On April 23-24th, a “South-South Exchange Workshop: Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Livelihoods Knowledge Sharing” was successfully organized in Beijing. The workshop was co-sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), and the National Ecosystem Research Network of China (CNERN). It was organized by the UN Environment-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Over 50 representatives from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS, namely Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and some international organizations participated in the workshop.
The workshop aimed to have the exchange of knowledge, experience and tools on ecosystem-based approach towards climate change adaptation and sustainable livelihoods. With comprehensive presentations and interactive discussions, the governmental representatives and UN officials, practitioners, scientists and officials from the development agencies expressed their ideas and views on the topics of ecosystem assessment, ecosystem-based interventions, ecosystem-based planning, and evaluation of interventions. Participants appreciated CERN and CNERN`s sharing of the experience in the past decades on ecosystem monitoring, research and ecosystem management, which has proved that long-term investment in ecosystem can be rewarded with both enhanced ecosystem services and more sustainable livelihoods.
Participants applauded the UNEP-IEMP platform for South-South cooperation and made a number of follow-up recommendations to enhance GMS South-South cooperation, including capacity building on ecosystem approach by sharing China’s experience, building concrete demos, regular policy exchanges through existing mechanisms, organizing exchange visit to field sites, and using inter-disciplinaryapproach to address multi-stakeholder concerns.
The workshop was followed by two project-level consultation workshops on April 25-26. Participants discussed in detail to formulate concrete GMS regional projects on ecosystem-based adaptation and ecosystem management for sustainable livelihoods.
Such regional projects by involving Chinese partners can potentially enhance the linkages between the upper and lower reaches of this river basin through policy dialogue, knowledge exchange, technology transfer and capacity building.
The United Nations Environment Programme – International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), hosted by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, is the first UN Environment Collaborating Centre in the South and for the South. It is a joint venture between UN Environmentand the Chinese Academy of Sciences, supported by the Government of China. Since its inception in 2011, the Centre has been at the forefront of mobilizing science to support policy setting for sustainable ecosystem management in developing countries. It promotes integrated approach for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Pairs Climate Agreement through the ‘Climate, Ecosystem and Livelihoods’ flagship programme. The Greater Mekong Sub-region is one of UNEP-IEMP`s focal regions.