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bioSUSTAINABILITY scoping workshop
(16th-17th September 2004, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Contact: Dr. Alison Holt, bioSUSTAINABILITY Project Co-ordinator
Participants

A scoping workshop was held in Phnom Penh 16th-17th September 2004, funded by an APN seed grant, to focus a proposal, “Biodiversity measures in different biomes: challenge for the next decade”. At the meeting it was decided that the proposal would focus on one biome, the tropical forest in the Indochina region. National borders (and hence policies and science approaches) cut across the natural boundaries of this forest ecosystem, and there are diverse demands of different elements of those nation’s societies on biodiversity. Attempts to address such issues in the region so far have only focussed on the freshwater system (the Mekong River Commission).

APN proposal "Measuring biodiversity change in the Indochina region: implications for policy and sustainability"
Proposal summary
There are a variety of policy instruments ranging from international conventions, protected areas, to local-based payments for the sustainable use and protection of tropical forest biomes. However, the effectiveness of these policies is ambiguous and needs to be evaluated using an agreed set of biodiversity change measures that encompass biological and economic aspects as well as the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of biodiversity. This will be explored through a three-day workshop to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, January 2006, where policy-makers, stakeholders and both natural and social scientists from the region will work together to define a suite of measures appropriate for the management of trans-boundary biodiversity in tropical forests. A follow-up three-day workshop will be held in Parkse, Lao PDR, September 2006, aiming to assess the effectiveness of policy instruments operating from international to local scales, using the agreed suite of measures. It will also identify elements of those instruments that perform best in this respect, along with those factors that mitigate against successful policy and likely impacts on society. This workshop will involve an extended representation of policy makers and the major stakeholders in the forest biome (e.g. timber producers and conservation agencies) than the first and involve participants from funding organisations for further project development.

Once this approach has been validated for the tropical forest biome, it is intended to apply it to all biomes in the region over the next decade.

Summary of outputs
• To set up a web site for the project;
• To develop an agreed set of biodiversity change measures for tropical forests (first workshop) and recommend them to agencies within each country, a scientific synthesis paper (co-ordinated by bioSUSTAINABILITY);
• Communication of science-based recommendations to the community responsible for formulating policy in the form of a two-page policy brief, translated into the language of each region, and sent to government agencies and development agencies. Use this to create media interest in the region;
• To evaluate the effectiveness of current biodiversity policy instruments;
• To make recommendations about best practice when formulating new policy and implementing effective biodiversity management;
• To establish a network of biodiversity and policy scientists within the region with the aim of sharing information and developing long term collaborative activities at all levels within the region.

Last updated: 13 September 2006

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