The Cook Islands is one of 138 eligible countries that will be receiving financial and technical support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the Early Action Support Project (EAS), to fast-track readiness and early actions to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
The EAS project has several components, notably the provision to revise and update National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs). A NBSAP is a vital tool for countries in working towards achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Following the adoption of the GBF in December 2022, countries must now align their NBSAPs to the 4 overarching goals and 23 targets of the GBF, which seek to ultimately halt and reverse biodiversity loss and put nature on a path to recovery.
The Cook Islands current NBSAP was developed in 2002. The EAS project will provide assistance to countries to fast-track revision and/or updating of their NBSAPs, in alignment with the GBF.
An Inception and Technical Support Workshop for the EAS project for the Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe region was held in Türkiye last month. Jessie Nicholson, Biodiversity Co-ordinator, attended the workshop as the Cook Islands representative.
The workshop provided EAS project coordinators overall guidance on each component of the project, facilitated exchange of dialogue between countries and provided opportunities for bilateral sessions with partner organisations of the project.
“Our NBSAP is over 20 years old. This project will provide great support in ensuring that a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach is taken as we go through updating our NBSAP and aligning it to the Global Biodiversity Framework targets”, Nicholson said.
The project will start within the next few months and will end by February 2025.