16 June 2023|News
From 2 to 12 June 2023, Dr. Fu Chao and Dr. Li Li from the UNEP-IEMP Research Unite traveled to Uganda and Kenya and conducted field research and exchange activities on sustainable water resource utilization strategies in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB). These activities were supported by an international cooperation project on "Sustainable Water Resources Utilisation and Integrated Lake Basin Management in the Great Lakes Basin of East Africa" under the National Key Research and Development Programme of China. The team presented and exchanged the project's preliminary research results and actively communicated with local researchers and managers, with the aim of formulating key strategies and policy recommendations for enhancing the multiple benefits of water resource utilization in the LVB.
The team first tripped to Entebbe and Kampala, Uganda and met with other project members to discuss water use and sustainable agricultural development in the LVB. During the trip, they visited the Uganda Aquatic Research and Development Centre (China-Uganda Friendship Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center) nearby Kampala, where they witnessed the innovative initiatives undertaken by the China-FAO-Uganda South-South cooperation project (Phase III) to enhance sustainable agricultural practices.
From Uganda, the team traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to attend a project workshop at the Sino-African Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) located at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The workshop brought together researchers from project participating institutions such as the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology (NIGLAS), Wuhan University, and Nanjing University, and project collaborators such as the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NAFIRRI) of Uganda, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), JKUAT and Kenyatta University. The participants presented their research work, focusing on the themes of water resources monitoring data and watershed management techniques and policies in the East African Great Lakes region. Discussions ensued on effectively integrating scientific research with regional policies. Dr. Fu Chao presented case studies on household livelihoods and water use in the Mwanza region of Tanzania, highlighting the key role of integrated water resources management in promoting sustainable development in the region.
After the workshop, the UNEP-IEMP team alongside other project team members, continued to Kisumu, Kenya, where they visited the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and the KMFRI Kisumu Centre. They briefed the institution representatives and researchers on the project's overall status and research priorities and to explore possible ways of aligning the research findings with their institutional mission and ongoing project activities. In addition, the project team visited local fishing communities and their fishing cooperatives to learn about the characteristics of the cage-fishery technologies they have been developing in recent years and to provide preliminary recommendations on related issues.
Through this visit, UNEP-IEMP and the entire project team deepened their understanding of water resources management challenges and opportunities in the LVB. They strengthened the links and communication channels with local institutions and researchers, laying a good foundation for further work in the region. The project team will continue contributing to resource and environmental management and prosperity in the region and beyond through collaborative research, knowledge sharing, and stakeholder engagement.
24 April 2023|News
On April 21, 2023, Ms Tatirose Vijitpan, Focal Point of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Portfolio and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist of UNEP-IEMP, participated in a virtual meeting organized by Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) and the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing. The objective was to plan for the kick-off of the cooperation on "Transfer of Know-How and Technology from China to Thailand on Bamboo for Ecosystem Restoration and Local Livelihood Improvement". The meeting was chaired by Dr Pongpan Kaewtatip, Vice President of Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI), MHESI, and participated mainly by representatives of various agencies under the MHESI.
At the meeting, the proposed cooperation was regarded as valuable and relevant to Thailand. In order to kick off this cooperation, a seminar in Thailand will be organized later this year to transfer knowledge and technology from China to Thailand on bamboo for ecological restoration and livelihood development of local people that will effectively promote international cooperation in the development and upgrading of Thailand's bamboo industry for economic development and ecological preservation.
18 April 2023|News
On April 16-17, 2023, Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme - International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), was invited to give an opening remarksand a keynote speech at the "The Third Mountain Futures Conference". The event was organized in Kunming city of China and hosted by Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
In her opening remarks, Dr. Linxiu Zhang stated the vital role of mountains as the water towers of our continents and strongholds for biodiversity and culture. To address the crises facing mountains, she called for attaching great importance to promote nexus approaches that encourage cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation, enhance interdisciplinary research, and promote evidence-based science for policy. She reiterated the urgency of connecting policy agendas and actions on the mountain, biodiversity and climate nexus, as well as the inclusive and participatory implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by governments and all stakeholders.
Dr. Linxiu Zhang delivered an opening remark
At her keynote speech "Unlocking the Power of Women for Sustainable Mountain Development", she highlighted the significance of gender in sustainable development, and introduced the consensus and efforts on gender inclusiveness. With examples from recent case studies conducted by UNEP-IEMP, she discussed the findings and implications of the critical paths to unlocking the women’s power for sustainable development.
Dr. Linxiu Zhang made a keynote speech
24 March 2023|News
On March 17, 2023, UNEP-IEMP received Mrs. Sonja Leighton-Kone, Director of UNEP Cooperate Services Division, for her first mission to UNEP-IEMP.
Mrs. Sonja Leighton-Kone was warmly welcomed by the UNEP-IEMP team, UNEP China Office, and representatives from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the host institution. With a joint review of the work at UNEP-IEMP, Mrs. Sonja Leighton-Kone emphasized the foundational role of science in UNEP and appreciated UNEP-IEMP`s role in bridging science-based solutions for local people and policy makers. The team was encouraged to think globally and act locally for delivering better solutions, and further enhance partnerships to respond to the calls from the UNEP member states. She also highly valued the solution-oriented work at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Zhuang Yan, Director at the International Cooperation Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, expressed warm appreciation for this long-term cooperation with UNEP through the joint endeavor of UNEP-IEMP. There was also a warm discussion session for enhancing linkage between the work of UNEP-IEMP and UNEP Headquarters.
15 March 2023|News
December 2022, the short video "Living Seeds and Resilient Bio-cultures, Coexistence of Naxi communities with Nature" jointly submitted by UNEP-IEMP and the Farmers' Seed Network won the third prize of "Short Video Competition of Public Participation COP15 Biodiversity Protection " from the Publicity and Education Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. This activity is part of the warm-up publicity work for the second phase of CBD COP15.
The video shows the practical process of the seeds protection and cultivation by Naxi communities since 2013. With technical and financial support from the Participatory Action Research team of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Farmers' Seed Network (FSN), the local seed protection team conducted action researches on agro-biodiversity conservation and utilization, and collected and registered traditional varieties a well as worked with scientists on Participatory Plant Breeding. A community seed bank was set up as a public space to facilitate seed and to promote knowledge exchange among villagers.
In 2018, with the support from the FSN and the Pan Third Pole Environmental Change and Green Silk Road Construction Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Stone Village, one of the Naxi communities, has become a demonstration site for sustainable livelihood improvement and green development, and then the Wumu, Youmi and Labo Villages. These four bioculture-linked villages called a Naxi Mountain Community Network, have inherited and carried forward the traditional bio-cultures, explored the joint efforts of scientists, governing bodies, NGOs and small-scale farming communities to protect and sustainably utilize biodiversity resources, improved the sustainable development model of community-based ecological culture, and realized the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.
09 March 2023|News
On the morning of 8 March 2023, Ms. Xiufeng Wang, Deputy Mayor of Dongying City, led a delegation from Dongying Foreign Affairs Office to visit UNEP-IEMP and had a consultative meeting with Ms. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP and her team. They acknowledged the close cooperation between Dongying Municipal Government and UNEP since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in July 2020, in particular the successful organization of the World Estuarine Cities Conference for Cooperation and Development (WECC) in Dongying in November 2022, and looked forward to the regular organization of WECC with broader participation and impact in the future. They also discussed the expansion of the World Estuarine Cities Partnership, the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the organization of training on agricultural technology and green development, and the promotion of mutual visits between UNEP and Dongying. Prof. Zhigang Sun from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences was invited to attend the meeting and shared his experience and suggestions from the work at the Modern Agriculture Demonstration Zone of Dongying City.
22 December 2022|News
On 9 December 2022 local time, the "small farmers, farmer seeds systems and sustainability" side event was successfully held during the second phase of the CBD COP15 in Montreal. As the only side event touching on agro-biodiversity, it brought to the audiences’ experiences of nearly two decades of community-based farmer seed and food system initiatives on different continents and in different cultural contexts. It hopes to demonstrate the effectiveness of community-based conservation and farmer-led solutions to reverse the deterioration of genetic resources, biodiversity and ecosystem.
Dr. Linxiu Zhang, director of UNEP-IEMP, opened the event on behalf of the hosting organizations. She began with the importance of biodiversity in providing smallholder farmers with resilience to risk and ongoing adaptation to climate change, and how collective and transformative action is needed to build more resilient agri-food systems. She also stressed that the conference would be an open and inclusive platform crossing institutional and disciplinary boundaries and that exchanging practical experiences and innovative initiatives can facilitate better action for sustainable development.
Director Linxiu Zhang delivered an open remark
Dr. Yiqing Song, UNEP-IEMP researcher and founder of the Farmers' Seed Network, gave a keynote presentation emphasizing smallholder farmers as the fundamental actors in agriculture and in maintaining biodiversity and coping with climate change, especially with policy recognition and support.
In closing, the partners launch the "Joint Montreal Declaration of Supporting Small Farmers and Indigenous Communities" to promote multi-stakeholder exchange and cooperation in farmer seed systems enhancement for sustainable biodiversity and traditional knowledge conservation and utilisation for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity targets and SDGs.
22 December 2022|News
On 16 December 2022, during the CBD COP15-2, Dr. Linxiu Zhang, UNEP-IEMP Director was invited by the Global Energy Internet Development Cooperation (GEIDCO) to attend the side event on biodiversity and energy revolution.
On behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme, Director Zhang jointly launched GEIDCO's report "Biodiversity and Revolution of Energy and Electric Power". During her address, Director Zhang reaffirmed UNEP's commitment to promoting the rational use of global resources and advancing environmental sustainability with coordinated responses and systemic solutions to tackle the world's three interrelated and mutually reinforcing planetary crises - biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental pollution. She pointed out that the large-scale development and use of fossil energy since the industrial revolution have contributed significantly to the climate and biodiversity crisis. From a global perspective, energy is on the front line of advancing biodiversity conservation, addressing climate change, and combating environmental pollution. Recognizing the intertwined nature of the environmental crisis and the interconnectedness of all the Sustainable Development Goals, we must embrace linked approaches and collective and transformative action to advance the energy and power revolution and ensure prosperity for all. She also called on all parties to build on the momentum and energy of successive COPs on climate change and biodiversity this year to link policy agendas and actions on the energy, biodiversity and climate nexus, stimulate public and private funding for bioenergy and bioeconomy, and build a multi-stakeholder platform to raise awareness, knowledge and capacity.
Representatives from China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Renmin University of China, World Resources Institute, US Environmental Protection Association, UNDP, World Economic Forum and others participated in the side event.
22 December 2022|News
On 14 December 2022, Montreal – side event "Ecological Civilization: Towards Harmony between Human and Nature" was successfully held at China Pavilion during the CBD COP15-2. Mr. ZHAO Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Mr. David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary of CBD, and Mr. PAN Jiahua, Member of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences attended the opening ceremony. Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, shared good cases during the event.
In her presentation entitled "Ecosystem-based approaches for resilient livelihoods: evidence from developing countries", Director Zhang said that biodiversity and sustainable use are widely discussed nowadays, and people should be aware of the importance of synergies between "climate, ecosystems and livelihoods". She introduced UNEP-IEMP’s ongoing "climate, ecosystems and livelihoods" flagship program, which aims to improve human livelihoods through ecological restoration and provide better ecosystem service provisioning while adapting to climate change.
Using examples of "community-based fisheries in Nepal" and "smallholder seed systems from Naxi farmers in Yunnan", Linxiu demonstrated that active community participation and multi-stakeholder collaboration play a key role in achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. She also emphasized that natural and human capital are fundamental factors in improving household livelihoods and achieving sustainable livelihoods, and that diversification of farming and non-farming activities can not only increase household livelihoods but also improve the ability of households to adapt to change.
She stated that the use of nexus approach requires multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral efforts by scientists, producers, consumers, practitioners and policymakers to link scientific knowledge to policy implementation. She concluded by emphasizing that women’s contributions to conservation efforts should be recognized and that women’s empowerment is a major key to success.
22 December 2022|News
Montreal, 14 December 2022 - Amid CBD COP15 negotiations, a side event "Recognizing and Managing the Value of Nature’s Contribution to People through Food Systems Transformation" highlighting making the economic case for pro-nature policies to achieve food systems transformation in the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and called for enhanced integration of nature’s value into post-2020 decision making. Public and private sectors from countries and regions voice their support for strengthening the recognition and management of nature’s contributions to people for sustainable and resilient agri-food systems in the post-2020 biodiversity conservation agenda.
"Food system transformation requires systems thinking and measurement and recognition of the true values and costs of public and private sector decisions that influence our food system" said Ms. Doreen Robinson, UNEP Principal Coordinator for Biodiversity and Land.
Mr. HUANG Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of China and President of CBDCOP15 stressed in his opening remarks that "inadequate recognition and measurement of biodiversity values is one of the major reasons leading to the continuous deterioration of biodiversity." He also mentioned China’s efforts in practicing the "Green is Gold" – a key development concept operationalizing Ecological Civilization and the country’s engagement with The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program since its early years. "The notion that natural ecosystems and the services they provide have a ‘value’ is becoming increasingly popular in China, however, the understanding and application of the TEEB approach by some local governments is still limited to calculating astronomical numbers on the books" he added, "it is expected that UNEP will provide more guidance and suggestions on how to apply the TEEB method in specific areas and scenarios to make socio-economic activities more friendly to biodiversity."
Mr. HUANG Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of China and President of CBD COP15delivered an opening remark
Ms. Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink, Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy of Netherlands pointed out that even in countries with very efficient agricultural systems like the Netherlands, biodiversity loss is still a challenge, so it is essential to promote a transition to more resilient food systems, and this requires a concerted effort and a balance between ecological, economic and social sustainability.
According to Mr. ZHANG Yaping, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it is important to "promote a sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems, protect biodiversity and restore degraded landscapes through a more systematic, comprehensive and scientific accounting of the costs and benefits of agricultural activities on nature".
Ms. Astrid Schmeiker, Director for Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism at the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment, presented the EU's many initiatives on biodiversity conservation, noting that the transition should involve every level and every individual, with a particular emphasis on recognizing the contribution of women and minorities to biodiversity conservation.
Representatives from governments, international organizations, academia, business, and civil society contributed vivid discussions and interactions around how making the economic case for pro-nature policies to achieve food system systems transformations is aligned with the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, including the need for metrics and framework, and challenges and opportunities ahead. The importance of accounting for positive and negative impacts and interactions in the context of food systems is repeatedly mentioned at the event given the fact that agriculture and food systems have a significant impact on nature, biodiversity, ecosystems, and the ability to sustain livelihoods.
The side event attracted more than 200 participants
The event was organized by UNEP, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the European Union, United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), and Capitals Coalition. It was attended by more than 200 participants on the site and more via the internet.