Biodiversity, development and poverty reduction

Oct 10, 2010

Children celebrating International Year of Biodiversity 2010 (UNDP Yemen)

Biodiversity is an important issue that does not only refer to the environmental challenges that affect natural resources and its life; it affects also the quality of life, especially the vulnerable groups such as the poor, women and children.

Implementation of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Protection” requires a wide range of stakeholders including: policy-makers, regulators, scientists, academics, business and industry, nongovernmental organizations, the media, farmers, consumers, local communities and other groups.

“Biodiversity is Life and Biodiversity is Our Life” - A glimpse into Yemen‟s 2010 International Biodiversity Year Celebrations: Commemorating the 2010 International Biodiversity Year celebrations, UNDP and the Government of Yemen launched “Biodiversity campaign”, through a series of events that started in October, and ended in December 2010.

These events aimed at raising awareness among the key stakeholders and public on the significance of biodiversity in sustainable development, poverty reduction and people‟s day-to-day lives. They were conducted in Socotra, Aden and Hodeidah and included, painting competitions for school students, tree plantation in schools, awareness programmes among key community stakeholders, cleaning campaigns, road shows, exhibitions, and massive public awareness programmes.

For the first time, different UNDP projects under the “pro-poor economic growth” portfolio, (Sustainable Natural Resources Management, Socotra Governance and Biodiversity Project, Economic Diversification Support Project and Disaster Management Project) along with different government agencies, civil society organizations and schools have joined efforts to demonstrate linkages between biodiversity conservation, development and poverty reduction at the local level. There was a special focus on employment generation, promotion of green economy and livelihood approaches.

The line ministries included, Ministry of Water and Environment, Environment Protection Authority, Cleanness Fund, Ministry of Fish Wealth, Ministry of Education, Civil Defence Authority, and Governors‟ Offices in Aden and Hodeidah. The Biodiversity Week (from 12th December to 19th December) was designated to launch a large biodiversity campaign, through a biodiversity convoy, all over the country.

On the 12th December 2010, the weeklong celebrations were officially launched in Hodeidah and attended by high government officials, UNDP management, programme & projects, representatives from schools, universities, public and private sectors.

The "Biodiversity Convoy‟, representing the campaign, travelled along the country coastal plains from Hodeidah to Aden, raising awareness through different programmes among the stakeholders. In Aden, the second convoy team from Socotra joined. A public exhibition with all the paintings from competitions and awareness & promotional material on biodiversity was organized from 16th – 19th December 2010 in Aden mall, targeting the general public and school students.

On 19th December 2010, the closing ceremony of the biodiversity campaign was held in Al-Heswa protected area in Aden, which is well known for its demonstrated linkages among biodiversity, poverty reduction and community development. The event was attended by high government officials, UNDP management, programme & projects, representatives from schools, universities, public and private sectors.

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