Side event at the CBD Global Workshop on NBSAPs Revision Process, 12 November 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya

IIED and partners organised a side event at the November 2013 global workshop on National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs). The side event provided an opportunity for members of the  'Mainstreaming biodiversity and development' project to share lessons learned.

Article, 21 May 2014

In November 2013 the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened a global workshop to review progress on efforts by governments to revise and update their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs).  The workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

IIED and partners organised a side event on the 'Mainstreaming biodiversity and development' project. This project aims to support African countries to use their NBSAPs to integrate biodiversity into development policy and planning. 

Representatives from Botswana, the Seychelles and Namibia – all project members – presented their key lessons learned. You can see more about their presentations below.


Dineo Gaborekwe from Botswana stressed the importance of:

  • Wide consultation and dialogue with principal stakeholders
  • Taking a multi-sectoral approach and
  • Using a range of methods such as environmental impact assessment to gather evidence and build a strong case for mainstreaming.

Botswana expects to complete its NBSAP Review project and associated deliverables by the end of April 2014.


Namibia's biodiversity mainstreaming process included using strategic environmental assessment in the Fourth National Development Plan, integrating ecosystem services in the assessment, regional integrated land use planning and mobilising resources mobilisation to roll out the updated biodiversity strategy in Namibia over three years.

Namibia had learnt the importance of:

  • Having permanent governance structures – a committee whose members included the relevant ministries, nongovernment organisations, the media and donors – to supervise and guide NBSAP implementation.
  • Effective  communication. A tailored strategy was needed for each target audience. 
  • Support provided through the Sustainable Advisory Council as a high level policy advisory institution chaired by the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Trade. 


Seychelles said that:

  • Sharing experiences with other project members had been invaluable
  • Having access to expert advice had made a difference.

In Seychelles, biodiversity mainstreaming has started in specific sectors, including harmonising environment and land use planning legislation, shared management of ecologically important areas with the owners and operators of tourism establishments, and community-based involvement in setting up an eco-management system between the Seychelles Fishing Authority and artisanal fishers.

The NBSAP revision process has used the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (SSDS) as the main guidance for the new draft NBSAP and creating an implementation unit within the SSDS council that directly feeds backs to the National Development Plan, thereby facilitating integration.

Seychelles stressed the benefits of being an NBSAP 2.0 project country: supplementary funding being part of the team to develop and assess new tools such as the rapid diagnostic tool, the Ten steps to mainstreaming biodiversity and Developing a business case for biodiversity).

Comments from the audience touched on how to translate mainstreamed policies into practice, the role of indigenous people and the need to share experiences and lessons learned. Commentators also raised the importance of knowing what works and what doesn't in mainstreaming and the importance of tracking progress towards biodiversity mainstreaming at national level.

Side event presentations

View the presentations – including an overview of the NBSAPs 2.0 project – on IIED's Slideshare site or below.

NBSAPs 2.0 – Project overview: Abisha Mapendembe, UNEP-WCMC

Mainstreaming experiences and lessons learned from NBSAP 2.0 Project in Botswana: Dineo Gaborekwe, Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism

Mainstreaming experiences and lessons learned from NBSAP 2.0 Project in Seychelles: Marie May Jeremie and Annike Faure, Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Transport

Mainstreaming experiences and lessons learned from NBSAP 2.0 Project in Namibia: Jonas Nghishidi, Department of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Tourism