On 3 July 2014, a workshop was held in Berlin (Germany) to discuss biodiversity narratives and their implications for international cooperation as well as possibilities to improve the considerations of such narratives in German development policy. Organized by Ecologic Institute in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the workshop assembled 19 representatives from the fields of research and science, NGOs, embassies, conservation agencies and development organizations.
The aim of the workshop was to formulate concrete policy recommendations on how biodiversity conservation could be more effectively implemented in German development projects. In the first part of the workshop, different narratives regarding biodiversity were presented and discussed as well as resultant challenges for development cooperation. On this basis, the second half of the workshop involved working in smaller groups to derive policy recommendations for decision-makers and development organizations which can lead to more effective biodiversity protection.
Some of the participants expressed the desire for development cooperation to strengthen its internal discourse on biodiversity and improve the communication of its own biodiversity-related goals and strategies. Emphasis was placed on the need for donor and partner countries to develop strategies together through open dialogues, thereby also fostering knowledge sharing and the exchange of experiences. The importance of communication measures was also emphasized, particularly regarding the need for them to be inspiring, based in reality, and targeted at specific groups; environmental education for children and youth should receive particular emphasis. Moreover, development policy can play an important role in capacity building, providing advice, and strengthening institutions and governments in partner countries, which may serve to stimulate institutional and legal change.
Along with insights gained through expert interviews and two other workshops held in Ethiopia and Ecuador, the workshop results will be published in September 2014 in a study called “Quality of Life, Well-Being and Biodiversity. The role of biodiversity in future development models“.