3rd Annual research and Evidence Indaba
Background and Introduction
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is committed to strengthen the knowledge, science and policy interface. This commitment is guided by the Environment Sector Research, Development and Evidence framework approved by MINMEC in June 2012. This framework provides for the development of sector thematic evidence strategies and plans as identified in the framework which includes: Sustainable Development and the Green Economy, Biodiversity & Conservation, Climate Change & Air Quality, Oceans and Coasts, Chemicals and Waste; Impact Management and Compliance and Enforcement. As such, the Minister approved for implementation, the first thematic strategy, the National Biodiversity Research and Evidence Strategy (NBRES) in 2015. The strategy emphasizes the need for ongoing interaction between the research, community and policy and decision makers in order to ensure that research evidence is cognisant of all forms of knowledge gaps that hinder good decision making and that decision makers have access to the latest knowledge.
An inclusive process for developing an implementation plan for this strategy was concluded in March 2016 and a further updating of the implementation plan was undertaken in August 2016 through the hosting of the inaugural Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba, and a second indaba was hosted in August 2017. The implementation plan requires annual updating to meet the needs of national priorities and interests. The updating is done through participatory movement of priorities between short, medium and the long term. The lessons learned from the past indaba are that we need to move towards further refinement towards the top ten priorities for the sector. To this effect an Annual Research and Evidence Indaba is planned for, which will convene identified key strategic partners, interested and affected stakeholders and subsequently assist in updating the implementation plan annually.
Structure and expected outcome of the 2018 Indaba
The Indaba is scheduled to take place from 26th – 27th July 2018. The first day of the Indaba will consist of content presentations on progress (successes and barriers) of research & evidence priorities of the sector aligned to the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) strategic objectives. Reflections on progress on the five thematic focal areas that have been identified for this year’s Indaba will take place in parallel fish bowl sessions on the first day. While the second form of mainly plenary and fish bowl sessions. Key strategic partners as identified in the implementation plan and interested and affected stakeholders, will dialogue on the science, policy, practice, people interface. The dialogue will focus on progress on the implementation plan in particular issues relating to successes and barriers. This takes into consideration that this year the sector is celebrating 25 years of action for biodiversity science and its progress towards policy, practice, people interface.
The focus of the 2018 Indaba will be on providing an integrated approach to responding to key evidence priorities in the sector. The indaba will provide a platform for evidence priorities to be discussed from the lens of the science, policy, practice and people that are an integral part of the overall NBRES. In this regard, selected themes will be outlined using this approach and the key messages, lessons learnt will be incorporated into the NBRES annual report.
The 2018 Indaba key focal areas aligning to government priorities, the NBSAP and the domestication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are: Biodiversity economy (with a specific focus on Elephant Management) on) and;
The expected outcome of the 3rd annual NBRES Indaba is to produce a participatory report on progress achieved in the implementation plan towards the top ten research and evidence priorities of the sector which includes the following amongst others:
- Rehabilitation and restoration (with a specific on Alien Invasive species);
- Species of special concern (with a specific focus on Elephant Management);
- Global change (with specific focus on nexus between biodiversity and climate change adaptation, including land degradation) and foundation biodiversity;
- The expected outcome of the 3rd annual NBRES Indaba is to produce a participatory report on progress achieved in the implementation plan towards the top ten research and evidence priorities of the sector which includes the following amongst others.