Delegates to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), concluded their deliberations, approving draft recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) on:
Lengthy deliberations took place under the agenda items on biodiversity and climate change, technical and scientific cooperation, and the post-2020 framework.
The final recommendations on nature and culture, and climate change and biodiversity contain bracketed text.
In closing remarks, Elizabeth Mrema, Officer-in-Charge of the CBD Secretariat, thanked all participants for their collaboration, flexibility, and perseverance. She pointed out that the technical and scientific evidence base has been further strengthened to provide essential guidance for the development of the post-2020 framework. She expressed her confidence that in cooperation with partner conventions, institutions, and stakeholders, renewed biodiversity goals and targets can be agreed on in time.
Suriname, for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), stressed the importance of healthy ecosystems for poverty eradication, food security, and essential ecosystem services, emphasizing they represent an important element of identity and culture. She called for necessary capacity building, scientific and technical assistance, and technology transfer to support SIDS.
The EU noted the recent alarming scientific reports on biodiversity loss, stressing that SBSTTA 23 results will support the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to craft a robust and ambitious post-2020 framework.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, for Asia-Pacific, emphasized the importance of benefit-sharing from the utilization of genetic resources, and stressed the need to scale up action on pollution and marine debris. She further underscored the need for capacity building, technology transfer, and resource mobilization to implement the post-2020 framework.
Noting that the science “shows that the threat is serious,” Iceland, also for Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Switzerland, regretted that the document on biodiversity and climate change retains some brackets, but concluded that the recommendation under this item signifies “significant progress.”
Belarus, for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), appreciated participants’ “active” presence in the process, and noted the importance in concluding the first cycle of EBSAs.
Bahamas, for GRULAC, expressed their concern with the progress in the negotiations, and hoped for a more “planned and structured dialogue” on the “most relevant” parts of the framework in the future. Noting that biodiversity and its loss must be recognized as a global priority, she recalled the importance of synergizing work on biodiversity and climate change.
Cameroon, for the African Group, emphasized the deliberations on technical and scientific cooperation in support of the post-2020 framework, and highlighted advice to the Co-Chairs of the OEWG on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on direct and indirect drivers and on the need to give equal attention to all three objectives of the Convention.
SBSTTA 23 Chair Hesiquio Benítez Díaz (Mexico) thanked delegates and participants for a successful meeting. Convinced that “2020 is going to be a super year,” he gaveled the meeting to a close at 10:28 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from WG8J 11 and SBSTTA 23. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report from the meetings in HTML and PDF.
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+ Visit the web coverage for Friday, 29 November 2019
Delegates to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in plenary throughout the day to address draft recommendations on: possible elements of work on the links between nature and culture; biodiversity and climate change; and new and emerging issues.
Regarding the links between nature and culture, delegates discussed a paragraph noting that “nothing in the work programme on the links between nature and culture should be interpreted or used to support non-tariff barriers to trade.” They further deliberated on a draft recommendation adding tasks for the programme of work on developing strategies for benefit-sharing with traditional knowledge holders and on integrating cultural values attached to biodiversity into a supportive framework. These recommendations have been either bracketed or deleted.
Delegates discussed at length the draft recommendation on biodiversity and climate change. They exchanged opinions on the use of the term “ecosystem-based approaches” vis-à-vis “nature-based solutions.” They reached agreement on a request to the Secretariat to invite written submissions on possible post-2020 targets and indicators related to biodiversity and climate change for the consideration of the Open-ended Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. They further decided to bracket references to: required “socioeconomic, cultural, and political changes;” a recommendation noting certain practices harmful to biodiversity; and a reference to nationally determined contributions within a recommendation towards strengthening the efforts to integrate biodiversity conservation to climate change adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.
The draft recommendation on new and emerging issues was approved without amendments, deferring the decision on whether synthetic biology should be classified as a new and emerging issue to SBSTTA 24.
In the evening, delegates met in a contact group, co-chaired by Anne Teller (EU) and Jorge Murillo (Colombia), to address direct drivers of biodiversity loss, focusing on invasive alien species, climate change, and pollution. They further exchanged ideas on the use and values of nature, and relevant tools, solutions, and leverage points. Discussions continued into the night.
+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 28 November 2019
Delegates to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in plenary throughout the day to address sustainable wildlife management, technical and scientific cooperation, ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in the North-East Atlantic, and new and emerging issues.
On sustainable wildlife management, Kristina Rodina, FAO, Secretary of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW), urged parties to address the root causes of over-exploitation of wildlife and to recognize the contribution of sustainable wildlife management to sustainable livelihoods and local economic prosperity. Carolina Behe-Harris, Inuit Circumpolar Council, pleaded for the rights, values, practices, and traditions of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to be accurately reflected in the post-2020 process.
Parties noted the importance of the sustainable use of biodiversity in wildlife management; the need to tackle illegal wildlife trade; national efforts to promote sustainable wildlife management; and the need for multidisciplinary collaboration among relevant fora.
Many parties also highlighted the importance of scientific and technical cooperation for the implementation of the post-2020 framework. They also requested additional information on the budgetary and operational consequences of a range of options regarding relevant institutional mechanisms and modalities. A number of African countries underscored the need to meaningfully address digital sequence information and potential benefit-sharing arising from its use in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
An engaged discussion took place under the agenda item on new and emerging issues. While the long-standing discussion on whether synthetic biology fulfils the criteria for new and emerging issues attracted some attention, delegates also exchanged ideas on a suggestion regarding “open environmental transformation technologies," the open-air use of nucleic acids and proteins to alter traits, genes, or other kinds of genetic material.
In the evening, delegates met in a contact group, co-chaired by Anne Teller (EU) and Jorge Murillo (Colombia), to discuss elements for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. They considered possible target themes and elements, including biodiversity and conservation outcomes, direct drivers, and the use and value of nature.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Delegates to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) finalized plenary deliberations of potential elements for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and addressed climate change and biodiversity, and the links between nature and culture.
Regarding biodiversity and climate change, Paul Watkinson, Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emphasized, via video link, the importance of strengthening the ties between the CBD and the UNFCCC. Delegates underscored the need to: increase efforts to address biodiversity and climate change in an integrated manner across all levels and sectors; strengthen synergies across the Rio Conventions and biodiversity-related conventions; and apply nature-based solutions to disaster risk reduction, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
On the links between nature and culture, many supported the draft recommendations, as developed by the Working Group on Article 8(j) last week, and the joint programme of work on the links between cultural and biological diversity between the Secretariat and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlighting that nature and culture are deeply integrated, especially in indigenous communities, and that such a link should be strengthened.
A contact group, co-chaired by Anne Teller (EU) and Jorge Murillo (Colombia), met in the evening to discuss SBSTTA’s guidance regarding the mission, goals, targets, indicators, baselines, and monitoring framework for the post-2020 framework.
+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Delegates to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met throughout the day to hear opening statements, address organizational matters, and exchange views on informing the scientific and technical evidence base for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
In the opening plenary, SBSTTA Chair Hesiquio Benítez Díaz (Mexico) reminded delegates and observers that “biodiversity is not only an environmental problem, but also a question of social, economic, and moral development”. Highlighting the “crucial stage” of the process in building the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, he urged participants to work together; focus on building recommendations; and “set aside political decisions” for the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP).
Elizabeth Mrema, Officer-in-Charge, CBD Secretariat, stressed that recent assessments from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show that biodiversity, climate change, and land degradation are interlinked; and that significant declines in biodiversity are occurring at all levels. She noted that conservation action has been successful in reducing biodiversity loss, and that humans have the evidence, knowledge, and ability to address the challenges before them “on a scale unimaginable a few years ago”.
During a series of thematic presentations to inform the scientific and technical evidence base for the post-2020 framework, Eduardo Brondizio, Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, described the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity decline and explained that regional improvements do not prevent aggregated global biodiversity from deteriorating. Andreas Schei, Norwegian Environment Agency, emphasized the need to better understand direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, including their interlinkages, He underscored the need to consider biodiversity as part of the solution rather than solely focusing on biodiversity loss, stressing that “action is urgent, and it has been insufficient.”
Tim Hirsch, Science writer for the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), discussed the development of the fifth edition of GBO-5. He stressed that while evaluating the extent to which the Aichi Targets have been achieved provides a bleak picture, not all messages are negative: impressive examples of success also exist, including eradication programmes for invasive alien species. Joji Cariño, Forest Peoples Programme, presented on the second edition of the Local Biodiversity Outlook, noting that: indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) remain marginal in decision making; that IPLCs’ customary land tenure should be fully recognized to help deliver conservation outcomes; and financial resources must be deployed to support IPLC collective actions.
Maïté Delmas, Global Partnership for Plant Conservation, showcased progress towards the targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) 2020 at the global and national levels. Wadzanayi Goredema-Mandivenyi, South Africa, reported on a workshop which took place on 23 November, affirming that the draft GBO-5 is “a good example” of the need to draw on the best available evidence and science to build the post-2020 framework.
In the evening, delegates attended a reception hosted by the Government of Canada.
On Saturday and Sunday, two well-attended informal briefings focused on informing the evidence base for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and on providing an overview on the framework’s development.
+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 25 November 2019
The 11th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) concluded its deliberations, approving final recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) on:
Regarding the development of a new programme of work and institutional arrangements, consensus could not be reached and the final recommendation contains bracketed text. A number of options were tabled regarding institutional arrangements, including establishing a permanent subsidiary body on Article 8(j), retaining the Working Group in its current form, or integrating it in the Convention’s subsidiary bodies. Following lengthy discussions, all suggestions remained on the table and the issue will be further discussed in COP 15 in Kunming, China, including the potential establishment of an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on IPLCs and the post-2020 framework.
In closing statements, Elizabeth Mrema, Officer-In-Charge, CBD Secretariat, reminded delegates that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, on whose land the meeting took place, holds the philosophy that deliberations must consider the impacts of their decisions “on the next seven generations.” She highlighted that, during the meeting, contributions of the traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices of IPLCs in addressing biodiversity loss were recognized as fundamental, as well as that the traditional knowledge and languages are essential to social and ecological resilience.
Regional groups stressed that “this is a crucial moment for biodiversity,” emphasizing the need to take stock of progress on the Aichi Targets and develop an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Observers, including indigenous organizations, emphasized that the full and effective participation of IPLCs is crucial for a strong post-2020 framework; underscored that the post-2020 framework needs to be inclusive; expressed concern about potentially moving away from environmental and human rights standards as recognized by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); and lamented the number of brackets still remaining in some of the approved recommendations.
Co-Chairs Lakpa Nuri Sherpa (Nepal) and Hamdallah Zedan (Egypt) underscored that collaboration is key in fighting biodiversity loss and climate change. They emphasized the fruitful relationship with IPLCs, who are “the guardians of most of the remaining biodiversity,” and stressed that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework provides an opportunity to further this relationship. Zedan gaveled the meeting to a close at 4:58 pm.
+ Visit the web coverage for Friday, 22 November 2019
The 11th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) continued its deliberations in plenary in the morning to discuss: the contribution of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework; links between nature and culture in the post-2020 framework; recommendations from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII); and a conference room paper on the in-depth dialogue.
Delegates further heard a report from Francis Ogwal (Uganda) and Basile van Havre (Canada), Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Framework. The Co-Chairs emphasized three phases in the process of developing the post-2020 framework: a broad consultation across the UN regions, completed with the first Working Group meeting in August 2019; a deeper dive into thematic areas, including ecosystem restoration, marine and coastal biodiversity, capacity building, resource mobilization, and access and benefit-sharing; and text-based negotiations starting with the zero draft, to be published on 13 January 2020, until the draft’s approval, scheduled for the third Working Group meeting in July 2020.
Highlights of the day include:
A contact group met in the afternoon, focusing on the development of a fully integrated programme of work on Article 8(j) within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The contact group, co-chaired by Rosemary Paterson (New Zealand) and Lucy Mulenkei (International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, IIFB), was mandated to work through the draft recommendations to COP 15, and to consider what advice the Working Group on Article 8(j) might want to provide to the Working Group on the Post-2020 Framework on issues relating to Article 8(j).
+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 21 November 2019
Delegates to the 11th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met throughout the day to hear opening and regional statements, address organizational matters, conduct the in-depth dialogue on the contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, assess progress towards Aichi Target 18, and discuss the links between nature and culture in the post-2020 framework.
In the opening plenary, Mohawk elder Charlie Patton, Kahnawake, welcomed participants onto Mohawk territory and noted the need to “work of one mind to help heal our Mother Earth.”
Elizabeth Mrema, CBD Secretariat Officer-in-Charge, emphasized that no wisdom can be left out, and that traditional knowledge transferred between generations is key to understanding nature.
Inger Andersen, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, underscored that IPLCs have been deploying the solutions that “we need to rediscover to secure a sustainable future,” and stressed that environmental defenders, who work to protect nature, often pay for their efforts with their lives. Working Group Co-Chair Hamdallah Zedan (Egypt), for the COP Presidency, emphasized the need to be ambitious, inclusive, and optimistic.
Regional groups, indigenous peoples’ organizations, and civil society organizations emphasized the importance of full and effective participation of IPLCs in the work of the Convention and the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Seven IPLC representatives were designated as “Friends of the Bureau,” representing the geo-cultural regions recognized by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), and Lakpa Nuri Sherpa (Asia) was designated as Working Group Co-Chair.
Plenary then addressed an in-depth dialogue on the contribution of cultural diversity and the traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices of IPLCs to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Panelists highlighted the importance of: IPLCs’ inclusion in policy and decision-making; an international alliance for nature and culture; and nature-culture indicators. Delegates and participants were introduced to the concept of "ili", the place where one is born, including its natural, cultural, and spiritual identity.
In the afternoon, the Working Group unpacked almost all of the items on its agenda. Delegates and participants reviewed progress towards Aichi Target 18 (traditional knowledge); deliberated on the role of IPLCs in the development and implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework; and exchanged ideas for possible elements of work aiming at reintegration of nature and culture in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Regarding possible institutional arrangements, some parties recommended that a permanent subsidiary body on aspects relating to IPLCs be created, while others suggested delaying relevant decisions until the content of the new programme of work is finalized.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 20 November 2019