Pyeongchang, 15 October 2014 – The secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) renewed an agreement today to continue to closely collaborate over the coming six years. The first Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2010 in the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity, was renewed after the successful implementation of its original five-year agreement, with an extended six year period of 2015-2020.
The initial agreement gave birth to the ITTO–CBD Joint Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity, which unites the two organizations to enhance biodiversity conservation in tropical forests, with the direct participation of local stakeholders. In its first five years (2010-2014), the ITTO – CBD Joint Collaborative Initiative funded eleven projects covering 26 countries in the three tropical forest basin regions. Financial contributions have been made by the governments of Japan, Switzerland and the USA, among others, for a total investment of about USD 15 million.
“ITTO has been closely involved in the work of CBD since the turn of this century and we look forward to a second phase of the initiative,” stated Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization at the signing ceremony.
Mr. Ze Meka further noted that “the initiative is contributing toward the achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and in particular the forestry-related Aichi Biodiversity Targets, such as targets 5, 7, 11and 15.”
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity stated “the initiative is a concrete example of carrying out actions on the ground bringing forth the different components of the Pyeongchang Roadmap” and proceed to summarize highlights from the 11 projects.
The RIFFEAC, Network of Central African Forestry Environment Training Institutions, have finalized, in collaboration with the University of Laval and the CEFOR Technical Forestry Center of Canada, twelve draft training modules and associated university teaching methodologies for the sustainable management of tropical forests and biodiversity conservation.
The beneficiary countries (Cambodia and Thailand) of the Emerald Triangle Protected Forests Complex Project between Cambodia, Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, are collecting and exchanging information on wildlife distribution between them and are planning joint research activities on regional biodiversity in the transboundary conservation area.
In the Integrated Management of Natural Resources and Biodiversity in the Tacaná Volcano transboundary conservation area between Guatemala and Mexico, actions are being taken to identify and establish pilot projects with target communities, including for ecotourism, agro-forestry and livestock-forestry systems.