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The Convention on Biological Diversity, The Global Taxonomy Initiative and managing local biodiversity Chris Lyal UK National Focal Point, GTI. Contents of talk. I’m going to talk about: Policy Biodiversity – variation at genetic, species and ecosystem levels

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The Convention on Biological Diversity, The Global Taxonomy Initiative and managing local biodiversityChris LyalUK National Focal Point, GTI
Contents of talk

I’m going to talk about:


Biodiversity – variation at genetic, species and ecosystem levels

Taxonomy – naming of species of animals, plants, fungi and microrganisms

Collections of those organisms

In the context of tourism and Protected areas

The Convention on Biological Diversity

Role of CBD:

  • International legal framework
  • Political agreement
  • To initiate and facilitate action
CBD: Objectives

Three core objectives:

To promote:

  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from utilization of genetic resources
CBD: How it works
  • CBD has 42 binding Articles:
  • Refined and regulated by ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP)
  • COP informed by ‘Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice’ (SBSTTA)
  • Executive Secretary and Secretariat manage process
CBD: How it works
  • COP has met 10 times
  • Taken 296 Decisions, many of them very extensive
  • Provide guidance on how to implement the CBD
cbd implementation action at a national level
CBD implementation: Action at a national level

Communication between Secretariat and Country is via National Focal Points

In Turkey:

CBD Focal Point (Directorate General of Nature Conservation and National Parks)

Protected Areas FP (Directorate General of Nature Conservation and National Parks)

GTI FP (Dr. A. Ertuğ Firat, Agean Agricultural Research Institute)

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety FP (Dr. Vehbi Eser, Field Crops Research Department, Directorate General of Agricultural Research)

cbd implementation action at a national level1

goals and obligations

national reports

national government

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

national laws

integration into other areas

conservation initiatives

CBD implementation: Action at a national level
CBD ‘Thematic areas’

Agricultural biological diversity

Dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity

Forest biological diversity

Inland waters biological diversity

Island biodiversity

Marine and coastal biological diversity

Mountain biological diversity

CBD ‘Cross-cutting issues’
  • Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI)
  • Impact Assessment
  • Identification, Monitoring, Indicators and Assessment
  • Invasive Alien Species
  • Liability and redress
  • Protected Areas
  • Sustainable use
  • Tourism and Biodiversity
  • Technology transfer & cooperation
  • Traditional knowledge
  • Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • Access and benefit sharing
  • Biodiversity for development
  • Climate change and biodiversity
  • Communication, Education and public Awareness
  • Economics, trade and incentives
  • Ecosystem approach
  • Gender and Biodiversity
  • Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
cbd tourism and biodiversity
CBD: Tourism and Biodiversity

COP Decision VII/14 in 2004

Guidelines on biodiversity & tourism development:

“need to improve awareness and exchange of knowledge between those responsible for and affected by tourism and nature conservation at a national, subnational and local level.” 

“national biodiversity strategies and action plans should include consideration of tourism issues, and tourism plans should likewise include full consideration of biodiversity issues.”

cbd tourism and biodiversity1
CBD: Tourism and Biodiversity

COP Decision VII/14 in 2004

Tourism projects - baseline information should include:

  • Maps, geographical information systems;
  • Detailed indication of the protected and biodiversity significant areas;
  • Specifications on the ecosystems, habitats, species;
  • Indexing of species.
cbd tourism and biodiversity2
CBD: Tourism and Biodiversity

COP Decision VII/14 in 2004

Impact assessments should include information at all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, ecosystem)

  • Species composition, genera, families etc, rarity / abundance, endemism / exotics
  • Population size and trends
  • Known key[stone] species
  • Conservation status
cbd tourism and biodiversity3
CBD: Tourism and Biodiversity

COP Decision VII/14 in 2004

“Prior to … any new tourism development or activities, an inclusive monitoring and reporting system should be put in place”

“important to raise awareness within the academic sector responsible for training and research on issues regarding the interaction between biological diversity and sustainable tourism, of the role that they can play concerning public education, capacity-building and awareness-raising on these issues.”

“Capacity-building activities can … include strengthening human resources and institutional capacities, the transfer of know-how, the development of appropriate facilities, and training in relation to biological diversity and sustainable tourism issues, and in impact assessment and impact management techniques.”

The Global Taxonomy Initiative

“The governments of the world that recognize the Convention on Biological Diversity have affirmed the existence of a taxonomic impediment”Darwin Declaration 1998

COP 6 endorsed a ‘Programme of Work’ for the GTI

COP 9 developed ‘outcome-oriented deliverables’

5 ‘operational objectives’

Taxonomic needs assessments


Improving access to information

Support for Thematic areas

Support for Cross-cutting issues

GTI Work Programme

taxonomic needs in turkey
Taxonomic needs in Turkey

Turkey’s NBSAP identifies several issues, including:

  • Pollinator – plant relationships need greater understanding; butterflies poorly known
  • Soil microorganisms insufficiently known
  • No effective conservation of insects in place due to lack of data and regulations
  • Insufficient number of qualified personnel in the areas of biosafety, genetic resources, information management systems, GIS, modelling, mapping, databases, medical plants, taxonomy, climatology, storage, ecology, environmental law
taxonomic needs and capacity building
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

For example: to manage a protected area the authorities may need to know:

  • What species are present?
  • What is their population density?
  • What is their distribution across the country / PA?
  • Are any genetic outliers present?
  • Are there any exotic invaders?
  • How do I monitor them over time?
taxonomic needs and capacity building1
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

This translates into a set of taxonomic needs:

  • Inventories
  • Identifications
  • Identification tools for non-taxonomists
  • Observational and specimen data
  • Distribution information
  • Standardised monitoring systems
taxonomic needs and capacity building2
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

And a set of taxonomic capacities required:

  • Taxonomic expertise that can be accessed in a timely and effective way
  • Access to specimen data from local and other collections
  • Creation of identification tools
  • Creation of distribution information
  • Ability to manage standardised monitoring systems
taxonomic needs and capacity building3
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

To ensure that information and expertise can be delivered:

Where it is needed

When it is needed;

In a format (and language) in which it is needed.

taxonomic needs and capacity building4
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

Strategic actions from Turkish NBSAP, 2007

1.1.1. plan to compile inventory, data and collection of invertebrates (especially insects), micro-organisms and fungi

1.1.2 macro-level inventory plan for biological diversity in order to have interrelated and coordinated studies

1.1.3. identification of reliable and economic biological diversity inventory methods and technologies

1.1.4. Correlation between biological diversity inventory studies and research on soil, climate and other issues

1.1.5. development and use of biological diversity indicators which are expressive, scientifically justifiable, practical and ecosystem-based

1.1.6. programmes for monitoring of ecosystems, species and populations under pressure and of the functional relations within ecosystems

taxonomic needs and capacity building5
Taxonomic needs and capacity-building

And strategic actions (from Turkish NBSAP, 2007)

1.1.7. In order to identify, classify and store the collected samples scientifically, the strengthening of academic institutions’ capacity and the achievement of an effective sharing of the data and information obtained by those institutions

Ecological Niche Model of Bufo species in Central Africa generated form Ghanaian data on GBIF. Red – high probability; blue – low probability.
  • 443,000 km2
  • 1976
  • 306,000 km2
  • Loss of habitat – use of ENM: Tamandua mexicana
  • (100% of original records through GBIF)
  • 1994
  • 291,000 km2
  • 2000
  • 246,000 km2
  • Tamandua illustration: SEMARNAT, Mexico
state of knowledge of biota in turkey
State of knowledge of biota in Turkey

GBIF mediates 157,564 records of animals, plants and micro-organisms from Turkey and surrounding areas

39,714 occurrences are georeferenced  

None of the records come from Turkish institutions (although Turkish databases exist – e.g. TÜBİVES)

state of knowledge of biota in turkey1
State of knowledge of biota in Turkey

“The number of insect species identified in Turkey so far is about 30,000, although the estimated number is between 60,000 and 80,000.(NBSAP, 2007)

“The number of invertebrate species in Turkey is approximately 19,000, out of which 4,000 species and sub-species are endemic.” (2010 MDG report; 4th National Report from Turkey; National Capacity self-assessment project (2010)

“There are 2000 genera belonging to 225 families in 14 insect orders and more than 25,000 specimens of more than 3000 species in the Plant Protection Museum” (Plant Protection Museum web site)

state of knowledge of biota in turkey2
State of knowledge of biota in Turkey
  • Inventories are being produced, but perhaps not coordinated
  • Taxonomic tools also needed
state of knowledge of biota in turkey3
State of knowledge of biota in Turkey

Some aimed specifically at tourism

other gti deliverables
Other GTI deliverables

Surveys etc:

Need to be carried out rapidly

Reports generated in short time

Standard techniques

February 2012

key actions
Key Actions

Turkish NBSAP, 2007:

  • “education of people specialized in taxonomy, ecology and genetic areas to be able to build up a … biological diversity inventory with the cooperation of education and research institutions, and the organization of those people so that systematized work can be done”;
  • “For identification and classification, capacity needs, including human resources needed in … taxonomy and ecology, are determined and actions to meet those needs are taken.”
key actions1
Key Actions

Turkish NBSAP, 2007:

“strengthen the coordination and cooperation among universities, governmental agencies and institutions, gene banks, museums, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, non-governmental organizations, private sector organizations and other organizations”