What are NBSAPs?

Although initially a Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) initiative, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) have now been adopted by many Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) including the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). In summary, NBSAPs are seen as tools used in the implementation of many MEAs. During the 10th CBD Conference of Parties (COP) in Nagoya, Japan, the Aichi Biodiversity targets were decided upon: one of these was a mandate for all parties to develop and implement NBSAPs by 2015.

The NBSAP can also be seen as being made up of a range of elements – for example: laws and administrative procedures; scientific research agendas; programmes and projects; communication, education and public awareness activities; forums for inter-ministerial and multi-stakeholder dialogue – which together provide the means to meet the three objectives of the CBD, thereby forming the basis for national implementation. Second generation, or revised NBSAPs, have tended to be more in line with this broader definition; they resemble more a planning process, than a fixed document. Such a planning process is equally relevant to the other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements.

NBSAPs aim to take into account an ecosystem approach, highlight the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services for national identity, sustainability and development, assess the threats to biodiversity and establish targets for implementation. As such, it is simple to see how their effective implementation can establish a multi-level and discipline series of effects. NBSAPs are now seen as the lead tool in an ecosystem-approach to both biodiversity and conservation management.

Migratory Species in NBSAPs

Although NBSAPs take into account key biodiversity issues, they often fail to integrate migratory species which may not be endemic or a major component of the local biodiversity. However, as a whole, migratory species are often important constituents of the local, national and regional biodiversity. As such, the integration of migratory species into NBSAPs can be just as important as the integration of endemic species.

Since migratory species are seen as an integrated part of a countries conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity they cannot and should not be targeted by a separated implementation tool. As such, their integration into NBSAPs can be seen as often not only important for the conservation of migratory species but for the overall national biodiversity and sustainability. Additionally NBSAPs are encouraged to address direct threats, such as climate change, pollution and invasive alien species, which can often have a more pronounced effect on migratory species.

More information is available at: http://nbsapforum.net/, a forum that provides support for action and implementation on NBSAPs through 2020.