground,” including a Great Green Wall results framework; confirm political commitments in support of the initiative; strengthen the GGWSSI Community of 
Practice; and set new strategic directions for GGWSSI 
communication and knowledge management. The Conference will be organized around three days of technical sessions to exchange and share knowledge about programs and projects in support of the Great Green Wall, and a one-day high-level segment bringing together African Ministers and development partners. Practical interactive seminars will also take place on innovation, communication and knowledge services. Coordinated and sponsored by diverse partner organizations, the conference will draw on experiences from ongoing Great Green Wall projects, including: the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP); the AAD programme, which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and funded by the partnership programme between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-EU); and the Front Local Environnemental pour une Union Verte (FLEUVE), an EU-funded Great Green Wall project coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  

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175 Parties Sign Paris Agreement, 15 Ratify Agreement on Earth Day [viewed]

iisdrs_paris_agreement22 April 2016: During the High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change held at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 22 April 2016, 175 Parties to the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement (174 countries and the EU), the largest ever number of first-day signatures to an international agreement. Of the 175 Parties that participated in the ceremony, 15 States deposited instruments of ratification. The signature ceremony was preceded, on 21 April, by the High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which highlighted the interlinkages among the actions necessary to address climate change and foster sustainable development, and a briefing on forest conservation and restoration that discussed the implications of the formal signing of the Paris Agreement.

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IMO Approves Mandatory Fuel Consumption Data Collection for Ships [viewed]

imo_mandatoryfuelconsumption22 April 2016: In a step toward determining what possible climate change actions are needed from the international shipping sector, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved a mandatory system for collecting data on ships' fuel consumption. Ships of 5,000 gross tonnage or more will have to record and report their consumption for every type of fuel they use to their flag State at the end of the calendar year. The flag State will determine whether the reporting meets requirements, issue a Statement of Compliance to the ship and transfer the data to the IMO Ship Fuel Consumption Database.

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