The Next Generation of Biodiversity Governance Models across the World can Emerge from the Knowledge of Existing Approaches in India, Says a New UNDP Report
Hyderabad - A new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) calls for adopting a landscape approach to biodiversity governance which will allow a range of ecosystems to thrive and not just the smaller protected parts of it. On the basis of a detailed review of prevalent biodiversity governance models in India, the report concludes that solutions to conservation challenges require a variety of governance approaches instead of isolated conservation approaches.
Conservation Across Landscapes: India’s Approaches to Biodiversity Governance outlines five models of biodiversity governance and explores their effectiveness. Two models – protected areas and territorial forests – fall within the protected area stream of biodiversity governance. Three other models – autonomous community efforts, co-management of forests and decentralized governance of biodiversity – are more closely aligned with community based conservation.
The report explains how India’s extraordinary biological diversity and variety of resource-use patterns have given rise to a range of approaches to conserve India’s natural landscapes.
Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, India stressed that “India’s approach to balancing conservation and development has immense relevance for the world. Key to this approach is using the economic potential of natural resources to reduce poverty and accelerate inclusive growth.”
The Report frames the future of biodiversity governance through several recommendations including valuation of ecosystem services, mainstreaming biodiversity considerations into commercial sectors, addressing governance gaps in coastal and marine conservation, recognizing community conserved areas, unlocking economic opportunity of the non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and promotion of ecosystem-based approaches in development planning.
The Report argues that because biodiversity governance is complex, the landscape approach that builds on the combined strengths of various governance models should be adopted. This approach transcends political and administrative boundaries and gives primacy to ecological integrity while accommodating diverse interest groups and resource-use claims.
This report was released at a Ministerial Reception hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India on October 17 by Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests and Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator.