C6n SEA practice and biodiversity
Jo Treweek, SES, UK
Helen Byron, Imperial College London, UK
Dave le Maitre, CSIR Environmentek, South Africa
Key issues to be addressed
Biodiversity supports many livelihoods and provides essential goods and services to millions of people. However, its values are often under-emphasised in development planning. The first World Summit on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (1992) emphasised the importance of biodiversity as the basis of our very existence, to be used wisely and sustainably and conserved for current and future generations. The main threats to biodiversity globally are associated with human activities causing habitat loss or damage. These threats need to be carefully managed if significant, irreversible losses of biodiversity are to be avoided.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires Parties to integrate as far as possible and as appropriate the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans and programmes. The CBD also, along with the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Migratory Species, recognises SEA as an important mechanism for building biodiversity into development planning to promote its conservation and sustainable use. SEA can help to:
• Build biodiversity objectives into plans
• Identify biodiversity-friendly alternatives
• Identify and manage cumulative threats
• Plan effective mitigation strategies to ensure no net loss of biodiversity
• Put in place monitoring programmes to provide necessary biodiversity data
• Strengthen biodiversity partnerships and information networks
This session will draw on experience and examples of SEA practice from different countries to review the extent to which biodiversity issues are addressed. The session will explore important biodiversity considerations and principles that should be adopted to ensure good practice in SEA. Emerging international guidance on SEA and biodiversity will be discussed and experiences presented at the conference will contribute to its further development.