The WEHAB initiative seeks to provide focus and impetus to action in the five key thematic areas of Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management. As part of the process leading up to the Johannesburg Summit, five thematic papers have been prepared following initial consultations with concerned institutions within the UN system. The papers are not intended to be consensus documents reflecting the totality of UN system activities in these areas. Rather, they try to provide a broad view of existing normative and programmatic frameworks in each area, to highlight interlinkages among the sectors, to identify key gaps and challenges and to highlight where further action is needed.
The 36-page booklet on ‘A Framework for Action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management’ (dated August 2002) provides an overview of key issues and challenges, summarizing biodiversity’s contribution to poverty reduction, livelihoods and human security and describing how diversity and sustainable ecosystem management is essential to progress in the four other priority areas of WEHAB (Water, Energy, Heath and Agriculture) and how it serves as the basis for sustainable development..
Challenges and obstacles to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use are enumerated, based on the work of the sixth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity held in The Hague in April 2002. Obstacles are grouped in eight categories ( including political/ societal, socio-economic, legal/juridical). There follows examples of frameworks for action for addressing the challenges and obstacles, an entry to major existing agreements on biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem management, and a sampling of UN system capacities in this area of concern.