UNDP boosted biodiversity conservation in Turkmenistan
The stakeholders’ meeting discussed for two days preliminary results of the development of national biodiversity strategy of Turkmenistan. The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) is essential element of fulfilling obligations under the UN Convention on Biodiversity, which was endorsed by Turkmenistan in 1996. Supported by the Global Environmental Facility, the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Nature Protection combined efforts in introducing innovative approaches for bilateral cooperation in the field of strategic planning and mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation into national and sectoral planning. These approaches primarily concentrated around the government’s increased ownership over technical assistance, substantial capacity building focus, wide stakeholder participation at all stages of projects’ interventions.
During May 6-7, 2014, more than thirty representatives of agricultural, water, environmental, economic sectors, academic institutions and NGOs gathered in the forestry department of the ministry of nature protection to discuss and adopt the main directions and goals of Turkmenistan’s strategy for biodiversity conservation. The inter-sectoral(ministerial) working group on BSAP preparation presented results of the mainstreaming exercise aimed at defining and specifying the complexity of interaction of economic country’s sectors and the biodiversity. The discussion was supported by the overview of international experiences and practices elucidated by the International Chief Technical Advisor.
Another group, technical group on ecosystem assessment and valuation, presented results of the introduction of the methodology of rapid ecosystem assessment and valuation (ESVAL). Consisting of representatives of eight governmental, academic and public entities, the group went through the sophisticated capacity building program, took part in the series of participatory exercises throughout the country and performed analytical work to define the substantive ecosystem services, supporting the economy, and to value their annual input of these services. Approved by participating leading economists from the British “Metroeconomica Ltd.”, whose staff participated in global ecosystem valuation studies, the methodology was firstly tested in Turkmenistan and allowed to defining ten major ecosystem services and their contribution to the economy.
Then the participants overviewed the main directions and goals of the national strategy on biodiversity conservation and presented their vision of the strategy, proposed changes in national goals and indicators. The participants noticed that the developing BSAP should become the policy strategy document which encompasses all sectors related to biodiversity and introduces its conservation in their plans and the strategy. The next steps of development process will be finalization of the strategy document and, jointly with relevant stakeholders, preparation of the detailed actions plans for each of the goals.
Project Manager, BSAP Project
Mr. Oleg Guchgeldiyev