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News Item:
European Commission (EC) Voluntary scheme for BEST: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories)

Deadline:  1 June 2012

EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) are home to
exceptional biodiversity. Situated in the three large oceans and at a range of latitudes, these entities
are very biodiversity rich and play host to more endemic species (species that are exclusive to a
restricted geographical area) than are found on the whole of continental Europe. Considering both
terrestrial and marine areas and their associated specificities, marine biodiversity constitutes a
significant part of the biodiversity in the Overseas Entities. The interaction between terrestrial and
marine ecosystems is key to their respective functioning. Effective management of vulnerable
island ecosystems protects island biodiversity, helps adaptation to impacts of climate change,
contributes to climate change mitigation and supports island economies and the way of life.The objectives of the preparatory action are to provide further means to protect biodiversity and
ecosystem services in the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories. In this
context, whenever possible, social, environmental, economic and governance dimensions of
sustainability are considered.

Specific objectives are:

a) promote the establishment and effective management of marine and terrestrial protected areas
(PAs) in the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories, also taking into
account already existing PAs;

b) implement sustainable management of marine and terrestrial resources, which contribute to
protecting important species, habitats and ecosystem functions outside PAs;

c) strengthen conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU
Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories by:

- addressing the wider ecosystem challenge of climate change by maintaining healthy,
resilient ecosystems and fostering green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to
climate change adaptation and mitigation which often bring multiple benefits;

- strengthening capacities at a local and regional scale, including the neighbouring countries,
by promoting exchange of information and best practice amongst all stakeholders including
local administration, landowners, private sector, researchers and civil societies etc… ;

- strengthening existing nature conservation programmes and related efforts within and
outside conservation areas;

- broadening the knowledge base and filling the knowledge gaps, including quantifying the
value of ecosystem functions and services;

d) encourage and facilitate transboundary working; addressing issues such as invasive alien species,
the impacts of climate change and the implementation of international conventions in particular
CITES2 and the three Rio Conventions3;

e) develop mechanisms to lever resources including ‘payments for ecosystem-services’ (PES).


see here for further details

item 983
[27-03-2012 to 01-06-2012]

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