Policy options for Latin America and the Caribbean Global Environment Outlook UNEP While playing avital role in maintaining essential ecosystem services, biodiversity is threatened by anumber of interlinked factors. Those include habitat loss through conversion, alteration and contamination of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from intensive economic activities. Because biodiversity deterioration has economic, social and environmental impacts on local and global population, addressing its pressures requires equitable, evidence-based, participatory, cross-sectoral policies 1 . states acknowledging the importance of biodiversity and their responsibilities towards imight want to consider implementing policies in accordance with article 10 of the Convention for Biological diversity d Applying the ecosystem approach (EA) to Biodiversity Management could, in this regard, help accelerate the region's progress towards meeting this goal. Poin Ts To REMEMBER " The ecosystem approach goes beyond conservation and promotes the sustainable use of resources with afocus on equity, participation and decentralization. " EA is not designed to replace other management and conservation approaches, but rather to complement and support them. " Application of positive lessons from prior experiences and their adaptation to local, provincial, national, regional or global context is avehicle for successful replication and transferability. s El ECTEd Go Al GEO5 provides ascientific analysis of selected environmental challenges and the solutions available to address them, including their environmental and social costs and benefits. Aglobal intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder consultation undertaken as part of the GEO5 process established a High-Level Intergovernmental Advisory Panel to identify and concur on internationally agreed goals to be analyzed as part of the GEO5 process, to identify gaps in their achievemen and to frame the regional policy assessmen The Panel also provided high- level strategic advice to guide chapter authors when evaluating the gaps in achieving these goals and identifying the policy options for speeding up their achievemen The Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Consultation was held in Panama City, Panama, from 6 to 7 September 2010. Participants at the consultation selected aset of regional environmental challenges, together with aset of internationally agreed goals which were considered to be the most effective in addressing these challengesor Biodiversity the selected goal is Convention on Biological Diversity DArticle 10 that reads as follow:Convention on Biological Diversity DArticle 10 Each contracting party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate: (a) Adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversityb) Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements; (c) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced; and(d) Encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities and its private sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological resources." GEo5 process reflects priority areas for environmental action in l AC Biodiversity Climate change Water Land use, land degradation and desertification Environmental governance © Montserrat Valeiras © Antonio Perera © Rodrigo Velaidez Latin American and Caribbean (LA countries face many challenges in managing their rich natural resources. Population growth as well as unsustainable global and regional production and consumption paerns, drive the increasing demand for - and extraction of - raw materials and other natural capital. This has led to the extensive conversion of natural environments to productive systems, with impacts on the region's biodiversity. To conserve and sustain terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, so that they continue providing essential services to the worldôs population within the biosphere, the fifth Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO5) recommends applying the ecosystem approach (EA) to Biodiversity Management as apolicy option to achieve goal sets by D's Article 10. Poli Cy o PTions With reference to the "˜structures, processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment', the ecosystem approach (EA) is recognized as an important strategy in biodiversity managemen especially in the context of climate change 2-3 . According to the Convention for Biological Diversity Dthe ecosystem (or ecosystem-based) approach "˜is astrategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way'. It can be applied in aflexible manner depending on the social, economic, environmental and cultural contex The EA is not designed to replace other management and conservation approaches, but rather to complement and support them (e sustainable forest managemen integrated river-basin managemen integrated marine and coastal area management and sustainable fisheries Approaches such as protected areas, corridors or biosphere and species conservation programmes, as well as actions under existing national policy and legislative frameworks, can be integrated to deal with complex ecological situations 2-4-5 . BEn Efi Ts The application of the EA has the following aributes: " Emphasizes adaptive managemen " Takes into account all usable goods and services and optimizes the mixing of their benefits; " Involves non-traditional forms of knowledge, including indigenous and local; " Is based on people, their society and their culture; " Is oriented to environmental and societal conservation; " Applies atwo-way approach "” top-down and boom-up; " Has along-term vision; and " Considers goods and services as the product of a healthy ecosystem and not as ends in themselves 6 . En ABlin GCondi Tions Experiences in LAC have shown that local communities are often socially excluded, leading them to have limited access to decision-making processes. In this contex management should be decentralized at the appropriate most local level, which would enable greater efficiency, effectiveness and equity in the decision-making process 2-7-8 . Other important conditions which would help to create an enabling environment for sustainable ecosystem management are: " Strenhening governance frameworks and practices "“ principally at the national level but also at the sub- national and regional levels; " Increasing capacity to manage protected systems and their biodiversity; " Improving research capability (see Case study 1) ; " Strenhening links between research and decision-making frameworks (for example compare "business as usual" and EA scenarios Box 1: Ecosystem An ecosystem is "a dynamic complex of plan animal and microorganism communities and their non-living environment interacting as afunctional unit" 2 . Due to the manifold dimensions of organisms they encompass and of the non- linearity of their dynamics and processes, ecosystems do not correspond to apre-determined scale or uni As aconsequence, the scale of analysis and action of the EA is not specified and should be determined by the scope of the problem being addressed. © German Miranda/IPS " Encouraging greater multi-stakeholder participation (see Case study 2 and
3) ; and " Establishing sustainable financing mechanisms and structures for biodiversity managemen Ch All En GEs And WAys fo RWARd Although there are several on-the-ground initiatives applying an EA in the region, the ad-hoc, single-project nature of these initiatives still remains achallenge. Such efforts need to be beer integrated into institutions concerned with sectors outside biodiversity conservation (e agriculture, fisheries, forestry and health More research is also needed to support the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks for each of the 12 principles of the ecosystem approach (see Box 2) 9-10 . In addition, issues such as illiteracy, land boundaries and the cost of participatory processes all need to be considered in integrating and assessing the impact of the EA in LAC 6 . Case study 1: The EA in aforested ecosystem olivia, Paraguay and Brazil) The Dry Chiquitano Forest ecoregion osque Seco Chiquitano or BSCh comprising an area of approximately 24 million ha extends through Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil. Being the largest and best preserved forest in South America, the BSCh contains numerous complex and fragile ecosystems. However, due to human activity, the ecoregion faces several threats including fragmentation, fire, changes in land use as well as global climate change. The first step toward the conservation and sustainable development of BSCh was the participatory design of an action plan which outlined the main challenges faced by the area. Key actions included (i) the need to "˜preserve ecological integrity at multiple spatial and temporal scales'; (ii) "˜to manage ecosystems within their functional limits,' and (iii) "˜to search for abalance between the conservation and use of biodiversity'. In order to do so, emphasis was placed on ecoregional collaboration which allowed the identification of biodiversity hotspots 11 . Conforming to EA principles, actions in the Dry Chiquitano Forest ecoregion include: multi-stakeholder conservation projects, assisting municipalities with land-use plannin providing forest management trainin conducting technical and scientific studies on biophysical and socio-economic characteristics of the eco-region, etc. 12 . The application of EA in the BSCh has highlighted the importance of certain key factors in ecosystem management including participation of local communities, decentralization of decision-makin seing priorities based on ecological integrity, and planning at multiple temporal and spatial scales 11 . It was also noted that ecoregional collaboration calls for adaptive management as amean to administer the complex interactions between distinct juridical-administrative and political stakeholders. While the Dry Chiquitano Forest ecoregion is commonly recognized as asuccessful example of the EA, some challenges still need to be overcome. Amongst them: " "How can connectivity corridors be established keeping in mind the different land-use plans (municipal, private, community levels)"; " "How can ecosystem integrity and biological conservation coexist with economic development". Case study 2: The Andean Pí¡ramo Project: the application of EA at the regional level The moors (Pí¡ramo) - atype of ecosystem located in the northern Andes between 3500m and 4700m above sea level - are known for their outstanding biological, cultural and landscape diversity 8 . The richness of their territory, their importance as water regulators, the diversity of their population and their trans-border location have contributed to their raising interes In 2003, the four South American countries with moorland (i.e. Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) together with NGOs and universities, came together in an integrated and international effor Based on the ecosystem approach, the Andean Paramo Project (APP) is aregional strategy for the conservation of the moors which focus on providing the local population with asustainable resource base 8 . With less than one-third of their territory unoccupied, moorlands have long been used by local communities and indigenous groups for livestock and agriculture production. Taking into account that local inhabitants have an important influence on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss (e dependency on traditional agriculture, underestimation and loss of knowledge and ancestral practices, lack of public awareness of the ecosystem, etc the APP has included those communities as an integral part of the management process. Trainin information campaigns and research process led to key management activities in 14 pilot sites. Those include the design and implementation of participatory management plans, the identification and promotion of formal (legislative and official) and informal (arrangemen policy options at the local, regional, national and ecoregional level, as well as environmental training combining both ancestral and scientificechnical knowledge 12 . Valuable lessons have been highlighted by the application of the ecosystem approach in aconservation project at the regional level: " People are an integral part of the ecosystem, making its management asocietal decision; " Decentralization enables wider audiences in the decision-making process; and " The establishment of an adaptive approach allows acknowledging local dynamics 8 . However, some challenges remains as how to find alternative land-use opportunities for local population and how to address the underlying causes of degradation which often calls for trans-border and cross-sectoral collaboration. Case study 3: improving water management using the EA approach in south America (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay) With its 3. 1 million km 2 and draining approximately one-fifth of the South American continen the La Plata River Basin (LP is one of the largest and most diverse river basins in the world. This area of unique natural characteristics is home to more than 100 million people, has 57 cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants and sustains 70% of the GDP of the five riparian countries razil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina figure 1: La Plata River Basin Human activity in the area has however exacerbated climatic events, causing "˜severe environmental impacts which complicate development efforts, increase social problems, and threaten the environmental sustainability' 13 . Given the size of LPB and the spectrum of pressures (in terms of types and intensity) throughout its area, aregional-level and case specific intervention was required to reverse negative environmental trends. In that contex aproject that would combine integrated water resources management with an ecosystem approach appeared to pave asuitable path forward. Formulated under the leadership of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Commiee for the La Plata Basin Ithe La Plata River Basin's project aims at trans- boundary cooperation in order to ensure shared management of water resource. Main project characteristics are: 1. Harmonizing the institutional and legal framework between involved countries; 2. Promoting stakeholder participation communication, and education; and 3. Monitoring and evaluation of the plan, as an integral part of project managemen The project will be conducted over afive years period (2008-2013) with atotal cost of US$62 million (US$11 million coming as agrant from the Global Environmental Facility (GE and US$51 million from the five participating countries GEO5 THEME: BIOD IVERS IT YPO LI CY : Apply in he ecos ystemapproach (EA) to biodiv ers ity ma nageme nt Case study 4: Applying EA in the management of coastal and marine PAs in Chile Focusing on the conservation and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources and using EA as aframework, the Chilean Coastal Biodiversity Conservation Project (GEF- Marine Projec commenced in 2005 with financial help from the Global Environmental Fund (GE This biodiversity conservation project aims to manage natural resources, protect threatened marine species, reduce use conflicts, promote research and education opportunities, as well as support commercial and recreational activities (in accordance with conservation purposes) 14 . In order to do so, the GEF-Marine Project has designated three multiple-use marine and coastal PAs (MU-MCPA) which were located in one of the country's three bio-geographical macro-regions: 1. Isla Grande de Atacama in the Atacama region; 2. Lafken Mapu Luhual in the Francisco Coloane region; and
3. Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic region. In developing and structuring conservation activities, communities and local population were regarded as the main stakeholders in MU-MCPAs' conservation actions 14 . Key factors which have been given aention in the MPAs are research, incorporation of local communities in management of the ecosystem, and incorporation of the areas into national land use plans 14 . Box 2: The 12 principles of the EA 9 The following 12 principles are complementary and interlinked. 1. The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are amaer of societal choices. 2. Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level. 3. Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems. 4. Recognizing potential gains from managemen there is usually aneed to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic contex
5. Conservation of ecosystem structure and functionin in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be apriority target of the ecosystem approach.
6. Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functionin 7. The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. 8. Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term.
9. Management must recognize that change is inevitable. 10. The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity.
11. The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices.
12. The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and related disciplines. REPli CATion And TRAnsf ERABili Ty The great variability between ecosystem contexts (due to variations which include political will, financial capability and human capacity makes it difficult to replicate experiences. Understanding the specific environmental conditions in different areas and the links between the socio-economic and political systems may play arole for asuccessful replication and transferability. In this regard, the application of positive lessons from prior experiences and their adaptation to local, provincial, national, regional or global contexts is always good practice. Several international conventions, processes and mechanisms are providing greater support and opportunities for countries to more effectively integrate ecosystem management and conservation into their decision-making frameworks "“ ethe D, the UND, TEE the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES These should help to provide amore coherent and comprehensive framework for the transfer and replication of efforts in the Region.