Supporting Biodiversity in Sudan: UNDP and Government of Sudan Launch the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

As part of UNDP’s continuous efforts to build the capacities of developing countries to manage  biodiversity through the provision of sound policy advice and the implementation of programmes that demonstrate sound biodiversity management practices, UNDP Sudan in collaboration with the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources launched on August 24th the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) which serves as a reference for  biodiversity interventions in Sudan.

H.E. Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development Dr. Hassan Abdel Gadir Hilal and UNDP Country Director Mr. Sleva  Ramachandran attended the event.

In his speech, the Minister commended the efforts exerted by UNDP and UN agencies in supporting biodiversity initiatives and programmes in Sudan. He further reiterated Sudan’s commitment to adhering to environmental conventions and strategies and confirmed that all strategies will be included into the national development plans and frameworks for the overall benefit  of the Sudanese.

UNDP Country Director Mr. Selva Ramachandran asserted UNDP’s readiness to support future biodiversity programmes in Sudan in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment.  He further announced the initiation of a new biodiversity programme with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to develop an advanced  biodiversity conservation programme

An overview of the National Biodiversity strategy was presented during the launch, reflecting Sudan biodiversity portfolio since Rio 1992 till the current strategy where two strategies have been endorsed by the government of Sudan; in addition to the endorsement of Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS).

During the launch of the NBSAP participants reviewed development interventions that aim to  address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss through I)Mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society II) Reducing the direct pressures on biodiversity and promoting sustainable use III) Improving the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.

The Interventions included, enhancing the role of the media in disseminating information on   biodiversity and other environmental issues to raise awareness in addition to the  inclusion of biodiversity  into  all educational curriculums to encourage its sustainability. Other proposals included the creation of a national Monitoring and Evaluating and accountability framework  in addition to the mainstreaming of Biodiversity strategies into related departments e.g. Fisheries, forests, gum-Arabic … especially in the states.

UNDP helps more than 140 countries to conserve and sustainably  use biodiversity, and to secure ecosystem services that are vital to human welfare and their development efforts. UNDP has developed a Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework for the period 2012-2020, positioning the organization to respond to future challenges – which include implementing the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets set out in the CBD Strategic Plan and advancing the sustainable development agenda that emerged from the Rio+20 Summit.

As Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and with the support of UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Sudan developed its first National Biodiversity and Action Plan Document in 2002 which followed by the implementation and finalization of the current document.

The first NBSAP document formed a baseline for policies on biodiversity in Sudan with regard to the conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity. The new CBD Strategic Plan, adopted at CoP-10 in 2010 in Nagoya, clearly addresses the need for updating NBSAPs, stating in Target 17 that “By 2015, each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan

The project is guided by priorities in Sudan’s relevant strategies, policies and plans that have a bearing on biodiversity management, developed current updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).  While the project focussed on updating all aspects of NBSAPs, it has placed particular emphasis on those aspects that are both highlighted in the 2011-2020 CBD Strategic Plan, and that are absent from the Sudan’s existing NBSAP. These specifically included; the Economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services for mainstreaming in economic sectors and national development plans, the mainstreaming of biodiversity into development policies, plans and practices and into sectoral plans and strategies, and incorporating climate change challenges and opportunities linked to ecosystem-based adaptation and resilience into the NBSAP.

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