Daily report for 23 May 2024

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)

The fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4) focused on capacity building, cooperation, and knowledge management; communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA); and cooperation with other conventions and international organizations. The contact group on resource mobilization met in the evening.

Capacity Building, Cooperation, and Knowledge Management

Capacity building and development, technical and scientific cooperation, clearing-house mechanism, and knowledge management: Delegates continued Wednesday’s discussions. Many parties welcomed the long-term strategic framework for capacity building and development, with NORWAY, the PHILIPPINES, COLOMBIA, and others  urging alignment with parties’ priorities. The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) called for a simple and practical framework. TAJIKISTAN noted limited interaction with scientific institutions, particularly in Central Asia. LESOTHO welcomed advances on indicators for monitoring progress, while COSTA RICA cautioned against overburdening developing country parties.

On the network of regional and subregional technical and scientific support centers, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, PERU, the PHILIPPINES, and others urged their operationalization with adequate and timely financial resources and technical assistance. CHINA stressed their importance for promoting cooperation and technology transfer. UGANDA suggested: exploring opportunities for integrating them with existing entities, with ICELAND; party-to-party capacity building; and joint capacity building with other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC urged signing host agreements for the selected centers and supported, with SOUTH AFRICA, inviting the Global Environment Facility to provide relevant support. GUATEMALA suggested inviting contributions from developed country parties. JAPAN and SWITZERLAND urged efficiency and effectiveness. INDONESIA urged a balanced approach to the selection of host entities.

The PHILIPPINES, COLOMBIA, and others supported designating the Secretariat as the global coordination entity. COLOMBIA called for guaranteeing financial resources. SWITZERLAND and GEORGIA requested more time to explore available options. GUATEMALA suggested discussing relevant modalities prior to directing resources. JAPAN, SOUTH AFRICA, and INDONESIA highlighted the need for cost-effectiveness, with SOUTH AFRICA suggesting testing suitability criteria.

On the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM), INDIA, BURUNDI, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, KENYA, and others supported the recommendation to strengthen national CHM portals. COLOMBIA suggested explicitly mentioning the role of focal points. Delegates suggested facilitating communication of needs and priorities of parties, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), women, and youth, and highlighted the Bioland tool, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Asean Centre for Biodiversity.

On the knowledge management strategy, KENYA, the DRC, and COLOMBIA urged integrating traditional knowledge and practices of IPLCs. COLOMBIA further emphasized the role of Afro-descendants, women, and youth. CÔTE D’IVOIRE urged securing the necessary funds to effectively implement the strategy.

Major Groups and other stakeholders noted the importance of respecting IPLCs’ rights and knowledge through their free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). They proposed to, among other things: strengthen references to IPLCs, women, and youth, and to traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices; focus on subnational-level monitoring; and strengthen technology assessment and transfer.

Intergovernmental organizations and academia encouraged parties to communicate their identified capacity needs; stressed the importance of operationalizing technology assessments; and suggested recognizing the importance of coordinated action.

Chair Chirra Achalender Reddy (India) established a contact group to resolve matters on the modalities for operationalizing the global coordination entity.

Capacity building and development action plan for the Nagoya Protocol: The Secretariat introduced CBD/SBI/4/8. Many parties welcomed the draft action plan. 

Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, said the action plan should be dynamic and gender-responsive, support compliance, and incorporate traditional knowledge. BURKINA FASO stressed the need for financial resources and cooperation, and, with KENYA, urged addressing digital sequence information. UGANDA urged a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach.

The EU and INDIA suggested that the proposed network of support centers support the action plan’s implementation; and, alongside SWITZERLAND and CÔTE D’IVOIRE, supported broadening the informal advisory committee’s mandate. INDIA urged multi-stakeholder and inter-agency coordination. JAPAN urged developing national laws and policies regarding access to genetic resources. BRAZIL urged adding activities on training for IPLC women on genetic resources, and supported the joint development and transfer of technology related to utilization. MEXICO underscored IPLCs’ roles as holders of traditional knowledge and genetic resources and, with FIJI, the need to implement FPIC. ARGENTINA said the plan should consider national priorities, leading to differentiated courses of action.

Major Groups and other stakeholders urged the full and effective participation of IPLCs, women, and youth in a culturally appropriate and gender responsive manner; and called for financial and technical support for IPLCs developing biocultural community protocols. The INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE (ITPGRFA) urged mainstreaming and mutual support in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol with other access and benefit-sharing instruments. Chair Reddy said a conference room paper (CRP) will be prepared.

Communication, Education, and Public Awareness

The Secretariat introduced document CBD/SBI/4/9, containing a review of implementation of the CEPA work programme and annexed actions to align CEPA activities with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

Burkina Faso, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, TAJIKSTAN, and others stressed the importance of CEPA for GBF implementation; and that the annexed actions are relevant for aligning the CEPA work programme with the GBF. They noted, with ETHIOPIA, that the CEPA process had not been fit-for-purpose. JAPAN and GHANA emphasized the importance of aligning the CEPA work programme with the GBF. The DRC and UGANDA lamented limited access to environmental education for IPLCs. GHANA and NEW ZEALAND called for IPLCs, women, youth, and other rights- and stakeholders to be included in developing the action plan on education on biodiversity.

The AFRICAN GROUP, the EU, JAPAN, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, ARGENTINA, and others supported COP 16 adopting the updated programme of work following further discussions, and urged the development of the global plan of action for education on biodiversity, with relevant stakeholders and organizations. ARGENTINA stressed national legislative differences regarding education, and, with the UK, that actions are voluntary. TAJIKISTAN urged taking into account socioecological parameters and PERU socioeconomic elements.

INDIA and COLOMBIA urged mutually supportive implementation with other MEAs; using National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to develop a coherent approach; and, with CHINA and SAUDI ARABIA, biodiversity mainstreaming through a whole-of-society approach. DJIBOUTI urged the Secretariat to deliver CEPA training sessions to provide tools for national experts. EGYPT urged incorporating cultural and historical perspectives, religion, and, with COLOMBIA, different knowledge systems including traditional knowledge. PERU and the UK noted that work on education is lagging behind and more needs to be done. 

The EU, ETHIOPIA, and DJIBOUTI suggested inviting the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to contribute to the action plan. The EU and ETHIOPIA, opposed by ARGENTINA, suggested also inviting the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). BRAZIL cautioned singling out entities that are not international organizations, calling for balance and consideration of regional contexts. The DRC suggested caution on providing UNESCO with a leading role. BURUNDI, ETHIOPIA, INDIA, and BRAZIL urged the education action plan encompass formal and informal education and address all education levels. CANADA urged building on existing tools and activities, and implementation in accordance with national circumstances.

Some delegates identified relevant GBF targets, with which the CEPA work programme should be aligned. The EU and CHINA suggested further work to identify relevant targets. The DRC recommended that all GBF targets be addressed, opposing focusing on specific ones. BRAZIL suggested language to enhance customary use by IPLCs and to reflect the work programme’s contributions to sustainable livelihoods and poverty eradication.

Major Groups and other stakeholders suggested considering: transdisciplinary education recognizing worldviews of IPLCs; holistic and lifelong learning; informal education; and references to the Gender Plan of Action as well as to the participation of IPLCs, women, and youth. Intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations noted the key role of CEPA and nature-based education, and use of innovative means of communication. Chair Reddy said a CRP will be produced.

Cooperation with Other Conventions and International Organizations

The Secretariat introduced document CBD/SBI/4/10. Clarisse Kehler Siebert (Sweden), Co-Chair of the Bern III conference on cooperation among the biodiversity-related conventions, presented the conference’s outcomes, highlighting the need for: MEAs to contribute to the global review of collective progress in GBF implementation; and fostering national coordination to realize whole-of-government and society approaches.

The EU, Zimbabwe for the AFRICAN GROUP, NAMIBIA, SWITZERLAND, the PHILIPPINES, JAPAN, ARGENTINA, the UK, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, and many others emphasized the importance of cooperation among the CBD and other biodiversity-related conventions and international organizations; and welcomed endorsement of the GBF and contributions to its implementation. CAMBODIA, FIJI, the UK, and others supported the draft recommendation’s adoption at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16), with minor amendments. The DRC and EGYPT lamented weak progress on fostering cooperation and synergies. AUSTRALIA highlighted the need for cooperation delivering concrete outcomes and reducing duplication.

BRAZIL, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, urged recognizing the independent and autonomous nature of MEAs, respecting their individual mandates, and a party-driven approach to cooperation. INDONESIA and ARGENTINA cautioned against prejudging other international organizations and conventions’ procedures.

The EU, the AFRICAN GROUP, SWITZERLAND, the PHILIPPINES, CUBA, and the UK welcomed the Bern III conference report. CAMBODIA, supported by SWITZERLAND and the PHILIPPINES, suggested considering actions to implement the Bern III outcomes. BRAZIL called for flexible engagement with the Bern process.

The AFRICAN GROUP suggested formalizing cooperation with multilateral agreements beyond MEAs, with MALAWI further requesting the Secretariat provide regular reports. The EU highlighted the Carpathian Biodiversity Framework, while the AFRICAN GROUP suggested considering other relevant models. BRAZIL and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION suggested deleting the reference, with ARGENTINA requesting further studies to determine extrapolation possibilities.

FIJI, INDONESIA, and the PHILIPPINES urged enhanced cooperation between the three Rio conventions and others. PAKISTAN suggested developing guidance to address climate change and biodiversity loss. Delegates suggested further cooperation with several relevant MEAs and organizations, with COLOMBIA highlighting the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The EU, FIJI, PAKISTAN, the PHILIPPINES, and CANADA urged: strengthening coordination between the national focal points of the CBD and other MEAs, with CAMBODIA, MEXICO, the DRC, UGANDA, and INDIA; exploring a joint work programme between the CBD and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and reviving and strengthening liaison groups, supported by UGANDA and INDIA. INDIA and GHANA noted that NBSAPs can play an important role in fostering a coherent approach across different MEAs and obligations.

The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY and the OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER ON HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR), supported by many parties, urged including invitations to OHCHR to collaborate with the CBD Secretariat to develop tools and guidance on a human rights-based approach for GBF implementation; and a reference to UN General Assembly resolution 52/23 on the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME, the FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UN, ITPGRFA, and IUCN reported on respective resolutions and decisions welcoming the GBF, and on their activities to support it. Discussions will continue.

Contact Group on Resource Mobilization

Co-chaired by Shonisani Munzhedzi (South Africa) and Salima Kempenaer (Belgium), the contact group on resource mobilization’s first session considered a non-paper reflecting proposals and amendments suggested in plenary and through written submissions. The contact group focused its deliberations on the draft recommendations, with the co-chairs indicating that discussions will then address the controversial issue of the global instrument on biodiversity finance.

In the Breezeways

Participants were seen putting on their game faces as they walked into day three of plenary — trying to catch up on the original meeting’s schedule. One seasoned delegate noted the “spirit of conviviality in the room.” Another was thanked for her “crisp comment,” as interventions began to follow the streamlined, efficient approach that many have been urging for.

Attentive listeners got a preview on the value of the agenda item on education, as a delegate representing research and academia intervened to drive home the importance of national-level capacity building for technology assessment, among other things. With this week’s deliberations focusing on core activities for the Convention’s implementation, some have noted that it is easy to get lost in terminology and lose sight of the bigger picture — of what really is at stake. Reminders about the interconnectivity of issues, woven in amongst specific presentations, are “motivating us to keep going,” commented a participant on her way to the evening contact group.

Further information