Highlights and images of main proceedings for 18 May 2021

Butterfly

Photo courtesy of Pam Chasek

On Tuesday, the third session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened its third plenary meeting, to prepare for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) and the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). The meeting focused on issues related to capacity building and review of implementation.

During the three-hour session, delegates addressed draft recommendations on:

  • capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation, technology transfer, knowledge management, and communication; and
  • mechanisms for reporting, assessment, and review of implementation.

Capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation, technology transfer, knowledge management, and communication

 Continuing Monday’s discussions, delegates focused on elements for a draft recommendation. They addressed, among other issues:

  • the draft long-term strategic framework for capacity development to support the implementation of the GBF;
  • synergies with biodiversity-related and the Rio Conventions;
  • terms of reference for an informal advisory group on technical and scientific cooperation; and
  • options for institutional mechanisms to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation, including establishment of a global support center and a network of regional support centers and other relevant organizations.

Many underscored that capacity building is an integral part of the GBF and highlighted relevant financial needs. Delegates debated options for institutional mechanisms. Some supported establishment of a global support center, while others expressed concerns, pointing to fragmentation of capacity-building initiatives, and calling for mainstreaming biodiversity considerations into existing mechanisms.

Silvia Ribeiro, CBD Alliance

Mechanisms for reporting, assessment, and review of implementation

Delegates addressed options to enhance planning, reporting, and review mechanisms, with a view to strengthening the implementation of the Convention. Discussion focused on the proposed “enhanced multidimensional approach,” including:

  • development and reporting of “national commitments” as contributions to the global goals and targets of the GBF;
  • national reports on implementation;
  • country-by-country peer reviews of implementation and global stocktakes of national contributions; and
  • global assessments of progress towards the goals and targets of the GBF.

Many highlighted that national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) are the main tool for planning and implementation of the Convention at the national level; and cautioned against the introduction of national commitments as an additional tool. Delegates stressed that implementation of the GBF should be based on improving the efficiency of existing mechanisms. They further cautioned against adding complexity to national reporting requirements, calling for synergies with other MEAs to reduce the reporting burden.

A contact group was established, co-chaired by Andrew Stott (UK) and Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica). The first meeting of the contact group will take place on Thursday, 20 May, from 12:00-3:00 pm EDT (GMT-4).

The SBI plenary will resume on Friday, 28 May 2021.

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