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CARICOM ACP-MEAs project helps Regional environmentalists prepare for Bio-diversity COP


Posted in: Regional News | 11 October 2016 | 600

    Workshop Facilitator and Lecturer at the UWI Cavehill Janice Cumberbatch
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    Workshop Facilitator and Lecturer at the UWI Cavehill Janice Cumberbatch

    Regional environmental officers are attending a workshop to help them prepare for a major international conference on biodiversity, to be held in Mexico in December. The CARICOM ACP-MEAs project is hosting the regional workshop October 11-13 at the Grand Coastal Hotel in Guyana.

    The purpose of the workshop is to prepare Caribbean negotiators to participate in the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from December 2 to 17. More than five thousand participants from 196 countries, as well as representatives of International Organisations, Non-governmental Organisations, and indigenous and local communities are expected to attend the COP CBD.

    The preparatory workshop is intended to familiarise participants with the COP agenda and the issues to be discussed and negotiated, while enabling them to identify and analyse the issues most relevant to their national and/or regional interests. It will also allow for exchanges of views between participants about key COP issues, desired outcomes, and potential negotiating strategies, and produce guidance to inform negotiation at the COP in December. Workshop participants will also benefit from refresher training in the negotiation of multilateral environmental agreements.

    Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Project Coordinator, Caribbean Hub Capacity Building ACP-MEAs at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Thérèse Yarde, said that the CARICOM Secretariat was pleased to be hosting the workshop because it was fulfilling a request from Member States to help with preparations for international events such as the Biodiversity COP. She said this was the third such workshop being hosted in the Region and noted that each time was a learning process.

    The Convention on Biological Diversity came into force in 1993, and all independent CARICOM countries are Parties to the Convention. The objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.

    This year, the theme of the COP will be the integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, all of which are vital economic sectors in the Caribbean Community. CARICOM countries also have a strong interest in the COP agenda items related to biodiversity and climate change, biodiversity and human health, and invasive alien species, for example, lionfish.

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