Report of main proceedings for 12 October 2012
CBD COP 11
WG I met in the morning and afternoon to discuss biodiversity and climate change, and ecosystem restoration. In the afternoon, plenary adopted decisions on biofuels and biodiversity, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), the GTI and incentive measures, heard reports and addressed organizational matters. Contact groups on resource mobilization and REDD+, as well as the budget group and Friends of the Chair groups on guidance to the financial mechanism and geo-engineering met throughout the day.
WORKING GROUP I
CLIMATE CHANGE: Delegates addressed a revised draft decision on other matters related to biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/ CBD/COP11/WG.1/CRP.1).
On funding to fill biodiversity and ecosystem data gaps, JAPAN, the EU, NORWAY, CANADA and others, opposed by CHINA, suggested that governments and organizations “in a position to do so” further mobilize resources. BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CHINA, BOLIVIA, MALAYSIA, ETHIOPIA and others requested either bracketing text on endorsing the SBSTTA recommendation on strengthening knowledge and information on the linkages between biodiversity and climate change or adding reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The EU, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA and NORWAY opposed. On evaluating the impact of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services, BRAZIL, opposed by the EU and ISRAEL, objected to reference to “monitoring activities.”
ETHIOPIA suggested, and delegates agreed, that parties “promote,” rather than “consider,” synergies between biodiversity and climate change policies and measures. BELARUS suggested reflecting the role that “restored ecosystems” play in climate change-related activities.
On the strengthening of inventories and monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem services, the EU, opposed by BRAZIL, suggested including evaluation of the impacts of climate change adaptation and mitigation. BRAZIL, opposed by NORWAY, objected to language on reviewing land‑use planning with a view to enhancing ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, arguing it falls under the UNFCCC mandate.
In the afternoon, delegates agreed on compromise language to: strengthen knowledge and information, including comparable datasets and related research, and monitoring activities on the links between biodiversity, climate change and human well-being in educational programmes, with the EU adding “at all levels”; strengthen inventories and monitoring of threats and likely impacts of climate change, and both positive and negative impacts of climate mitigation and adaptation measures on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and “consider” reviewing land-use planning with a view to enhancing ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change.
ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: Delegates considered a revised draft decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/WG.1/CRP.2). CANADA, supported by INDIA, proposed deleting reference to ecosystem restoration as a “last resort for ameliorating degraded ecosystems.”
On identifying degraded ecosystems for potential restoration that may be used by ILCs, THAILAND proposed promoting best practices and appropriate technology. NORWAY recommended performing social impact assessments to ensure that restoration projects do not negatively affect ILCs that may use the land. The EU preferred to “consider” performing social impact assessments, with AUSTRALIA adding “appropriate to national circumstances.”
On language recognizing that developing countries require financial resources to implement ecosystem restoration and achieve the Aichi targets, PERU, supported by EL SALVADOR but opposed by CANADA, suggested including countries that are centers of origin. The EU, supported by NEW ZEALAND, requested bracketing the text due to its financial implications, pending discussions on resource mobilization. SOMALIA, SUDAN, QATAR, the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, TOGO, TURKEY and other developing countries wished to retain the language. JAPAN proposed referring not only to financial, but also to technical and human resources. CHINA, supported by BRAZIL, proposed adding “in accordance with CBD Article 20” (Financial Resources). MEXICO urged delegates not to repeat the experience of COP 10 in Nagoya where several portions of decisions were left bracketed until the conclusion of discussions on resource mobilization. Chair González Posse admonished delegates not to keep the process “hostage” to the resource mobilization discussion.
In the afternoon, delegates agreed not to establish an AHTEG on ecosystem restoration, but to request the Secretariat to undertake the tasks initially allocated to an AHTEG. Pointing to ongoing informal discussions on terminology regarding “indigenous peoples and local communities” versus ILCs, CANADA and the EU requested bracketing these references.
CONTACT GROUP ON RESOURCE MOBILIZATION
Participants addressed a shortened and revised non-paper following discussions held on Thursday evening. Co-Chairs Ines Verleye (Belgium) and Javier Camargo (Colombia) explained the non-paper included language discussed at WGRI as well as parties’ additional contributions, grouped under sections on: preamble; reporting framework; baselines; targets; review of goals of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization; high-level panel; enabling conditions; innovative financial mechanisms; and requests to the Secretariat. Debate focused on procedural issues. Developing countries stressed the need to start the discussion from the section on targets, arguing the need for, at least, an interim target. Developed countries preferred discussing the reporting framework and baselines first, noting these sections provide the required background for discussion on targets. Some developing countries also argued that innovative financial mechanisms can be accepted only in combination with a system monitoring their efficacy.
During the budget contact group, parties discussed the programme budget for the next biennium 2013 – 2014, noting that the COP had prepared three options based on assessed growth, 7.5% growth and zero growth. Delegates addressed the scenarios under each budget option, with parties addressing the implications in terms of staffing, frequency and duration of SBSTTA meetings, post upgrades, as well as the logistics of COP and SBSTTA Bureau meetings. Delegates also discussed the status of unpaid contributions from 2001. They expressed concern that a large number of dues and pledges for 2012 are still unpaid, and agreed to draft a decision requesting the COP President and the Executive Secretary to appeal to parties to pay their contributions as a matter of urgency.
CONTACT GROUP ON REDD+
Delegates discussed a non-paper reflecting parties’ views and discussions held during the week. Some said the paper was a good basis for negotiation. Others noted the Chair’s non-paper had omitted critical elements contained in SBSTTA recommendation 16/8, including the indicative list of indicators, adding that indicators for biodiversity safeguards are key to fulfill Decision X/33 (Biodiversity and Climate Change). Others argued that adoption of advice on biodiversity safeguards and a list of indicators would contradict UNFCCC decisions. Discussions continued throughout the afternoon, and parties eventually agreed to work on a revised non-paper to be prepared on the basis of: the Chair’s non-paper; submissions made by parties in the WG; and paragraphs selected by parties from the SBSTTA recommendation. Parties also agreed to delete references to the abbreviation “REDD+.”
Plenary observed a minute of silence in memory of Marie Khan, focal point for gender in the CBD Secretariat.
WG I Chair González Posse reported finalization of draft decisions on: biofuels and biodiversity; the GSPC; the GTI; and incentive measures. She said that most paragraphs on other matters related to biodiversity and climate change have been approved, with the exception of four outstanding issues, and that a Friends of the Chair group will meet on Saturday to address marine and coastal biodiversity.
WG II Chair Bignell reported on deliberations, noting finalization of first reading on all agenda items and that a Friends of the Chair group on the implementation of resource mobilization strategy, including setting targets, will meet on Saturday.
Budget group Chair Conrod Hunte (Antigua and Barbuda) reported on discussions, noting that participants clarified issues following a presentation by the Secretariat. He highlighted concerns, including the high level of unpaid contributions and the need for creative ideas for resource mobilization.
Plenary then adopted without discussion decisions on: biofuels and biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/L.2); the GSPC (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/L.3); the GTI (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/L.4); and incentive measures (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/L.5). GRULAC requested that their position on incentive measures as expressed during WG I deliberations be recorded in the report of the meeting.
Pending additional nominations from GRULAC and Asia and the Pacific, plenary elected new Bureau members as nominated by regional groups: Ioseb Kartsivadze (Georgia) and Senka Barudanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) for CEE; Spencer Thomas (Grenada) for GRULAC; Tone Solhaug (Norway) and Jeremy Eppel (UK) for JUSCANZ; and Boukar Attari (Niger) and Francis Ogwal (Uganda) for the African Group. Delegates then elected Gemedo Dalle Tussie (Ethiopia) to be the next SBSTTA Chair. Plenary took note of the report on credentials and the list of observer organizations in the meeting. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA offered to host CBD COP 12.
IUCN said the Aichi targets underpin its 2012-2016 work plan adopted during the World Conservation Congress held in September 2012, in Jeju, Republic of Korea, and announced plans to develop a partnership focused on Target 12 for threatened species. BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL said a recent study estimated costs to reduce extinction risk to all threatened species at $4 billion annually until 2020. WIPO provided an overview of developments in the framework of its Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.
FRIENDS OF THE CHAIR GROUP ON GEO-ENGINEERING
In an evening meeting, the group considered: the context of the proposed decision on geo-engineering; definitions of geo-engineering; the need for a comprehensive science-based, global, transparent and effective regulatory mechanism/framework; the role of customary international law; and socioeconomic issues related to geo-engineering.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Feelings were mixed among participants as the first week of the COP came to a close. The swift adoption by plenary of four decisions, including on the success-story GSPC, left many satisfied with progress achieved in the first half of the COP. That same feeling of accomplishment wasn’t shared by the smaller groups working on REDD+ and the Resource Mobilization Strategy. “It took us the whole afternoon to figure out a way to create a non-paper out of a non-paper,” said a bleary-eyed REDD negotiator. Procedural debates also haunted the start of the deliberations on implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy, including setting of targets – an item carried over from COP 10. As developing countries made clear that the adoption of targets, at least interim ones, is an absolute and urgent priority, developed parties argued that baselines are necessary for target-setting, and thus should be addressed first. No way out of the chicken-or-egg conundrum was identified, with hopes pinned on a Friends of the Chair group to find common ground over the weekend along with a workable strategy for moving forward. Some feared however the issue will hold everybody awake until the wee hours of next Friday.