Communication, Education & Public Awareness

Global Initiative on Biological Diversity Public Education and Awareness

In paragraph 2 of its decision V/17, adopted at its fifth meeting, held in Nairobi from 15 to 26 May 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity requested the Executive Secretary of the Convention, in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to convene a consultative working group of experts, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Commission for Education and Communication of IUCN, the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), representatives of Parties to the Convention and other relevant bodies to further advance and, in particular, to identify priority activities for the proposed global initiative on biological diversity Public Education and Awareness.

The CBD-UNESCO Consultative Group of Experts on Biological Diversity Public Education and Awareness, held three meetings, the first one in Paris, France on 11 - 13 July 2000, the second one in Bergen, Norway, on 19 - 21 November 2000 and the third in Bilbao, Spain, on 5-7 November, 2001.

At the Paris meeting the Group of Experts reviewed relevant existing and planned initiatives, decided to initiate a number of priority activities and discussed further steps in the development of the initiative. Specific recommendations were formulated in this regard. The Group concluded that both short-term and long-term strategies for the implementation of the initiative are needed:

  • in the short term, a series of priority activities such as demonstration projects, were launched and when possible completed prior to COP 6;
  • for the longer-term, the CBD-UNESCO Consultative Working Group of Experts continued its work during the period leading to COP 6 to further advance and technically supervise the initiative.

At the Bergen meeting the Group concluded that Public Education and Awareness:

  • should be integrated in all programmes of work of the Convention's thematic areas and cross-cutting issues;
  • constitute a professional discipline. Therefore, professional education and communication expertise should be included in all relevant education and communication activities;
  • should be a basic element in the Strategic Plan of the Convention and in all funding mechanisms on biological diversity.

At the Bilbao meeting the Group prepared a draft decision for COP 6 proposing that the Conference of the Parties:

  1. adopt the programme elements for the Global Initiative on CEPA;
  2. integrate this decision mutatis mutandis into the Strategic Plan for the Convention to accomplish its communication’s goals;
  3. treat CEPA as a cross cutting issue;

Click here to download documents pertaining to the Third Meeting of the CBD-UNESCO Consultative Working Group held in Bilbao, Spain, from 5 to 7 November 2001