On 21 April 2021, UN Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), together with Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Farmer’s Seed Network organized the Forum on Enhancing Science for Policy to Support the Implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province of China. The staff members of UNEP-IEMP and more than 20 researchers, practitioners, and students from Chinese research institutes, universities, and NGOs participated in the forum to share their insights and experience in various fields around scientific monitoring and evaluation, data acquisition, technological innovation, community-based conservation and women's empowerment. The forum was followed by an in-depth and heated discussion on the topics presented by the speakers.
At the opening session of the forum, Mr. Dong Wang, Deputy Director of Xishuangbanna Ecology and Environment Bureau, congratulated the Forum on behalf of Mr. Shuhong Cui, Director General of the Department of Nature and Ecology Conservation, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China and Director of the Office of the Executive Committee for CBD COP 15. Ms. Yudan Zhang, an officer of Bureau of International Cooperation Bureau (BIC) of CAS, congratulated the Forum on behalf of Mr. Zhenyu Wang, Deputy Director General of BIC. Prof. Yongping Yang, Deputy Director General of XTBG, delivered the opening speech for the forum.
Dong Wang, Deputy Director of Xishuangbanna Ecology and Environment Bureau, Prof. Yongping Yang, Deputy Director General of XTBG of CAS, and Ms. Yudan Zhang, an officer of Bureau of International Cooperation of CAS congratulated the forum
There were two one-hour roundtable dialogues following the opening session. In the first roundtable dialogue, participating experts introduced their work and shared their experience about the science, technology and innovations of biodiversity conservation. Prof. Yongping Yang, made a presentation titled "The scientific research and conservation practices of biodiversity in China: review and prospect", introduced the scientific research, conservation practices, current problems, and future research prospect of biodiversity in China.
Prof. Yongping Yang making presentation at the forum
Prof. Yunyue Wang from the College of Plant Protection of Yunnan Agricultural University introduced the protection and utilization of agrobiodiversity and seed resources, and shared successful cases of crop pest control, protection and utilization of crop varieties in Hani Terraces, and crop interplanting.
Prof. Yunyue Wang from Yunnan Agricultural University presenting at the forum
Mr. Shengji Pei, Professor of Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) of CAS, reviewed the efforts on biodiversity conservation conducted in Xishuangbanna, introduced the development and main research fields of ethnobotany, and emphasized the important role of cultural diversity in biodiversity conservation. By asking the thought-provoking question "How to guide the community to participate in livelihood improvement in order to achieve effective biodiversity conservation and green economy development", he encouraged the participants to reflect more on relevant topics.
Prof. Shengji Pei from KIB of CAS speaking at the forum
Dr. Chao Fu, Head of Research Unit of UNEP-IEMP, made a presentation with the theme of "Nexus approaches to protecting biodiversity and improving livelihood resilience " and introduced the work on agrobiodiversity conservation and livelihood development led by UNEP-IEMP under the flagship programme on "Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods". His presentation highlights UNEP-IEMP also facilitates dialogues that bring together science and policy by building a South-South cooperation platform.
Dr. Chao Fu, UNEP-IEMP Head of Research Unit, making a presentation at the forum
In the second roundtable dialogue, participating experts introduced their work and shared their experience about community-based biodiversity conservation. Ms. Yiching Song, Founder of Farmer’s Seed Network and Senior Research Fellow of UNEP-IEMP, made a report on "Root and bases: enhancing biodiversity and food safety of small farmers' agricultural system", introduced the importance of farmers' participatory protection of locally traditional seeds, and took the "From Seed to Table" project and four villages in Lijiang as examples to share her practical experience on community-based biodiversity protection, emphasizing the importance of interlinks between biodiversity, cultural diversity and food diversity protection.
Ms. Yiching Song, Founder of Farmer’s Seed Network and Senior Research Fellow of UNEP-IEMP, speaking at the forum
Mr. Guanqi Li, manger of Farmers' Seed Network, introduced the existing seed banks, community seed exchange and seed knowledge exchange, seed protection publicity and ecological seed selection in China based on the network’s project experience in recent years.
Mr. Guanqi Li, Manger of Farmers' Seed Network, making a presentation at the forum
Ms. Lei Tian, Project Officer of Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme, shared their practices and exploration on community-based biodiversity conservation, such as encouraging community residents to participate in forest conservation, developing and encouraging residents to acquire nature education, connecting beneficial practices at the community with public policies, etc.
Ms. Lei Tian, Project Officer of Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme, speaking at the forum
At the closing session of the forum, Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, expressed her gratitudes to all participants and stressed the significance of the outcomes of the forum for international biodiversity conservation agenda. She pointed out that the forum was one of the important pre-COP15 events and was supported and encouraged by the Office of the Executive Committee of CBD COP15, BIC of CAS, UNEP and the CBD Secretariat. The development and implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) need the support of science and technology. In today's forum, experts introduced how to carry out the protection and development and utilization of biodiversity in China on the basis of science and technology, and reached consensus on the importance of science and technology in relevant decision-making process. In addition, community participation, nexus approaches, women's role and other issues shared in the forum are all necessary for the finalization and implementation of GBF, so it should be widely considered by all the stakeholders. China's knowledge, practices, experience and lessons learnt should be shared internationally and could also be China's contribution to international biodiversity conservation efforts.
The Forum aims to provide a venue for scientists, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations for the development and implementation of the post-2020 GBF. The conclusions and recommendations of the forum, as well as other virtual sessions organized by UNEP-IEMP and partners, will be submitted to high-level international conferences, including CBD COP 15, United Nations 2021 Food System Summit and UNFCCC COP26, so as to make contribution to the development of post-2020 GBF as well as other major policy agendas.