On Wednesday, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened its sixth plenary meeting 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 session, delegates engaged in text-based negotiations related to the GBF, and discussed invasive alien species.
Post-2020 global biodiversity framework
Regarding the review of the updates goals and targets, and related indicators and baselines for the GBF (CBD/SBSTTA24/CRP.3), parties discussed individual paragraphs addressing, among other things, the review of the monitoring framework, the implementation of the GBF, and the annex containing the terms of reference for the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on indicators for the GBF. With regard to the monitoring framework, some parties expressed concern at the open-ended wording on the review period, as well as the nature of the review itself, and the overlap between the roles of SBSTTA, the proposed AHTEG. and the COP. Following lengthy exchanges, all parties agreed to a new draft of the relevant paragraph.
On the paragraphs concerning implementation, several parties noted that this may be better placed within text under negotiation in the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) since these issues are best discussed there. In response, some parties suggested deleting the related paragraphs. Other parties disagreed, noting that the content was relevant to SBSTTA, and made substantive comments on the wording of the paragraphs. Due to the limited time, Chair Hesiquio Benitez put the proposed text in brackets to be discussed at a later stage, following further discussions by the SBI.
Delegates then discussed the annexed terms of reference for the AHTEG on indicators for the GBF, with parties making diverging comments and some asking for additions. Anne Teller, Co-Chair of the contact group on the GBF, noted that this had been heavily discussed during the contact group meetings, and urged parties to not reopen the text. Chair Benitez proposed to put brackets around the annex and present it as a package, noting that text can still be added at the next stage of discussions. The CRP was then adopted with a number of brackets in the recommendation and around the annex.
Invasive alien species
Delegates next considered invasive alien species. Discussions covered a broad range of topics, including the need for international cooperation to enhance understanding of the issue and potential solutions; continuing the development of capacity building across relevant sectors; and enhancing review and exchange of data to enable early detection and rapid response systems.
Some parties referred to the relevance of other international multilateral agreements, including those negotiated under the World Trade Organization (WTO), with several also speaking of the importance to address the heightened risks posed by the increase in e-commerce in part due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of SBSTTA-24 will resume with the next plenary session on Monday, 7 June 2021.
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