Thursday’s session concluded the discussion on capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation, technology transfer, knowledge management, and communication. Stakeholder groups emphasized the importance of recognizing diverse Indigenous and local knowledge and value systems. They stressed the need to respect cultural codes, and the importance of upholding rights linked to the free prior and informed consent of knowledge holders.
Under the next agenda item, delegates agreed that strengthening reporting, assessment, and review of implementation is crucial for achieving the objectives of the Convention and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). However, different opinions on particular issues and varying approaches were tabled.
Many delegates questioned the idea of national commitments, stressing that national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) are the main tool for implementation at the national level. Some delegations stressed that efforts should focus on enhancing current reporting mechanisms and cautioned against creating new obligations.
Delegates agreed that NBSAPs should remain flexible to allow taking into account national realities and circumstances. Some participants focused on the need to strengthen NBSAPs by introducing common elements and a standardized approach. Others highlighted the use of common indicators in national reporting and called for a simplified template.
Some delegates emphasized the importance of a regular global stock take process, but noted that further discussions are needed on the modalities. Differences in opinions surfaced regarding country-by-country review; some supported further developing the process, while others opted for an independent, objective review process by technical experts, conducted against agreed standards.
Stakeholder groups highlighted the importance of indicators in the post-2020 GBF for ensuring the reporting and review of implementation tied to gender mainstreaming and the use of Indigenous and local knowledges. They emphasized the need for inclusive and participatory processes in the reporting, assessment, and review of implementation, asking states to ensure transparent and accessible mechanisms for consultation and feedback from all stakeholders, especially Indigenous peoples and local communities, women, and youth.
Participants initiated discussions on mainstreaming of biodiversity within and across sectors, and other strategic actions to enhance implementation. Providing introductory remarks, Theresa Mundita Lim (the Philippines), Chair of the informal advisory group on mainstreaming, emphasized the need to recognize mainstreaming as the most transformative of the post-2020 GBF components. The UK introduced a submission on the engagement of subnational governments, cities, and other local authorities in the post-2020 GBF, and highlighted the relevant Edinburgh Declaration.