Report of main proceedings for 15 October 2014
CBD COP 12
The High-Level Segment convened throughout the day. Working Group I addressed draft decisions on biodiversity and sustainable development, gender mainstreaming, improving efficiency, the multi-year work programme under the COP, and capacity building and ABS under the Nagoya Protocol (NP). Working Group II considered draft decisions under the COP on restoration and climate change. Several contact and informal groups met during the day and into the night.
OPENING CEREMONY: Seongkyu Yoon, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea, pledged his country’s commitment to biodiversity conservation and noted that the Pyeongchang Roadmap comes at a critical point as the CBD undertakes a mid-term review of the Strategic Plan and its implementation.
Prime Minister Hongwon Chung, Republic of Korea, urged directing all efforts toward implementing the Pyeongchang Roadmap, and highlighted his country’s initiatives to enable this by, inter alia: doubling its financial contribution toward implementation by 2015; promoting technical and scientific cooperation through the Bio-Bridge Initiative; and providing full support for the Sustainable Ocean Initiative.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, in a video message, called on parties to take the necessary steps to implement the post-2015 development agenda alongside the NP and the CBD’s Strategic Plan “for the sake of our and future generations.”
Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme, highlighted her organization’s commitment to upscale investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity through the Biodiversity Financial Initiative (BIOFIN).
Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, described the GBO-4 outcomes as a sobering picture of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems. Noting that “money alone is not enough,” she warned that transformational change will only occur when biodiversity is fully integrated into the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs.
Describing life as intrinsically linked to cultural diversity, and moral and spiritual values, Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, noted that decisions reached at the COP are only as effective as national-level achievements.
CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias said the fate of humanity is tightly linked with biodiversity and warned that unless the Strategic Plan is implemented in all countries, “virtually none of the SDGs will be achieved.”
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT PLENARY: COP 12 President Yoon opened the session. CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias presented an overview of the GBO-4, drawing attention to the gap between commitment to implementation of the Aichi targets and the rate of implementation, underscoring that more needs to be done to address biodiversity loss.
Via video message, Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, emphasized the linkages between biodiversity conservation, poverty eradication and sustainable development. Underscoring the importance of “leaving no one behind,” she highlighted the UN Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report, which will address national and international efforts to set the world on a sustainable development pathway.
Moon-Soon Choi, Governor of Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea, described the Biodiversity Summit on Cities, where participants reaffirmed the pivotal role of local authorities in biodiversity conservation and management. He expressed hope that the Summit will become an integral part of CBD COPs.
Reginald Melanson, Executive Director, Canadian Business and Biodiversity Council, noted challenges for businesses in mainstreaming biodiversity, including lack of financial and human resources, and translating biodiversity concepts into business language.
Cristián Samper, President, Wildlife Conservation Society, spoke about biodiversity science in a rapidly changing world, calling for the establishment of fewer and larger PAs to enable species to adapt, and stressing science cooperation among states to achieve the Aichi targets.
Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), drew attention to the holistic, integrated, and cyclical vision of sustainable development held by indigenous peoples. She stressed involving them in the development of NBSAPs and community protocols.
Choony Kim, CBD Alliance, called on delegates to support “the real food producers of this world,” referring to women and small-scale farmers. She noted “growing conflicts of interest” within the CBD and called for disclosure of funding sources.
Christian Schwarzer and Melina Sakiyama, Global Youth Biodiversity Network, presented on the role of youth in addressing biodiversity loss. Schwarzer welcomed CBD decision XI/8 on stakeholder engagement, which first recognized youth in the CBD process. Sakiyama announced the “Youth Voices – Mainstreaming GBO-4” project, which will promote implementation through connecting youth conservation activities and organizations, developing infographics and videos, and reaching out to young people through social media.
INTEGRATING BIODIVERSITY INTO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND POST-2015 AGENDA: Juan José Guerra Abud, Minister of Environment, Mexico, urged speakers to address lessons learned in mainstreaming environmental considerations into national development and poverty eradication policies.
Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), urged parties to the CBD and UNCCD to be “audacious and ambitious” in identifying common indicators of success.
Barbara Degani, Under-Secretary of Environment, Land and Sea, Italy, presented her government’s “green new deal” policies, noting the value of strong partnerships with stakeholders and financial instruments for impact investing.
Panelists Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, GEF, and Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director-General, IUCN, commented on the speakers’ presentations, highlighting the need for systemic solutions to environmental problems.
INTEGRATING NBSAPS INTO NATIONAL AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION STRATEGIES AND PLANNING PROCESSES: Marcellin Rabeantoandro, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests, Madagascar, highlighted efforts to integrate biodiversity in national policy and planning sectors.
Francisco Gaetani, Deputy Minister of Environment, Brazil, stressed the importance of involving ILCs and other stakeholders in the design and implementation of NBSAPs. He described initiatives that link biodiversity protection to development strategies, mentioning a “green grant” program that ensures local ownership.
Delegates expressed commitment to the achievement of the Aichi targets, in particular Target 17 on NBSAPs, highlighting biodiversity integration in their national and sub-national planning processes.
WORKING GROUP I
MAINSTREAMING GENDER CONSIDERATIONS: Delegates considered a COP CRP. Stressing the need for further efforts, operational modalities and illustration of achievements, the EU, opposed by EGYPT, suggested stronger language in a paragraph requesting parties to report on actions undertaken to promote gender in biodiversity conservation. He suggested a reference to “the forthcoming biodiversity national reports,” as well as compromise text specifying, in particular, “the reporting concerning the achievement of Aichi Target 14.” Delegates agreed to keep the original language, and approved the CRP with a minor amendment.
BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Delegates considered a COP CRP. On a paragraph encouraging parties to strengthen the utilization of agro-ecological practices in conservation areas and buffer zones, and to promote sustainability of agriculture, MAURITANIA called for deletion of “conservation areas,” explaining this categorization could cause problems. BRAZIL proposed, “lighter” text, inviting parties to raise awareness on agro-ecological approaches for biodiversity conversation in PAs and buffer zones. The EU called for deletion of “buffer zones,” saying the term is not well-defined, and suggested mentioning awareness raising on best practices of sustainable use, including sustainable agro-ecological approaches. BRAZIL questioned the clarity of “sustainable” agro-ecological approaches. Following consultations, delegates agreed to invite parties to raise awareness on best practices of sustainable use, including agro-ecological approaches with positive impacts on the conservation of biodiversity, and approved the CRP.
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY: Other matters: WG I approved a COP CRP with a minor amendment.
MYPOW: WG I considered a COP CRP, with discussions focusing on a list of strategic issues proposed for consideration at COP 13. The EU said the list should not be sector-specific and asked to delete references to agriculture, forests and fisheries. Rather than noting Aichi targets, delegates agreed to note targets that are to be achieved by 2015, and to also note that GBO-4 identifies targets on which significant progress has not been made. BRAZIL, opposed by the EU, requested new text asking COP 13 to review progress towards resource mobilization targets. The EU opposed a proposal by Canada to delete language on “the determination of funding needs to inform the GEF-7 replenishment” from the list of issues to be considered by COP 13. A Friends of the Chair group convened to continue discussions in the evening.
SUPPORT FOR STRATEGIC PLAN IMPLEMENTATION: A revised CRP under the COP was briefly discussed to address support and facilitation of capacity-building activities, relevant for countries where implementation of the Strategic Plan has been weak, with special reference to developing countries, LDCs, SIDS and countries with economies in transition. The CRP was approved.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: Delegates considered a CRP under the NP. MEXICO, with PERU, proposed the deletion of a separate paragraph on providing information through the ABS-CH about holistic and integrated approaches to NP implementation. They suggested instead, and parties agreed to, the inclusion of non-market-based approaches in a paragraph addressing general information provided through the ABS-CH. MEXICO, supported by PERU, GUATEMALA and EGYPT, but opposed by the EU and SWITZERLAND, proposed deleting references to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for food and agriculture (ITPGR). GUATEMALA requested a paragraph on capacity-building activities under GEF priority areas. Deliberations will continue on Thursday.
ABS: Delegates considered the NP CRP and continued discussions in a Friends of the Chair group in the evening.
WORKING GROUP II
ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION: Delegates continued consideration of a COP CRP, and agreed to, inter alia: welcome the work of the Ramsar Convention and initiatives that support coastal wetland conservation and restoration; consider options to build a “caring for coasts” initiative; and include reference to “sustainable management and best practices” in the promotion of ecosystem conservation and restoration. With this and other amendments, delegates approved the CRP.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Delegates discussed a COP CRP. On text concerning the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ and its guidance on the implementation of REDD+ activities, BRAZIL, with the EU and SOUTH AFRICA, proposed referencing the relevant UNFCCC decision in a footnote. BOLIVIA requested reference to “other alternative approaches, such as the joint mechanism for the sustainable management of forests.” The paragraph remained outstanding.
On the promotion and implementation of ecosystem-based approaches, SOUTH AFRICA proposed, and delegates agreed, to insert reference to “both terrestrial and marine environments.” The EU, opposed by BRAZIL, proposed reference to climate change mitigation. JAPAN favored “climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.” Delegates agreed to refer to “climate change activities and disaster risk reduction.” Deliberations will continue on Thursday.
IN THE CORRIDORS
A heightened sense of expectation filled the hallways of the Alpensia Convention Center in the morning, as ministers and senior officials arrived for the two-day High-Level Segment. Some delegates regretted not being able to participate in the HLS indoors, as the WG I session in the usual freezing tent ran in parallel with a high-level session on biodiversity in the post-2015 agenda. Meanwhile, lengthy deliberations of the contact group on resource mobilization did not bring compromise on final targets any closer. On Wednesday, discussions on this moved up to the ministerial level, with many delegates expressing their anguish that, without urgent action, the brave idea crafted in Hyderabad to effectively double biodiversity-related financial flows, may fail. On domestic resource mobilization, a delegate from a small developing country noted: “Don’t say we are doing nothing - we have our own financial mechanisms and initiatives,” urging larger developing countries to make similar domestic arrangements for financing biodiversity goals.