The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) resumed on Thursday morning for a plenary session, which included report-backs from the co-chairs of three contact groups outlining progress on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).Delegates also continued general statements on the zero draft, focusing their interventions on:
- tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming;
- implementation support mechanisms;
- enabling conditions;
- responsibility and transparency; and
- outreach, awareness, and uptake.
During lunch, delegates attended a special session on the Role of Science for the GBF, which was organized as a virtual panel involving the GBF and the World Biodiversity Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on the same dates. Panelists included:
- WG Co-Chair Basile van Havre, who emphasized the need for interdisciplinary scientific support for the GBF, adding that national implementation plans for the GBF are in tandem with those at the global scale;
- WG Co-Chair Francis Ogwal, who reported on strong requests for guidance on ensuring conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit-sharing adequately referenced in the GBF;
- Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), who drew attention to the need for progress in addressing direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and for biodiversity observatories on order to monitor changes in biodiversity;
- David Obura, Director, Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa, who said ecological functions need emphasis in the GBF, adding that goals and targets should be framed as catchy “headlines,” to ensure policy uptake;
- Hesiquio Benítez Díaz (Mexico), Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), who highlighted the role that SBSTTA will play in ensuring that goals and targets are scientifically sound; and
- David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), who said that the upcoming IPBES assessment on transformative change will be key in guiding countries on options for achieving such change.
In the afternoon, Contact Group 2 reconvened for its third and final negotiation on the zero draft text on “reducing threats to biodiversity.” In the evening, Contact Group 3 reconvened for its second negotiation on, “meeting people’s needs through sustainable benefit-sharing.”Although Contact Group Co-Chairs praised delegates for their constructive discussion thus far, lingering tensions came to the fore on the plenary floor through the re-emergence of discussions on common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) when considering implementation support mechanisms.
Delegates took a trip down memory lane – way back to 1992 and the negotiations on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, disagreeing on the relevance of the CBDR principle to the CBD. One seasoned observer expressed concern that negotiations might lose their constructive tone and hamper the ability of parties to make progress on the GBF at this meeting, should they go much further down the CBDR “rabbit hole.” Further discussions on the issue of baselines, although not explicitly addressed during this meeting awaiting scientific advice from the next SBSTTA session reinforced the feeling that the path to a successful post-2020 framework will not be a walk in the park. In the afternoon and evening, contact groups resumed on goals and threats, where, according to most observers, constructive ideas were tabled and the spirit of collaboration prevailed.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage. Α summary and analysis report from the 2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is available in HTML and PDF.
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Special Session on the Role of Science for the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework