Aichi Target 11 of the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity recognises the role of Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in protecting biodiversity, establishing corridors and connectivity, better representing eco-region conservation efforts, and finally showcasing a diverse range of equitable models of governance for biodiversity management. OECMs is a broad definition of delivering conservation outcomes which include Nature-based solutions under its ambit.
Nature-based solutions are actions to conserve and protect biodiversity and ecosystems for addressing environmental challenges of climate change, land degradation, food and water security, pollution, etc. These solutions serve as an effective framework for reversing the trend of biodiversity loss and economic inequality by increasing the alignment between conservation and sustainable development objectives. The theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on 22 May 2020, ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’ highlights that biodiversity conservation is the way ahead to ensure a sustainable future.
The Government of India along with the United Nations Development Programme, at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, initiated a unique and innovative mechanism - “The India Biodiversity Awards”, to identify and recognise such nature-based solutions. Since 2012, more than 600 solutions implemented by local communities, local-level organizations, academic and research institutions, scientists, private institutions and industries have been identified through the Awards process.
These are examples of collaborative and grassroots-driven conservation models that hold immense potential for replication and mainstreaming into national and global policy frameworks. To achieve this, it is important to create platforms for widespread dissemination of such initiatives to inform policymakers as well as communities and civil society organizations.
The interactive map below showcases some of the most unique, indigenously tailored & innovative initiatives identified through the Awards spread across the country.