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The first meeting of the Working Group on Post-2020 resumed discussions on the elements of the structure and scope of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) on Wednesday.
Delegates completed discussions on clusters two, three and four on:
enabling conditions and means of implementation for the GBF, including resource mobilization, financial mechanisms, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation and technology transfer, knowledge management, and communication;
planning and accountability modalities, mechanisms and tools, including National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs); national reports, the review process, and voluntary contributions; and
cross-cutting approaches and issues, including mainstreaming, synergies, partnerships, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), gender and youth.
During lunch delegates attended an information session on scientific evidence for informing the design of the framework. Presentations included:
Ana María Hernández, Chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), who outlined key IPBES statistics on the impacts of direct drivers of biodiversity loss, and noted the scientific evidence that will be provided by the upcoming IPBES assessments on transformative change and the nexus of biodiversity, water, food and health.
Jian Liu, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), who outlined key findings illustrating biodiversity as a “hidden crisis”. He presented scientific evidence showing that pollution, climate change and biodiversity are the three major interlinked challenges to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), concluding that with the approaching tipping points, transformational change is long overdue.
Irene Hoffmann, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, who outlined scientific evidence on multiple interacting drivers of change affecting biodiversity for food and agriculture, and proposed four areas for action, including, among others: addressing knowledge and data gaps; supporting emerging biodiversity-friendly management practices; and improving cross-sectoral collaboration.
Andreas Benjamin Schei, Norwegian Environment Agency, summarized the outputs of the ninth Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity. He highlighted participants’ focus on the urgent need for, inter alia: mainstreaming biodiversity; ecosystem restoration; capturing a variety of ways of understanding nature; increased coherence in implementing the Rio Conventions at the national level; and the ability to track post-2020 implementation.
In the evening, a discussion group chaired by Charlotta Sörqvist (Sweden) and Dilosharvo Dustov (Tajikistan) met to reach a common understanding on the structure and scope of the outcome-oriented elements: vision, mission, goals and targets. Delegates also attended an information session on Nature-Based Solutions and the Climate Action Summit.
With such a short week to complete discussions, day two saw in-depth and focused interventions on the potential elements on structure and scope of the GBF. Delegates started wondering whether the outcome of this first meeting will provide an adequately developed foundation for subsequent meetings, and eventually enable a GBF worthy for adoption at the 2020 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15). Plenary discussions reflected a strong sense that implementation should be a key focus. Indeed, there were many echoing voices emphasizing that if we do not address financial arrangements and enabling conditions, we will be setting ourselves up for failure. It would mean, stressed several delegates, that we have not learned from our mistakes in the context of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Familiar debates emerged regarding the balance between ambition and feasibility. One delegate cautioned against, “biting off more than we can swallow,” while another participant said, “with the approaching global tipping points, transformational change is needed yesterday.”
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage from the 1st Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report which is now available in HTML and PDF.