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GRASSLANDS UNDER THE RIO

CONVENTIONS’ OLBIGATIONS
Antofie M.M.1, Abrudan I.2, Popa B.2, Toza V.,3 Iagăru P.1.
Sand C.1, Ciortea G1., Ştefănescu R.
R.4, Pop D.4,

1 “University Lucian Blaga from Sibiu,


Sibiu, Romania
2 “University Transilvania”
Transilvania” from Brasov,
Brasov, Romania
3 “Access Advisory Group SRL", Bucharest, Romania
4 “University of Ecology”
Ecology” Bucharest, Romania

Grassland ecosystems are loosely defined as areas dominated by grasses


grasses (Graminaceae
(Graminaceae)) or grass-
grass-like plants
with few woody plants. Periodic drought, highly seasonal rainfall,
rainfall, fire and grazing by large herbivores are
typical characteristics of natural grassland and savannah ecosystems
ecosystems
(Annex of the UNEP/CBD/COP/9/29, Convention on Biological Diversity) Diversity)

CBD UNFCCC UNCDD

[1] Generally grassland ecosystem is used in close


[1] Grasslands are ecosystem’
ecosystem’s types conjunction with forests, croplands and wetlands.
Synergies between the Rio Conventions
[2] It is cited 15 times for all taken decisions up to 2008 (Bonn 1] Grassland is an ecosystem type
(Bonn [2] It is cited 105 times for all taken decisions up to 2009
COP 9). (Copenhagen COP 15). [2] It is cited over 25 times for all taken decisions under
[3] Important for conservation and sustainable use. SBSTTA [3] Importance: monitoring for GHG emissions: CO2 UNCCD up to 2009).
has got into their own modus operandi to address the subject sink (FCCC/CP/1996/15/Add.1), CO2 emission, CO2 [3] Important for combating desertification,
(Annex II of UNEP/CBD/4/16). Based on the Decision of the removal, CH4, NO2, CO and NOX. (tab.le conservation and sustainable use. use.
(tab.le 1 of
UNEP/CBD/5/23 which takes into consideration options for FCCC/CP/2002/7/Add.2). Starting with 2003 land covered ICCD/COP(3)/9: UNEP 1999, Attention paid by the SBSTA
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in by grassland is for the first time separately treated in the through the study entitled “Assessment of the status and
dryland, trends and options for conservation and sustainable use of
dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-semi-arid, grassland and context of LULUCF (Annex 1 of FCCC/CP/2003/6/Add.1).
savannah ecosystems at point no. 1 it establishes a Land conversion to grassland and from grassland to other terrestrial biological diversity: dryland,
dryland, Mediterranean, arid,
programme of work on the biological diversity of dryland, semi-
semi-arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems”
ecosystems”
dryland, options (table 5 C FCCC/CP/2003/6/Add.1) such as forest,
Mediterranean, arid, semi- (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/4/7). Decision IV/16, annex II, is
semi-arid, grassland, and savannah cropland, wetland, settlements. Organic soils and mineral
ecosystems, which may also be known as the programme on soils characterization for the grassland (table 5 (III) focused on “Dryland,
Dryland, Mediterranean, Arid, Semi-
Semi-arid,
"dry and sub- Grassland and Savannah Ecosystems”
Ecosystems”.
sub-humid lands", bearing in mind the close linkages FCCC/CP/2003/6/Add.1) moreover for Limestone CaCO3
between poverty and loss of biological diversity in these and Dolomite CaMg(CO3)2. 1996 IPCC Guidelines and ICCD/COP(6)/4 Annex Joint work programme between
areas. Part of the Pollinator’ the secretariat of the convention on biological diversity
Pollinator’s Initiative (Annex II of the should include information on how it calculated totals for
UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20) and also part of productive forest and grassland conversion. All data reported should and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to
ecosystems according to Appendix 3. be consistent with recommendations of Intergovernmental Combat Desertification on the biological diversity of
Target 4: At least 10% of each of the world’ dry and sub-sub-humid lands. At its fifth meeting, the
world’s ecological Panel on Climate Change Good Practice Guidance for
regions effectively conserved of the UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20 Land Use, Land- Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological
Land-Use Change and Forestry.
Forestry.
states that about 10% of the land surface is currently covered (FCCC/KP/CMP/2005/8/Add.1) Advice (SBSTTA), prepared a programme of work on the
by protected areas. This decision clearly request to the Parties biological diversity of dryland,
dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-
semi-
to (i) increase the representation of different ecological arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems for the
regions in protected areas and (ii) increasing the effectiveness consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its fifth
of protected areas among which are mentioned also meeting (recommendation V/8, annex) and recommended
grasslands. Effective conservation is understood to mean that that the Conference of the Parties should request the
the area is managed to achieve a favorable conservation Executive Secretary to collaborate with the Secretariat of
status for plant species and communities. Various approaches the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in
are available for use in the identification of ecological regions, the implementation of the programme of work, including
regions,
based on major vegetation types. Target 6: At least 30 per through the development of a joint work programme
cent of production lands managed consistent with the between the two conventions. This was emphasized by the
conservation of plant diversity for which the decisions Conference of the Parties in its decision VI/4.
required to the Parties that higher targets are appropriate for
natural or semi-
semi-natural forests and grasslands.The decision
UNEP/CBD/COP/7/21 request to the Parties among others to REMARKS
share experience also regarding grasslands on the clearing [1] According to the recent draft NBSAP data, provided by the National
National Institute for Statistics,
house mechanisms. Grasslands natural and seminatural Romania accomplished the 4th and the 6th targets of the of UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20 decision but
are a subject for conservation and sustainable use still little information exists concerning the biodiversity of the
the grasslands and especially the trends
monitoring.
monitoring. Requesting to the Parties data availability and to
of biodiversity conservation. [2] Romania was not able to properly respond to the grassland
reveal the used methodology and standards (annex V of the
decision UNEP/CBD/8/15). Parties are invited to identify conservation status requests under the UNFCCC as the survey at the the national level according to
opportunities to deliver multiple benefits for carbon the CBD and KP was not realized and therefore the chapter 5C of the LULUCF is not presented
sequestration, and biodiversity conservation and according to the KP’ KP’s Decisions requirements. [3] Romania NFP for CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD
sustainable use in a range of ecosystems including should further cooperate in reporting to the Secretariat of the Conventions for ensuring the
peatlands,
peatlands, tundra and grasslands (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/29).
coherency of data providing and creating valuable inputs for reporting
reporting also under the European
Landscape Convention. These NFP should integrate their work in close close cooperation with the
Government’ programme of work. [4] Knowing before monitoring!
Government’ monitoring! Developing: [i] surveys, [ii]
assessments [iii] monitoring and [iv] management capacities for grassland resilience maintenance
through [v] sustainable farming system, restoration, reintroduction,
reintroduction, rehabilitation and remediation
projects’ actions! Involving local communities and scientists is the successful key in the
projects’
ecosystem or landscape approach. [5] Even high nature value grasslands in Romania are
recognized at the European Level, the landscape units are not officially recognized in our
country according to the requirements of the Florence’
Florence’s Convention on Landscape and
quantifiable indicators should be developed on a case by case basis basis depending on the
farming applied system.
system. Moreover specific attention should be paid in the near future to fulfill the
Rio Conventions obligations and more emphasis on this type of grasslands should be put in
place for future environment negotiations.
negotiations.

To maintain the HNV grasslands we should develop new financial mechanisms


mechanisms for
balancing the cooperation between socio-
socio-economical development and biodiversity
conservation benefits.