The European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”
The European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” is one of the 27 officially recognized Intergroups in the European Parliament. It brings together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all political groups and Parliamentary Committees with the aim of finding sustainable solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. EBCD jointly with IUCN provide the Secretariat to this Intergroup.
The Intergroup is composed of 11 Working Groups namely: Mediterranean, Energy, Transport & Tourism, Arctic, Maritime Affairs, Fisheries & Aquaculture, Water, Islands & Overseas Entities, Forestry, Agriculture, and Business & Raw materials (more information on the Intergroup).
The Intergroup organizes meetings, workshops, conferences, debriefing sessions, visits and roundtables under the various Working Groups allowing MEPs to listen, debate and shape ideas and policies based on contributions from the different stakeholders - experts, NGOs, private sector, researchers and academics -, with the participation of the European Commission, EU Presidency, and EU Member States.
Each Working Group is chaired by one or two MEPs. MEP Maurice Ponga and MEP Spyros Danellis are the co-chairs of the “Islands and Overseas Entities” Working Group, respectively for the Overseas Entities and for the continental European islands (more information on the WG). The interactions between their activities offer the opportunity to develop harmonized strategies as the islands they represent are facing similar challenges.
The “Islands and Overseas Entities” Working Group organized a very successful meeting on 7 May 2013 chaired by MEP Maurice Ponga, entitled: “Islands – Key Actors: what kind of partnership at the EU level?” This event benefited from the presence of Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, chair of GLISPA Steering Committee (more information on the event).On 3 December 2013, MEP Ponga will host a high-level conference in the European Parliament bringing together key European Commission Directorate-Generals with OCT representatives who will be in Brussels in the framework of the OCTA Forum. More information soon!
The EU Overseas Roundtable on Biodiversity and Climate Change
After the Conference organized in La Reunion Island in 2008 entitled “The European Union and its Overseas Entities: Strategies to counter Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss,” the “Message from Reunion Island (2008)” were issued and an EU Overseas Roundtable on Biodiversity and Climate Change was set up.
The purpose of the Roundtable is to provide an EU-wide flexible and informal instrument for coordination, dialogue and exchange among all Europe overseas actors, including representatives of the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), EU Member States, the European Commission, Intergovernmental organizations, civil society and experts (more information on the Roundtable). The EU Overseas Roundtable is meeting twice a year and is the instrumental platform for progressing the message from la Reunion and particularly the creation of a dedicated tool for supporting actions in the EU Overseas entities for which the European initiative BEST for Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in the European Overseas Entities has been critical.
The EP Intergroup and the EU Overseas Roundtable share common objectives and collaborate on various occasions at both the EU and International levels.
The BEST Preparatory Action and the IUCN BEST project
Initiated by the European Parliament, at the initiative and with invaluable support from MEP PONGA, the BEST Preparatory Action is implemented by DG ENVIRONMENT in the European Commission (more information on the BEST Facilitation project). As all preparatory Actions, BEST is limited in time (3 years) and 2013 is the last one of this initiative which funded a total of 18 projects so far covering all the regions where the EU Overseas Entities are located on diverse issues such as climate change, ecosystem services, management and restoration of ecosystems, marine spatial planning, and protection of endangered species.
Among the projects, one is aiming at contributing to the co-construction of the future and the follow up of this initiative: “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)”. This project is carried out by the IUCN EU Overseas Programme in close collaboration with OCTA, CI, EBCD, the Global island Partnership and the CBD Secretariat. In accordance with the EU Biodiversity Strategy, BEST has shown as well the possibility to set up partnerships for the EU Overseas Biodiversity since the French Development Agency (AFD) decided in December 2012 to contribute with an additional 800,000 Euros funding two projects and contributing to the creation of a dedicated tool further to the BEST Facilitation project
For ensuring the maximum participation of the EU Overseas Entities, the EU Overseas Roundtable meetings are key milestones for sharing views and brainstorming in addition of consultation and mobilization of the concerned EU DG’s, OCTs through OCTA, and the ORs.