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Policy and Legislation

Policy and legislation focuses on developing and implementing effective national policies and legislation in order to translate the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets into NBSAPs. The important role of policy and legislation in national and sub-national biodiversity planning has been repeatedly emphasized in the last two decades. However, due to lack of awareness and political will, policy and legal approaches to address the biodiversity crisis often reflect a traditional understanding of biodiversity law. Reforms often focus on legal measures aimed directly at the protection of habitats, ecosystems and species, and not on those that indirectly affect biological diversity. They thus neglect some of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. In order for NBSAPs to become an integral part of the wider policy, legal and institutional framework, and to enable mainstreaming in development sectors, legal and policy considerations will need to play a key role in each step of the NBSAP revision process. This revision process includes the biodiversity planning cycle in general (e.g. roles and responsibilities, timeline, stakeholder participation and coordination and monitoring mechanisms etc.) as well as the core elements of strategic biodiversity planning: the identification of targets and actions, their prioritization, and their implementation. As part of the NBSAP revision process, planners should undertake a comprehensive legal and policy analysis. This analysis should include challenges and obstacles associated with different legal options or policy approaches. It should also include consideration on how to overcome legal and policy barriers and challenges.

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