Daily report for 12 July 2018
22nd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22) and 2nd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 2) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
On Thursday, SBI 2 delegates met in plenary in the morning, afternoon, and evening, and addressed conference room papers (CRPs) on:
- mainstreaming of biodiversity within and across sectors, and other strategic actions to enhance implementation;
- resource mobilization, including: elements of methodological guidance for identifying, monitoring, and assessing the contribution of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to the achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Targets; and taking the voluntary guidelines on safeguards in biodiversity financing mechanisms into account when selecting, designing, and implementing financing mechanisms, and when developing instrument-specific safeguards;
- the global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS);
- capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation, and technology transfer;
- national reporting, and assessment and review, under the Convention and its Protocols;
- the trust fund for facilitating the participation of parties in the Convention process;
- mechanisms to facilitate review of implementation;
- integration of Article 8(j) and provisions related to IPLCs in the work of the Convention and its Protocols;
- review of the effectiveness of processes under the Convention and its Protocols;
- monitoring and reporting under Article 33 of the Biosafety Protocol;
- national reporting under the Convention and its Protocols;
- specialized international ABS instruments under Article 4(4) of the Nagoya Protocol;
- review of implementation of the financial mechanism;
- proposals for a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework; and
- cooperation with other conventions, international organizations, and partnerships.
Delegates resumed Wednesday’s discussions on a CRP. There was broad agreement on acknowledging the work of the Convention on Migratory Species and specifically welcoming its work on fostering biodiversity-friendly practices in the energy sector. MEXICO requested further highlighting linkages between biodiversity and the health sector. VENEZUELA proposed referring to ecosystem services “and functions.”
Following discussions and several amendments, delegates agreed to two suggestions by the EU: to provide, where appropriate and efficient, incentives to mainstream biodiversity in the energy and mining, infrastructure, and manufacturing and processing sectors in harmony with international obligations; and to promote and strengthen best practices on sustainable production and consumption implemented in the aforementioned sectors, and sectors that favor conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Reference to the health sector remained in brackets.
A lengthy discussion took place on whether to refer to “ecosystem values” or “the importance of ecosystems,” as well as on whether to refer to the “business and financial sectors” or “productive sectors.” The items remained in brackets.
CANADA proposed, and delegates accepted, to request the Secretariat to undertake additional analysis to examine the role of IPLCs in mainstreaming biodiversity in relevant sectors. Following consultations, delegates reached agreement on acknowledging that mainstreaming of biodiversity is a critical approach to assist parties in the implementation of the Convention, and that transformational change is required to achieve conservation and sustainable use, including changes in behavior and decision making at all levels and in all sectors, for the achievement of the Strategic Plan, its Aichi Targets, the vision incorporated in the Strategic Plan, as well as the post-2020 framework. Deliberations will resume on Friday.
Delegates approved, without and with minor amendments respectively, two CRPs on: elements of methodological guidance for identifying, monitoring, and assessing the contribution of IPLCs to the achievement of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets; and taking the voluntary guidelines on safeguards in biodiversity financing mechanisms into account when selecting, designing, and implementing financing mechanisms and when developing instrument-specific safeguards.
On a CRP on resource mobilization, delegates debated the timeline for parties and others to submit their views on the scope and content of the resource mobilization component of the post-2020 framework. The EU requested clarification on whether views should be submitted for consideration by COP 14, or feed into the next intersessional period. Discussion also focused on references to the preparatory process for the post-2020 framework.
The CRP was approved in the evening, following adoption of the CRP on the preparation of the post-2020 framework.
Global Multilateral Benefit-Sharing Mechanism
Goute Voigt-Hanssen (Norway) and Alejandra Barrios (Mexico), Co-Chairs of the contact group on a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism, reported back on the group’s deliberations, noting that consensus was not reached on a number of topics under discussion.
South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, proposed text on: recognizing that the need for a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism has been demonstrated, and moving ahead with elaborating its modalities to address fair and equitable benefit-sharing in transboundary situations or situations for which it is not possible to grant or obtain prior informed consent; noting that benefits generated through the mechanism and shared with the custodians of biodiversity and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is a valuable incentive for conservation and sustainable use; and noting that efforts towards the full and effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in its entirety should not be hindered. The proposals were bracketed.
Delegates addressed language in the recommendation that more information on specific cases for a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism would assist parties in the consideration of Nagoya Protocol Article 10. JAPAN and others proposed that such cases should not include those covered under bilateral agreements. The AFRICAN GROUP proposed that the information should include the development of relevant modalities. Both proposals were bracketed.
Capacity Building, Technical and Scientific Cooperation and Technology Transfer
On a paragraph requesting the Secretariat to further promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation, EGYPT, with PALESTINE and TUNISIA, proposed adding a specific reference to training on DNA technologies for identification, including through the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). The REPUBLIC OF KOREA opposed. The EU supported referring to DNA technologies for identification, but not GTI. Parties eventually agreed to Egypt’s proposal, and the CRP was approved as amended.
National Reporting, and Assessment and Review, under the Convention and its Protocols
Delegates approved a CRP on assessment and review under Article 35 of the Biosafety Protocol, with a minor amendment on the sources of information to consider for facilitating the fourth assessment and review of the Protocol. Two CRPs on monitoring and reporting under Article 33 of the Biosafety Protocol, and on national reporting under the Convention and its Protocols, were approved without, and with minor amendments, respectively.
Trust Fund for Facilitating the Participation of Parties in the Convention process
Delegates approved a CRP without amendments.
Mechanisms on Review of Implementation
CANADA proposed to refer to a multi-dimensional review “approach,” rather than a “mechanism.” The EU proposed requesting the Secretariat “to facilitate further voluntary peer-reviews and to invite parties to volunteer for a review and nominate candidates for the review teams.” The CRP was approved with these and other minor amendments.
Enhancing Integration among the Convention and its Protocols
Delegates agreed to a number of amendments to revert the CRP to the original text approved by the Working Group on Article 8(j) at its tenth meeting. A lengthy discussion took place on a request to the Secretariat to prepare a projection of the financial implications of possible institutional arrangements for the implementation of Article 8(j) for the biennium 2021-2022. Delegates tabled proposals to also include governance and thematic implications, and reached consensus on including governance implications. The CRP was approved as amended.
Review of the Effectiveness of Processes under the Convention and its Protocols
A CRP was approved with minor amendments.
Specialized International ABS Instruments
Lactitia Tshitwamulomoni (South Africa) and Thomas Greiber (Germany), Co-Chairs of the contact group on specialized international ABS instruments, reported on the group’s deliberations, noting that consensus has been reached on all topics. Delegates approved the CRP without amendments.
Review of Implementation of the Financial Mechanism
Regarding a compilation of submissions by the Secretariat, the EU suggested it include submissions received from parties as well as information derived from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) operation performance study, which will be the basis for the fifth review of the effectiveness of the financial mechanism to be performed by parties at COP 14.
The EU suggested inviting the GEF to “continue” rather than “expedite” its support for national implementation activities under the Strategic Plan. CANADA suggested deleting several paragraphs, including inviting the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to consider, in its guidance to the Green Climate Fund, the voluntary guidelines for the design and effective implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The CRP was approved with these and other minor amendments.
Preparation for the Follow up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity
Delegates addressed a CRP on proposals for a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the post-2020 framework. Prudence Galega (Cameroon), Chair of the Friends of the Chair group, reported on the group’s deliberations, noting the text contains no brackets.
Delegates discussed a paragraph requesting the Secretariat to explore streamlined options to provide advice and high-level political guidance for consideration at COP 14. The EU proposed placeholder text, which would establish an informal advisory committee to advise the Secretariat on the further elaboration and implementation of the preparatory process for the post-2020 framework. MEXICO and BRAZIL opposed, and the original text was retained.
Following lengthy debate on whether to refer to biodiversity “initiatives” or “commitments,” delegates agreed to encourage parties and invite other governments, IPLCs, and all relevant organizations and stakeholders, including the private sector, to consider developing, prior to COP 15, as appropriate to the national context and on a voluntary basis, biodiversity commitments that may contribute to an effective post-2020 framework, commensurate with achieving the 2050 vision. Delegates further discussed developing a specific plan for the Nagoya Protocol as part of the post-2020 framework, as an analogy to the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for the Biosafety Protocol. The proposed paragraph was left in brackets.
The CRP was approved with these amendments and the bracketed text.
Cooperation with other Conventions, International Organizations, and Partnerships
Delegates approved a CRP as amended to include reference to the Ramsar Convention, and other minor amendments.
In the Corridors
Delegates spent long hours in plenary addressing conference room papers, in what one participant described as a “painfully slow, albeit necessary exercise.” With several controversial items remaining in brackets, including on biodiversity mainstreaming, and the global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing, participants in the corridors wondered what could change the pace and lift the spirits in time for the meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Egypt in November. “We need to start creating political momentum now, for Egypt to become a milestone towards the 2020 meeting in Beijing,” one seasoned delegate opined. “Parties could serve as champions for specific items,” a participant noted, while yet another stressed the need for the biodiversity community to nurture linkages with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. “Unless we raise the Convention’s profile in New York, and showcase how biodiversity sustains human well-being, most of the world’s decision makers will continue considering conservation a “nice to have” luxury, when it really is a “must have” for sustainable development,” she summed up. “Scenarios for future steps are on the table; let’s choose one and move ahead.”
ENB Summary and Analysis: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of SBSTTA 22 and SBI 2 will be available on Monday, 16 July 2018 at http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/sbstta22-sbi2/