Second Pathfinder Workshop on the ecosystem approach held in Colombia


South American Path-Finder Workshop

The Ecosystem Approach in Implementing the CBD: From Theory to Action

Villa de Leyva, Colombia, 17-20 September, 2000

In furtherance of Resolution V/6 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), the MAB Programme of UNESCO and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands promoted the holding of three subregional workshops. The first one was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 17-20 July 2000, the second was held in Colombia, 17-20 September 2000, and the third one will be held in Asia at the end of the year.

The South American workshop was also supported by the European Union, the United Kingdom, WWF International, the Royal Holloway Institute, and the Colombian Ministry of Environment.

Juan Mayr, the Colombian Minister of the Environment, opened the workshop, and 35 people representing 10 South American countries attended the workshop. Ms. M. Astralaga made a short statement on behalf of Ramsar regarding the joint workplan with CBD and the importance given by Ramsar to the application of the concept in wetland management. Mr. Salvatore Arico followed with a short presentation on behalf of MAB-UNESCO and Prof. Ed Maltby made a presentation on the international process, which concluded with CBD COP Resolution V/6 and explained the concept as adopted by CBD contracting Parties.

Eleven case studies were presented, two from Ecuador (La Segua, Ramsar site) and Galapagos; one from Bolivia (El Beni, in process to be designated as a Ramsar site); one from Peru (Tumbes, Ramsar site); one from Uruguay (Bañados del Este, Ramsar site); two from Colombia (Choco Eco-Region and high Andes); one from Brazil (Mata Atlantica Eco-region), one by WWF about the Eco-region approach in the Amazon southwest; one from Chile (Valdivian Forest) and one from Argentina (Pampa).

After the presentation of the case studies, working groups met to discuss the concept further, talk about limitations on applying the concept in the region as well as priorities for the near future. The report of the meeting was submitted to the Amman Congress by Minister Mayr and by Maria Marconi, Latin American Vice-president for CEM, to the CEM interactive session.

-- reported by Margarita Astrálaga

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