Highlights and images of main proceedings for 16 May 2021

Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD

On Sunday, the third session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened online to prepare for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) and the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).

During the three-hour session, delegates:

  • addressed organizational matters;
  • reviewed progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020; and
  • addressed an assessment of the effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; and opened discussions on the process for a post-2020 GBF.

SBI Chair Charlotta Sörqvist (Sweden) opened the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of those who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. She expressed her confidence for a successful session, stressing the challenges associated with recreating a negotiating format in a virtual setting.

Hamdallah Zedan (Egypt) on behalf of the Presidency of COP14, emphasized the need to collectively navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and move towards the development of an ambitious, robust, and transformative GBF.

Hamdallah Zedan, Egypt, on behalf of the COP-14 Presidency

CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema underscored that more than 1,830 participants representing 128 countries and many organizations have registered for the meeting. She underscored that the session would consider 18 agenda items, including vital documents for the development of the GBF and the successful preparation for COP15. She further highlighted that the informal session of SBI-3 in March 2021 allowed for an initial exchange of views, which will be included in the development of the draft recommendations.

Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary, CBD

Delegates then adopted the meeting’s agenda and organization of work. Chair Sörqvist noted that the adoption of outcomes (L documents) will be deferred to a later day, according to a decision by the Bureau; and invited delegates to refrain from repeating statements made at the informal session. Rapporteur Eric Okoree (Ghana) explained that the meeting report will be approved on 13 June.

Review of progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan

The Secretariat introduced the item, including:

  • draft recommendations;
  • an update on progress in revising/updating and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs), including national targets;
  • an analysis of the contribution of national targets and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity targets;
  • review of implementation of the 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action; and
  • progress towards Aichi target 18 on traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use.

Parties stressed the need for improvement in implementation, including through greater financial support to developing countries and enhancing mainstreaming of biodiversity into productive sectors. There were calls for adequate means of implementation, including capacity building, technology transfer, scientific cooperation, and financial resources. Others called for enhanced transparency and accountability in international biodiversity funding as well as effective participation, including of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs), youth, and women. Observers called for gender-responsive actions in implementation and mainstreaming of gender issues in biodiversity policy frameworks, and for ensuring the equitable participation of women in decision making. Noting broad support for the draft recommendations, Chair Sörqvist said that a conference room paper (CRP) will be prepared.

Assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Secretariat introduced this item, including draft recommendations, and an analysis of information for the assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Biosafety Protocol, and the final evaluation of the Strategic Plan for the Protocol for the period 2011-2020.

Parties to the Biosafety Protocol stressed the need for continued funding and capacity building for the development and implementation of national biosafety plans. They also called for specific funding for biosafety under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and mainstreaming of biosafety into NBSAPs. A CRP will be prepared.

Li Ching Lim, Third World Network (TWN)

Overview of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework process

Delegates heard introductory remarks from the Co-Chairs of the Working Group on the GBF, who invited input on a set of questions pertinent to the development of the framework. Discussions on the item will continue on 28 May.

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