Highlights and images for 25 May 2021


Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD


Photo courtesy of Charles Besancon

On Tuesday, delegates engaged in text-based negotiations of conference room papers (CRPs) related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). They also discussed how to best convey outcomes from the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Open-ended Working Group (WG) on the GBF.

Hesiquio Benitez, SBSTTA Chair

Regarding CBD/SBSTTA/24/CRP.1 on the Fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 5), one party expressed concerns about references to subsidies harmful to biodiversity that name specific national programmes that should not be considered subsidies. Following an initial request to bracket the entire document or delete all references to GBO 5, he then proposed to “take note” rather than “welcome” GBO 5. Many parties stressed the importance of GBO 5 and asked to maintain the reference to “welcome.” Due to lack of agreement, both terms remain in brackets.

Following long discussions about detailed provisions listing certain general conclusions of GBO 5, delegates agreed to just maintain a general reference and to delete the detailed list, using the same approach for reference to lessons learned from the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

Delegates then approved the CRP with the above brackets and SBSTTA Chair Hesiquio Benitez noted that this constituted the first CRP adopted by SBSTTA following virtual negotiations.

Chair Benitez then invited Anne Teller (European Union), Co-Chair of the contact group on the GBF to report on the five sessions she co-chaired with Jorge Murillo (Colombia) between 5-11 May 2021. She noted that the contact group faced the big task to provide scientific and technical advice on the goals and targets in the GBF. As a result, they used an online survey to collect feedback from parties and observer representatives on the applicability and usability of each of the headline indicators. The results (CBD/SBSTTA/24/INF/29), along with interventions at the informal and formal SBSTTA meetings and the discussions in the contact group, are reflected in the Co-Chairs’ text. She said the Co-Chairs’ text is their best attempt to capture the diverse range of views, emphasizing that this text was not negotiated.

Anne Teller, EU, Co-Chair of the Contact Group on the GBF

Chair Benitez asked for a mandate as SBSTTA Chair to transfer the Co-Chairs’ text to the Co-Chairs of the GBF WG and urged parties to refrain from making text proposals given that this does not constitute negotiated text, and to instead raise substantive issues at the next session of the GBF WG. Many parties welcomed the document, and thanked the Co-Chairs for providing a balanced view of the positions of both parties and observers, with some making additional suggestions. Chair Benitez thanked parties for their comments, and said he would convey the Co-Chairs’ text to the Co-Chairs of the GBF WG, along with the annex and the information document containing the full results of the survey, including statements of parties and observers.

Delegates then considered CBD/SBSTTA/24/CRP.3 on the review of the updated goals and targets, and related indicators and baselines for the GBF, prepared following discussions in the contact group. Discussion focused on the relevant baselines, as well as the timing for developing and adopting the monitoring framework to oversee GBF implementation. Discussions will continue on Wednesday.

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