The ECO 3rd Expert Group Meeting on Biodiversity and he 2nd ECO Pre-COP Meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)were held on 1-7 March 2016 in Antalya, Turkey. Hosted and organized by the Ministry of Environment of Turkey in cooperation with the ECO Secretariat and the ECO-IEST, Antalya meeting was a gathering of biodiversity experts of the ECO Member States where among all, participants in addition to exchanging information on national policies of their Member States in the field of Biodiversity, discussed renewal and the way forward for the Work Plan on Biodiversity in ECO Region.
The Meeting was jointly inaugurated by, Dr. Asghar Mohammadi Fazel, President of the ECO-IEST, Mr. Adem Bilgin, Head of Research Division of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Orkhan Zeynalov, ECO Director for Energy, Minerals and Environment, Mr. Robert Hoft, Environment Affairs Officer from the UNCBD Secretariat.
In his statement, Mr. Robert Hoft briefed the participants about the overall outcomes of the 19th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), held in November 2015 in Montreal, Canada, and informed the participants about agenda of upcoming SBSTTA (20th Meeting) and first Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) to be held in April/May 2016 in Montreal. He also introduced the preparatory roadmap for forthcoming UNCBD COP-13 scheduled for December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.
In this meeting Dr. Asghar Mohammadi Fazel, President of the ECO-IEST while thanking the government and people of Turkey for hosting the meeting.
During the Meeting President of the ECO-IEST reports on, Project Profile for implementation of the Framework Plan of Action entitled "Preparation of a regional program for implementation of the Framework Plan of Action on Environment Cooperation and Global Warming for ECO Member States (2016-2020)”
Draft project outline on combating desertification with a special emphasis on dust haze and sand storm, "Feasibility Study on Development and Harmonization of Environmental Standards in ECO Region".
The 2nd ECO Pre-COP Meeting focused on ways and means to adopt common regional approaches during COP 13 with particular emphasize on transboundary challenges. The Meeting produced key recommendations on, inter alia, genetic forest diversity in the ECO Region; synthesizing IPBES thematic assessments across the ECO Region (land degradation and restoration, sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services and invasive alien species); coherent approach in inter-agency coordination at the national level; integrating biodiversity and wildlife issues into potential ECO State of Environment (SoE) report; introduction of innovative solutions; integration of cross-cutting considerations on biodiversity, sustainable wildlife, agriculture and forest management; need for joint projects on managing terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems; revenue generation through legal hunting; common regional approaches towards interdicting illegal trade of endangered species; approaches towards Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols of UNCBD; coherence between Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and Aichi targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and coordinated approach within reporting mechanisms at national, regional & global levels.
Moreover, Meeting while reiterating the mandate given by the ECO Environment Ministers, called upon the ECO Secretariat to get an observer status with UNCBD for the forthcoming UNCBD COP-13 and urged the Secretariat to organize the ECO meeting on the sidelines of the COP-13. The Meeting also expressed general support for the Turkish candidacy to host COP-14 in 2018.
On 5 March the host authorities arranged a field visit for the participants to different biodiversity and ecosystem areas in Antalya, including coastal nature conservation and national parks, Beydag National Park and Chimaira forest point.
Source: ECO Secretariat