Source: Small Island Developing States
15 November 2018: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat published an assessment of the region’s progress towards each of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which are integrated in SDGs 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land). The assessment provides key information given “the relative lack of baseline data and related time-bound objectively quantifiable targets” for the Caribbean region.
The publication titled, ‘The State of Biodiversity in the Caribbean Community: A Review of Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets,’ was launched in advance of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Egypt from 17-29 November 2018. The authors note that the document is “of particular value” given CARICOM countries’ dependence on natural resources for livelihoods and well-being and exposure to disruption and environmental disasters.
The report notes that CARICOM citizens, comprising a very diverse population of 20 million people living in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, are “seriously threatened” by the effects of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive alien species, and climate variability. According to the assessment, “it is clear” that the Caribbean region faces an “unprecedented challenge” in rebuilding and restoring large parts of its infrastructure and ecosystems after many devastating weather events. At the same time, the document notes, it has also become clear that reducing the risk of future disasters and building resilience against such impacts can only be achieved through ecosystem-based solutions.
Reducing the risk of future disasters and building resilience can only be achieved through ecosystem-based solutions.
At the time of publication of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) in 2014, the majority of CARICOM countries had not yet completed their fifth national reports (5NRs). The assessment therefore allows for inclusion on information from reports completed and submitted since the preparation of GBO-4.
The publication highlights trends, patterns and commonalities in biodiversity status, along with pressures and impacts across CARICOM. It also reflects the range of responses taken at the national and regional levels to help the countries of CARICOM achieve the shared vision and goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
Finally, the report recommends actions to address the threats and pressures identified and to enhance the Community’s progress towards the Aichi Targets. The recommendations include:
- Improve availability, quality and use of data, including spatial data, especially for critical ecosystems and endangered species;
- Strengthen environmental regulatory and institutional frameworks, including mechanisms for compliance and enforcement;
- Increase resources available for biodiversity;
- Improve coordination and collaboration among government agencies;
- Enhance engagement and collaboration between governmental and non-governmental partners;
- Mainstream biodiversity across economic sectors and business;
- Strengthen capacity, including through intra-regional collaboration and South-South cooperation; and
- Adopt ecosystem-based adaptation approaches.
[Publication: The State of Biodiversity in the Caribbean Community: A Review of Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets]