Contributions of Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes to the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 in the Group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
DATE OF SUBMISSION
The maintenance of functional integrity and health of ecosystems within protected areas is dependent not only on the protection provided but also on the ecological, economic and social interactions with surrounding areas. Efforts to create pathways for achieving socio-economic development that safeguard ecosystems and biodiversity are essential for building sustainable societies. Improving the impact of societies on protected areas is a key issue in the group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMCs) which are home to over 50 percent of the world’s population and around 70 percent of its biodiversity. In order to facilitate the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, an analysis was performed to determine the extent to which LMMCs’ commitments make use of sustainable productive strategies and whether the commitments incorporate the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. Commitments from the LMMCs addressing the qualitative elements of Target 11 were drawn from National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, National Priority Actions, 5th National Reports and protected areas-related biodiversity projects from the fifth and sixth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility. Commitments related to Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) were identified as those which address sustainable productive practices. The relevant text was extracted and analysed in relation to the contribution of proposed actions to enhance the elements of Target 11 and perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. The results indicate that a subset of LMMCs’ commitments to Target 11 is aligned with the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. These commitments are predominantly related to integration and equitable management of protected areas, elements of Target 11 whose progress was deemed to require more action to meet the target by 2020. By embracing the network of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) partners and making use of the SEPLS strategy, the LMMCs could gain access to valuable knowledge and funding to accelerate implementation. Considering the importance of LMMCs to biodiversity, implementation of the SEPLS-related commitments from these countries will have global impacts for biodiversity conservation, contribute to the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11and promote sustainable socio-economic development.
protected areas, Satoyama Initiative, biodiversity conservation, CBD, sustainable development, SEPLS
Bruno Leles, SCBD, Sao Paulo State University; Sarah Stephen, SCBD, Georg-August Universität Göttingen,; Megan Schmidt, SCBD, Concordia University; Patrick Gannon, SCBD, Concordia University; Edjigayehu Seyoum-Edjigu, SCBD; Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias,University of Brasilia; Jamison Ervin, United Nations Development Programme, David Cooper, SCBD; Sarat Babu Gidda, SCBD
The summary sheet for this case study is available here.
The functional integrity and health of ecosystems within protected areas is dependent not only on the protection provided but also on the ecological, economic and social interactions with surrounding areas (Ervin et al. 2010; Rees et al. 2017; Watson et al. 2016). Efforts to create pathways for achieving socio-economic development that safeguards ecosystems and biodiversity are essential for building a sustainable society and conserving protected areas for the long-term. This idea is embedded in the elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which states that: “By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes” (CBD 2010).
However, protected areas are often viewed and managed as islands of biodiversity, separated from the surrounding landscapes and societies (Hansen & DeFries 2007). Sectors like agriculture, forestry, and fisheries often neglect the goals of protected areas, increasing the likelihood and severity of a range of threats that may compromise biodiversity conservation (Laurance, Sayer & Cassman 2014; Symes et al. 2016). Improving the impact of societies on protected areas is a key issue in the group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMCs) which are home to over 50 percent of the world’s population and about 70 percent of its biodiversity (SCBD 2016a; UN DESA 2017) (see Fig.1).
Figure 1. The Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries – embracing the partnership.
The Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) approach of the Satoyama Initiative is a valuable model for sustainable productive practices which can support the development of a nature-harmonious society (IPSI Secretariat 2017; Takeuchi 2010). SEPLS are defined as areas with dynamic mosaics of habitats and land and sea uses where the harmonious interaction between people and nature maintains biodiversity while providing humans with the goods and services needed for their livelihoods, survival, and well-being in a sustainable manner (Satoyama Initiative 2010). SEPLS consist of, in many cases, croplands, settlements, forests and grasslands, as well as fisheries, and embody a great deal of traditional knowledge (Bélair et al. 2010; IPSI Secretariat 2017). Hence, the SEPLS approach promotes biodiversity conservation in secondary natural environments created through interactions between human activities and nature, and contributes to improving community resilience and socio-economic development (Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment 2010; Takeuchi 2010).
The ecological and socio-economic perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative are to: (i) achieve sustainability through the cyclical use of natural resources and use of resources within the environment’s carrying capacity; (ii) promote recognition of the value of local traditions and cultures; (iii) facilitate landscape management through multi-stakeholder participation; (iv) promote socio-economic development; and (v) improve resilience of ecosystems and communities (IPSI Secretariat 2017). These perspectives can significantly contribute to facilitating the achievement of the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and thereby improve the livelihoods and well-being of society in general and indigenous peoples and local communities in particular. Hence, synergizing the implementation of the activities of SEPLS with the national commitments for Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 in the LMMCs could facilitate both biodiversity conservation and sustainable socio-economic development within and around protected areas, contributing to achievement of Target 11.
In the 2014 midterm assessment of progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, all of the elements of Target 11 showed progress, though only the 17% target for the conservation of terrestrial and inland waters was expected to be met by 2020 if current trends continued (Leadley et al. 2014; SCBD 2014).
Between September 2015 and July 2016, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) carried out six regional capacity building workshops on achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which aimed, among other goals, to provide a platform for discussing topics related to protected areas and to assist Parties to the Convention in identifying roadmaps for national priority actions to be undertaken in the following years to achieve the target by 2020.
The results from an analysis of over 1,400 priority actions, as well as other commitments identified by the Parties to the Convention that participated in the above regional workshops, suggested that if commitments are implemented as proposed, the area-based coverage of targets for terrestrial and inland waters (at least 17%) and for coastal and marine areas (at least 10%) would both be surpassed, while significant progress would be made for ecological representation, conservation of areas important for biodiversity, and effective management (Gannon et al. 2017; SCBD 2016b). However, the equitable management (governance/equity) of protected areas and their integration into the wider landscape, seascape and various sectors were found to require more efforts to speed up progress for the achievement of Target 11. These elements requiring more efforts form the backbone for a harmonious relationship between societies and protected areas. For example, diverse and good governance can help to ensure conservation is effective, resilient and widely covered. In terms of social outcomes, enhancing governance can help ensure that protected areas positively contribute to (and do not undermine) well-being and sustainable development within landscapes and seascapes (SCBD 2018a). Protected area integration can foster the development of a connected, functional ecological network among protected areas and facilitate the mainstreaming of values, impacts and dependencies of the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by protected areas into key sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, energy, tourism and transportation (SCBD 2018b).
Improvements in the relationship between societies and protected areas and the achievement of Target 11 in its entirety are sought by the LMMCs. The meeting of the LMMCs on the margins of the high-level segment of the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2016 resulted in the Like-minded Megadiverse Countries Carta to Achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 being welcomed by the COP (CBD 2016; SCBD 2016a). The Carta,inter alia, acknowledged that protected areas are “important vehicles for facilitating integration of biodiversity into comprehensive sustainable development policies”, called upon “all Parties, and other countries, which have not yet identified and developed their national priority actions (roadmaps) to do so and to implement them to facilitate the achievement of Aichi Target 11 by 2020 at the global level”, and urged “all partners and stakeholders to take concerted efforts to abet the implementation of roadmaps” (SCBD 2016a) (see Fig.2).
Figure 2. The Like-minded Megadiverse Countries Carta to Achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 11
In order to facilitate the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and to enhance the progress of the qualitative elements of the target, the present study aims to determine the extent to which LMMCs’ commitments make use of sustainable productive strategies and incorporate the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative, either implicitly or explicitly. The results highlight ways that the LMMCs and the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative can pool resources and efforts in a concerted manner to facilitate implementation and contribute to the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, as well as to enact the ecological and socio-economic perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative.
Commitments from the LMMCs addressing the qualitative elements of Target 11 were drawn from: National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs); Fifth National Reports of Parties to the CBD; Status, Gaps and Opportunities and National Priority Actions (NPAs) from the six regional workshops on protected areas; and protected area-related biodiversity projects from the fifth and sixth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The relevant text was extracted and compiled according to its contribution to one of the qualitative elements of Target 11.
The excerpts, referring to commitments, from the above sources were compiled in a database and classified according to the level of confidence that the actions put forth will be implemented by 2020. A weak commitment, scoring 1, simply addresses the element of Target 11 in the document. The need for action is recognized; however, there is no designed framework or action(s) mentioned. A commitment scoring 2 includes a legal framework addressing the element and/or a list of actions that should be implemented in order to address the element. In this case, there is no explicit plan for how to implement these proposed actions. A strong commitment, scoring 3, has developed a specific plan(s) for the implementation of the proposed action for the element.
Identification of SEPLS-related commitments
From the database containing all LMMC national commitments related to the qualitative elements of Target 11, SEPLS-related commitments were identified as those which address at least one of the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative conceptual framework. After identification of SEPLS-related national commitments, we developed a new framework linking the commitments to a set of perspectives related to those in the original Satoyama Initiative framework. These perspectives include actions on: sustainability related to cyclical use of resources and use of resources within carrying capacity of the environment; traditional knowledge related to the recognition of the value of local traditions and culture; gender related to promoting the inclusive participation and recognition of the importance of women to sustainable production and biodiversity conservation; landscape management related to multi-stakeholder participation and spatial planning in the context of a broader landscape; socio-economic development related to production and benefit sharing, increase in revenue and capacity building; and resilience actions related to improving ecosystem health, adaptation to climate change and better landscape connectivity.
The national commitments of the LMMCs were classified according to (i) country, (ii) document from which the commitment was extracted, (iii) type of environment of the commitment (terrestrial/coastal-marine), (iv) contribution to the elements of Target 11, and (v) contribution to the set of perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. Based on commitment score, mean scores were calculated for each perspective in order to test whether perspectives vary according to the level of confidence that actions will be implemented. The mean commitment scores were plotted and compared using a one-way ANOVA and a Tukey test of multiple comparisons.
Since one commitment may result in multiple benefits, a network of interactions between SEPLS-related national commitments and the framework of perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative was constructed to facilitate the visualization of interactions among elements of Target 11 and the modified framework of perspectives. The network was plotted in the programme R, version 3.3.0, using the package bipartite (Dormann, Gruber & Fruend 2008).
From a database of 1,036 LMMCs’ commitments addressing the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, a total of 137 commitments also address at least one of the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. These 137 national commitments aim to harmonize protected areas with the needs of sustainable production.
The identified SEPLS-related national commitments proposed actions to, inter alia: promote production landscapes and/or seascapes; promote improvements for sustainable management of biodiversity with a focus on socio-economic development; or, address improvement of production practices by local communities.
SEPLS-related commitments were identified from all LMMCs (Fig. 3). A mean of 6.85±4.15 commitments was identified per country, ranging from 1 to 19 commitments. The majority of commitments proposed actions in terrestrial ecosystems (66%) followed by commitments targeting both terrestrial and coastal and marine ecosystems (16%) (Fig. 4A). Four percent of commitments proposed actions exclusively in coastal and marine ecosystems. Fourteen percent of commitments did not specify the type of ecosystem to be targeted by the proposed actions.
Figure 3. Number of SEPLS-related commitments by Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries.
Sixty percent of SEPLS-related national commitments were derived from GEF projects, 40% from GEF-5 and 20% from GEF-6 (Fig. 4B). The remaining 40% of commitments were derived from NBSAPs (32%), National Priority Actions (4%), National Reports (2%) and reports of Status, Gaps and Opportunities from the regional protected area workshops (2%). This highlights the opportunity for synergies with the GEF-5 and GEF-6 projects that are not yet completed, as well as upcoming GEF-7 projects and the various commitments of the Parties to the Convention. These synergies with the SEPLS strategies could provide for a more effective implementation of the qualitative elements of Target 11.
Figure 4. Distribution of SEPLS-related commitments according to the target ecosystem (terrestrial/coastal-marine) and source. (A) SEPLS-related commitments were identified as containing actions targeting exclusively terrestrial environments (green), both terrestrial and costal and marine environments (orange), exclusively costal and marine environments (blue), and commitments whose actions did not specify the type of environment targeted (grey). (B) SEPLS-related commitments were derived from GEF-5 projects (blue), GEF-6 projects (red), National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (green), National Priority Actions (pink), National Reports (grey) and reports of Status, Gaps and Opportunities from regional workshops on protected areas (orange).
The identified SEPLS-related commitments spanned all qualitative elements of Target 11, namely, integration, equitable management, effective management, connectivity, conservation of areas important for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and ecological representation (Fig. 5A).
Figure 5. Distribution of SEPLS-related commitments by elements of Target 11 and by perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. (A) Number of SEPLS-related commitments according to the elements of Target 11 to which they will contribute most if implemented. (B) Number of SEPLS-related commitments that would contribute to the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative if implemented.
Integration and equitable management of protected areas were elements which had the highest number of SEPLS-related commitments, 50 and 37, respectively. Twenty-two SEPLS-related commitments targeted management effectiveness, and 15 targeted connectivity. Commitments to improve ecological representation and the coverage of areas important for biodiversity and ecosystem services had the lowest number. Seven SEPLS-related commitments targeted under-represented ecosystems, such as montane forests, wetlands, estuaries, and mangroves. Six commitments targeted areas important for biodiversity and ecosystem services and were associated with improved conservation and wise use of wetlands and river basins to ensure maintenance of hydrological regimes.
SEPLS-related commitments were analyzed to determine whether implementation of identified actions will contribute to the achievement of the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative (Fig. 5B). The perspectives with the highest number of identified actions were those addressing the improvement of sustainability of production practices—including both resource use within carrying capacity and cyclic use of natural resources (94 commitments), landscape management (88 commitments) and socio-economic development (82 commitments). Actions contributing to the improvement of ecosystem resilience, such as climate change adaptation and connectivity, were iterated in 52 commitments. Actions targeting gender were listed in 27 commitments, and there were 15 actions targeting the conservation of traditional knowledge.
SEPLS-related commitments were scored according to the level of confidence that the proposed actions will be implemented. Overall, mean commitment scores were moderate-high for all perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative, suggesting the majority of commitments addressing the perspectives are well-elaborated and present a framework of actions or specific plans for the implementation of the commitments (Fig. 6). Scoring differences of commitments contributing to the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative were not statistically significant (F5, 361=1.625, p=0.152).
Figure 6. Score of the confidence in the implementation of SEPLS-related commitments according to the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative to which they will contribute if implemented. Values represent mean±SD.
SEPLS-related commitments of the LMMCs were linked to perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative in order to evaluate the structure of multiple benefits derived from the implementation of identified actions. The network resulting from the synergistic links of Target 11 national commitments of the LMMCs with the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative is highly interconnected (Fig. 7). This result suggests that most of the SEPLS-related national commitments incorporate multiple perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative, and that each of the perspectives are reflected in actions spanning most of the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11. It further highlights the interconnectivity between the LMMCs’ commitments to enhance the qualitative elements of Target 11 and the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. This interconnectivity corroborates that these commitments, although not always addressed in explicit language, bear actions that promote the SEPLS vision and, therefore, could be achieved by the implementation of the SEPLS strategies. Implementation of SEPLS-related commitments would result in substantial improvements to the qualitative elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and support progress towards the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity—a world in harmony with nature.
Figure 7. Bipartite network illustrating interactions between SEPLS-related commitments (left) and perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative (right). Commitments were coloured according to their contribution to the elements of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11: biodiversity and ecosystem services (red), connectivity (green), ecological representation (black), effective management (orange), equitable management (purple) and integration (blue).
To make the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 a reality, concerted efforts will be required to facilitate the implementation of national commitments. The second phase of the CBD Secretariat’s strategy on protected areas is geared towards addressing this requirement. It includes, among other facets, the identification and mobilisation of relevant regional partners, bilateral and multilateral funding agencies and experts to enable regional implementation support networks for Target 11. These networks will facilitate implementation on the ground and provide technical support through regular communications with national implementers and relevant stakeholders, and provide capacity development, as well as monitoring and reporting on the progress towards the achievement of Target 11 (SCBD 2018c; Gannon et al. 2017; SCBD 2016b).
It is clear from their commitments that the LMMCs aim to improve the status of protected areas in their countries building upon the call made in the LMMCs’ Carta. To accomplish this, many national commitments of the LMMCs have specified sustainable production within or adjacent to protected areas. The identified SEPLS-related commitments intrinsically incorporate the overarching vision for a society in harmony with nature, the approach and the main ecological and socio-economic perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. The intricate network of synergies among Target 11 commitments and the ecological and socio-economic perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative suggest that the LMMCs could make use of the SEPLS strategy as a mechanism to facilitate the implementation of these commitments. This synergistic implementation would contribute to improving the overall status of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, and especially target protected area integration and equitable management, the elements that require increased efforts to meet the target by 2020.
SEPLS, if managed effectively, can contribute to the integration of protected areas into the wider landscape, seascape, and various sectors. This could occur through the facilitation of landscape planning processes and multi-stakeholder participation, favouring more equitable management initiatives with the participation of local communities, improving management effectiveness by mainstreaming biodiversity across sectors and within communities, facilitating connectivity by reducing the resistance to wildlife movement in the landscape, and conserving areas important for ecosystem services that support sustainable production (Bélair et al. 2010; Plieninger et al. 2014).
These efforts can significantly contribute to improving the livelihoods and well-being of local communities while ensuring the long-term conservation of biodiversity within protected areas. Improving these key qualitative elements of Target 11 can strengthen relationships between conservation practitioners and other stakeholders, in particular with local communities and indigenous peoples, responsible for the management of land and marine resources across the broader landscape and seascape. These efforts could likewise help not only to increase the effectiveness of protected areas, allowing for the management of ecological processes that occur over large spatial scales, such as hydrological processes, pollination, and larval dispersal in marine systems, but also to tackle threats that occur outside protected areas such as fire, pollution and hunting, and address drivers of change that occur at large scales, such as economic, demographic and political factors. For example, Chao et al. (2018) report in this issue significant transformations towards sustainable use of natural resources and restoration of degraded ecosystems around Yangmingshan National Park in Taiwan, following the rebuilding of a SEPLS by the local community. The collective actions of the Gongrong and Ankang communities in applying eco-friendly farming, engaging government officers to strengthen law enforcement, and implementing sewage purification greatly contributed to reducing pollution in the landscape resulting in significant improvement of stream water quality. Chao et al. (2018) also shows that SEPLS mobilize people, in this case, a group of visionary, highly motivated elders in the communities, to help local residents realize the long-term and devastating impacts of land degradation and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services on their livelihoods and ignite their willingness to make a difference. The SEPLS approach, in this case, has improved the management effectiveness of the Yangmingshan National Park and increased its effective size by integrating large privately owned areas in the surrounding landscape (Chao et al. 2018). The International Partnership of the Satoyama Initiative has a wide network of partners within the LMMCs and has implemented the SEPLS approach in many of these countries. By embracing the network of IPSI partners, LMMCs would have access to funding sources including the Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM) and the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS), capacity building initiatives developed by IPSI and a wealth of knowledge, guidelines and case studies to accelerate implementation of actions to reach synergistic goals. IPSI may hold the key and the potential to fill in the gaps and improve progress for the qualitative elements of Target 11 through the goal of establishing, restoring and maintaining SEPLS within and around protected areas.
SEPLS are a valuable model for sustainable productive practices which can support the development of mutually beneficial relationships between societies and protected areas. A subset of LMMCs’ national commitments to Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 is aligned with the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative. These commitments are predominantly related to the elements integration and equitable management of Target 11, elements that form the backbone for a harmonious relationship between societies and protected areas and whose progress requires more action to meet the target by 2020. The network resulting from the synergistic links of Target 11 national commitments with the perspectives of the Satoyama Initiative is highly interconnected, suggesting that implementation of these commitments has the potential to promote multiple benefits. This implies that efforts to mainstream SEPLS to the LMMCs will have the potential to facilitate effective implementation of national commitments for Target 11 and to encourage accounting for the concepts of SEPLS in the national planning process. Taking into consideration the relevance of LMMCs to biodiversity conservation and the challenges to promote sustainable socio-economic development, progress toward implementation of the national commitments through the SEPLS approach will have a global positive impact on biodiversity, contribute to safeguard protected areas in hotspots for conservation and promote societies in harmony with nature through socio-ecological production and sustainable development.
We thank Elizabeth Bacon from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Heena Ahmed and Kirti Kyab from the United Nations Development Programme for the support in the preparation of the LMMC commitment table, and Ana Bedmar and Jung-Tai Chao for insightful reviews of earlier versions of the manuscript BL was supported by FAPESP 2015/107784. This work, among others, was made possible through the generous funding support of the Governments of Japan (Japan Biodiversity Fund), the Republic of Korea, and Germany (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)), as well as the European Commission. The authors assume full responsibility for the views and opinions expressed in this article, that may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of any organizations.
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 The elements of Target 11 refer to the individual clauses in the language of the target, and include both quantitative elements (at least 17% terrestrial and at least 10% marine coverage) and qualitative elements: ecological representation, coverage of areas important for biodiversity and ecosystem services, connectivity, integration into the wider landscapes and seascapes, and effective, and equitable management (governance and equity).
The group of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMCs) consist of: Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
See footnote 1 for more information.
This modified set of perspectives merged “resource use within carrying capacity of the environment” and “cyclic use of natural resources” from the original conceptual framework of the Satoyama Initiative. These are described under a new perspective called sustainability due to the uncertainty in classification of identified commitments. Additionally, gender equality was included as a new perspective in this study in order to add information on how gender is being addressed in the context of SEPLS and Target 11.