Convention on Biological Diversity: Special Virtual Sessions

15-18 September 2020 | Virtual

Highlights for Wednesday, 16 September 2020

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Special Virtual Sessions convened on Wednesday, 16 September, from 7:00-9:00 am EDT (UTC-4:00). These virtual sessions of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) provide the opportunity for the presentation of information and for statements by parties and observers.

Testing of A Party-Led Review Process Through an Open-Ended Forum 

SBI Chair Charlotta Sörqvist moderated the session, which began the test of a party-led review of implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The review aims to increase transparency between parties and identify options to overcome obstacles.

Moustafa Fouda, on behalf of the presidency of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), reminded participants that their expertise and experiences would be invaluable to developing an enhanced review mechanism in the context of COP 15 and the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Noting the popularity of championing technological solutions to biodiversity conservation, CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema called the virtual session an opportunity to “put our money where our mouth is”.

Presentations by Parties

Three parties presented on their implementation efforts.

Sri Lanka presented an overview of its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), which includes objectives of, among others, ensuring long-term conservation of biodiversity and promoting equitable benefit-sharing. Considering challenges to implementation, she raised a lack of trained staff, as well as the poor perception of how biodiversity conservation can contribute to national development.

Ethiopia presented an overview of its revised NBSAP, as well as of its fifth and sixth National Reports, noting that its targets are mapped to the Aichi Biodiversity targets. He raised the challenge of physically auditing the reported implementations. Responding to a question from Canada, he suggested that the party-led review process would be useful as a mechanism in the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Poland presented its NBSAP’s objectives, which include improving nature protection systems; the integration of economic sectors with biodiversity objectives; and reducing threats from climate change and invasive species. She noted that Poland has not made sufficient progress to achieve any of its objectives by 2020, citing a poor choice of indicators as one potential cause.

Presentations from parties will continue on Thursday, with Guyana and Finland reviewing their progress.



IISD, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a briefing note from the special virtual sessions.

Images from the Meeting

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Resources

IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage

IISD Resources