National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans

The National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) is the crystallization of the idea to face the challenge of implementing an integrated, multisectoral and participatory instrument for national biodiversity planning carried out by the working network of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Article 6 of the Convention requires Contracting Parties to develop an NBSAPs (or an equivalent instrument) and to integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into sectoral and cross-sectoral activities. Article 6 is one of only two unqualified (ie binding) commitments in the Convention. (The other is Article 26, the obligation to submit periodic national reports on implementation).

NBSAPs is a process through which countries can plan to address threats to their biodiversity. As such, they are the main instruments for the implementation of the Convention, both nationally and globally, and are increasingly relevant to other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements that contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and of yours Aichi's Goals

Relevant aspects for granting an NBSAPs

  1. Although the NBSAPs can take the form of a single biodiversity planning document (and many countries have chosen this form), this does not necessarily have to be the case. The NBSAPs can also be conceived as comprising a set of elements - for example: laws and administrative procedures; scientific research agendas; programs and projects; communication, education and public awareness activities; forums for inter-ministerial and multi-stakeholder dialogue - which together provide the means to fulfill the three objectives of the Convention, thus forming the basis for national implementation.
  2. The Convention requires countries not only to prepare a national biodiversity strategy, but also to ensure that this strategy contains elements that are incorporated into the planning and activities of all sectors whose activities are likely to have an impact (both positive and negative) on biodiversity. . This is what is meant by “mainstreaming” – all relevant sectors of government, the private sector and civil society working together to implement the strategy. It is difficult to design effective action plans without such multi-stakeholder engagement and 'ownership' of the NBSAP process. It is for this reason that the NBSAP should be seen as a multisectoral process, involving other stakeholders in its development as early as possible.
  3. The NBSAPs must be a living process through which the increasing information and scientific knowledge, obtained through the follow-up and evaluation of each phase of implementation, are fed into a process of permanent revision. This process should result in the ENPAB being periodically updated and revised.
  4. NBSAPs can be used to facilitate a more coherent and effective application of conventions related to biodiversity. Decision X/5 invites Parties and Governments, inter alia, to involve the national focal points of all biodiversity-related agreements, as appropriate, in the process of updating and implementing national strategies and action plans for biodiversity and related facilitating activities. These biodiversity-related conventions include the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Fauna (CMS); the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Habitats of Waterfowl (RAMSAR); the World Heritage Convention (WHC); and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). They all contribute significantly to the sustainable management and use of the world's biodiversity. Implementation activities of other conventions and agreements can be included in national biodiversity strategies as a means of achieving collaborative implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets.

Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and COP Guidelines on NBSAPs

At its tenth meeting (2010), the COP adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The aim of the revised Strategic Plan is to promote the effective implementation of the Convention through a strategic approach that includes a shared vision, mission and strategic objectives and goals that inspire broad action by all Parties and stakeholders.

 The vision of this Strategic Plan is that of a world in which "live in harmony with nature", where

“By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and used wisely, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and providing essential benefits for all people.”

The Strategic Plan is organized into five objectives, which include 20 major objectives for 2020. The objectives and targets include

  1. Worldwide achievement aspirations; and
  2. A flexible framework for setting national targets.

The five strategic objectives are as follows

  1. Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss through mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
  2. Reduce direct pressures on biodiversity and promote its sustainable use
  3. Improving the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
  4. Increase the benefits to all of biodiversity and ecosystem services
  5. Improving implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building

National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity in STP

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (RDSTP), aware that the issue of conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of all humanity, and that it holds a unique biological variability, worthy of being preserved, signed in June 1992 the Convention on Biological Diversity, and ratified it through Presidential Decree No. 5/98, of May 30, thus becoming a full member of the Conference of the Parties.

Since then, São Tomé and Príncipe has been strengthening its capacities with a view to participating and fully fulfilling the commitments of the CBD. One of the commitments is the formulation, adoption and implementation of the ENPAB and the National Reports on the State of Biodiversity. With regard to ENPAB, the country has already developed two versions of this instrument, the first in 2005 (ENPAB I) and the second and last in 2015 (ENPAB II). ENPAB II comprised an update and revision of its predecessor. This update and revision process was made possible through the execution of 5 main steps:

  1. STAGE 1 – TRAINING AND SURVEY - This step comprised two fundamental sub-steps. The first related to a three-day training session for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and community leaders, and the second related to the field survey, which involved the participation of environmental activists from NGOs and different communities
  2. STAGE 2 - PREPARATION OF NATIONAL MONOGRAPHS – During this stage, data were collected and analyzed on the situation of the different ecosystems, as well as the analysis of socioeconomic aspects, policies and the legal and institutional framework related to biodiversity. Thus, 5 monographs were produced that served as the basis for the preparation of this document, according to five thematic areas:  Study of forest ecosystems 2. Study of agrarian ecosystems 3. Study of marine and coastal ecosystems 4. Study of inland water ecosystems 5. Study on socio-economic aspects of biodiversity.
  • STAGE 3 – PREPARATION OF THE DRAFT OF THE SECOND NATIONAL STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY - After preparing the thematic studies, the analysis and selection of measures to be carried out were carried out with a view to preventing possible threats and ensuring the conservation, ecologically rational use and equitable and fair sharing of biodiversity resources
  1. STAGE 4 – VALIDATION WORKSHOP - The prepared document was presented and validated at a national workshop, attended by representatives of government institutions, local authorities, religious authorities, the private sector, civil society, environmental activists, higher education, local communities and the press. More than 50 people were involved in this validation process.
  2. STEP 5 – ELABORATION OF THE FINAL VERSION OF THE DOCUMENT - The final version of the document is structured in three parts:
    1. PART ONE – Deals with the current state of biological diversity in STP and its management and conservation, the causes of its degradation and the valuation of biological diversity;
    2. PART TWO – Defines the measures to solve the diagnosed problems, including the strategic guidelines for intervention, the strategic axes, the action plan and the mechanism for implementing the strategy itself, taking into account the imperatives of the sustainable management of biological resources and the sharing equitable distribution of the benefits resulting from this management;
    3. PART THREE - Consisting of Annexes
São Tomé, 26 de Julho de 2023