The closing plenary of the UN Biodiversity Conference convened in a celebratory atmosphere, following rumors about a possible resolution of the procedural controversy that had arisen during the previous plenary meeting. At the opening of the session, Ève Bazaiba, Minister for the Environment, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reiterated her country’s commitment to participation in constructive negotiations and involvement in the development of the global biodiversity framework (GBF). Congratulating the meeting on adoption of the GBF, she requested that DRC’s reservations related to GBF Target 19 (financial resources) and the decision on resource mobilization be recorded in the report of the meeting.
In the early hours of Monday, plenary had adopted a compromise package of six decisions on the global biodiversity framework (GBF), its monitoring framework, resource mobilization, digital sequence information (DSI), capacity building, and mechanisms for planning, monitoring, reporting, and review. Procedural concerns were raised over adoption after reservations were expressed by the DRC.
Delegates heard from Robert, representing two billion kids, who shared the thoughts of six-year-old Anaya from India on intergenerational responsibilities related to biodiversity conservation. Plenary then adopted the remaining decisions under the Convention and its Protocols, as well as the budget.
The EU requested recording in the report of the meeting their regret regarding the outcome on biodiversity and climate change, noting that parties have collectively lost work achieved over the last four years. On the decision on the financial mechanism, Iran requested removing all barriers and political restrictions on accessing funding under the Global Environment Facility, to be noted in the report. Norway announced a contribution of NOK 10 million (approximately USD 1 million) for the intersessional work on DSI.
During nomination of regional representatives for the Bureau, the Russian Federation highlighted politicization of environmental meetings, pointing to the recent adoption of a Ramsar Convention resolution on the environment emergency relating to damage to Ramsar wetlands in Ukraine.
She noted that the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region could not agree to nomination of officials by consensus, calling for secret-ballot elections in plenary in line with the rules of procedure. Georgia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia noted that, following five candidacies for the Bureau and two for the position of Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), the members of the group conducted the nomination procedure by majority voting, due to lack of consensus.
The CBD legal officer presented the option that all parties with valid credentials should engage in a secret vote to finalize the CEE nominations for the Bureau. The required quorum was however not reached. Following hours of consultations, delegates agreed to suspend the meeting, so that the term of the current Bureau is extended until COP 15 is resumed, most likely immediately prior to COP 16.
Following a standing ovation for COP President Huang Runqiu and statements by regional groups, parties, observers, and UN officials, the meeting was suspended at 1:01 am.