BEST initiative as the first interregional GLISPA challenge
"BEST has helped to raise awareness for the ecological importance of the Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories for conserving global biodiversity and we are working together with the partners to transform BEST into a sustainable partnership." - Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director Natural Capital, European Commission Directorate General for Environment
“BEST not only offers an opportunity to cope with problems, but also to engage with sovereign states, islands and I want to see this strengthened.” - Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Director, Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity
The BEST Challenge is a commitment to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate adaptation and mitigation in the EU overseas. This will be achieved through strengthening collaborations between sovereign island nations, countries with islands and EU overseas entities by sharing island-led solutions to global challenges. The Challenge also aims to inspire others in the international community to join the movement to build resilient and sustainable island communities around the world.
Launched by the European Commission with the Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands during a high level event at the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-13) in December 2016, the BEST Challenge is the first interregional challenge to be promoted through GLISPA.
Given the urgent need for global action on climate change, sustainability and social development, solutions emerging from the EU overseas can be bright spots to show us how to more rapidly achieve both global sustainable development and conservation goals in Europe and around the world. This will contribute to achieving the CBD’s Strategic Plan and its Aichi Targets, as well as the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate.
From commitment to action
BEST, the voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European overseas,has already committed more than € 13.4 million to finance over 60 projects addressing issues and threats faced by the EU overseas. These projects range from sustainable use of marine and terrestrial resources, to ecosystem services quantification and promotion, ecosystem restoration, conservation of unique ecosystems and endemic species, community based approaches to planning, and improving the knowledge baseline for adaptive decision-making.
“BEST has a very interesting approach combining a participative science-based framework that is valuable for informing decision-makers and a funding mechanism enabling a wide range of stakeholders to define and implement their projects, thus unlocking a great potential.” - Carole Martinez, IUCN Senior Programme Coordinator, BEST consortium Coordinator.