On the final day of the Geneva Biodiversity Conference, the Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (WG2020) successfully concluded its work. A Contact Group on targets on reducing threats to biodiversity met in the morning, with a plenary session following in the afternoon.
The Contact Group met for four hours in the morning, addressing targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) on ensuring that:
- areas globally are under integrated spatial planning, addressing land- and sea-use change, taking into account the customary rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs);
- degraded ecosystems are under restoration, ensuring connectivity among them and focusing on priority ecosystems; and
- areas globally, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity, are conserved through well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, giving effect to the rights of IPLCs, and including the proposed 30 by 30 target.
Delegates tabled numerous ideas and suggestions on all three targets during the session. Despite the productive session, divergent opinions remain, and discussions will continue.
In the afternoon, the WG2020 plenary adopted four L documents, including the meeting’s report and: a recommendation to COP-15, which contains the outcomes of the second part of the third meeting of the WG2020; a decision to hold a fourth meeting of the WG2020; and a decision on the way forward on digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources.
The fourth meeting of the WG2020 will be held from 21-26 June 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting will continue negotiations on the GBF and on DSI on genetic resources, building on the work of the third meeting and the intersessional work of the informal advisory group on DSI, and drawing upon relevant intersessional work to produce the final draft of the GBF for consideration at COP-15, to be held in Kunming, China.
WG2020 plenary heard closing remarks from regional groups and major groups of stakeholders.
CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema highlighted several accomplishments of the meeting, including refining the key dimensions of the GBF, its mission, goals, and action targets, and providing the way forward on DSI sending an encouraging signal to the world. She emphasized that the WG2020 faces many formidable challenges to create a truly global framework that will engage all sectors of society, mobilize sufficient resources, and share benefits fairly and equitably, noting that “this manoeuvre has a high degree of difficulty.”
Zhou Guomei, Deputy Secretary General, China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), on behalf of COP President Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment, China, stressed that the meeting has inspired confidence and trust based on a transparent and inclusive approach. She added that delegates and participants sent a strong political signal to the world, through their tireless work, that COP-15 will be a success, reenergizing the global efforts to halt biodiversity loss, putting it to a path to recovery by 2030.
WG2020 Co-Chairs Francis Ogwal (Uganda) and Basile van Havre (Canada) emphasized that the meeting was a success, and that the GBF now belongs to the parties, thanks to their commitment and dedication over the past two and half weeks. They highlighted the work ahead, thanked everyone for their efforts, and gaveled the meeting to a close at 7:48 pm CET.