‘Mountains to the sea’ Implementation Planning Framework for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work | WWF

‘Mountains to the sea’ Implementation Planning Framework for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work

Posted on
26 June 2007

A tool for assisting the Parties in ecosystem-based, integrated implementation of the thematic programmes and cross-cutting issues of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Executive summary

WWF commissioned the development of this Implementation Planning Framework (IPF) for the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to assist them adopting a ‘mountains to the sea’ or ‘ridge to reef’ approach for applying, through one integrated platform, the convention’s thematic and cross-cutting programmes, and, to do so within the framework of the ecosystem approach.

The 2005 discussion paper which preceded this work (also commissioned by WWF) reviewed the contents of the programmes of work and proposed a single structure to accommodate all of them. This structure has now been further developed to accommodate the outputs from CBD’s 8th CoP.

The proliferation of programmes of work (both thematic and cross-cutting) under the CBD has created an institutional challenge for Parties: how to avoid fragmentation and segregation, instead drawing together the various elements into one cohesive and integrated effort. A fundamental premise of the ecosystem approach is to recognize connectivity between biomes, and the need for management to focus on maintaining these ecological, hydrological and other linkages. Taken in isolation, the thematic programmes are not facilitating the application of the ecosystem approach as they should be.

This ‘mountains to the sea’ Implementation Planning Framework (IPF) was commissioned by WWF to encourage the CBD to recognise this fundamental issue that now faces the CBD and those implementing it; whether at the global, regional, national or local levels. On one hand, the principles and operational guidelines of the ecosystem approach promote cross-biome, integrated, scale-relevant management approaches; on the other hand, the CBD thematic programmes are in effect working against that aspiration. What the development of the CBD’s thematic programmes has (inadvertently) begun to do is create a new set of sectors which those implementing the CBD must now address; namely, biome sectors.

In the Implementation Planning Framework (IPF) prepared here the seven CBD thematic programmes have been condensed from over 150 pages to less than 50 pages without any significant loss of content. A key advantage, from an administrative perspective, is that with this IPF Parties can consult one cross-biome implementation plan for landscape/seascape-scale planning, and, if required, also consult the existing thematic programmes for further clarification in relation to a specific biome.

In undertaking the development of the ‘mountains to the sea’ IPF great care was taken to retain the intent and fundamentals of each thematic programme (goals, objectives, activities) so that the integrated, cross-biome plan did not lose any of the ideas and activities that each contained.

The ‘mountains to the sea’ IPF does not aim to make the thematic programmes redundant; simply to take their contents and re-present them in a standard framework of sub-programmes, many of which correspond with the cross-cutting programmes of the CBD. As such, the ‘mountains to the sea’ IPF is designed to be a management matrix to help Parties with the complex task of implementing CBD’s extensive and challenging agenda.