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published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat
A Special Report on Selected Side Events at CBD COP-8
20-31 March 2006 | Curitiba, Brazil
United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Daily Web Coverage & Daily Reports
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Events convened on Saturday, 25 March and Sunday, 26 March 2006

2010 Biodiversity Forum: Sustainable Ways to Conserve and Equitably Share Biological Diversity: Implementing the 2010 Targets

Curitiba, Brazil, 24-25 March 2006

The 20th session of the GBF was held during CBD COP 8 in Curitiba, Brazil, on 24-25 March 2006, was based around four workshops on: “2010 for 2015: Reaffirming the Role of Biodiversity in Achieving MDGs”; “Financing Biodiversity Action for Achieving the 2010 Targets”; “Thinking Global and Acting Local: Taking 2010 Forward”; and Verifying Biodiversity Trade: 2010 Challenges.

The Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF), founded in 1993, is a multi-stakeholder forum aiming to foster partnerships and critical dialogue on biodiversity issues, and assist policy making and implementation of the CBD and other biodiversity-related conventions, but does not intend to pursue consensus.

According to forum participants, the Convention process reached a turning point with the adoption of the 2010 target, which was initiated in 2002, as it signaled a shift from a focus on policy development to implementation. A majority of participants at this session of the forum noted that renewed energy is required to complete this transition, and that the GBF can serve this purpose. They also stressed the urgent need to translate biodiversity objectives into concepts that resonate with the general public in order to achieve greater support.

There was broad recognition that streamlining the 2010 target with other development processes, particularly the MDGs, can channel opportunities and lessons learned to make the 2010 a tangible target, while linking biodiversity conservation to poverty reduction. Participants indicated concurred that there is no more time for “business as usual.”

There was widespread consensus that conventional sources of funding must be diversified to meet the amount anticipated to be required to meet the 2010 targets, and that governments should provide an enabling environment for this, including payment for ecosystem services (PES). Another main theme was that government ministries traditionally associated with environmental issues must be encouraged to reach out to those associated with finance and trade to make them champions of biodiversity interests. Further civil society and private sector engagement was also supported by all participants.

Organizers expressed concern over funding shortages which may hinder the continuation of the GBF in future years, and urged participants to assess the validity of this initiative, which could facilitate in securing funding from conventional GBF partners.

The outcomes of the GBF will be presented at the CBD COP 8 Plenary, on Wednesday, 29 March.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, recalled that IUCN was one of the key proponents behind the conceptualization of a Convention on Biodiversity, while emphasizing the growing importance of civil society groups and NGOs participating at CBD meetings
Bakary Kante, UNEP/DEC, in referring to the need for partnership building among governments, civil society and businesses, suggested that “no-one is only the problem or entirely the solution”
Charles McNeill, UNDP: “If the 61st UNGA endorses the 2010 biodiversity target as part of the MDGs framework that will make biodiversity conservation everybody’s business”
Neville Ash, UNEP-WCMC
Sebastian Winkler, Countdown 2010 Secretariat, IUCN Regional Office for Europe
Sebastian Winkler <[email protected]>
Balakrishna Pisupati <[email protected]>

2010 Biodiversity Forum Reception

At the end of the opening of the GBF 2010 Biodiversity Forum, the Countdown 2010 Secretariat hosted an evening reception sponsored by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory. Italy has been the first country to officially commit to the Countdown 2010 Initiative during the first Open Ended Working Group on Protected Areas that was held in Montecatini in June 2005.

Recognizing the personal efforts of Dr Aldo Cosentino, Director General for Nature Protection of the Italian Ministry, in ensuring the full involvement of Italy in the Countdown and in promoting the Initiative at both national and international levels, the Countdown Secretariat granted him the title of “Ambassador of the Countdown 2010 Initiative.”

The reception was attended by about 200 delegates, accompanied by Brazilian music and organic Italian wine.

Aldo Cosentino signing the Ambassador Declaration of the Countdown 2010 Initiative
Tamas Marghescu, IUCN Regional Director for Europe, announcing the signature of the Declaration
Marghescu and Cosentino toasting to the appointment with Berlucchi wine

2010 for 2015: Reaffirming the Role of Biodiversity in Achieving MDGs

This workshop focused on ways and means to link conservation (2010 target) and development (MDGs) in a manner which facilitates country-level implementation and reporting actions, while placing biodiversity as a cross-cutting issue in achieving not only MDG 7 but other MDGs as well.

Participants noted the inadequacy of environmental indicators in development frameworks such as MDGs, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, considering the trade-offs between development and conservation strategies, recognizing the need for the UN Secretary General and CBD Parties, in identifying targets and indicators, to better integrate biodiversity across all MDGs. Participants recognized that formally adopting the 2010 targets as one of the MDG targets would renew interest in biodiversity issues, while stressing the need to disaggregate MDG target 9 (integrating principles of sustainable development into national policies, and reversing the loss of environmental resources) to facilitate measurability and performance monitoring. Participants emphasized the need for socio-economic indicators within the 2010 target, and better understanding of results-based indicators to achieve 2010 targets at the national level.

The relationship between trade and environment was also a major issue, with participants agreeing that full liberalization might lead to increased biodiversity loss, and that biodiversity contributes to productive systems. Participants also identified the need to better understand the relationship between poverty reduction and conservation needs through the use of scenarios to enhance understanding about potential trade-offs. Participants questioned the validity of using PES as a potential incentive measure to achieve the 2010 target, while indicating the need for further scientific evaluation. Noting the PES case in Costa Rica, participants discussed how PES has become a major income source for local and indigenous communities, as key service providers.

Jeffrey McNeely, Chief Scientist of IUCN
Balakrishna Pisupati, Agorra Foundation: “While there is a need to recognize the social and economic relevance of the 2010 targets, the biodiversity relevance to achieving MDGs needs priority attention”
From left to right: Arturo Sanchez, University of Alberta and Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI): “Costa Rica has developed an innovative approach to PES that goes hand to hand with conservation efforts” and Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment, Costa Rica: “We need to change mindsets, we need to train decision makers to understand that land with forests do have a value”, referring to the fact that national parks have a larger revenue compared to major cash crops in Costa Rica
Balakrishna Pisupati <[email protected]>

Financing Biodiversity Action for Achieving the 2010 Targets

This workshop addressed the issue of expanding sources of financing for conservation to achieve goal 4 of the 2010 Targets, promoting sustainable use and consumption. Hans Freiderich, IUCN, gave an overview of the issue, noting that although official development assistance (ODA) has increased, very little of this has been directed toward biodiversity. He stated that, in addition, the future of GEF funding is uncertain, leaving a void that needs to be filled by innovative mechanisms, which will require governments to provide an enabling environment.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, described the process of developing a regime for PES, emphasizing the need to position biodiversity as a productive element of the economy, on par with other natural resources, and described a programme whereby loan recipients could repay their debts by demonstrating additionality of ecosystem services enabled by the management of their land.

Roberto Klabine, Refúgio Ecológico Caiman, showed how he has combined eco-tourism with cattle ranching in the Pantanal, which has resulted in the protection of a large area of surrounding wetlands, noting the need to demonstrate to locals that maintaining the presence of wildlife, such as jaguars, pays for itself.

Kirsten Schuyt, WWF, stressed the importance of making a business case for biodiversity and PES, providing examples from Guatemala and Philippines.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, described the legal framework related to payment for ecological services, and noted Costa Rica’s strong laws against deforestation

Participants discussed methods of valuation, the importance of keeping governments involved, and the potential to replicate successful projects. The group agreed that sources of funding for biodiversity must be diversified, and that this should include PES, environmental funds and fiscal instruments. The group also concurred that it was essential for biodiversity conservation to be embraced by all relevant ministries, including finance, and that civil society and the private sector must be further engaged.

Scott Edwards <[email protected]>

Thinking Global and Acting Local: Taking 2010 Forward

This workshop looked at mechanisms to translate promising local initiatives into policy (“upscaling”) and attempted to find better alternatives of translating higher-level policies and targets into local-level actions (“enabling”) aimed at reducing biodiversity loss.

Participants indicated that biodiversity loss is accelerating in many parts of the world, but at the same time the sense of urgency that was present at Rio in 1992 seems to have been lost in protracted negotiations concerned with less significant issues. They agreed that successful biodiversity conservation strategies depend on coordinated action by multiple stakeholders, including local communities, private sector, governments and research institutes, at different levels.

Comparing climate change and biodiversity issues, some participants indicated that while stakeholders have a clear understanding about the effects of climate change, such an understanding is missing with regard to the consequences of biodiversity loss. Further, participants indicated that the misalignment of institutions working at different scales is another constraint, with priorities at the national level not being reflected at the international level. Moreover, participants indicated the need for broadcasting successful stories to inspire more actors and mobilize action towards the implementation of the Convention.

On implementation, participants emphasized that National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans should become “living” documents that chart ongoing policy processes, empowering all actors through action plans that are relevant to their concerns and adapted to their realities, through the development of targeted messages to different stakeholders. Participants emphasized the need to translate CBD jargon into understandable language relevant to governments and indigenous and local communities.

Simon Rietbergen, IUCN: “Many different target audiences relate to different priorities, we need different messages for different people, we have to learn to cope with the fact that the world has become a complex place”
Christoph Bail, former delegate-EC: “The biggest problem of the Biodiversity Convention implementation is its enormous complexity. There is a need for issues prioritization
Hesiquio Benitez, CONABIO, Mexico, and Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research: “Adjusting CBD to local realities could prove more effective in achieving the 2010 target”
From left to right: Steven de Bie, Shell International, Juliane Zeidler, IECN, Simon Rietbergen, IUCN, Matt Zylstra, Foundation for Sustainable Development, and Georg Schwed, WWF International
Simon Rietbergen <[email protected]>

Verifying Biodiversity Trade: 2010 Challenges

This workshop was convened to explore how trade can work in the best interests of biodiversity, and to explore options for verifying the sustainability of biodiversity-based businesses, relevant to COP 8 agenda items on incentives, private sector engagement, and to the 2010 targets.

Participants listened to presentations regarding Biotrade Principles and Criteria and their verification, market differentiation, and biodiversity certification for small and medium business, with comments on each presentation provided by issue experts. In the afternoon, the workshop addressed certification of specific Biotrade initiatives, including that of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, Rainforest Alliance, and the Marine Aquarium Council.

The workshop closed with a roundtable discussion on biodiversity, business and trade. Some of the main issues debated included the perils of introducing additional labeling systems, the question of who is driving the need for certification, tactics for engaging smaller business, and the benefits of focusing on domestic versus international trade.

Participants agreed to call on CBD Parties to: support the integration of biodiversity into ethical trade certification; strengthen Biotrade promotion; finance biodiversity product development; and build consumer awareness of businesses that benefit biodiversity.

Pierre Hauselmann, Pi Environmental Consulting, described the positive impact that the process of developing forest certification has had in Madagascar, including governance reforms. He also urged improved access to existing certification schemes.
Gordon Sheppard, WWF, drew attention to the need to understand the drivers behind certification, links with climate change, and consumer trust in consumer labeling
Frank Vorhies, UNCTAD Biotrade, recalled the need to engage and support small and medium sized businesses and not just large corporations
Pierre du Plessis, CRIAASA- DC (Namibia)
Luís Fernando Guedes Pinto, Director, Imaflora, Brazil
Frank Vorhies <[email protected]>

Sunday, 25 March 2006: UN Environment Management Group Partnership Forum

Co-hosted by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the CBD

On Sunday, 26 March, the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) Partnership Forum convened in roundtable discussions in conjunction with CBD COP 8, including representatives from UN Agencies such as WIPO, WTO, UNEP-WCMC, UNESCO; MEA Secretariats including CITES, CMS and Ramsar; and Member States, including Nigeria, Iran, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Brazil, the United States, the EU, and Switzerland.

Established in 1999, the EMG aims to improve inter-agency policy collaboration and to assist intergovernmental bodies on key environment and human settlements issues. The EMG Partnership Forum’s principal aim is to enable dialogue between the Group’s members and Member States representatives to better reflect their priority issues in EMG initiatives and support the UN’s larger reform goals and efforts towards system-wide coherence.

Chair, Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director UNEP, highlighted inter alia: the EMG’s role in achieving internationally agreed targets like the 2010 biodiversity target; improving UN system-wide information exchange and communication mechanisms; investing in system wide coherence partnerships; and financing for the EMG.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, called for government guidance in agency cooperation to achieve the 2010 targets and elaborated on the role of the Head of Agencies Task Force. He also said that an issue-orientated group for 2010 targets had been established within the EMG.

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Director-General Department of the Environment, Brazil, called for the causes of environmental degradation to be addressed, such as perverse subsidies and unsustainable patterns of consumption.

Francis Gurry, Deputy Director-General WIPO, discussed how WIPO could contribute to the work of the EMG.

In the ensuing discussion on the EMG mandate, several delegates emphasized the need to avoid duplication of work being undertaken by other processes. While one participant said the EMG should focus on capacity building and information exchange, another stressed it should not usurp the UN Development Group’s capacity building role but maintain its information sharing and communication function. One delegate stressed that the EMG is not an independent secretariat but rather a forum for inter-agency cooperation, and Chair Töpfer clarified that it is a UNEP body and affirmed the legitimacy of the EMG to perform its present functions.

Several delegates emphasized strengthening the EMG Secretariat and also discussed the location of the EMG Secretariat, and others emphasized ensuring adequate and independent funding for the EMG.

The CITES Secretariat and UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre reported on outcomes of a technical working group on an integrated information sharing and communication system which had emanated from the EMG high-level Forum on UN System-wide Coherence held in Nairobi in January 2006. The TWG recommended inter alia, needs-based short and long term plans of action and enhanced information technology synergies and technical capacity across secretariats.

Presenting on the Health and Environment Linkages Initiative, the World Health Organization described some of the pilot projects being carried out in Thailand, Jordan and Uganda and referred participants to a database on health and environment linkages.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, called for inter-agency cooperation in achieving the 2010 targets on biodiversity
Marcos Silva, CITES Secretariat, said the EMG could rapidly develop and implement a programme to provide integrated information sharing and communication within the EMG, emphasizing that informatics are vital. He added at present there was no mechanism that enabling the conventions to discuss information sharing and communication strategies
B. Paul Lolo, UN Permanent Representative for Nigeria, welcomed the timeliness of the EMG revitalization initiative
From left to right: Halifa Omar Drammeh, Director UN EMG and B. Paul Lolo, UN Permanent representative, Nigeria
Paying tribute to Klaus Töpfer (left) Executive Secretary of UNEP, Peter Bridgewater (right) Ramsar Secretariat, presented him with a book on Amazon Forests
Halifa Drammeh <[email protected]>
Hossein Fadaei <[email protected]>
ENB on the Side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Asheline Appleton, Leonie Gordon, Renata Rubian, and Peter Wood. The photographer is Anders Gonçalves da Silva. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at CBD COP-8 is provided by the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office through the British Embassy - Global Opportunities Fund, and the Italian Ministry of Environment. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from CBD COP-8 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at CBD COP-8 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

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