|The State Forestry Administration of China, IUCN and its Commission on Ecosystem Management, the Beijing Municipality, and the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation will co-host the 1st World Forum on Ecosystem Governance from 23-28 October in Beijing, China.|
The Forum is being organised in recognition of the critical role ecosystems serve in providing solutions to challenges we face today. Healthy ecosystems provide essential services such as food, water and shelter; they enhance human rights, such as gender equity, and facilitate adaptation to a changing climate. Nevertheless, over 60% of Earth’s ecosystems are degraded, some to the point that they no longer provide key services and products we all rely upon.
In response to this situation, the Forum programme will focus on improving ecosystem governance in order to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and address the effects of climate change.
IUCN defines environmental governance as “the means by which society determines and acts on goals and priorities related to the management of natural resources…including…the rules, both formal and informal, that govern human behaviour in the decision-making process as well as the decisions themselves.”
New models of governance are needed that acknowledge the importance of collaborative relationships among nations, government agencies, and national agencies and the people who live in, and are dependent on, ecosystems. On this basis, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems will feature in discussions on strategies and prioritisation for ecosystem monitoring and sustainable management.
The Forum includes a Future Leaders Academy designed to empower a network of young professionals to assume roles in ecosystem governance. Following this, a Ceremonial Opening will set the stage for the Technical Programme, in which 150 specialists representing diverse disciplines will identify key issues preventing effective governance of ecosystems, as well as solutions to improve the situation and establish priorities for action.
The conclusions of all Forum discussions will contribute to a ‘Beijing Declaration’ outlining a vision and agenda for action for more effective ecosystem governance to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and improve adaptation to climate change.
Following the Forum, the RLE Team will conduct a training workshop hosted by the Chinese Academy of Science. The workshop is designed for Chinese experts in ecosystem science, to build and strengthen expertise in the preparation of ecosystem risk assessments following the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems criteria. This will set the stage for the creation of a full Red List of Ecosystems in China, a valuable tool that may contribute to biodiversity conservation planning at national and provincial scale as well as sustainable ecosystem management.
To see the complete Forum programme, visit here.