The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed for the final day on Saturday to address pending issues, including negotiations on the zero draft of the global biodiversity framework (GBF). Delegates heard a report back from the contact group on Tools and Solutions for Implementation and Mainstreaming, and agreed on elements presented in the group’s report compiled by the co-leads.
The WG thereafter reviewed and approved the final recommendations of the meeting with minor amendments, and adopted the meeting’s report.
During the closing session, Elizabeth Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), said while all roads led to Rome for the second meeting of the WG, the journey to generate a clear, actionable, and transformative GBF continues.
Providing regional statements:
As weary delegates arrived in plenary on the last day of the meeting of the WG, words of praise and thanks were abundant for the hard work and constructive participation of co-chairs, co-leads, the secretariat, delegates, and participants. The lengthy report from the contact group on Tools and Solutions for Implementation and Mainstreaming, showcased the extensive discussions held during the last meeting of the contact group, which lasted untill midnight on Friday. The late session induced some delegates to blame minor confusions with respect to the report of the contact group on a “lack of sleep” and excitement to “wrap up the meeting.” As the time for closing statements rolled around, delegates continued to praise the tone and collaborative spirit of the meeting, yet highlighted the extensive amount of work yet to be done. Elizabeth Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, CBD highlighted that “time is not on our side,” especially in light of the great number of requests made in Rome. Yet, she expressed confidence that the WG will succeed and deliver a robust and ambitious GBF in Kunming to reverse biodiversity loss, end the cycle of destruction, and ensure that future generations will not have to face a planet irreversibly damaged by human activity.
Co-Chairs Basile Van Havre and Francis Ogwal, gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:44 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage. Α summary and analysis report from the 2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is available in HTML and PDF.
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+ Visit the web coverage for Saturday, 29 February 2020
The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed on Friday, with the first meeting of the fourth contact group on sections of the zero draft on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), clustered under, “tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming.”
During lunch, delegates participated in an information session on the role of the financial and business sectors in implementing the GBF. Ines Verleye, Belgium, and Luciana Melchert, Brazil, reported on a thematic workshop on Resource Mobilization for the GBF, held in Berlin from 14 to 16 January 2020. Verleye noted that the business and private sector is willing to engage, but is having difficulty finding ways and places to “dance together” with governments.
Marco Lambertini, WWF International, called for the parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to ensure clear targets for nature, commensurate to the carbon neutrality target in the Paris Agreement on climate change, for government, business, and civil society to rally around.
Katia Karousakis, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presented on the finance, economic, and business case for action on biodiversity, and a report prepared for the Meeting of the G7 Environment Ministers to be held in May 2020. She called for the CBD to create a multi-stakeholder advisory group on biodiversity, business, and finance.
Akanksha Khatri, World Economic Forum, presented a suit of reports under the theme, “the New Nature Economy.” She outlined that this work has classified threats to biodiversity from three socio-economic systems as well as the transitions needed in these sectors, namely: food, land, and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and energy and extractives.
Stephan Hirschi and Antonios Koumbarakis, PwC Switzerland, presented the report “Nature is too big to fail – Biodiversity: the next frontier in financial risk management.” Hirschi noted different financial risks associated with biodiversity loss, inter alia: increased costs of capital or lending requirements; increased insurance claims; increased risk of default; loss of investment value related to reputational risks; and changes in business market value.
In the afternoon plenary, delegates heard report-backs from the co-leads of contact groups, outlining progress achieved and presenting the conference room papers that would provide inputs for redrafting the GBF.
With only one more day of negotiations left, delegates entered Friday’s agenda optimistic that the steady progress made over the week would not be interrupted by the fears of the Coronavirus reaching Rome. The updates by the CBD Secretariat that the morning health checks at the entrance of the meeting venue have not yielded any cases of concern further reassured delegates that their choice to remain in Rome was not just a leap of faith, but a worthwhile decision for the good of the future GBF. Much praise was heard throughout the day for the spirit of cooperation and compromise that has prevailed in contact groups and plenary. To this regard Co-Lead of the contact group on reducing threats to biodiversity Wadzi Goredema-Mandivenyi (South Africa) reflected that, “the spirit of colleagueship was felt, making the task of co-leads pleasant and I hope this atmosphere will follow the WG from Rome to Cali.”
+ Visit the web coverage for Friday, 28 February 2020
The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed on Thursday morning for a plenary session, which included report-backs from the co-chairs of three contact groups outlining progress on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).
Delegates also continued general statements on the zero draft, focusing their interventions on:
During lunch, delegates attended a special session on the Role of Science for the GBF, which was organized as a virtual panel involving the GBF and the World Biodiversity Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on the same dates. Panelists included:
In the afternoon, Contact Group 2 reconvened for its third and final negotiation on the zero draft text on “reducing threats to biodiversity.” In the evening, Contact Group 3 reconvened for its second negotiation on, “meeting people’s needs through sustainable benefit-sharing.”
Although Contact Group Co-Chairs praised delegates for their constructive discussion thus far, lingering tensions came to the fore on the plenary floor through the re-emergence of discussions on common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) when considering implementation support mechanisms.
Delegates took a trip down memory lane – way back to 1992 and the negotiations on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, disagreeing on the relevance of the CBDR principle to the CBD. One seasoned observer expressed concern that negotiations might lose their constructive tone and hamper the ability of parties to make progress on the GBF at this meeting, should they go much further down the CBDR “rabbit hole.” Further discussions on the issue of baselines, although not explicitly addressed during this meeting awaiting scientific advice from the next SBSTTA session reinforced the feeling that the path to a successful post-2020 framework will not be a walk in the park. In the afternoon and evening, contact groups resumed on goals and threats, where, according to most observers, constructive ideas were tabled and the spirit of collaboration prevailed.
+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 27 February 2020
The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed on Wednesday, to continue negotiations on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). In the morning, delegates continued their discussions in Contact Group 2, on reducing threats to biodiversity, co-chaired by Wadzanayi Goredema-Mandivenyi (South Africa) and Gabriele Obermayr (Austria).
During lunch, delegates attended an information session on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism, which provided briefings from two teams of experts conducting related studies on the assessment of resources required for the period of the Eighth Replenishment of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF-8) and on resource mobilization for the GBF.
On the GEF-8 needs assessment, Ravi Sharma, independent consultant, outlined that consultations for the study will include a questionnaire, interviews with key stakeholders, and potentially regional and sub-regional consultations with Stephanie Mansourian, Mansourian Consultancy, outlining the details of the questionnaire. Yasha Feferholtz, EcoHealth Alliance, noted that the financial needs assessment will use econometric models to predict financial expenditures and needs of parties. Considering options for a four-year framework of programme priorities for the GEF aligned with the GBF, Yibin Xiang, CBD Secretariat, highlighted disconnections between guidance to the GEF and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) planning processes, and noted that this is a good moment for re-connection. Outlining findings of the review of the strategy for resource mobilization, Jeremy Eppel, the World Bank, noted that the underlying structure of the resource mobilization strategy is valid, but questions arise around its operational effectiveness. On options for the future strategy, Tracey Cumming, independent consultant, outlined components for resource mobilization essential for transformative change in support of the GBF.
In the afternoon, Contact Group 3 convened to negotiate text on targets of the zero draft clustered under the topic, “Meeting people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit-sharing,” co-chaired by Jorge Murillo (Colombia) and Anne Teller (EU).
In the evening, Contact Group 1 on the goals of the GBF, convened for its second meeting to consider the first draft of a non-paper summarizing progress and text submissions since its first meeting on Tuesday.
As contact groups built further momentum on Wednesday, with three out of four groups having met already, delegates felt a sense of pride for what some considered good progress. Learning from the previous day’s negotiations, Contact Group 3 Co-Chair Murillo, suggested, and delegates agreed, that rather than resorting to general statements followed by tedious and painstaking line-by-line negotiations, parties take 30 minutes to provide views on each target, which would allow even faster progress. This proved effective in some instances, and some were heard saying, “it’s like speed-dating for targets.” Whether this positive attitude sustains through the week remains to be seen, as delegates pouring out of contact group meetings, expressed concern on the rapid spread of the coronavirus, and whether it might impact smooth completion of the meeting.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed negotiations on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) on Tuesday, with delegates providing general remarks on its content. In the afternoon, delegates gathered for the first contact group to negotiate the organization and language of the goals, and to gather views on the language for the GBF mission. The contact group was co-chaired by Rosemary Paterson (New Zealand) and Vinod Mathur (India).
During lunch, delegates attended an information session on the outcomes of the First Global Dialogue on Digital Sequence Information (DSI), which took place in Pretoria, South Africa, 6-8 November 2019. Gaute Voigt-Hanssen (Norway) provided an overview of how the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) addresses DSI and stressed the need to better inform negotiators on issues around genetic resources and digital sequences.
Elizabeth Karger (Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH) outlined the use of DSI for biodiversity conservation as well as commercial uses. She also presented models of benefit-sharing developed during the dialogue, including bilateral and multilateral benefit-sharing, and benefit-sharing arising from subscription fees/levies. Suhel al-Janabi (ABS Initiative) noted that the models are not mutually exclusive, adding that the goal of the dialogue was to analyze possible approaches to deal with DSI. Lactitia Tshitwamulomoni (South Africa) summarized key points from the dialogue, including that: more dialogue is necessary, including at country, regional, and sectoral levels; the models require further engagement by various stakeholders; and resource mobilization is required for broader issues beyond benefit-sharing.
In the evening, the second contact group co-chaired by Wadzanayi Goredema-Mandivenyi (South Africa) and Gabriele Obemayr (Austria) met to negotiate the organization and language on targets on reducing threats to biodiversity.
After a first day of general statements and appreciation for the efforts taken to deliver a zero draft, delegates entered the second day of negotiations with expectations of tackling what some referred to as the substance of the GBF. As negotiations proceeded in two contact groups, participants expressed the need to leave the second WG with a simplified, yet ambitious GBF that is coherent with the objectives of the CBD and other global goals. Yet, many agreed that this is no easy feat as simplicity and ambition are not synonymous. While some cautioned that ambition needs to be commensurate with parties’ implementation ability, others argued that a specific goal on means of implementation is necessary to support the level of desired ambition. As contact group discussions on threats to biodiversity advanced into the night, some delegates, noting the continued pursuit for perfection, urged for flexibility to avoid paralyzing the process.
+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 25 February 2020
The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) kicked off on Monday, tackling procedural agenda items and listening to general statements on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).
During the opening, Co-Chair Basile van Havre thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the expeditious relocation of the meeting, from Kunming to Rome, following the Coronavirus outbreak in China.
Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, provided an overview of FAO’s relevant initiatives to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, stressing that biodiversity is vital for food production.
Hamdallah Zedan, Ministry of Environment, Egypt, speaking on behalf of CBD 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) President Yasmine Fouad, underlined the GBF's importance in providing a detailed plan of action to reduce biodiversity loss, which is taking place at an alarming rate and requires urgent response.
Xia Yingxian, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the FAO, on behalf of the incoming COP 15 President Li Ganjie, underscored the need for goals and targets that follow the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) criteria, and the need to ensure accountability and transparency in the process.
Elizabeth Mrema, Acting CBD Executive Secretary, expressed hope that parties and stakeholders would build a common understanding of the different elements on the GBF, in order to make progress at this meeting.
During lunch, delegates attended an information session, titled, “Biodiversity, Agriculture, and Food.” This session, chaired by Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, former CBD Executive Secretary, highlighted the FAO’s work for sustainable food production, ecosystem health, and resilient livelihoods.
The opening of the second meeting of the WG confirmed the renewed sense of passion in the biodiversity community, in the past six months. The list of intersessional meetings and multiple consultations was received with great appreciation. While regional groups, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society all highlighted the urgency of addressing biodiversity loss and reversing the alarming negative trends, delegates and participants spared no time delving into the specifics necessary for a successful GBF. The lion’s share of discussions in the margins of the meeting revolved around implementation, monitoring, reporting, and review, spearheaded by a thematic consultation held in Rome prior to the meeting. As negotiations unfolded into concrete thematic discussions, most participants seemed to agree that the building blocks of a successful GBF are within grasp, notwithstanding the significant challenges that lie ahead. Especially the need to strike a delicate balance that keeps parties satisfied, while prioritizing the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention.
A reception hosted by the FAO brought the day's work to a festive end, as delegates prepared for rigorous negotiations in contact groups to begin on Tuesday.
+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 24 February 2020
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