Good, better, the BEST
IUCN and partners submitted a successful offer to the open call for tender for “Measures towards sustaining the BEST preparatory action to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in EU outermost regions and overseas countries and territories”, through which the European Commission implemented the third year of the BEST Preparatory Action. The contract was signed in 2 December 2013 and will run for 4 years.
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About the project
The overarching aim of the contract is to implement useful and critical measures for the future of BEST and sustaining the EU’s BEST initiative. The different activities will also constitute an important step towards implementing the Message from La Reunion and more specifically for the development of a voluntary scheme and the preparation of a dedicated financial mechanism both included in the 2008 agreement.
During the project 7 regional knowledge hubs will be set up to develop 7 regional ecosystem profiles fully capitalising on and in collaboration with on-going activities. This work shall ensure facilitation and anchorage of the European BEST initiative at the local level, foster dialogue in close consultation with the local actors on the priorities and the needs and ease the development of the BEST strategies and agreed activities.
In addition a platform will be set up that shall enable and facilitate information-sharing on funding availability from different sources (EC but also MS and other possible partners — from international financial institutions to NGOs to private organisations and companies) for projects aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in EU outermost regions and overseas countries and territories. This structure/platform will also serve as clearing house making information available between the finance providers and possible project implementers, as well as profiling projects and highlighting the opportunities for investments.
The contract has two main parts:
- Part 1: Setting up and facilitating an interactive platform that will include the following tasks: setting up a BEST working team including 7 regional knowledge hubs, developing and managing an interactive website, setting up a steering committee and organising biannual steering committee meetings, enabling and facilitating information-sharing on funding availability, leverage of funds and outreach, and developing BEST strategies in close collaboration with ongoing activities, with local governments, stakeholders and civil society.
- Part 2: Developing 7 regional ecosystem profiles and BEST strategies for better profiling the challenges and the needs for support in the ORs and OCTs. It will seek for synergies with relevant ongoing activities and the establishment of regional ecosystem profiles and BEST strategies for investment with the help of local actors, supported by the regional knowledge hubs as established in Part 1.
BEST projects around the world
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BEST consortium partners
In April 2012, IUCN and partners were granted the European Commission funding for the project “Building partnerships and awareness of Europe overseas biodiversity and climate change for the future of an EU Voluntary Scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST)”.
About the project
The project aims to strengthen biodiversity conservation and climate change adaption in Europe overseas by:
- raising Europe overseas’ profile and generating support for action;
- proposing mechanisms to enhance biodiversity and climate change policies and programmes targeted at Europe overseas.
In particular, between 2012 and 2014 we have joined forces to:
- strengthen EU level partnership mechanisms, information sharing, networking mechanism for coordinated and informed action on Europe overseas, building on existing initiatives;
- develop proposals to the EC for the sustainability of a BEST initiative, based on initial guidance of the Europe Overseas Roundtable on Biodiversity and Climate Change, and informed by expert advice on innovative solutions for governance and financial mechanisms;
- raise awareness and mobilize support for Europe overseas biodiversity and climate change at regional, EU and international levels, showcasing BEST and other Europe overseas initiatives on biodiversity and climate change, thus demonstrating leadership and excellence of Europe overseas in the EU and international fora.
The European Union's BEST Initiative to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate adaptation and mitigation, in the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories is a follow-up to the Message from Reunion Island (2008).
Through the BEST Preparatory Action, initiated by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission, 16 projects were funded under the Open Calls for Proposals BEST-2011 and BEST-2012. 2 reserve list projects were funded through the Agence francaise de Développement.
The 18 BEST projects include activities in the regions of the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean Region, French Guiana, Greenland, Antarctic and Macaronesia. They address issues such as activities for designation and management of terrestrial and marine protected areas, activities for combating invasive alien species, synergies using ecosystem services for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as networking, education, capacity building and outreach activities.