Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania (ROO) based at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa, participated in a Regional Network Coordination Workshop in Beijing, China from 16 to 19 October. The workshop to link networks and in particular to mainstream Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) was hosted by the UNEP-China project “Enhancing capacity, knowledge and technology support to build climate resilience of vulnerable developing countries”, funded by the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The workshop was held at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
EbA promotes the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help people to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Participants discussed SPREP’s existing EbA initiatives, including work on implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the Pacific; the formation of a non-exclusive inter-regional working group to build EbA capacity in existing regional networks; and the provision of technical support and transfer of EbA technology. They also agreed on elements of a draft strategy and workplan for integrating EbA into existing networks. A draft EbA manual/resource book compiled by UNEP experts and the China Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) was also circulated for participants’ comments.
Participants represented Nepal, Mauritania and Seychelles, the three pilot countries for the project, and also Iran, Benin and China. Also present were the head of the Adaptation Programme of the UNFCCC Secretariat, and members of the UNEP International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), UNDP, UNEP EbA Programme, GEF STAP, IUCN and WWF.
Report by Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania