Monday, July 11, 2011


drawing by Priya at the Plum Tree

I wanted to open this post with imagery as it would be rather text heavy other wise. Priya is from India and at one stage studied at the Queensland College of Arts here in Brisbane. She first wrote last year to explain this....maybe I found her wonderful blog first ... I do forget ... I adore her graphic drawings often form nature and of course the seed pods stayed in my mind and I had to post them here.

from tumblr-  click here.

This photograph is by Priya as well as the above drawing ... she wrote and explained it was one of may photographs she had archived at a Tumblr site which was hacked and lost. I can imagine so many beautiful images like this have also disappeared... so I'm very sorry to hear that Priya! You can visit her other tumblr site here.

ON another note today Heather Pierce kindly sent an update on recent material published as the outcome of the Dresden conference 2 weeks ago... called the Dresden Declaration it is part of the work being done in preparation for the Rio + 20 conference next year in July.

Read this detailed Pdf here from the Dresden Delaration. (Full version).

Below is an excerpt.

We, the participants of the international conference "For life, for the future: Biosphere
reserves and climate change", held in Dresden on 27 and 28 June 2011, issue the
following declaration:
Climate change mitigation, adaptation to climate change and the conservation of biological
diversity are among today's key environmental challenges. Rising to these challenges requires
strong political commitment and decisive action worldwide. In many cases we already have the
knowledge and technology to change our development path. We now have to mobilise our
resources and creativity in order to further intensify action towards sustainable development -
including changes in our behaviour.
The International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO "Man and the Biosphere" (MAB)
Programme convened for the first time in 1971 and laid the foundations for a new type of
conservation area - biosphere reserves. It declared the harmonious development of man and
nature to be its key goal. The idea of biosphere reserves has met with growing approval
worldwide and over the past four decades has become a great success. Biosphere reserves
represent a global network of model regions in which sustainable forms of use and options for
adaptation to changing ecological, economic and social conditions can be tested, involving all
The world network of over 560 biosphere reserves in more than 100 countries, established in the
framework of the UNESCO MAB Programme, adds the wealth of experience gathered over 40
years in and with model regions for sustainable development to climate change mitigation and
adaptation, and aims to make a substantial contribution to these processes as well as to the
conservation of biological diversity. We expect current global climate protection measures to
also satisfy the urgent necessities of biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use.
Since its establishment the MAB Programme has pursued innovative approaches in research,
monitoring, education and capacity building, management and in implementing model projects.
These approaches go far beyond nature conservation and are suitable as models for a
sustainable way of life. Biosphere reserves are thus an important element of safeguarding a
liveable earth for the future of generations to come.

UNESCO conference calls for better protection of biological diversity when mitigating climate change

On June 28 an international conference in Dresden concluded with an appeal to politicians to better use the comprehensive experience of biosphere reserves when planning and implementing measures of climate change mitigation and adaptation. The participants called for a closer link between measures addressing climate change, poverty alleviation and biological diversity, respectively.

Some 280 high-level experts from 80 countries discussed biosphere reserves and climate change during a two-day conference organized by UNESCO, the German Ministry for the Environment, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and the German Commission for UNESCO.  

The list of demands contained in the "Dresden Declaration" includes items such as strengthening the role of land use in carbon sequestration and developing new models of financing. 

Biosphere reserves are also called upon to "develop and expand partnerships with the private sector in order to identify, develop and promote local, national and international markets for sustainably produced goods and services and to advance a climate-friendly economy in the territories." In order to enable biosphere reserves to implement their duties and responsibilities, the conference participants claim sufficient financial and human resources in administrations.

Since 1971, the UNESCO programme "Man and the Biosphere" (MAB) explores sustainable forms of exploitation of the environment by humans. The central element of the MAB Programme is a global network of model regions for sustainable development: These "UNESCO biosphere reserves" work towards synergizing ecology, economy and social development. Currently there are 580 such sites in 114 countries. The intergovernmental governing board of the UNESCO MAB Programme has endorsed the Dresden Declaration. 

Short link to the "Dresden Declaration":

IISD is pleased to announce the launch of Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio +20) 

Click here to read an excellent Biodiversity update page - 8th July, 2011.

An article form April was I thought worth posting here for more information on Biosphere reserves.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: An international network for sustainable development learning

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) promotes collaboration for attaining three important global objectives: (i) conservation of biodiversity; (ii) sustainable use of its components; and (iii) equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the access and utilization of genetic resources and transfer of relevant technologies. The adoption in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, of a new protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to promote international co-operation with regard to objective (iii), will open a new era for international co-operation on biodiversity policy and practice to demonstrate that conservation and use of biodiversity are necessary conditions for sustainable development.
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves, now counting 564 places in 109 countries, has been developed by the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO, which commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2011. The biosphere reserve concept originated in the 1970s within epistemic communities of ecosystem ecology and park management. Although its origin was within the milieu of conservation of natural areas, including genetic resources contained therein, the concept of biosphere reserve has evolved since then to fully embrace the notion of sustainable development. UNESCO’s adoption, in 1995, of the Seville Strategy and Statutory Framework for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), established biosphere reserves as land/seascapes of resident human communities, a mosaic of land and resource uses and ecosystems and biodiversity of local, national and/or global significance. The Madrid Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves (2008-2013) now under implementation aims to make all biosphere reserves become learning places for sustainable development practice.
Nearly 20 years after its adoption in 1992, the CBD enjoys near universal membership of Nation States. Most countries now have biodiversity policies and strategies for implementing the Convention. However, as evidenced by the mixed results of the efforts of States to significantly minimize biodiversity loss by 2010, integration of the Convention’s objectives into sustainable development has not been an easy task.
A recent study (Persha et al, 2011)1compared data sets from 84 sites in 6 countries from East Africa and South Asia to draw conclusions and lessons on conditions that promote joint improvements in biodiversity conservation and forest based livelihoods. This socio-ecological study demonstrated that reliable land tenure for forest communities is an important condition for generating concomitant benefits for both biodiversity and livelihoods.
During the international decade of biodiversity (2011-2020), integrating the three objectives of the CBD into land/seascape-level sustainable development practices would require similar comparative studies based on a global network of places. WNBR could well be such a network. Individual biosphere reserves strive to link conservation of biodiversity with socio-economic improvements for communities. Participatory and action research, monitoring, education, stakeholder dialogue and collaborative management tools and approaches are used for building those links between conservation and human wellbeing. Emerging financial arrangements such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+), as well as broader carbon and ecosystem services markets, are attracting the attention of biosphere reserve administrators as opportunities for their efforts to forge links between conservation of biodiversity, human wellbeing, and learning and knowledge construction for sustainable development.
The added value that WNBR offers for international collaboration on comparative studies for sustainable development may be self-evident, but its realization could be made much easier if country-level UN strategies and plans, under frameworks such as “One UN” and the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), provide incentives to Governments, NGOs, private sector and other stakeholders to use these sites as experimental areas. For example, the Rio+20 Conference due in 2012 will discuss, amongst others, institutional arrangements for sustainable development. Comparative studies in biosphere reserves with a variety of arrangements in given political and cultural contexts could generate significant lessons and insights into ways and means of attaining the three objectives of the CBD within the broader framework of regional sustainability. A post-2012 era of closer co-operation among bi- and multi-lateral development agencies and emerging private sector and civil society initiatives for using biosphere reserves as learning laboratories could generate information, knowledge and experience for simultaneously improving the prospects for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable development.
1Persha, L., Agrawal, A., & Chhatre, A. 2011. Social and ecological synergy: local rule making, forest livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Science, 331, pp 1606-1608. 25 March 2011.

This event in Italy on Saturday just caught my eye too.


Climate Change and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: State of Knowledge, Risks and Opportunities

This seminar will include presentations covering: animal genetic resources; plant genetic resources; aquatic genetic resources; forest genetic resources; micro-organism genetic resources; and invertebrate genetic resources. Additional discussions will include setting the policy scene, and agriculture biodiversity and climate change. It is organized by the Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  
date:16 July 2011  location:Roma (Lazio), Italy  contact:Eva Hain, CGRFA Secretariat  phone:+39 06 5705 4981  fax:+39 06 5705 5246 www:


pRiyA said...

hi sophie, i am pleased to see my photos of seeds here. unfortunately someone hacked into my tumblr where i stored all my photographs and deleted the entire blog. rather upsetting especially seeing that this picture has become so popular on tumblr.

i request you to please remove the pjfish69 link and link to my blog post instead:

Sophie Munns said...

that is absolutely awful... a whole blog deleted by someone? For what purpose I cant imagine?
I actually just linked the image back to my tumblr and the long line of reblogs... after finding the source mysteriously absent as you say!
So what I will do is add a a little more about your blog so people can see your fabulous seed drawings and such!
best to you,

pRiyA said...

Thank you Sophie :-)

Sophie Munns said...

Its a great pleasure Priya... though I just noticed spelling mistakes when i was writing abut you... must fix those!

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