CABES First Regional Workshop Held in Abidjan

The first Capacity Development on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (CABES) regional workshop was held in Abidjan; Côte d’Ivoire from 25 to 27 October 2022. The workshop conducted under the theme ‘’Co-developing strategies for sustainability in Africa: Utilizing products of the intergovernmental platform for biodiversity and Ecosystem services (IPBES)’’.  The workshop was undertaken to present the CABES project framework, raise awareness among various stakeholders on IPBES work program and how to engage them, and design domestic pathways for further national ownership of IPBES products like the new assessments on sustainable use and values. The workshop was attended by IPBES and CBD National Focal Points from 40 Western, Central and Eastern African Countries and stakeholders from Africa and Europe. 

The workshop was organized to strengthen the connections between African experts on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the framework of IPBES and has created opportunities for stakeholders to share their experience on strategies aligned with biodiversity and ecosystem services governance implementation and paved the way for their further engagement. 

Among others, during the workshop plenary discussion with policy makers, scientists and private sector; presentation and discussion on topics related to IPBES objectives, functions, and current development use cases of products as well as IPBES work program and stakeholders engagement were conducted. Likewise, speeches on newly launched IPBES assessments and case studies of IPBES products from Ethiopia and Cameroon were also presented. In this regard, the workshops enabled to commence discussions among African Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services experts on strategies for the national ownership of IPBES products.

Besides, briefing about CABES Science-policy practice interfaces (SPPI) Master’s Program followed by testimonials of Alumni of the program was presented. Presentation and plenaries on CABES’ plan to establish Regional, Sub-Regional and National Biodiversity Ecosystem Service Platforms followed by interactive working groups’ discussions and presentation of the findings were among the activities of the workshop. In this regard, the workshop enabled to gather information on experts’ needs and expectations related to the establishment of Regional, Sub-Regional and National Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Platform.

The workshop also created opportunity to introduce CABES’ project plan to support establishment of National Biodiversity platforms of eight African Countries (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, DemocraticRepublic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Madagascar and Sierra Leone). Ethiopia and Cameroon have already established National Biodiversity Platforms and shared their experience to the prarticipants. 

The workshop was opened by welcoming speech of the representative of the president of Université Félix Houphouët Boigny (UFHB) followed by a speech of Dr. Henning Sommer, coordinator of the CABES project about the project and briefing of IPBES by Prof. Sebesebe Demissew, Buearu member of IPBES. At the closing ceremony, a workshop communique was red by the representatives of IPBES National Focal Points and closed after issuance of Certificate of Participation. The workshop was closed by closing remark of Minister of Higher Education and Scientific ResearchofCote d’Ivoire representative.

Some of East Aafrican IPBES-CBD National Focal Point group and HoAREC&N-CABES project team