Marine biodiversity

UN Biodiversity Conference Part I

11–15 October 2021 | Online

Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD

Final report

View past and future events

Past event

1st Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity (ICCBD)

Past event

2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity (ICCBD)

Past event

CBD COP 1

Past event

CBD COP 2

Past event

1st Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-1)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

CBD COP 3

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-2)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

3rd Session of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-3)

Past event

Workshop on Traditional Knowledge and Biological Diversity

Past event

4th Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-4)

Past event

CBD COP 4

Past event

5th Session of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-5)

Past event

6th Session of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety (BSWG-6) and 1st Extraordinary Meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (ExCOP)

Past event

4th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and 1st Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention (ISOC)

Past event

Experts’ Panel on Access and Benefit-Sharing

Past event

Resumed Session of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (ExCOP) for the Adoption of the Protocol on Biosafety to the CBD

Past event

5th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

1st Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

CBD COP 5

Past event

3rd Intersessional Contact Group Meeting on the Revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, in Harmony with the CBD

Past event

4th Intersessional Contact Group Meeting on the Revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, in Harmony with the CBD

Past event

1st Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP) to the CBD

Past event

5th Intersessional Contact Group Meeting on the Revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, in Harmony with the CBD

Past event

6th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the CBD Experts’ Panel on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS 2)

Past event

6th Intersessional Contact Group Meeting on the Revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, in Harmony with the CBD

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP) to the CBD

Past event

1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the CBD (ABS 1)

Past event

7th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

Open-ended Intersessional Meeting on the CBD Strategic Plan, National Reports and Implementation (MSP)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

CBD COP 6

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP) to the CBD

Past event

8th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

Open-ended Inter-Sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work for the CBD COP up to 2010 (MYPOW)

Past event

9th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the CBD (ABS 2)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

CBD COP 7 and 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 1)

Past event

Workshop on "Forests and Forest Ecosystems: Promoting Synergy in the Implementation of the Three Rio Conventions"

Past event

10th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 3)

Past event

1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on Liability and Redress and 2nd Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

1st Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (PAs)

Past event

1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI 1) of the CBD

Past event

11th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

4th Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

4th Meetings of the CBD Working Groups on Article 8(j) and on Access and Benefit-sharing

Past event

4th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 4)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 3)

Past event

CBD COP 8

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the Context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

CBD SBSTTA 12 and 2nd meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI 2)

Past event

5th Meetings of the CBD Working Groups on Access and Benefit-sharing and on Article 8(j)

Past event

4th Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

6th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 6)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (WGPA 2) and 13th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

5th Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

4th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 4)

Past event

CBD COP 9

Past event

1st Meeting of the Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

7th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 7)

Past event

6th Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

8th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 8)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Past event

9th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (ABS 9)

Past event

14th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

CBD SBSTTA 14 and WGRI 3

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI 3) of the CBD

Past event

Resumed 9th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing of the CBD (Resumed ABS 9)

Past event

5th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 5)

Past event

CBD COP 10

Past event

1st Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD (ICNP 1)

Past event

7th Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)

Past event

15th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

16th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Past event

4th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI 4) of the CBD

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the CBD

Past event

6th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 6)

Past event

UN Biodiversity Conference 2012 (Hyderabad)

Past event

CBD COP 11

Past event

8th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j)
 and 17th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the CBD

Past event

5th Meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation and 18th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

Past event

7th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 7)

Past event

UN Biodiversity Conference 2014 (Pyeongchang)

Past event

CBD COP 12

Past event

20th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and 1st Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation

Past event

UN Biodiversity Conference 2016 (Cancún)

Past event

21st Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and 10th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions

Past event

2018 UN Biodiversity Conference

Past event

1st Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Past event

23rd Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) and 11th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8J 11)

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Past event

Convention on Biological Diversity: Special Virtual Sessions

Past event

2nd Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD ExCOP 2)

Past event

Informal Session for the 24th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24)

Past event

Informal Session for the 3rd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3)

Past event

24th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Past event

UN Biodiversity Conference Part I

All coverage

Marine biodiversity
Photo courtesy of Pam Chasek

After a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Biodiversity Conference convened virtually to build political momentum for the adoption of a new global biodiversity framework in 2022.

The UN Biodiversity Conference will convene under the theme “Ecological civilization – building a shared future for all life on Earth” in two parts: a virtual segment, which took place from 11-15 October 2021, and an in-person segment scheduled to be held in Kunming, China, from 28 April-8 May 2022.

What will happen at the UN Biodiversity Conference?

The main objective of the UN Biodiversity Conference is to successfully negotiate and adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), which will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. The framework is currently under negotiation in the Open-ended Working Group on the GBF. The first draft of the GBF was released in July 2021 and, building on lessons learned from the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets, recognizes that urgent transformation of our social and economic models is required for biodiversity conservation and the recovery of natural ecosystems.

Part I of the Conference, while being convened virtually, included a limited presence of government delegates in Kunming, China. The Conference featured plenary sessions on 11 and 15 October and a high-level segment from 12-13 October. The high-level segment focused on the preparations for the GBF and adopted a Kunming Declaration, adding political momentum to the negotiations.

Part I included:

  • the Executive Secretary’s report on regional preparatory and intersessional meetings, including the work of the Convention’s subsidiary bodies;
  • progress report on the work in preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework by the Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group;
  • reports from the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols’ compliance committees, with any substantive matters arising to be taken up during Part II; and
  • consideration of a draft decision on the interim integrated budget for 2022, which is necessary to maintain the Secretariat’s functions pending the adoption of a full-term budget during Part II.

Prior to Part II of the UN Biodiversity Conference, the Working Group on the GBF, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) are expected to meet to finalize their deliberations. The meetings of the three bodies are tentatively scheduled to be held in person in Geneva, Switzerland, in January 2022, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted in 1992 and signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It entered into force on 29 December 1993. It aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Convention currently has 196 parties.

Three protocols have been adopted under the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety addresses the safe transfer, handling, and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) that may have adverse effects on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements. It entered into force in 2003 and currently has 173 parties. Adopted as a supplementary agreement to the Cartagena Protocol, the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress provides for international rules and procedures on liability and redress for damage to biodiversity resulting from LMOs. It entered into force in 2018 and currently has 49 parties.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization sets out an international framework for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components. It entered into force in 2014 and currently has 131 parties.

The CBD recognizes that biodiversity, in addition to plants, animals, microorganisms, and their ecosystems, is about people and their needs. Biodiversity decline directly impacts human wellbeing, health, productive potential, and resilience. Human societies are connected to nature, and economies heavily depend on the flow of ecosystem services and goods, including food, raw materials, pollination, water filtration, and climate regulation. The potential benefits of biodiversity conservation for people and the planet are not always properly calculated or understood, often requiring strong communication. Valuing biodiversity in decision making at all levels as a long-term sustainability priority is a precondition to slow, halt, and eventually revert nature’s accelerating decline.

The UN Biodiversity Conference last convened in November 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, under the theme “Investing in biodiversity for people and planet.” The Conference, among others, set up the Working Group on the GBF; established an intersessional process, including an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) to continue work on digital sequence information; and extended the online forum and AHTEG on synthetic biology.

The 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference comprises of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CP COP/MOP 10), and the fourth meeting of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (NP COP/MOP 4). The UN Biodiversity Conference was originally scheduled to take place from 15-28 October 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online plenary sessions of Part I of the UN Biodiversity Conference are scheduled to take place on 11 and 15 October between 3:00-6:00 pm (Kunming local time, UTC+8). The high-level segment will take place on 12 October between 2:00-5:00 pm and 7:00-9:00 pm, and 13 October, between 10:00-12:00 am and 15:00-18:00 pm (Kunming local times, UTC+8).

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