22 December 2022|News
12 December 2022, Montreal – side event "Exploration and Practice of Multi-stakeholder Participation in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use" was successfully held at China Pavilion during the CBD COP15 II part. It was co-hosted by Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment (NIES), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme – International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and Eco-Environment & Health (EEH). Mr. ZHAO Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Mr. David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary of CBD, and Mr. REN Hongqiang, Editor-in-Chief of EEH Journal attended the opening ceremony and delivered remarks. UNEP-IEMP Director Dr. Linxiu Zhang delivered a keynote speech entitled "Enhance multi-stakeholder cooperation and nexus approach for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use". In her speech, Linxiu pointed out that "climate, ecosystems and human society" should be considered as a coupled system, and all parties should actively use a nexus approach to realize multiple benefits, use their interactions to promote synergistic development, i.e., promote ecological restoration and better ecosystem service provisioning while adapting to climate change. Dr. Zhang said the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework should strengthen multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral research, and to combine multi-stakeholder efforts and active collaboration with governments and non-governmental organizations. She also emphasized that empowering women and promoting gender equality are critical to achieving SDGs and central to goals such as eradicating poverty and hunger, improving education and health, combating climate change, addressing environmental issues and others. Group photo of guests
22 December 2022|News
From December 11 to 12, 2022, the CBD COP15 parallel event, the 5th Scientific Forum organized by the CBD Secretariat and co-organized by the Chinese Society of Environmental Sciences (CSES), the United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), and the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), was successfully held in Montreal. The Forum aimed to provide a platform for scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations on how science, technology and innovation can contribute to the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Session " The role of the scientific community in the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework" was led by UNEP-IEMP in content and moderated by Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, who also delivered a presentation entitled "Strengthening the Role of Scientists, Communities and NGOs in the Implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework". In the presentation, Director Zhang pointed out that in the context of the multiple challenges to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, climate-resilient development requires considering the climate system, ecosystems, and human society as coupled systems. By sharing case studies of agrobiodiversity conservation for resilient livelihoods in rural areas from Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and China, she emphasized the importance of women's empowerment and promoting gender equality, implementing nexus approaches and bringing together cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary efforts, community participation, combining traditional wisdom and modern science, and private sector involvement. The venue for the forum In the session, science and technology and innovation actors such as research institutions, universities and companies discuss best practices in STI collaboration and innovation for transformation from multiple perspectives, including biodiversity (wetlands/oceans) and food security. The outcomes facilitate decision-making, monitoring and evaluation of government and business actions, and provide scientific guidance to promote biodiversity mainstreaming and public participation mechanisms with a view to making contributions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Negotiators and scientists from the COP, students from the Montreal area, and other COP participants, totaling more than 300 people attended the meeting on-site, and the forum provided a live online broadcast of the entire event, with a total of 1,930 online participants. Group photo of sessionparticipants
20 December 2022|News
On December 16, 2022, Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), was invited to give an opening speech at the Launch Event of Aral Sea Ecological Restoration Plan. This event was organized by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), together with partners from the Central Asia countries based on long term cooperation. In her opening speech, Dr. Linxiu Zhang stated the vital role of ecosystem restoration and sustainable management to transform lives and economies while safeguarding the planet.She congratulated the launch of the Aral Sea Ecological Restoration Plan by all parties, and highly appreciated the invaluable experience for further South-South and triangularcooperation in the Aral Sea and the Central Asia region. She also reiterates the statement by UNEP that "the future of Aral Sea lies in transboundary co-operation" and encouraged more interdisciplinary research, cross-sector cooperation in the Aral Sea region. Prof Chen Xi from the CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia introduced the Aral Sea Ecological Restoration Plan, including the driving forces of Aral Sea shrink, its negative impacts and proposed interventions based on experiments and pilots. Water saving technologies were recommended for both development and ecological restoration, together with other biological- physical measures to recharge and restore the drying Aral Sea.
11 November 2022|News
On 10 November 2022, the World Estuarine Cities Conference for Cooperation and Development was successfully held in Dongying City, Shandong Province. The conference is co-sponsored by Shandong Provincial People’s Government, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Yellow River Water Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources of China, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). With the theme of "Embrace the Sea for a Shared Future", the conference aims to promote exchanges, mutual learning and cooperation among the world’s estuarine cities. The conference consisted of an opening ceremony, a main forum and five parallel forums, among which the opening ceremony and the main forum were held in a hybrid format with in-person and online participants. Mr. Qingli Zhang, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Mr. Ganjie Li, Secretary of the CPC Shandong Provincial Committee, attended and delivered speeches at the opening ceremony, witnessed by major government leaders of Shandong Province and Dongying City, diplomatic envoys of other countries in China, representatives of international organizations, and officials of the host organizations and partners. Ms. Susan Gardner, Director of UNEP’s Ecosystems Division, addressed the opening ceremony on behalf of UNEP. She pointed out that estuaries were the rainforests of our ocean, and despite their importance, estuaries were on the front line of our triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and rampant pollution. She recommended we must support the global instrument to end plastic pollution, adopt the post 2020 global biodiversity framework, and stimulate public and private blue finance, so as to ensure economic circularity from source to sea and sufficient investment in nature-based solutions to protect estuaries. Ms. Susan Gardner delivering video speech at the opening ceremony The conference released several research outcomes and cooperation projects, announced the Dongying Initiative on Cooperation and Development of World Estuarine Cities and launched the World Estuarine Cities Partnership. As one of the co-organizers of the conference, Ms. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the UNEP-IEMP and her team attended the opening ceremony and the main forum online.
11 November 2022|News
Under the "Improving Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cambodia and China within the Framework ofLancang-Mekong Cooperation Project", financed by the UNEP-China Trust Fund Phase 2, the Action Learning mission was organized during24thto 27thOctober 2022 at the project pilot site- the PhnomKulen National Park in Siem Reap province. Its overall objective was to find out how the project interventions contribute to improved livelihoods and more sustainable landscape management. The mission, led by Edmund Barrow (consultant for UNEP), consisted of one planning day with the project team from the Ministry of Environment, Government of Cambodia, two days working with four Community Protected Areas (CPAs) who are the beneficiaries of the pilot interventions, and one day on reflections with the project team and the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Environment. In this regard, Tatirose Vijitpan, the project focal point from UNEP-IEMP, also participated in the mission. With the total participants of 72 (40 women), the mission collected reflections from the communities on the project interventions. In general, they found the interventions implemented so far (i.e. Integrating black ginger in cashew nut plantations; Bamboo for ecosystem management and local livelihoods; Free-range chicken; and Organic vegetables) helpful and still practice those interventions. There are, however, some more practical knowledge required. For example, some black ginger sites received too much rain that the black ginger became rotten underneath the soil; therefore the sites should be on the slope or hill. The communities are also well-aware of the benefits the project interventions have brought in terms of both their improved livelihoods and ecosystem management. Moreover, those project interventions are well-received because the communities are not allowed to clear more land to expand their cashew nut plantation in the national park; therefore those livelihood options can serve as promising alternatives, whichalso help to prevent deforestation for agricultural expansion (for cashew in this case). The communities also provided suggestions what they have learned in the process and what they wanted to do next.It is interesting to note that ladies dominated attendance and were very active in participation. Figure 1 Community workshop Figure 2Project site for Integrating black ginger in cashew nut plantation The results of this mission will become a basis for the project to further produce the knowledge products on "Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and Action Learning at Local and Integrated Landscape Management Levels", led by UNEP.
01 November 2022|News
From October 25 to 27, 2022, the annual progress meeting of the international cooperation project ‘Global Biomass Resource Sustainability and Climate Change Adaptation Management ’ jointly funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the UN Environment Programme (NSFC-UNEP) was held in Shanghai. Prof. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP and the foreign leader of the project, Prof. Yutao Wang, Domestic leader of the project, Dr. Mingxing Sun, Associate Professor of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Dr. Chengdong Wang, Associate Professor of Shanghai Ocean University, and relevant members of the project joined the meeting. Figure 1 The venue for the meeting During the meeting, the participants conducted field research in Chongming Dongtan Bird National Nature Reserve, and communicated with the researchers of the National Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Yangtze River Estuary Wetland Ecosystem in Shanghai, Fudan University. The participates focused on biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration in Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, and exchanged views on how to further promote the integrated ecological and green development of Yangtze River Delta, promote biodiversity conservation and the harmonious coexistence of human and nature. Figure 2 The field research in Chongming Dongtan Bird National Nature Reserve During the meeting, the participants conducted field research in Chongming Dongtan Bird National Nature Reserve, and communicated with the researchers of the National Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Yangtze River Estuary Wetland Ecosystem in Shanghai, Fudan University. The participates focused on biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration in Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, and exchanged views on how to further promote the integrated ecological and green development of Yangtze River Delta, promote biodiversity conservation and the harmonious coexistence of human and nature.
24 October 2022|News
UNEP caught up with Dr. Linxiu Zhang in recent days on the policy brief prepared by UNEP-IEMP on "Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Food Systems". As below is an overview of the special interview. Director Zhang mentioned that there was a huge gender difference in agriculture, such as a lot of barriers for women to get access to land, financial resources and technology. Some other studies also indicate a common gender difference in the labor market. Promoting the elimination of barriers to gender equality requires the combined efforts of all sectors of the society, especially those made by the practitioners and policymakers. Gender budgeting, as a popular tool for the gender equality, needs cross-sector collaboration. When talking about gender-responsive policymaking in agriculture, it is necessary to broaden the topic and adopt an integrated approach to consider the joint role of agriculture, health and education policies. Unfortunately, women are not well represented at the decision-making level. There should be consensus of policy makers on raising the awareness of gender equality and generating gender-sensitive policies. From the perspective of science-informed policy making, the statistics should include gender-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive indicators. Full interview page This interview has been relevant to and recommended as reading material on the topic of "Gender and Agriculture" under the joint Poverty-Environment Action between UNDP and UNEP
30 September 2022|News
With warm invitation from the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing, on September 28, 2022, Ms Tatirose Vijitpan, Focal Point of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Portfolio and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist of UNEP-IEMP, attended a meeting at the embassy, led by Dr Pasupha Chinvarasopak, Minister-Counsellor for Science, Science and Technology Section, Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing. The objective was mainly to introduce the work of UNEP-IEMP, particularly in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and Thailand, and explore opportunities to collaborate. During the meeting, several projects and activities in the region under the UNEP-IEMP Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CEL) flagship programme, Chinese expertise mobilized and South-South Cooperation aspects, as well as other global platforms were presented. The highlight was on potential partnership to engage Thailand and China in initiative on ecosystem restoration and local livelihood improvement. In this regard, the meeting came up with an initial plan to transfer know-how and technology from China to Thailand to use bamboo for ecosystem restoration and local livelihood improvement. This topic has been of interest in Thailand, from policy makers to farmers, but the country still lacks expertise and experience. China, as the world leader in bamboo industry, will be in the best position to fill these gaps. To realize this collaboration, UNEP-IEMP, with technical support from related Chinese institutions, will prepare a concept note. Once agreed upon, the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing will facilitate this collaboration with the relevant government agencies and institutions in Thailand.
30 September 2022|News
The United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) held its sixth Climate-Ecosystems-Livelihoods seminar titled "Carbon Neutral and Bio-based Economy" online on 29 September 2022. The seminar was given by Dr. Yutao Wang, Professor of Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Fudan University, Deputy Dean of Shanghai Institute of Energy and Carbon Neutralization Strategy, and Deputy Director of Fudan Tyndall Center, and facilitated by Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP. Nearly 200 researchers, students, and others attended the seminar. Based on the current global threat of climate change and the goal of carbon neutrality, Prof. Wang introduced the concept, classification, and development status of biomass resources, bio-based products, and bio-based economy respectively, which triggered the thinking of the sustainability of bio-based economy. Based on the existing research and literature, Prof. Wang introduced the research on the sustainability of bio-based economy for carbon neutrality from five dimensions: ‘path, cycle, resilience, coupling, and game’. At the path level, he stated the carbon neutrality transformation pathways of the traditional bio-based industry, taking the papermaking industry as an example. At the cycle level, he emphasized the analyses of conventional and bio-based materials (products) from whole life cycle perspective. At the resilience level, the sustainability of food systems for climate disasters and environmental risks is described, and the sustainability of marine food systems is discussed in combination with hot events such as the Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge plan. At the coupling level, he pointed out the correlation and feedback effects of biomass energy development on water resources, land use, and food security. At the game level, he discussed the competition between food supply and bioenergy in the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, he proposed research prospects from the perspectives of environmental impact assessment of emerging technologies (products), the impact of climate change on biomass resources, and the impact of temporal and spatial changes of biomass resources on economic and social systems. Online academic lecture During the interactive session, Prof. Wang and the participants had in-depth exchanges on data collection, scenario analysis methods, promotion of bio-based products, and trade security etc. The development of bio-based economy is an important way to achieve carbon neutrality goals and sustainable development. It is also a core issue of UNEP-IEMP's Flagship Programme on Climate, Ecosystems, and Livelihoods (CEL) to adopt integrated approaches to achieve win-win of ecosystem protection and livelihood improvement. The seminar increased the understanding and thinking about the sustainability of the bio-based economy, build a platform for interdisciplinary academic exchanges, and strengthened the communication between UNEP-IEMP and the institutions and universities in China.
15 September 2022|News
On Sep 12th 2022, the UN publication "Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development – Volume 4"got published during the UN South-South Cooperation Day event, in which project outcomes from UNEP-IEMP and its collaborating partners are well featured. The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation leads to record, systematize and facilitate access to development knowledge from and for the global South. This publication documents evidence-based good practices, showcasing over 130 development solutions that have demonstrated cross-boundary cooperation and knowledge transfer between countries of the global South and which are highly adaptable to local economic and social conditions. The three cases coordinated and contributed by UNEP-IEMP and its partners are towards achieving SDG2 zero hunger and SDG15 life on land. In the case on CropWatch, it showcased cloud-based agricultural monitoring platform for food security in the Zambezi River Basin, and particularly highlighted the CropWatch platform customized for Mozambique government for their agrometeorological forecasting and improving agriculture practices. Good practicecase on CropWatch: cloud-based agricultural monitoring platform for food security in the Zambezi River Basin The two cases contributing to SDG15 on ecosystem restoration showed partners efforts in Central Asia and the Sahel region of Africa. In the case of Great Green Wall in Africa, experiences and lessons of linking the world’s two largest deserts, the Sahara and Taklimakan deserts, through South-South cooperation and ecosystem restoration were analyzed and shared. Efforts in restoring the dry Aral Sea beds and bio-saline agriculture practices were well documented and shared in the Central Asia case. Good practicecase on linking Great Green Walls of the world’s two largest deserts through South-South cooperation Good practicecase on building ecological barriers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia These South-South cooperation outcomes well reflected continuous efforts in customizing, transferring and upscaling different technologies and good practices from China towards other developing countries especially in Asia and Africa, which UNEP-IEMP has been facilitating. These initiatives and projects are greatly supported by joint programmes between the Chinese Government and the United Nations Environment Programme.