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26th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 26) and 4th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4)

13–29 May 2024 | Nairobi, Kenya

Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD

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Despite lengthy discussions in Nairobi, many key implementation issues remained unresolved and extensive parts of the draft decisions remain bracketed—which means the Conference of the Parties in October will have to find common ground.

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Duck flock

Photo by Pam Chasek

More than a year after the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in December 2022 at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the focus is now on GBF’s effective implementation. Setting a path towards achieving the 23 GBF targets for 2030 as well as its four strategic goals for 2050 is the only way to reach the global vision of a world living in harmony with nature by 2050.

The meetings of the two subsidiary bodies were significant as they addressed a variety of topics and provide key advice and recommendations for consideration at COP 16, which will place in Cali, Colombia, from 21 October – 1 November 2024. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) addresses scientific, technical, and technological aspects of biodiversity conservation. The Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) focuses on enhancing implementation, including strengthening means of implementation and reviewing progress.

During the first week, SBSTTA 26 focused on:

  • the monitoring framework for the GBF, continuing to review work on indicators by the relevant Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group;
  • scientific and technical needs to support GBF’s implementation;
  • synthetic biology, including the outcomes of discussions under the relevant multidisciplinary Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group;
  • risk assessment and risk management;
  • detection and identification of living modified organisms;
  • marine and coastal biodiversity; and
  • biodiversity and health, including an updated version of the draft global action plan to mainstream biodiversity and health linkages into national policies.

SBI 4 focused on:

  • the review of implementation, including progress in national target setting and the updating of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
  • mechanisms for planning, monitoring, reporting, and review, including finalizing reporting templates, developing concrete procedures for a global review of the collective progress in GBF’s implementation, and preparing an open-ended forum for voluntary country review;
  • resource mobilization and the financial mechanism, including the outcomes of work under the Advisory Committee on Resource Mobilization on a revised strategy for the GBF for the period 2025-2030 as well as guidance to the Global Environment Facility related to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund;
  • capacity building and development, technical and scientific cooperation, and knowledge management;
  • updating the CBD’s programme of work on communication, education, and public awareness, and developing further guidance for national and local implementation;
  • cooperation with other conventions and international organizations;
  • the review of the effectiveness of the processes under the CBD and its protocols;
  • the assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Nagoya Protocol;
  • a long-term strategic approach to mainstreaming, with the SBI expected to develop recommendations on the draft long-term strategic approach and associated action plan;
  • the review of the programmes of work of the CBD, using the GBF to better align and direct the work of the various bodies of the CBD and its protocols; and
  • the Multi-Year Programme of Work of the COPs, addressing a list of issues related to the review of progress in the implementation of the CBD and the GBF for COP 16 and subsequent COPs up to 2030.

SBSTTA 26 and SBI 4 were the first CBD meetings following the appointment of Astrid Schomaker as CBD Executive Secretary. They took place from 13-18 May and 21-29 May 2023, respectively, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) writers for this meeting were Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D.; Katarina Hovden; Nicole Schabus; and Emma Vovk. The Digital Editor was Mike Muzurakis. The Editor was Pam Chasek, Ph.D.

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