DECISION 523
Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Tropical Andean Countries

THE ANDEAN COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS,

HAVING SEEN:

Article 3, letter e) of the Cartagena Agreement; Decisions 391 and 435 of the Commission of the Andean Community; and proposal 72/Rev.1 of the General Secretariat;

WHEREAS:

The Cartagena Agreement establishes that in order to promote the balanced and harmonious development of the Member Countries under conditions of equity, through economic and social integration and cooperation, and in order to attain a steady improvement in the standard of living of the inhabitants of the subregion, measures will be taken, among others, to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and the environment;

The Member Countries have sovereign rights over their own biological resources, pursuant to the stipulations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and in particular over those resources of which they are the countries of origin;

The Member Countries of the Andean Community host a high percentage of the planet’s biodiversity and hold the first place in the world in diversity and endemism of vascular plants, birds, amphibians, and total vertebrates (excluding fish); and the subregion is also the center of origin of important Andean-Amazon phytogenetic resources which supply approximately 35 percent of the world’s agricultural food production and industrial production;

It is necessary to intensify community action on the processes and international instruments needed to ensure more effective protection of the legitimate interests of the countries of origin of the biodiversity;

During the XI Andean Presidential Council held in Cartagena in May 1999, the Presidents, bearing in mind the fact that the Andean subregion is one of the world’s richest areas in natural resources, and that the Member Countries of the Andean Community concentrate approximately 25 percent of the world’s biological diversity, declared that this biological heritage is one of the greatest strengths of the Andean subregion and a source of opportunities for the development of its Member Countries. They reaffirmed that the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of this biological heritage calls for the coordination of policies and the development of a common strategy to guarantee sustainable development, contribute to the intensification and perfecting of the Andean integration process, and promote an equitable sharing of benefits;

At the XII Andean Presidential Council held in Lima in June 2000, the Heads of State of the Member Countries agreed on a minimal complementary work program 2000-2001 for the integration process, and it was decided to convene a meeting of high-level national environmental authorities, in order to conclude activities aimed at the adoption of a strategy on environmental conservation and sustainable development;

At the XIII Andean Presidential Council held in Carabobo in June 2001, the Presidents instructed the Environmental Authorities to define a Regional Biodiversity Strategy in the short term “ that would help to produce viable alternatives for sustainable regional development based on our natural resources and to orchestrate joint positions in the various fora for international negotiations”;

The General Secretariat of the Andean Community signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), to draw up the Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Tropical Andean Countries, by means of a participatory process led by the Andean Committee of Environmental Authorities (CAAAM);

During the Third Extraordinary Meeting of the Andean Committee of Environmental Authorities (CAAAM) held by videoconference on May 16, 2002, the delegations from the countries adopted the document “Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Andean Tropical Countries” and decided to submit it to the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers for consideration;

The Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Andean Tropical Countries is the result of a process involving the active participation of the Andean Committee of Environmental Authorities (CAAAM), together with representatives of different sectors associated with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity: the public sector, the native, Afro-American, and local communities, the entrepreneurial and academic sectors, civil society, and international organizations;

The Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Andean Tropical Countries has been conceived as a flexible instrument , adaptable both to circumstances that may arise in the course of its inplementation, and to the progress that may be made thanks to scientific and technological know-how;

It is of urgent necessity that we continue developing the Strategy in three simultaneous processes. First, by promoting ongoing studies on subregional biodiversity; second, by working as a team on the design and management of a joint portfolio of projects and supporting legal, administrative, and policy measures; and third, by drafting proposals for subregional integration based on the opportunity and responsibility of housing one quarter of the world’s biodiversity in our countries;

It is also a priority to guide international financial cooperation organizations on common priorities regarding the conservation and sustainable use of the Andean biodiversity;

The Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Andean Tropical Countries will help strengthen the identity and unity of the Andean Community and will give it more presence at the international level in dealing with environmental issues;

The present and future value of the Member Countries’ ecosystems and biological heritage is of vital importance to the cultures and economies of the subregion;

DECIDES:

Article 1.- To approve the Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Tropical Andean Countries contained in the document attached hereto.

Article 2.- The Andean Committee of Environmental Authorities (CAAAM) shall work on the updating and strengthening of the Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Tropical Andean Countries, covering areas that require conceptual, methodological, or technical development, as well as the inclusion of other aspects deemed of paramount importance for meeting the proposed goals, based on the evolutionary nature of this matter.

Article 3.- To instruct the CAAAM to draw up the Plan of Action and the Portfolio of Projects resulting from the lines of action identified, to ensure application of the Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the Tropical Andean Countries.

Article 4.- To instruct the CAAAM to report annually to the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers, through the General Secretariat of the Andean Community, on the progress made in updating the Regional Biodiversity Strategy and the development of the Plan of Action and the Projects. The first annual report shall be submitted at the meeting of the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers prior to the XV Regular Meeting of the Andean Presidential Council.

Signed in the city of Lima, Peru, on the seventh of July of two thousand and two.

 

ANNEX
REGIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY FOR THE TROPICAL ANDEAN COUNTRIES