The fourteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya, from 10-21 May 2010. More than 700 participants attended the meeting, representing governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, indigenous and local community groups, public sector research, academia and business.
SBSTTA 14 launched the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) and adopted 18 recommendations that will be submitted to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD, to be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. The recommendations address: in-depth reviews of implementation of the programmes of work on mountain biodiversity, inland waters biodiversity, marine and coastal biodiversity, protected areas (PAs), biodiversity and climate change, and Article 10 (sustainable use); agricultural biodiversity, including biofuels; biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands; forest biodiversity; invasive alien species (IAS); outcome-oriented goals and targets for the period beyond 2010; incentive measures; the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI); the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); consideration of the GBO 3 messages and implications; new and emerging issues; and ways and means to improve SBSTTA effectiveness.
Notwithstanding certain divergences, notably on biofuels, SBSTTA 14 is considered to have made incremental progress on several other issues, in particular on biodiversity and climate change, by laying out clear and informative options for political decision-making at COP 10.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONVENTION
The CBD entered into force on 29 December 1993. There are currently 193 parties to the Convention, which aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The COP is the governing body of the Convention. It is assisted by SBSTTA, which is mandated, under CBD Article 25, to provide the COP with advice relating to the Convention’s implementation.
COPs 1-3: At its first three meetings (November-December 1994, Nassau, the Bahamas; November 1995, Jakarta, Indonesia; and November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina), the COP adopted decisions on, inter alia: the establishment of the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and SBSTTA; the designation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the interim financial mechanism; the designation of Montreal, Canada, as the permanent location for the Secretariat; and cooperation with other biodiversity-related conventions. The COP also considered CBD Article 8, and emphasized regional and international cooperation, and the importance of disseminating relevant experience.
COP 4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP adopted thematic programmes of work on inland waters ecosystems and marine and coastal biodiversity, and decided to consider PAs as one of the three main themes at COP 7. It also encouraged the CBD Executive Secretary to develop relationships with other processes to foster good management practices related to PAs, and established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on marine and coastal PAs.
COP 5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), the COP adopted work programmes on dry and sub-humid lands and on agricultural biodiversity, and decisions on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge), the ecosystem approach, sustainable use, biodiversity and tourism, IAS, incentive measures, GTI, and GSPC.
COP 6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted the Convention’s Strategic Plan, including the target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The meeting also adopted: an expanded work programme on forest biodiversity; the Bonn Guidelines on ABS; guiding principles for IAS; the GSPC; a work programme for the GTI; and decisions on incentive measures and Article 8(j).
COP 7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted work programmes on mountain biodiversity, PAs, and technology transfer and cooperation, and mandated the Working Group on ABS to initiate negotiations on an international regime on ABS. The COP also adopted: a decision to review implementation of the Convention, its Strategic Plan and progress towards achieving the 2010 target; the Akwé: Kon Guidelines for cultural, environmental and social impact assessments; the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for sustainable use; and decisions on incentive measures, inland waters, and marine and coastal biodiversity.
COP 8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), the COP adopted a work programme on island biodiversity and decisions on a range of issues including Article 8(j), cooperation with other conventions and private sector engagement, PAs, including high seas PAs, incentive measures, biodiversity and climate change, and forest, marine and coastal, and agricultural biodiversity. COP 8 reaffirmed the COP 5 ban on the field-testing of genetic use restriction technologies, and instructed the ABS Working Group to complete its work with regard to an international ABS regime at the earliest possible time before COP 10, to be held in 2010.
COP 9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), the COP adopted: a roadmap for the negotiation of the international ABS regime before the 2010 deadline; scientific criteria and guidance for marine areas in need of protection; and the Resource Mobilization Strategy for the Convention. It established an AHTEG on biodiversity and climate change, and further adopted decisions concerning a wide range of issues, including biofuels, genetically modified trees, protected areas and ocean fertilization.
SBSTTA 14 REPORT
SBSTTA Chair Amb. Spencer Thomas (Grenada) opened the meeting, noting that the International Year of Biodiversity marks a critical juncture in the life of the Convention. He urged delegates to set new ambitious targets and send a clear message to high-level meetings. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, highlighted the need to: communicate progress achieved, frame policy options in economic terms, and enhance synergies between multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), identifying the climate change regime as “game-changer” for biodiversity funding. Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, emphasized the importance of a SBSTTA contribution to the new strategic plan and Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a complement to SBSTTA’s work, stressing the need for partnership between SBSTTA and IPBES.
Tom Lovejoy, President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, presented the key findings of GBO 3, calling for a “shift from a defensive mode to thinking and working proactively to address the scale of the problem.” Djoghlaf paid tribute to staff members involved in the preparation of GBO 3.
Delegates appointed Shirin Karryeva (Turkmenistan) and Senka Barudanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as rapporteurs; adopted the agenda and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/1 and Add. 1) without amendment; and elected Tone Solhaug (Norway) and Asghar Fazel (Iran) as Working Group I Co-Chairs, and Hesiquio Benitez (Mexico) and Gabriele Obermayr (Austria) as Working Group II Co-Chairs. Working Group I considered: mountain biodiversity; marine and coastal biodiversity; inland waters biodiversity; forest biodiversity; agriculture biodiversity; biofuels; dry and sub-humid lands; and IAS. Working Group II discussed: biodiversity and climate change; sustainable use; PAs; GTI; GBO 3; GSPC; post-2010 goals and targets; and incentives. Contact groups and Friends of the Co-Chairs’ groups were established throughout the meeting. Plenary met on Friday, 14 May, and Wednesday to Friday, 19-21 May, to discuss ways and means to improve SBSTTA’s effectiveness, and new and emerging issues, and adopt recommendations from the working groups.
This report summarizes discussions on the in-depth reviews and each of the substantive items on the agenda of SBSTTA 14.
IN-DEPTH REVIEWS OF PROGRAMMES OF WORK
MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: Delegates discussed the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work on mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/2) on Monday, 10 May, and negotiated a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.1) on Tuesday, 11 May, in Working Group I. The recommendation was adopted with minor amendments in plenary on Friday, 14 May. Discussions mostly concerned climate change-related issues and references to ongoing negotiations on an international ABS regime.
Mexico urged parties to incorporate the effects of climate change on mountain biodiversity in adaptation strategies. New Zealand highlighted the role of mountains for species migration in response to climate change, with Finland, Malawi and South Africa stressing the importance of connectivity. Switzerland cautioned against connectivity and corridors, noting the importance of assessing the effects of migrating species on endemic species. Mexico, initially opposed by China, supported clearly linking a paragraph encouraging assessments of renewable energy impacts on mountain biodiversity to climate change mitigation. Norway stressed that these assessments must be undertaken at the planning stage. India proposed emphasizing hydropower and Spain mentioned wind farms as major sources of impact, while Turkey and China objected to singling out any particular source.
On a paragraph providing for conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge for enhanced resilience, Burkina Faso suggested referring to “biological and genetic resources.” Colombia and Mexico proposed, and delegates agreed, to make reference to “mountain biodiversity and all of its components.” On a paragraph that provided for research programmes on biodiversity and traditional knowledge with the involvement of indigenous and local communities and benefit-sharing, Germany, opposed by Colombia and Mexico, requested referring to access as well. With Burkina Faso insisting to retain language on research programmes, delegates eventually agreed to eliminate references to traditional knowledge, involvement of indigenous and local communities and benefit-sharing.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work on mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.2) contains sections on: the status and trends of mountain biodiversity; direct actions for conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing; means of implementation; and supporting actions.
On direct actions, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- encourages parties, governments, relevant organizations and indigenous and local communities to address climate change adaptation and mitigation issues for mountain biodiversity, inter alia, by in situ and ex situ conservation of species under threat from climate change, reducing deforestation and restoring degraded forest ecosystems, and undertaking environmental and strategic assessment of renewable energy planning, as a part of mitigation strategies;
- invites parties, governments, relevant organizations and indigenous and local communities to establish conservation corridors and connectivity, where appropriate and possible, taking into account in particular endemic species and transboundary mountain protected area systems.
- On means of implementation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- encourages parties, where possible and appropriate, to develop and implement regional collaboration strategies and action plans for mountain biodiversity conservation, with assistance from international and regional organizations as needed and when requested, and agreed by all parties concerned; and
- invites parties to cooperate in developing regional strategies on animals that could cause conflict with humans, in particular large predators.
On supporting actions, SBSTTA recommends that the COP urges parties to study the effects of climate change, as well as those of adaptation and mitigation measures on mountain environments and biodiversity, to elaborate sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies.
INLAND WATERS BIODIVERSITY: The in-depth review of the programme of work on the biodiversity of inland water ecosystems (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/3 and INF/1 and 3) was first discussed on Monday, 10 May, in Working Group I. On Wednesday, 12 May, a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.3) was discussed paragraph-by-paragraph in Working Group I, and approved with some amendments in plenary on Friday, 14 May. Discussions focused, among other things, on water security, linkages with the Ramsar Convention, climate change, and payment for ecosystem services.
New Zealand, supported by India and opposed by Portugal, Malawi and China, suggested deleting reference to the role of biodiversity in water security, arguing, supported by Turkey, that water security for people is outside the CBD mandate, and requesting to focus on ecosystems. Brazil suggested bracketing references to “water security,” pointing to a lack of an internationally agreed definition. Brazil also cautioned against language on realigning water allocation policies based on supply, suggesting reference to demands. Delegates discussed and eventually agreed to: “encourage,” rather than “urge,” parties to ensure water allocation policies are based on the need to achieve water security for ecosystems, bearing in mind the demands and need for sustainable supplies for all uses both in urban and rural sectors.
Japan suggested strengthening the CBD partnership with the Ramsar Convention. Burkina Faso proposed text encouraging the inscription of wetland areas on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The Ramsar Convention identified indicators and reporting as opportunities for improved collaboration, and separate consideration of inland waters and marine ecosystems under the CBD as a potential obstacle.
On climate change, Brazil proposed recognizing the interdependence of the carbon and water cycles both in mitigation and adaptation activities. India suggested enhancing collaboration between MEAs on the carbon and water cycles. Finland pointed to synergies between freshwater biodiversity and climate change, proposing maintaining and restoring the connectivity of inland water ecosystems with terrestrial and marine ecosystems for climate change adaptation and to minimize biodiversity degradation, with Turkey requesting insertion of “where appropriate.” New Zealand cautioned that carbon and water cycles are only indirectly linked. Belgium proposed new language urging collaboration in national implementation of elements of programmes of work on inland and marine biodiversity, taking into account biodiversity’s role in the global water cycle.
New Zealand, opposed by Belgium and Uganda, favored recognizing the economic benefits of ecosystem services, rather than proposed text on further developing the payment for the ecosystem services approach. Following informal consultations, delegates agreed on the original wording “as appropriate.” Delegates also agreed to encourage consideration of inland water biodiversity and ecosystems services’ values in national accounting systems.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on the in-depth review of implementation of the programme of work on inland waters biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.3) addresses: implementation of the programme of work; climate change; scientific needs; implementation; biodiversity and natural disasters; and biodiversity, water and the Strategic Plan.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- concludes that implementation needs to be significantly enhanced through better coherence between land- and water-use policies and activities, better incorporation of water issues into other programmes of work and improved recognition of the relevance of inland water ecosystem services to human health, poverty reduction, sustainable development and climate change;
- urges governments to refer to the programme of work on IAS when implementing the programme of work on inland water ecosystems;
- encourages parties, governments and relevant organizations to reinforce capacity for the implementation of the programme of work by, inter alia, extending PAs and ecological networks for inland water biodiversity and designating full appropriate networks of wetland areas throughout river basins for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; exploring ways and means to further develop and implement, as appropriate, the “payment for ecosystem services” approach; and ensuring that the connectivity of inland water ecosystems with terrestrial and marine ecosystems is maintained, where appropriate, and, where necessary, restored, in order to adapt to the adverse impact of climate change and also minimize the degradation of biodiversity;
- encourages governments, where appropriate, to ensure that their water allocation policies are based on the need to achieve water security for ecosystems and bearing in mind the demand and need for sustainable supplies for all uses in urban and rural sectors; and
- urges governments to, inter alia, recognize the interdependence of the carbon and water cycles in their climate change mitigation and adaption activities.
References to water security are bracketed throughout the text.
MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: Delegates first discussed the in-depth review of the programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/4 and INF/2, 4-8 and 10) on Monday, 10 May, in Working Group I. A draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.2) was discussed in Working Group I on Wednesday and Thursday, 12-13 May. The recommendation was further discussed and approved with amendments in plenary on Friday, 14 May. Discussions mainly concerned area-based conservation and climate change.
Area-based conservation: Germany called for applying the CBD scientific criteria to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs), with IUCN urging parties to apply the CBD scientific criteria to expedite the identification of EBSAs. Canada, supported by Portugal, proposed requesting the Executive Secretary to outline a process for creating and maintaining a global register of EBSAs. Japan, supported by China and opposed by Belgium and Portugal, preferred an information-sharing mechanism to a registry. Following informal consultations, delegates agreed to refer to a “CBD global inventory,” requesting the CBD to “begin to provisionally populate” it and to develop information-sharing mechanisms with similar initiatives.
Regarding a request to the Executive Secretary to bring scientific criteria and sets of scientific guidance as well as initiatives on the identification of EBSAs and vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) to the attention of relevant organizations, Argentina, supported by Brazil and opposed by Colombia, requested bracketing reference to regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). Norway called on parties to implement CBD scientific guidance through national and regional competent fisheries and environmental authorities. Australia suggested that the CBD only “develop scientific and technical guidance to the UN General Assembly.” Belgium, the UK and Sweden preferred to retain a broad formulation to make progress on the identification of EBSAs “including” guidance to the General Assembly. Norway proposed, and delegates agreed, to delete language inviting parties to ensure that EBSAs complying with criteria for marine protected areas (MPAs) are designated through regional seas conventions.
On biodiversity conservation in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), China proposed emphasizing that the process of identifying EBSAs beyond national jurisdiction is understood to be separate from the processes of deciding on policy and management responses, with Turkey requesting bracketing the text. China, supported by Turkey, proposed deleting text requesting the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to determine a specific authority for managing MPAs in ABNJ. Iran objected to identifying UNCLOS as the basis for action by CBD parties that are not UNCLOS parties. Mexico and Argentina supported cooperation between the CBD and the UN General Assembly’s Working Group on marine biodiversity in ABNJ. New Zealand, supported by Japan, Colombia and Norway, suggested inviting the General Assembly to encourage its Working Group to expedite work in this area. After informal consultations, delegates agreed to the latter, bracketing reference to a process towards designation of MPAs in ABNJ, which was supported by Portugal and Germany, and opposed by Japan, Turkey and China.
China, supported by Portugal, proposed to replace language on protecting EBSAs in ABNJ, including the establishment of MPAs and representative MPA networks, with language to encourage application of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), which was also bracketed. Kenya recommended building capacities in identifying EBSAs in ABNJ. Greenpeace welcomed the focus on ABNJ and warned that gaps in high seas governance will impede progress.
Climate change: Two climate-related issues were discussed more specifically: cooperation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and ocean fertilization. On cooperation with the UNFCCC, China suggested that the CBD focus on the relationship with the UNFCCC on marine issues. Belgium preferred reference to a joint work programme, while Colombia and Brazil favored promoting better understanding of issues of common interest. Delegates agreed to include three bracketed options on CBD-UNFCCC collaboration in the recommendation.
On ocean fertilization, Norway cautioned that “addressing effects” of ocean fertilization and sub-seabed carbon sequestration could be interpreted as a call for promoting them. Following informal consultations, delegates agreed to “avoid potential adverse impacts” of human responses to climate change and to “ensure that no ocean fertilization takes place unless in accordance with Decision IX/16 C” (on ocean fertilization). On a sub-paragraph on minimizing the impact of human activities on biodiversity, delegates followed the suggestion of the joint drafting group to omit a reference to “geo-engineering” and refer instead to “other human activities.”
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on the in-depth review of implementation of the programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.8) consists of six sections on: in-depth review of the progress made in the implementation of the elaborated programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity; identification of EBSAs and scientific and technical aspects relevant to EIA in marine areas; impacts of destructive fishing practices, unsustainable fishing, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on marine and coastal biodiversity; impacts of ocean fertilization; impacts of ocean acidification; and impacts of unsustainable human activities. The recommendation also contains two annexes: an indicative list of activities under programme element 2: marine and coastal living resources, and scientific guidance on the identification of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, which meet the CBD scientific criteria.
In the recommendation, SBSTTA invites the CBD to highlight at the UN General Assembly special high-level meeting on biodiversity, the importance of marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and the importance of reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
On CBD-UNFCCC collaboration, the recommendation contains bracketed text laying out three options requesting the CBD to:
- include the interaction between oceans and climate change in future collaboration between the CBD and UNFCCC;
- convene an expert workshop to assess the potential impacts of climate change on ocean biodiversity, which should ideally involve UNFCCC participation; or
- invite the UNFCCC Secretariat to jointly convene an expert workshop to promote better understanding of issues of common interest.
SBSTTA further recommends that the COP endorses guidance for enhanced implementation of the programme of work, including, inter alia:
- further efforts on improving the coverage, representativity and other network properties of the global system of marine and coastal PAs;
- making progress on marine and coastal biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in ABNJ, including the development of scientific and technical guidance to the General Assembly;
- ensuring that no ocean fertilization takes place unless in accordance with decision IX/16 C (ocean fertilization); and
- avoiding potential adverse impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity of other human response to climate change.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP urges parties and governments to achieve conservation, management and sustainable use of marine resources and coastal habitats, and to effectively manage MPAs, sustainable livelihoods and to adapt to climate change through appropriate application of the precautionary principle or approach, with both terms remaining in brackets.
With regard to the identification of EBSAs, two paragraphs remain in brackets, both reiterating the key role of UN General Assembly and UNCLOS in facilitating designation of EBSAs beyond national jurisdiction. One bracketed paragraph emphasizes that the process of identification of EBSAs is a scientific and technical step only and has no function on the policy and management responsibility. The other bracketed option emphasizes that it is important that the process of identification of EBSAs is understood to be separate from the processes used to decide on the policy and management responses that are appropriate for providing the desired levels of protection for the areas, and that the identification of EBSAs is a scientific and technical step that takes account of the structure and function of the marine ecosystem.
In a paragraph encouraging parties, governments and relevant organizations to cooperate, as appropriate, collectively or on a regional or subregional basis to identify EBSAs in open-ocean waters and deep-sea habitats, inviting the General Assembly to encourage its Working Group to expedite its work in this area, with reference to a process towards designation of MPAs in ABNJ remaining bracketed.
SBSTTA also recommends the COP requests the CBD to work with parties and governments, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other relevant organizations and initiatives to outline a process for creating and maintaining a CBD global inventory of EBSAs in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, to begin to provisionally populate it, to develop information-sharing mechanisms with similar initiatives, such as FAO work on vulnerable marine ecosystems, and to report on the status of the inventory and submit the proposed process for creating and maintaining it to SBSTTA prior to COP 11.
A paragraph inviting the GEF to extend support for capacity building to developing countries to identify EBSAs and/or VMEs and develop appropriate protection measures remains in brackets.
SBSTTA also recommends the COP requests the CBD to:
- bring the two sets of scientific guidance on scientific criteria and biogeographic classification systems, contained in the report of the Ottawa Expert Workshop, and ongoing initiatives on the identification of EBSAs and VMEs to the attention of relevant General Assembly processes;
- collaborate with the General Assembly Working Group; and
- bring the CBD scientific criteria and sets of scientific guidance to the attention of relevant organizations, with a bracketed reference to RFMOs.
Bracketed text concerns: reference to paragraphs 119-120 of UN General Assembly resolution 64/72 on bottom fishing on the high seas; information on the impact of the exploitation of krill on marine and coastal biodiversity; and two paragraphs on EIAs and SEAs in ABNJ, in the indicative list of activities under the programme element “marine and coastal living resources” contained in Annex I.
PROTECTED AREAS: Delegates discussed the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work on PAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/5, Add.1 and INF/19, 24, 25 and 27) on Tuesday, 11 May, in Working Group II. Delegates addressed a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.3) on Thursday and Friday, 13-14 May in Working Group II. The recommendation was adopted with amendments on 14 May in plenary. Discussions mainly concerned climate change-related issues, MPAs, the role of indigenous and local communities, and sustainable finance.
Climate change: Delegates discussed terminology issues related to the role of PAs in carbon sequestration, climate change-related financing for PAs, and the inclusion of PAs in the proposed joint work programme between the Rio Conventions. IUCN highlighted the importance of PAs for carbon capture and storage. Sweden cautioned against language on enhancing carbon sinks in PAs, noting the risk of triggering inappropriate action in PAs. Liberia objected to referring to “carbon sequestration and storage,” arguing that it may be interpreted as something different from natural processes. Delegates eventually agreed to refer to “maintenance of carbon stocks” instead.
On financing, Côte d’Ivoire stressed that the Copenhagen Accord could provide new resources to PAs, while Brazil and Argentina requested eliminating references to the Copenhagen Accord as it had not been adopted by UNFCCC COP 15. Brazil also proposed deleting reference to financing for REDD, underscoring the need for new and additional financial resources both under UNFCCC and CBD.
Belgium and Colombia supported including PAs in a joint work programme for the Rio conventions, while New Zealand recalled that discussion on the joint programme of work had been considered premature in the context of the draft recommendation on biodiversity and climate change. The Secretariat explained that discussions had focused on process, whereas the content of the proposed joint work programme was unlikely to be discussed before COP 10. Delegates then agreed to eliminate language on the joint work programme in the draft recommendation on PAs. Belgium remarked that the draft recommendation on biodiversity and climate change did not include reference to PAs in connection with the joint work programme, and, with Peru and Ecuador, requested re-inserting language on the inclusion of the role of PAs in implementing the objectives of the Rio conventions in a possible joint work programme, which was bracketed.
Indigenous and local communities: Several countries called for their enhanced involvement and benefit-sharing. Australia stressed the need for flexibility in implementing the programme of work and involving stakeholders. Colombia, with Ecuador and Zambia, proposed including the involvement of indigenous and local communities, relevant international organizations and technical networks in strengthening synergies with regional and global conventions. Canada, supported by India and Ecuador, proposed deleting text on appointing a national indigenous and local community focal point under Article 8(j).
Discussions then mostly focused on references to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and prior informed consent (PIC). Canada and New Zealand, opposed by Malawi, suggested “noting” rather than “recognizing” UNDRIP in the further implementation of the programme of work. Parties agreed to “take into account, as appropriate, UNDRIP.” Canada, opposed by Burundi and the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), also proposed deleting reference to UNDRIP in relation to benefit-sharing mechanisms. New Zealand offered compromise text from informal consultations on: establishing clear mechanisms and processes for benefit-sharing and full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, related to PAs, in accordance with national laws and applicable international obligations, with deletion of references to UNDRIP.
On indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs), New Zealand, supported by Canada, suggested that the legal recognition of community rights to land and resources should be consistent with national legislation. IIFB, supported by Malawi, requested adding reference to international obligations. Canada requested replacing PIC with “full and effective participation of local communities.” New Zealand offered compromise text from informal consultations on developing appropriate mechanisms for the recognition and support for ICCAs through, inter alia, legal recognition of community rights to land and/or resources or incorporation of ICCAs into official PA systems, with the approval and involvement of indigenous and local communities subject to national legislation, with deletion of reference to PIC. On the latter, Norway requested including reference to applicable international obligations.
MPAs: The Nature Conservancy called for an ad hoc meeting, involving all relevant stakeholders, to accelerate progress in the establishment of MPAs. Belgium supported an international list of significant marine areas in need of protection in ABNJ. Canada and Australia suggested using scientific and technical guidance on biogeographic classification systems and scientific criteria in identifying marine areas in need of protection in ABNJ. Norway and Argentina highlighted that the UN General Assembly is the appropriate body to establish options for the establishment of MPAs in ABNJ. Denmark noted that designation of MPAs in ABNJ should take into account national processes and claims. IRAN reiterated objections to references to UNCLOS. Eventually, Norway proposed using text agreed in Working Group I, encouraging governments and organizations to cooperate collectively or on a regional or subregional basis to identify and protect EBSAs in open-ocean waters and deep-sea habitats by establishing representative networks of MPAs, and inviting the UN General Assembly to encourage its Working Group to expedite its work in this area, with bracketed text on a process towards designating MPAs in ABNJ.
Sustainable finance: Delegates mostly discussed whether SBSTTA can make recommendations related to GEF. China, supported by Iran, Ethiopia and Malawi, opposed by Belgium and the UK, proposed new text urging developed country parties, GEF and other international institutions and parties to fully implement COP decision IX/18 B (options for mobilizing financial resources for implementing the programme of work) to provide adequate, predictable and timely financial support to enable full implementation of the programme of work. Japan noted that SBSTTA has no mandate to discuss financial issues. Costa Rica, supported by Ethiopia, Zambia, Peru, India, Senegal and Ecuador, argued that SBSTTA can address technical approaches for developing financial mechanisms. The Secretariat clarified that SBSTTA is not precluded from considering items with financial implications. Options on financing and references to GEF remained in brackets.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work on PAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.5) includes sections on: strategies on strengthening implementation at the national, regional and global level; issues that need greater attention, including sustainable finance, climate change, management effectiveness, IAS, MPAs, inland water protected areas, restoration of ecosystems and habitats of PAs, valuing PA costs and benefits including their ecosystem services, governance and benefit-sharing, and reporting; target and timetable issues; and a request to the Executive Secretary to prepare for COP 10 consideration a reporting framework on national implementation of the programme of work.
On strengthening implementation at the national level, SBSTTA recommends that the COP invites parties to:
- consider standard criteria for the identification of sites of global biodiversity conservation significance;
- take into account, as appropriate, UNDRIP in the further implementation of the programme of work; and
- assess the efficiency and effectiveness of various kinds and categories of PAs complying with the CBD objectives
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP:
- at the regional level, urges parties to actively explore the potentially suitable areas for transboundary PA cooperation and create an enabling environment for transboundary cooperation in planning and management practices, connectivity and development over national borders;
- at the global level, request the CBD to provide additional technical support through the development of toolkits, best practices and guidelines on the value of ecosystem services, cost-benefits, and governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing.
On finance, in bracketed portions of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- urges developed country parties and the GEF to fully implement decision IX/18 B (options for mobilizing financial resources for implementing the programme of work) to provide adequate, predictable and timely financial support to developing country parties to enable full implementation of the programme of work;
- invites parties to use timely and appropriately GEF 5 PA biodiversity allocations for implementing the programme of work as the basis for accessing funds; and
- urges the GEF to streamline delivery of expeditious and proportionate disbursement to align projects to national action plans for the programme of work for appropriate and focused interventions and continuity of projects.
On climate change, SBSTTA recommends that the COP invites parties to:
- identify areas that are important for biodiversity conservation as well as for climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, including carbon sequestration and maintenance of carbon sinks, recognizing that biodiversity conservation remains the primary objective of PAs;
- support and finance conservation and management of naturally functioning ecosystems in contributing to carbon sequestration and maintenance of carbon sinks, as well as ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, recognizing that biodiversity conservation remains the primary objective; and
- explore how funding opportunities under climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies could contribute to the implementation of the programme of work, while enhancing co-benefits for biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP remind the UNFCCC COP to pay attention to the impact on and role of PAs in adaptation and mitigation strategies and support projects related to adaptation and mitigation strategies in PAs.
In addition, in a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends the COP invites the Executive Secretary to convene a special meeting of the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions in 2011 on the role of PAs in the implementation of the Rio Conventions’ objectives, with a view to recommending elements of a joint programme on PAs, biodiversity, climate change and land degradation.
On MPAs, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- encourages parties, governments and organizations to cooperate, as appropriate, collectively or on a regional or subregional basis, to identify and protect EBSAs in open-ocean waters and deep-sea habitats in need of protection, including by establishing representative networks of MPAs;
- invites the UN General Assembly to encourage its Working Group to expedite its work in this area, with bracketed text on a process towards designation of MPAs in ABNJ; and
- urges parties, where necessary through relevant regional and international organizations, to increase efforts to improve the design and extent of MPA networks to achieve the 2012 target and invites financial institutions to support parties’ efforts.
On governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- encourages parties to enhance coordination at the national level between the PA programme of work and the CBD’s related processes on forests, marine biodiversity, ABS and Article 8(j);
- invites parties to establish clear mechanisms and processes for equitable costs and benefit-sharing and for participation of indigenous and local communities related to PAs, in accordance with national laws and applicable international obligations;
- invites parties to recognize the role of ICCAs and diversification of governance type; and
- invites parties to develop appropriate mechanisms for the recognition and support of indigenous and local community conserved areas through, inter alia, legal recognition of community rights to land and resources as appropriate, with the approval and involvement of indigenous and local communities, in accordance with national laws and applicable international obligations.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The in-depth review of the work on biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/6, Add.1-2, and INF/21-22) was first discussed in Working Group II on Monday, 10 May. The draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.1 and Rev.1-2) was negotiated paragraph by paragraph in Working Group II from Wednesday - Friday, 12-14 May. A contact group convened to consider outstanding issues on Wednesday, chaired by Ole Hendrickson (Canada), and on Friday, chaired by Working Group II Co-Chair Benitez. A joint drafting group, co-chaired by Heikki Toivonen (Finland) and Maria Mbengashe (South Africa), discussed matters relating to REDD and geo-engineering on Thursday, 13 May. A Friends of the Co-Chairs’ group, chaired by Ines Verleye (Belgium), also met on Thursday to discuss a joint work programme between the Rio conventions. Debate centered on: geo-engineering, REDD, the joint work programme, and funding.
Geo-engineering: Sweden and Argentina called for the precautionary principle to be applied, while Canada and Australia proposed applying the precautionary approach. The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC) recommended a systematic assessment of geo-engineering techniques.
Delegates discussed whether to refer to CBD decision IX/16 C (ocean fertilization) and considered extending reference to a broader concept encompassing all forms of geo-engineering or retaining more restrictive language. Canada suggested “examining” geo-engineering activities to determine if there is an adequate scientific basis to justify them, rather than preventing such activities until an adequate scientific basis to justify them exists. Reference to decision IX/16 C, on ocean fertilization and ensuring that no geo-engineering takes place without adequate scientific justification and appropriate consideration of risks, was bracketed.
REDD: Cuba considered it premature to make specific recommendations on REDD. IIFB urged reflecting indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and PIC in REDD planning. Germany called upon the CBD to provide guidance on integrating REDD safeguards within national biodiversity programmes. China opposed reference to biodiversity safeguards. Delegates discussed whether to make reference to: contributing to the discussions for the development of, or contributing to the development of, biodiversity safeguards; monitoring, reporting and verification of biodiversity safeguards or ways to monitor impacts of REDD activities on biodiversity; or exploring opportunities to provide advice, as requested, to discussions on avoiding negative impacts on biodiversity, after consultation with parties and indigenous and local communities, as appropriate. China insisted on bracketing text on requesting parties to implement “incentives to facilitate climate change-related activities that take into consideration biodiversity concerns.”
Delegates also discussed references to REDD in the context of cooperation with UNFCCC national focal points under the recommendation on biodiversity and climate change, and in the context of collaboration with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) under the recommendation on forest biodiversity. Parties accepted language: noting ongoing discussions under the UNFCCC and CPF; encouraging parties to communicate and cooperate on climate change and biodiversity; and including efforts, as appropriate, to promote the importance of biodiversity considerations in ongoing discussion. Brazil, opposed by Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Canada, proposed to insert “taking into consideration developed countries’ obligations under land use, land-use change and forestry,” which was bracketed. Parties eventually agreed not to refer to land use, land-use change and forestry.
Delegates eventually agreed on text requesting the CBD to collaborate with various organizations on REDD, and to forward as two bracketed options text on “contributing to discussions on, and possible development of, biodiversity safeguards” or “exploring opportunities to provide advice, as requested, to the discussions” on REDD. Noting different national priorities, China, opposed by Mexico, the UK, Canada and Belgium, objected to a request to CBD to develop guidance on creating synergies between national forest biodiversity and climate change measures. The UK proposed bracketing a paragraph on enhancing REDD benefits for forest-dwelling indigenous and local communities, expressing concern about ongoing negotiations.
Joint work programme: Confirming readiness to explore further cooperation, the UNFCCC outlined future opportunities for synergies, noted the need for UNFCCC parties to agree on any joint action proposed, and anticipated exchange of recommendations. Sweden called for developing a joint work programme among the Rio conventions in a collaborative manner, while Iran recommended clarifying arrangements between the conventions’ independent governance bodies. The Netherlands supported improved cooperation between the Rio conventions at national and international levels, and joint implementation at national and local levels. Belgium proposed elaborating the details of the joint programme in further negotiations between the Rio conventions rather than at SBSTTA. Finland proposed encouraging the Rio conventions’ focal points to begin joint activities. Switzerland supported the joint work programme on areas of common concern, for adoption in 2012.
Sweden, Iran, China and India cautioned against a proposed joint COP among the Rio conventions as part of the celebrations for Rio+20, with Brazil expressing concern about prejudging the Rio+20 agenda. Canada favored convening a joint expert group of the Rio conventions’ scientific bodies. Regarding the next meeting of the Joint Liaison Group, Ghana proposed inviting the Secretariats of other biodiversity-related conventions to share experiences on climate change activities.
China, supported by Brazil, Colombia and South Africa, offered compromise text requesting the Executive Secretary to invite parties’ views to explore the possibility to develop proposals for joint activities between the Rio conventions and report on progress at COP 10. Arguing that it would prejudge a decision by the COP, China, opposed by the UK, Norway and Denmark, proposed eliminating a bracketed list of procedural steps in developing the joint work programme, including consideration of proposed joint activities by the Joint Liaison Group, a 2011 joint preparatory meeting among the Rio conventions at the appropriate level, and options for a joint high-level segment or joint extraordinary COP of the Rio Conventions in 2012 as part of the Rio+20 celebrations. Colombia proposed alternative language suggesting parties may consider, inter alia: the pertinence of undertaking joint activities and a joint work programme; the pertinence of appropriate joint meetings of the three Rio conventions; the role of the Joint Liaison Group; and suggesting that parties seek the views of their UNFCCC and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) counterparts on these issues. Germany and Belgium preferred keeping the bracketed list of procedural steps in developing the joint work programme. Switzerland, with Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, underscored the importance of retaining language on the possibility of having a joint high-level segment of extraordinary COPs of the Rio conventions, with Brazil preferring to “explore the possibility.” Delegates agreed to insert Colombia’s proposal as a second bracketed option.
China proposed to request the Executive Secretary to invite parties’ views to explore the possibility to develop proposals for joint activities between the Rio conventions and report on progress at COP 10. Germany, supported by Norway, and opposed by China and Colombia, suggested noting the need to bring the biodiversity and climate change agendas closer together and the many scientific issues considered by SBSTTA relevant to UNCCD and UNFCCC objectives. Delegates agreed to bracket both proposals.
Funding: Brazil, China, Argentina and Cuba, opposed by Costa Rica, objected to recognizing the LifeWeb (partnership for financing PAs) initiative as a funding mechanism, preferring a more general reference to funding. On inviting the GEF to consult with the CBD on ways to better inform GEF implementing agencies of COP decisions, China, Iran and India, opposed by Belgium, Liberia, Norway and Canada, proposed deleting reference to decisions, especially those related to building synergies between the Rio Conventions. China, supported by Brazil and India, proposed text calling on various existing initiatives, including LifeWeb and others, to provide funding, and inviting the GEF to consult with the CBD on ways and means to provide adequate funding and technical assistance.
The issue of whether SBSTTA has the mandate to consider financial matters was raised. Switzerland, supported by the UK and Portugal, argued that SBSTTA has no mandate to address the financial mechanism, and proposed bracketing reference to the GEF. Brazil with Colombia observed that it is not possible to separate technical aspects from political and financial ones. Belgium noted that although SBSTTA could not decide on financial issues, it could advise the COP. Parties agreed to maintain three bracketed options on funding. Recalling a clarification from the Secretariat that finance is not outside the mandate of SBSTTA, Costa Rica, opposed by Germany, suggested removing brackets around a call to fund implementation of COP decisions on biodiversity and climate change in developing countries. Delegates eventually double-bracketed three paragraphs on funding.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on the in-depth review of the work on biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.9) includes sections on: assessing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity; ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation; ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation, including the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the conservation of forest carbon stocks and the sustainable management of forest and forest carbon stocks (REDD-plus); reducing biodiversity impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, including from energy production; climate change and biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands; and the proposed joint work programme between the Rio conventions.
On funding, in bracketed portions of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP recognizes that:
- the LifeWeb initiative offers a funding mechanism to address both biodiversity loss and climate change adaptation needs;
- by improved funding of PAs in developing countries, with mechanisms such as the LifeWeb initiative among others, some of the challenges caused by climate change can also be addressed;
- developing countries’ urgently need sufficient financial resources and technical assistance to address the challenges to biodiversity from climate change,
- In bracketed portions of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- calls for various existing initiatives including LifeWeb and others to provide funding to address such challenges; and
- invites the GEF to consult with the CBD on ways and means to provide adequate funding and technical assistance to developing countries for the better implementation of COP decisions on biodiversity and climate change, and to better inform GEF implementing agencies about such decisions, especially those related to building synergies between the Rio conventions.
References to “funding” and “GEF” are also bracketed.
On REDD, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- notes ongoing discussions on REDD-plus under the UNFCCC and their importance in helping achieve the CBD objectives;
- encourages parties to communicate and cooperate at the national level on issues of climate change and biodiversity, including efforts, as appropriate, to promote the importance of biodiversity considerations in ongoing discussions;
- invites parties to enhance the benefits from REDD-plus and other sustainable land management activities for climate change mitigation for forest-dwelling indigenous and local communities, through, for example, considering land ownership and land tenure; and ensuring space for the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in relevant policy-making processes, which is bracketed in its entirety;
- requests, in two bracketed options, the CBD to collaborate with UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), the Facility Management Team of the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, UNFCCC, UN-REDD, and other CPF members, as well as the Low Forest Cover Countries Secretariat and in collaboration with parties through their national CBD focal points with regard to REDD to: contribute to the discussions on, and the possible development of, biodiversity safeguards and mechanisms to monitor impacts on biodiversity with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, as appropriate; or with the effective consultation with parties, and based on their views, explore opportunities to provide advice, as requested, to the discussions on this issue, in order to avoid any possible negative impacts on biodiversity by such activities, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, as appropriate.
In addition, SBSTTA recommends that the COP invites parties to, inter alia:
- ensure, consistent with decision IX/16 C (ocean fertilization) and in accordance with the precautionary approach, that no climate-related geo-engineering activities take place until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts, which is bracketed in its entirety;
- make sure that ocean fertilization activities are addressed in accordance with decision IX/16 C, acknowledging the work of the London Convention/London Protocol;
- implement ecosystem management activities as a contribution towards achieving and in consistency with the objectives of the Rio conventions;
- implement both economic and non-economic incentives to facilitate climate-change-related activities that take into consideration biodiversity and related social and cultural aspects, which is bracketed in its entirety;
- monitor the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and
- assess the impacts of climate change on biodiversity-based livelihoods with a view to identifying adaptation priorities.
The section on the proposed joint work programme, which is bracketed in its entirety, consists of two options, whereby SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- requests the CBD to convey a proposal to develop joint activities, possibly including a joint work programme, between the Rio conventions, to the Secretariats of the UNFCCC and UNCCD and invites the UNFCCC and UNCCD COPs to collaborate with the CBD, through the Joint Liaison Group, as appropriate, with a view to developing the joint work programme, including consideration of proposed joint activities by the Joint Liaison Group, a 2011 joint preparatory meeting among the Rio conventions at the appropriate level, and options for a joint high-level segment or joint extraordinary COP of the Rio conventions in 2012 as part of the Rio+20 celebrations; and invites the focal points to inform their national counterparts for UNFCCC and UNCCD about the proposal to develop joint activities, with a view to initiating discussions within their relevant processes; or
- bearing in mind the respective independent legal status and mandates of the Rio conventions and different composition of parties based upon this for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of countries to implement the decisions of the COP on biodiversity and climate change, invites parties to consider issues following the completion of consultation by the Executive Secretary on: the pertinence of undertaking joint activities and a joint work programme; the pertinence of appropriate joint meetings of the Rio conventions; the role of the Joint Liaison Group; and suggesting that parties seek the views of their UNFCCC and UNCCD counterparts on these issues. The Executive Secretary is also requested to consult parties in order to explore the possibilities to develop a proposal on joint activities between the Rio conventions and report on the progress to COP 10.
SUSTAINABLE USE: Delegates discussed the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work on CBD Article 10 (sustainable use) and application of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/7, INF/34 and 28) on Monday, 10 May, and negotiated a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.2) on Thursday, 13 May, in Working Group II. A Friends of the Co-Chairs’ group met to discuss draft terms of references for an AHTEG on sustainable use in agriculture and forestry on Monday, 10 May. Another Friends of the Co-Chairs’ group met on Thursday, 13 May, to discuss outstanding issues related to the Satoyama Initiative. A revised draft recommendation was adopted in plenary on Friday, 14 May.
After reservations from Mexico, India, Belgium, Germany and India, parties agreed to “welcome” rather than “adopt” the recommendations from the Liaison Group on Bushmeat. Then discussions mainly focused on an AHTEG on sustainable use in agriculture and forestry, and on the Satoyama Initiative on socio-ecological production landscape coordinated by Japan and the United Nations University.
On an AHTEG on sustainable use in agriculture and forestry, delegates debated the scope of its mandate, and settled on expanding it to “non-timber forest resources.” New Zealand expressed reservations about convening the AHTEG, and Belgium proposed bracketing the paragraph on convening the AHTEG.
On the Satoyama Initiative, parties were divided on whether to “welcome” it as a useful tool, with South Africa opposing such language. Niger proposed inclusion of the Paris Declaration on the Satoyama Initiative as an annex to the recommendation, opposed by New Zealand who stressed its non-binding nature. New Zealand, opposed by Cambodia, objected to requesting the Executive Secretary to support developing countries. Following informal consultations, delegates agreed to invite parties, governments and other relevant organizations to support, as appropriate, the promotion of sustainable use, including the Satoyama Initiative.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.4) includes annexes on: national and international level recommendations towards more sustainable use of bushmeat adopted by the Liaison Group on Bushmeat to improve the sustainability of bushmeat harvesting; and bracketed draft terms of reference of an AHTEG on sustainable agriculture and forestry to analyze the coherence of global and regional policy frameworks for forestry and agriculture with the CBD sustainable use provisions.
In the recommendations, SBSTTA recommends, inter alia, that the COP:
- welcomes the recommendations of the Liaison Group on Bushmeat, and invite parties and governments to implement these recommendations, where appropriate, taking into consideration customary sustainable hunting practices for indigenous and local communities’ livelihoods; and
- requests the Executive Secretary to develop through the Liaison Group on Bushmeat options for small-scale food and income alternatives in tropical and sub-tropical countries based on sustainable use.
- A bracketed recommendation calls on the COP to request the CBD to convene in collaboration with FAO, UNFF and other members of CPF, an AHTEG on sustainable use in agriculture and forestry, including on non-wood forest products.
The recommendation that the COP requests that CBD support, within available resources and in cooperation with relevant international organizations, developing countries to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity, including the Satoyama Initiative, remains in brackets.
MATTERS ARISING FROM OTHER COP 9 DECISIONS
AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: Agricultural biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/11 and INF/20 and 30-34) was first discussed on Monday, 17 May, in Working Group I. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 18-19 May, a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.5) was discussed paragraph-by-paragraph in Working Group I. On Friday, in plenary, the recommendation was adopted with some amendments. Discussions mainly concerned the joint work plan between CBD and the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) and agricultural ecosystems.
CBD-CGRFA joint programme: Spain, with Poland, requested developing a second phase for the joint work plan covering a period until at least 2017. New Zealand requested clarifying that a review of the joint work plan take place following the revised strategic plan. Delegates then discussed a list of items to be considered in the revision of the joint work plan. Belgium proposed reference to “other potential food sources” and IIFB to wild resources. Iran suggested including an assessment of biofuels’ impacts on agriculture and food security. Canada, with Argentina, cautioned against including new initiatives in the joint work plan with the CGRFA.
Belgium proposed inviting CGRFA to further contribute to the development and implementation of the revised strategic plan, by elaborating targets, including at the ecosystems and genetic resources levels, and monitoring progress using indicators. Poland, Switzerland and Turkey proposed refining targets and indicators at both the ecosystem and genetic resource levels. New Zealand recommended allowing flexibility for parties to develop national targets on the work programme. The Philippines proposed analyzing the status and trends of patents and other intellectual property rights, which Japan and Canada requested to be bracketed.
Delegates discussed reference to in situ and on-farm conservation, with Hungary, Norway and Bioversity International supporting in situ and on-farm conservation of traditional varieties. Australia requested bracketing “on-farm.” Hungary suggested including reference to ex situ conservation. Belgium requested reference to conservation of traditional varieties and related components of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems and related ecosystem functions, with Brazil and Argentina requesting bracketing “ecosystem functions.” Colombia, supported by Turkey, suggested reference to conservation of agricultural biodiversity and related components in agricultural ecosystems. Canada cautioned against over-managing the CBD-CGRFA partnership. Expressing concern about ex situ conservation, IIFB preferred leaving flexibility to CBD and FAO, urging inclusion of indigenous and local communities in relevant deliberations. Delegates eventually agreed to refer to on-farm, in situ and ex situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity.
On inter-linkages between CBD and CGRFA work on biofuels, Iran proposed joint studies and assessments regarding adverse impacts including related socioeconomic aspects in relation to agriculture and food security. Australia stressed the need to refer to biodiversity conservation. Canada objected to including socioeconomic impacts in relation to food security. During the closing plenary, Belgium requested reference to environmental aspects, Uganda to “avoiding” negative impacts of biofuels, and Malawi to impacts on land security. Canada proposed using language agreed in the recommendation on biofuels, so the reference to impacts on land security was bracketed.
On promoting the restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity-rich agricultural landscapes and high nature value farmland, Belgium, supported by Germany, added “conservation.” Sweden suggested adding reference to promoting sustainable production methods in agriculture, with Australia, opposed by Germany and Belgium, proposing deletion of “biodiversity-rich and high nature value farmlands.” Canada, supported by Colombia and Australia, expressed concern about the term “agricultural landscapes,” and suggested adding “in the context of production-oriented agro-ecosystems.” After informal consultations, Sweden offered language on promoting the integration of conservation, restoration and sustainable management in agricultural areas with high biodiversity value such as, but not limited to, high nature value farmland. Australia preferred referring to areas “that are identified as contributing to the achievement of global and national PA targets.” Three options were bracketed.
Agricultural ecosystems: Japan, supported by the Japanese Association for Wild Geese Protection and IIFB, emphasized the importance of rice paddies. Australia suggested “noting” rather than “welcoming” Ramsar COP resolution X.31 on rice paddies as wetland systems. Delegates debated the Resolution’s relevance to CBD programmes of work and whether to invite FAO to study the valuation of ecosystem services provided by rice paddies. Following informal consultations, Belgium offered compromise language with broader references to valuing ecosystems, inviting FAO in consultation with the CBD to undertake further studies on the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by agricultural ecosystems. IIFB requested consultation also with indigenous and local communities. The Philippines cautioned against subjecting the Convention to other international agreements. Delegates eventually agreed on consistency and harmony with CBD and other relevant international obligations.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on agricultural biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.16), SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- welcomes/endorses/notes the joint work plan, with the three options in brackets; and
- invites CGRFA to further contribute to the development and implementation of the revised strategic plan by elaborating targets for agricultural biodiversity, including at the ecosystem and genetic resources levels, and monitoring progress towards using indicators.
In addition, SBSTTA recommends that the COP requests CBD and invites CGRFA to work together in their design of the second phase of their joint work plan covering at least until 2017 and to note that this second phase should consider, inter alia:
- on-farm, in situ and ex situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity;
- relevant aspects of ABS in the context of the international ABS regime under the CBD to be considered/adopted, with both options in brackets, at COP 10;
- trends on the extent of patents and other intellectual property rights, which is bracketed;
- ways and means to strengthen cooperation to obtain and consider the views of farmers’ and producers’ organizations and the views of indigenous and local communities, and facilitate their effective participation in the deliberations of the COP and CGRFA and their contributions to the implementation of the work of these bodies; and
- interlinkages on promoting the positive and minimizing or avoiding the negative impacts of biofuels on biodiversity, including on environmental and socioeconomic and food security aspects, and reference to land security aspects in brackets, in the form of joint studies or assessments.
On requesting the CBD and inviting CGRFA to note that this second phase of their joint work plan should consider biodiversity-rich agricultural landscapes and high nature value farmland, three options were bracketed:
- promoting the conservation, restoration and the sustainable management of biodiversity-rich agricultural landscapes and high-nature value farmland;
- promoting, as appropriate, the integration of conservation, restoration and sustainable management, including sustainable production, in agricultural areas with high biodiversity value, such as, but not limited to, high nature value farmland and Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems; and
- additionally referring to agricultural areas with high biodiversity value and that also “are identified as contributing to the achievement of global and national targets for protected areas,” in brackets.
Within these bracketed options, the terms “restoration,” “biodiversity-rich “and “high nature value farmland” are also bracketed.
On valuing agricultural ecosystems, SBSTTA also recommends that the COP:
- welcomes Ramsar COP Resolution X.31 on enhancing biodiversity in rice paddies as wetland systems;
- recognizes the importance of agro-ecosystems, in particular rice-paddy systems, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and
- invites FAO in consultation with CBD and relevant partners, including indigenous and local communities, to undertake further studies on the valuation of the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by agricultural ecosystems, consistent and in harmony with CBD and other relevant international obligations, in order to further support policy-relevant guidance to parties at COP 11.
BIOFUELS: This item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/12 and Corr.1) was discussed on Monday, 17 May, in Working Group I; from Tuesday to Thursday in a contact group, co-chaired by Ignatius Makumba (Zambia) and Paul Rose (UK); and again on Thursday and Friday, in Working Group I. On Friday, afternoon, in plenary, the draft recommendation was adopted with some amendments. Discussions centered on conceptual frameworks and guidelines for sustainable production and use, the development of a toolkit, assessing impacts, and the precautionary approach.
In initial discussions, the EU called for the CBD to continue to play a role in the global deliberations on biofuels, providing biodiversity-specific advice. The Netherlands requested the CBD to identify no-go areas and degraded areas suitable for sustainable biofuels production. The Philippines underscored developing countries’ difficulties in complying with sustainability standards, calling for a single set of guidelines. Zambia suggested including indigenous and local communities in developing and applying conceptual frameworks. Switzerland recommended developing guidelines to ensure compliance with existing and emerging standards for biofuel production and use over the full lifecycle. Canada and New Zealand considered it premature to apply conceptual frameworks, stressing their voluntary nature. New Zealand, supported by Argentina and Brazil, opposed the immediate development of specific guidelines. Argentina maintained that recommending development of conceptual frameworks and a toolkit was outside SBSTTA’s mandate and, with Brazil, cautioned that sustainability criteria could represent non-tariff barriers to trade.
On the development of a toolkit, Sweden, Kenya and Guinea expressed support, with Belgium emphasizing that the toolkit be developed in cooperation with FAO and the Global Bioenergy Partnership. Iran considered developing a toolkit premature, and IIFB opposed developing a toolkit, urging assessments of impacts on communities and provision of means of redress.
On assessing impacts of biofuel production and use, Norway proposed that the CBD develop guidelines with FAO to address impacts on biodiversity conservation and indigenous and local communities. Thailand requested assessments of net benefits for climate change mitigation and risks to biodiversity conservation from biofuel production.
Mexico proposed sharing the results of parties’ EIAs on biofuels production. On submitting results of biodiversity assessments to the CBD, Iran, with Burkina Faso, suggested adding “assessment of socioeconomic aspects,” with Canada noting that such aspects relate to the production and use of biofuels rather than biodiversity. After informal consultations, parties agreed to submit assessments of impacts on biodiversity that could “affect socioeconomic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels.” Parties also agreed to develop and implement land and water-use policies that promote the positive and minimize or avoid negative impacts by assessing direct and indirect effects and impacts on biodiversity in the production and use of biofuels in their lifecycle and the impacts on biodiversity that affect socioeconomic conditions and impacts of food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels.
Prolonged discussions ensued on references to biomass for energy production and use, as opposed to referring merely to biofuels. Relevant language was bracketed. The UK and New Zealand, opposed by Norway, South Africa and Iran, proposed deleting language urging parties in collaboration with indigenous and local communities to carry out assessments of biofuels operations, which was bracketed.
Switzerland proposed that the precautionary approach “be applied” to biofuels production, with Canada and Brazil lamenting unbalanced language. Liberia and the Philippines proposed compromise language requesting the CBD to work towards convening an AHTEG on synthetic biology and other new biology used or intended to be used in the next generation of biofuels, to assess impacts on biodiversity and livelihoods, which was bracketed.
On Friday morning in Working Group I, delegates also considered two bracketed options requesting the CBD to undertake various activities subject to availability of resources. Liberia and Iran preferred requesting CBD to: compile and analyze or organize information on tools or develop a toolkit; carry out this work taking into account, or in collaboration with, relevant partner organizations and processes; and disseminate the tools and or toolkit through the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) to assist parties and others in applying ways and means to promote the positive and minimize or avoid negative impacts of biofuel production and use on conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity and related socioeconomic aspects including food and land security. Argentina and Cuba preferred requesting the CBD to organize and disseminate information on tools for voluntary use on ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of biofuels production and use on biodiversity, taking into account the work of other partner organizations and relevant processes.
On reference to socioeconomic aspects, Canada, with New Zealand, suggested using agreed language from decision IX/2 on biofuels referring to “socioeconomic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels.”
On requesting the CBD to contribute to the work of other organizations, Co-Chair Solhaug supported by Brazil, Argentina and Canada, with the EU and the Netherlands expressing reservations, proposed deleting a list specifying CBD input. On developing inventories and undertaking conservation measures, the Philippines, opposed by Brazil, suggested reference to “no-go areas” and “critical ecosystems.” The Gaia Foundation, supported by Malawi, Ethiopia and Liberia, raised concerns about “areas that could be used in a sustainable way in the production of biofuels,” with the Netherlands proposing clarifying “degraded” areas.
On developing and implementing land and water use policies/strategies, Poland requested deleting reference to water use policies. Sweden proposed adding reference to effects on ecosystem services in a landscape perspective with regard to policy frameworks for sustainable biofuels production and use. Malawi, supported by Liberia, Ethiopia, Cuba and Uganda, and opposed by Belgium, requested retaining reference to synthetic biotechnologies and other new technologies. Brazil proposed deleting reference to using the precautionary approach in biofuel production, while Iran, Uganda and South Africa requested its retention. Burkina Faso, supported by Canada, suggested using agreed language on precaution from decision IX/2.
Malawi, supported by Ethiopia and South Africa, proposed adding reference to land security with reference to biofuels’ impacts, with Canada proposing bracketing it. On improved monitoring, scientific assessment and open and transparent consultations, Canada, Zambia, Iran, Malawi and Sweden supported two options including the involvement of indigenous and local communities and information flow as crucial for improved policy guidance.
In the closing plenary, Iran, supported by South Africa, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Uganda, requested operative language on the precautionary approach. On recognizing the need to include ways to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of biofuels in national biodiversity and development plans, Ethiopia proposed reference to impacts on indigenous and local communities, with Canada requesting bracketing this. On research and impact assessments, Uganda proposed reference to impacts on land security, with Canada requesting bracketing.
Final Recommendation: In the operative text of the recommendation on biofuels and biodiversity: Follow-up to requests of COP in decision IX/1 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.19), SBSTTA recommends that the COP invites governments and relevant organizations and stakeholders to examine and, as appropriate, further develop, based on scientific assessments on the impacts of biofuel production and use, and with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, voluntary conceptual frameworks for ways and means to minimize or avoid the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of biofuel production and use developed by the three regional workshops.
Bracketed language urgesgovernments to ensure that land rights, as appropriate and subject to national legislation and, in further brackets, “applicable to international obligations”, as well as the sustainable agricultural practices and food security of indigenous and local communities, are respected and promoted, and that steps are taken to redress any negative impacts on these communities by the production and use of biofuels.
Two bracketed alternative paragraphs concern a request to the CBD. The first option requests the CBD to: compile and “and analyze” information on tools and “and develop a toolkit” for voluntary use; carry out this work, alternatively, “taking into account the work of” or “in collaborations with” relevant partner organizations and processes; and disseminate the tools “and the toolkit” though the CHM and other relevant means. References to “analyze” and “develop a toolkit” are also further bracketed. This option also contains bracketed language on the impacts on land security. The second bracketed option requests CBD to compile, organize and disseminate information on tools for voluntary use, as identified in the regional workshops, taking into account the work of other competent partner organizations and relevant processes.
In a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP requests the CBD to contribute to ongoing work of relevant partner organizations and processes to assist in their “ongoing work”, “development of frameworks” “and policy options”, with these three terms in brackets. References to “the production and use of biofuels” and to “biomass for energy production and use” and to the precautionary approach are also bracketed. A request to CBD to report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 11 is also bracketed.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP invites parties to develop and implement policies that promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts on biological diversity, in particular by assessing both direct and indirect effects and impacts on biodiversity of the production and use of biofuels in their full lifecycle as compared to that of other types of fuels, and the impacts on biodiversity that would affect related socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels.
In a paragraph inviting parties, acknowledging different national conditions, other governments and relevant organizations to undertake, as appropriate, adequate bio-conservation measures of areas of high biodiversity value, reference to “developing inventories” is bracketed, as is reference to “critical ecosystems” and “areas important to indigenous and local communities, such as no-go areas”. Furthermore, language on assessing and identifying areas and ecosystems that could be used in a sustainable way in the production of biofuels” is bracketed, as is language to also assess and identify low biodiversity value land previously used for agriculture, where agriculture has since declined or ceased and become degraded as a result.
A clean paragraph also invites parties, acknowledging different national conditions, other governments and relevant organizations to elaborate supportive measures to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP encourages parties and other governments to develop and implement land-use and water “policies” and/or “strategies,” which are bracketed, acknowledging different national conditions. Reference to “bearing in mind effects on ecosystem services in a landscape perspective” is bracketed.
A paragraph urging donor countries and agencies and relevant organizations to provide technical and financial support to developing countries is entirely bracketed.
In a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- decides to convene an AHTEG on synthetic biotechnologies and other new technologies that are used or projected to be used in the next generation of biofuels to assess their impacts on biodiversity and related livelihoods;
- invites governments and relevant organizations to address both direct and indirect impacts that the production and use of biofuels might have on biodiversity, in particular inland waters biodiversity, on the services they provide and on indigenous and local communities; and
- urges governments, in accordance with the precautionary approach, to ensure that living organisms produced by synthetic biology are not released into the environment until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and due consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity, and the associated socio-economic risks, are considered.
A final paragraph recalls decision IX/12 and provides for the precautionary approach to be applied to biofuel production and use.
DRY AND SUB-HUMID LANDS BIODIVERSITY: Working Group I discussed a follow-up to requests from COP 9 on biodiversity of dry and sub-humid land (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/13) on Monday, 17 May, and negotiated a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.6) on Wednesday, 19 May. Plenary adopted the recommendation on Friday, 21 May, with amendments. Discussions focused on CBD collaboration with the UNCCD and among the Rio conventions, and on involvement of local and indigenous communities.
Delegates discussed whether to define the scope of collaboration using CBD or UNCCD terminology. Argentina preferred reference to “arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid lands,” consistent with the mandate of the UNCCD. Germany, supported by Spain and Belgium, preferred CBD language from Decision V/23, delimitating the scope of the programme of work on dry and sub-humid lands, and Decision IX/17, containing delimitation options with respect to the UNCCD. CBD terminology was adopted and a footnote included. In the closing plenary, Argentina requested re-inserting UNCCD references in the text and footnote, which Germany bracketed.
Belgium recommended that the CBD carry out activities in collaboration not only with UNCCD, but also UNFCCC, with Colombia and South Africa raising concerns about unresolved issues on the joint work programme. Belgium also supported, opposed by Colombia, a request to the Executive Secretary to consult with parties on joint activities between the Rio conventions before COP 10. Delegates debated how to refer to possible integration with the proposed joint work programme among Rio conventions, deciding to bracket relevant references. The Secretariat proposed introducing language from the recommendation on climate change concerning proposed joint activities between the Rio conventions.
IIFB requested several references to pastoralists and indigenous and local communities. Colombia queried the meaning of marginalized groups, with the Secretariat suggesting reference to national circumstances. New Zealand opposed language on institutional changes facilitating marginalized groups’ engagement. New Zealand also questioned references to economic development and people living in dry and sub-humid lands, expressing concern about extending the CBD mandate.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands (UNEP/CBD/SBSSTA/14/L.17), SBSTTA recommends the COP to request the Executive Secretary to consult parties, with the full participation of indigenous and local communities and report progress to COP 10, in order to explore possibilities to develop a proposal on joint activities between the Rio conventions.
On collaboration with the UNCCD, SBSTTA recommends that the COP requests the Executive Secretary to: either “explore” or “develop and implement,” with both options remaining in brackets, joint actions to increase cooperation between the natural and social science communities to increase the integration of biodiversity considerations in disaster reduction.
A bracketed footnote clarifies that Decision V/23 establishes that dry and sub-humid lands include: drylands, Mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland, and savannah ecosystems; and that Decision IX/17 adopted the delineation of dry and sub-humid lands consistent with the criteria for arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid lands set out by the UNCCD. It also contains bracketed references on UNCCD terminology.
On the good practice guide on pastoralism, nature conservation and development, SBSTTA further recommends that the COP requests the Executive Secretary to identify:
- best practices to address conflict between biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and pastoralism and agriculture in dry and sub-humid lands; and
- good-practice examples of the involvement of marginalized groups, defined based on national circumstances, in the implementation of the programme of work on the biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, especially nomadic pastoralists and mobile indigenous peoples.
- On the implementation of the programme of work, SBSTTA recommends that the COP invites parties to:
- integrate issues related to dry and sub-humid lands into relevant national strategies, plans and programmes, in particular those under the Rio conventions; and
- continue to implement activities contained in the progress report prepared for COP 9 (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/19), as well as those identified in decision IX/16 on possible joint activities regarding the three Rio conventions.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY: Forest biodiversity and collaboration with UNFF and FAO (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/14) were first discussed in Working Group I on Tuesday, 13 May. Delegates addressed a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.4) from Wednesday through Friday in Working Group I. REDD-related issues were discussed in a contact group on climate change on Wednesday, and a joint drafting group on Thursday. Discussions focused on REDD biodiversity safeguards and inadequacies in forest biodiversity reporting and monitoring.
REDD: New Zealand, supported by Brazil, proposed deletion of references to the UNFCCC COP 15 outcome on REDD, given continuing negotiations on this issue. Norway called for language consistent with the UNFCCC, and proposed adding reference to the UN-REDD Programme. Brazil objected to the use of the acronym “REDD.”
Belgium, supported by France, emphasized the importance of REDD safeguards on biodiversity and, with Finland, for indigenous and local communities’ rights. Switzerland and Finland suggested clarifying that CBD’s cooperation concerns “biodiversity and other” safeguards. New Zealand, supported by Canada, preferred that the CBD collaborates to support the development of biodiversity safeguards with the “full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities,” rather than making reference to “safeguards for indigenous and local communities’ rights.”
Colombia proposed to include a general reference to assessing the impact of safeguards. Belgium suggested deleting reference to exploring the implications of safeguards. Colombia recommended that the CBD contribute to the “discussion” on relevant safeguards, while Germany and Finland favored a contribution to the “development” of relevant safeguards. China suggested that the CBD carry out consultations with parties and promote the sustainable management of forests in the context of REDD and other forest-related climate change responses, requesting deletion of reference to monitoring, verification and reporting on biodiversity and to clarifying the concept of sustainable management of forests.
Delegates eventually agreed on bracketed options on requesting CBD to “contribute to discussions, and possible development of, biodiversity safeguards,” or “explore opportunities to provide advice as requested, to the discussions.”
Forest biodiversity reporting and monitoring: Norway supported work to clarify forest definitions. Delegates agreed to convene a meeting to investigate whether inadequacies could be addressed by “proposing revised” definitions and types of forests. China proposed that the mandate be “suggesting ways of improvement,” while the UK, Sweden and Germany requested retaining language on “proposing revised definitions of forest and forest types.” New Zealand preferred “clarifying” definitions. While China then proposed “suggesting ways to address the inadequacies including proposing revised definitions.” After informal discussions, delegates agreed on suggesting ways to address these inadequacies “including by proposing improved definitions of forests and forest types.”
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on forest biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSSTA/14/L.7) contains sections on: cooperation with UNFF and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO); targeted joint activities between CBD and UNFF; cooperation with FAO and other organizations; and cooperation with CPF.
On cooperation with UNFF and ITTO, SBSTTA recommends that the COP: supports memoranda of understandings signed between the CBD, UNFF and ITTO.
SBSTTA recommends that the Executive Secretary identify targeted joint activities with the Director of UNFF, based on priorities identified in Decision IX/5 (resulting from an in-depth review of the programme of work on forest biodiversity), including: streamlining forest-related reporting, based on the CPF Task Force on Streamlining Forest-related Reporting, including a meeting of the Task Force reporting to SBSTTA prior to COP 11 to investigate whether there are inadequacies in forest biodiversity reporting and monitoring, and, if so, suggest ways to address these inadequacies, including by proposing improved definitions of forest and forest types, in view of further improving the biodiversity monitoring component of the Global Forest Resources Assessment and other relevant processes and initiatives.
On cooperation with the CPF, SBSTTA recommends that the COP in two alternative bracketed options requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with CPF members and CBD national focal points on REDD, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, as appropriate, on either:
- contributing to discussions on and possible development of biodiversity safeguards and mechanisms to monitor impacts on biodiversity and support development of guidance on creating synergies between the implementation of national forest-related actions and programmes; or
- with effective consultation with parties, to explore opportunities to provide advice, as requested, to discussions on this issue, in order to avoid any possible negative impacts on biodiversity by such activities.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP invites parties to further improve coordination and collaboration, based on domestic needs, at national and regional levels, between national focal points of CBD, UNFF, UNCCD, and UNFCCC.
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: Working Group I discussed gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework on IAS (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/16/Rev.1) on Monday and Tuesday, 17-18 May, negotiating a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.8 and Corr.1) on Wednesday, 19 May. A Friends of the Co-Chairs’ group on AHTEG terms of reference met on Tuesday. Plenary adopted the recommendation on Friday, 21 May.
Discussions mainly focused on the terms of reference for an AHTEG on IAS introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and food. France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium favored developing international standards to prevent the introduction and spread of IAS, which Canada and New Zealand opposed. Brazil suggested referring to “voluntary international standards.” Canada eventually proposed, supported by Sweden, Norway, France and Spain, “providing practical guidance for the development of international standards.” New Zealand requested bracketing this. Argentina proposed adding reference to uses in aquaculture, breeding for fishing and hunting, and fur trade. Mexico suggested consideration of adverse effects of climate change on IAS. In the closing plenary, Canada, opposed by Belgium, the UK and Austria, proposed deleting a paragraph recognizing risks from IAS used as biofuel crops and for carbon sequestration.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework on invasive alien species (UNEP/CBD/SBSSTA/14/L.13) contains sections on: IAS introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food; other matters related to IAS; and an annex with the terms of reference for an AHTEG on addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP establishes an AHTEG to suggest ways and means to address and take proactive action to fill the identified gaps and to prevent the risks associated with the introduction of IAS introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, as live bait and live food. A reference specifying these ways and means as including, inter alia, providing practical guidance on the development of international standards remains in brackets.
A request to the Executive Secretary to convene such an AHTEG prior to COP 11, however, remains bracketed. In an additional bracketed paragraph, SBSTTA recommends that the COP recognizes the risks from IAS used as biofuel crops and for carbon sequestration, and urges parties to continue using the precautionary approach.
GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE: Delegates discussed the GTI (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/15 and INF/36) on Tuesday, 11 May, and a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.4) on Thursday, 13 May, in Working Group II. The draft recommendation was adopted with minor amendments in plenary on Friday, 14 May. Controversy surrounded references to the ongoing negotiations on the international ABS regime and GEF funding.
Several countries raised concerns about funding, capacity building and particularly dwindling taxonomic expertise. Finland favored providing support for the preservation of indigenous and local communities’ taxonomic knowledge and, with Ghana, suggested ways for increasing awareness about the importance of taxonomy. Germany proposed to develop a comprehensive strategy for capacity building on GTI at global and regional levels under the CBD. On Friday, 21 May, in closing plenary, the UK, with Belgium, opposed by Malawi, proposed bracketing text requesting the GEF and inviting other donors to give higher priority to funding GTI proposals.
Canada supported consideration of appropriate conditions under an international ABS regime to maximize scientific collaboration and facilitate technology transfer, while India and Brazil opposed reference to the international ABS regime, given that negotiations are still ongoing. On Friday, in closing plenary, Colombia proposed bracketing reference to the outcome of the ABS negotiations within bracketed text on the importance of exchanging taxonomic voucher specimens for non-commercial research.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.6), SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- requests the Executive Secretary to hold capacity-building training workshops in all subregions as needed;
- urges parties to increase the knowledge-base on ecological range and condition of species;
- requests the Executive Secretary to develop a comprehensive capacity-building strategy for GTI at global and regional levels; and
- urges parties to develop capacity in the use of shareable taxonomic knowledge.
Bracketed paragraphs relate to: recognizing the importance of exchanging taxonomic voucher specimens for non-commercial biodiversity research and inviting parties and governments to facilitate and benefit from regional and subregional scientific and technical collaboration in accordance with national legislation and subject to the outcomes of an international ABS regime negotiations; and requesting GEF to provide high priority to funding of GTI proposals.
INCENTIVE MEASURES: Incentive measures (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/17, and INF/26 and 38) were first discussed in Working Group II on Monday, 17 May. The draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.7) was negotiated paragraph by paragraph in the working group on Tuesday, 18 May, and adopted by plenary on Friday, 21 May.
On lessons learned and good practices, Japan and Switzerland proposed collecting and exchanging good practices and case studies on the identification and mitigation of perverse incentive measures. Sweden proposed regional workshops to share experiences on removing perverse incentives. The Philippines proposed considering current issues such as climate change and financial challenges, while Australia preferred to discuss these “as appropriate” and Germany “among other issues.” Iran suggested inviting parties “in accordance with national legislation” to take measures and other actions to fully account for the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in decision making.
On the design and implementation of positive incentive measures, New Zealand emphasized implementing measures in accordance with existing international obligations. Regarding new language on fostering implementation of sustainable consumption and production patterns including consideration of ecological footprints, France expressed reservations about “ecological footprints” and, with Brazil, requested bracketing the entire paragraph.
Switzerland suggested promoting the polluter pays principle and sharing the benefits derived from the removal of perverse incentives. Thailand proposed recognizing the role of the public and private sectors in developing incentives for CBD implementation. The Netherlands highlighted green public procurement, tax exemptions for green investments and the adoption of discount rates to better value ecosystem services. Argentina cautioned that any payment for an ecosystem services scheme must be consistent with WTO law, and France with national or local laws. The Philippines urged considering indigenous and local communities’ livelihoods in devising positive incentives. Forest Peoples Programme proposed inviting parties to promote positive incentives for the sustainable use of biodiversity and indigenous and local community livelihoods. The Forest Peoples Programme also proposed adding reference to indigenous and local community livelihoods, while Canada requested bracketing the entire paragraph.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.11), SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia, requests the Executive Secretary to:
- as appropriate, disseminate the lessons learned and good-practice cases, considering current issues such as climate change and financial challenges, among others, through the CBD CHM and through other means;
- in collaboration with relevant partners, convene regional workshops for the exchange of practical experiences on the removal and mitigation of perverse incentive measures, including, but not limited to, harmful subsidies, and on the promotion of positive incentives.
In a bracketed portion, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- urges parties and governments to prioritize and significantly increase their efforts in actively identifying and removing or mitigating existing perverse incentives (including for agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy); and
- invites parties and governments to foster, as appropriate, implementation of sustainable consumption and production patterns, including through the Business and Biodiversity Initiative, standardization schemes, green public procurement, consideration of the ecological footprint and other incentive schemes, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations.
Reference to “consideration of the ecological footprint” is further bracketed.
SBSTTA further recommends that the COP invites parties and governments to: promote the design and implementation, in all key economic sectors, of positive incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity that are effective, transparent, cost-efficient as well as consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, and that do not generate perverse incentives, taking into account, as appropriate, the range of positive incentive measures identified in the report for policy-makers of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative, the “polluter pays principle” and the associated “full cost recovery principle”, as well as the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities.
NEW AND EMERGING ISSUES: New and emerging issues (UNEP /CBD/SBSTTA/14/18) were first introduced in plenary on Wednesday, 19 May. The draft recommendation was negotiated paragraph by paragraph in plenary on Thursday and adopted on Friday.
While several delegates agreed that no new or emerging issues should be added as new agenda items, Australia favored reducing the number of agenda items. Belgium, supported by Mexico and Colombia, lamented that some issues were not eligible for consideration on procedural grounds. New Zealand, supported by Canada and the Russian Federation, noted that ocean acidification and ocean noise were not new issues.
The Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), supported by India, proposed adding ocean acidification into the programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity, and, with China, ocean noise into the programme of work on PAs. Belgium and Canada proposed adding ocean noise under the work on marine and coastal biodiversity.
On the implementation of the programme of work on PAs and on marine and coastal biodiversity, Belgium and Colombia requested deleting, and Iran bracketing, reference to impacts of climate change on habitats and endemic species. China, opposed by Mexico and Iceland, proposed bracketing text on considering the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity.
On ground-level ozone, China and India argued that the CBD is not the most appropriate framework, while Canada proposed addressing ground-level ozone in implementing existing programmes of work. The Philippines, supported by the ETC Group and opposed by Mexico, proposed synthetic biology impacts on biodiversity as an item to be considered across all programmes of work, and, supported by Malawi, requested inviting submission of information on synthetic biology for consideration by SBSTTA. Ethiopia, supported by Austria and Germany, proposed inviting submission of information on geo-engineering. The Philippines requested applying the precautionary approach to ensure that there is no field release of synthetic life, cell or genome into the environment. New Zealand requested bracketing the entire text, and the UK the section on field release.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.14), SBSTTA recommends that the COP decides not to add any of the proposed new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to the SBSTTA agenda. In bracketed portions, it is recommended that the COP requests SBSTTA to:
- consider the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity and habitats as part of the ongoing activities under the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity;
- include relevant information and assessments of Arctic biodiversity in accordance with applicable provisions of international law;
- take into account, in the implementation of the programme of work on PAs and on marine and coastal biodiversity, the impacts of climate change on habitats and endemic species and the impact of ocean noise on MPAs and consider the scientific information on underwater noise and its impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity habitats that will be made available by the Executive Secretary prior to COP 11;
- call for the application of the precautionary approach when considering synthetic biology to ensure that there is no field release of synthetic life, cell or genome into the environment until thorough scientific assessments have been conducted in a transparent, open and participatory manner involving all relevant parties and indigenous and local communities so as to assess unknown consequences on biodiversity, ecosystems and livelihoods; and
- take into consideration, in the implementation of the programme of work on IAS, the effects of IAS on genetic resources, species and ecosystem diversity of PAs.
Delegates discussed the implications of GBO 3 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/8) on Monday, 17 May, and a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.5) on Tuesday, 18 May, in Working Group II. The draft recommendation was adopted without amendments in plenary on Friday, 21 May.
Finland, supported by Canada and the Netherlands, proposed a communication plan to disseminate knowledge on how to curb biodiversity loss. The UK highlighted the need for a review of the production of GBO 3. Brazil requested reference to the adoption and effective implementation of an international ABS regime, and proposed acknowledging the impacts of the lack of such regime on biodiversity. On measures to enhance customary use, the Philippines and New Zealand introduced, after consultations, compromise text on measures that are compatible with conservation and sustainable use requirements by empowering indigenous and local communities to participate and take responsibility in decision-making processes, as appropriate. Switzerland requested: preparing a short summary of GBO 3’s crucial findings for submission to the General Assembly high-level segment on biodiversity; and, opposed by Cuba, Brazil, China and Argentina that considered it premature, reference to “IPBES, if established.”
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.10), SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- develops with relevant partners the communication strategy for GBO 3;
- commissions a review of the process of preparation and production of GBO 3 to improve the process for future editions;
- acknowledges the impact that the lack of an international ABS regime has posed on biodiversity; and
- notes that a strategy for reducing biodiversity loss includes measures to protect and encourage customary use and management of biological resources by empowering indigenous and local communities to participate and take responsibility in local decision-making processes as appropriate.
SBSTTA also recommends that the Executive Secretary make available a short synthetic extract, in all official United Nations languages, with key messages from GBO 3, with a view to making it available at relevant events, including the high‑level meeting of the General Assembly on biodiversity.
The only bracketed paragraph is on establishing an IPBES.
POST-2010 GOALS AND TARGETS
Delegates discussed the post-2010 goals and targets (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/10) on Monday, 17 May, and a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.8) on Tuesday and Wednesday, 17-18 May and a revised recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.8/Rev.1) on Thursday, 20 May in Working Group II. An informal group met on Tuesday and Wednesday, 18-19 May to prepare views on the post-2010 mission, goals and targets (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.8/Rev.1/Annex) for the third meeting of the Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI). The revised draft recommendation and annex were adopted with amendments in plenary on Friday, 21 May.
Co-Chair Obermayr explained SBSTTA’s role to examine the goals and targets from a scientific, technical and technological perspective as input for WGRI 3, and make recommendations to COP 10 for further developing indicators. Japan, with India and Cuba, emphasized that post-2010 targets should be action-oriented, ambitious, measurable and participatory. New Zealand emphasized that several targets are inconsistent with the Convention goals and COP decisions, with Norway observing that targets should be in line with the Millennium Development Goals. Switzerland, supported by Finland, favored a target addressing sustainable consumption and ecological footprint related to biodiversity. France proposed a new target on marine ecosystems in ABNJ.
Delegates supported the effort of the IIFB Working Group on Indicators. On complementing global headline indicators, Spain added indicators “in aspects related to the economy of biodiversity and ecosystem services.” On inviting the scientific community to develop measures complementing or substituting existing indicators, Belgium added “taking into account indicators developed under other MEAs” and Canada “sector-based processes.” Delegates agreed on adding a footnote indicating that the financial implications of establishing an AHTEG would be reviewed by the COP. Brazil, with Switzerland, the UK, Nepal and others, supported the establishment of an AHTEG on indicators for 2011-2020. Kenya proposed that the AHTEG provide advice on strengthening linkages between indicators. Sweden proposed inviting the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO-BON) to provide a report to an AHTEG on indicators, in addition to SBSTTA. Delegates agreed on inviting GEO-BON “working through organizations including UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center (WCMC) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).”
Annex: Co-Chair Obermayr explained that the annex is not a negotiated text, but an attempt to summarize discussions on mission, goals and targets. It was also clarified, following Canada’s suggestion, that the informal group did not carry out a detailed examination of technical rationales but that comments could be used to explain technical concepts.
On Friday, 21 May, in plenary, Mexico, Nepal and IIFB proposed wording changes to the targets to reflect discussions on the annex. The Secretariat emphasized that the purpose of this review was to provide a commentary and not change the wording of the targets, which WGRI 3 would be tasked with.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.18), SBSTTA recommends that the targets listed in Annex I of the note, together with the contributions of SBSTTA, be considered in the process of finalizing the revision and updating of the Strategic Plan, noting that the technical rationale provided for each target has provided the background for discussions by SBSTTA and needs to be completed in the light of these discussions.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP:
- recognizes the need to continue strengthening monitoring of biodiversity by, inter alia, supporting the efforts of the IIFB Working Group on Indicators;
- complements global headline indicators with additional indicators suitable for monitoring progress towards those targets for which suitable indicators have not yet been identified, in particular in relation to the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the benefits to people derived from these services;
- develops measures in cooperation with the scientific community that could complement or substitute for the existing indicators, taking into account indicators developed under other multilateral environmental agreements and international organizations and sector-based processes;
- requests the Executive Secretary, pending the availability of the necessary financial resources, to convene a meeting, at the earliest opportunity, of an AHTEG on indicators. The AHTEG will, inter alia, provide advice on strengthening linkages between global and national indicator development and reporting; and
- requests the Executive Secretary to invite GEO-BON, working through, inter alia, UNEP-WCMC and IUCN, to prepare an evaluation of existing observation capabilities relevant to the targets contained in the Strategic Plan and provide a report.
The recommendation contains an annex on SBSTTA contributions to the proposed post-2010 mission, strategic goals and targets.
GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION
Proposals for a consolidated update of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/9, INF/16-18) were first discussed in Working Group II on Monday, 17 May. The draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.6) was negotiated paragraph by paragraph in Working Group II on Tuesday and Wednesday, 18-19 May, with a drafting group meeting on Tuesday. The recommendation was adopted by plenary on Friday, 21 May.
On the relevant toolkit, Sweden, supported by Ireland, proposed setting up an AHTEG to define the toolkit purpose, content and use. The Philippines proposed, and parties agreed, to invite parties and governments to support the development of specific toolkits for local PA managers, and compile case studies on best management practices in halting the decline of indigenous and local knowledge associated with plant innovations.
On financing, Malaysia, supported by Argentina, called for new and creative means to mobilize resources, strengthening capacity through workshops and undertaking projects to achieve targets. Kenya, supported by Argentina, Malawi and others, and opposed by Germany and Belgium, proposed removing brackets on inviting parties, governments and the financial mechanism to provide adequate and timely support to implement the Strategy. Parties eventually agreed to retain brackets only around the financial mechanism. On a bracketed paragraph on seeking resources for the establishment of a position at the Secretariat, Kenya, opposed by Malawi, suggested deleting specific reference to resources. Belgium favored keeping the entire paragraph bracketed.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/L.12) includes an annex with sections on: vision; objectives; rationale for the strategy; scope and general principles; 2011-2020 targets; and implementation of the GSPC.
On seeking resources, in a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP requeststhe Executive Secretary to seek the resources necessary for the establishment of a position at the Secretariat to strengthen the coordination and support towards the implementation of the GSPC beyond 2010.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- decidesto adopt the consolidated update of the GSPC including the outcome-oriented global targets for 2011-2020, and to pursue the implementation of the GSPC as part of the broader framework of the CBD strategic plan beyond 2010;
- emphasizesthat the outcome-oriented global targets for 2011-2020 should be viewed as a flexible framework within which national and/or regional targets may be developed, according to national priorities and capacities; and
- invitesparties, governments, the financial mechanism, and funding organizations to provide adequate and timely support to the implementation of the GSPC especially by developing country parties, in particular the least developed countries.
WAYS AND MEANS TO IMPROVE SBSTTA EFFECTIVENESS
Ways and means to improve SBSTTA effectiveness (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/19) was first discussed in plenary on Wednesday, 19 May. A draft recommendation was negotiated paragraph by paragraph in plenary on Thursday, 20 May, and adopted on Friday, 21 May.
Spain requested bracketing text on SBSTTA keeping the status of biodiversity under constant review and submitting to the COP key messages on the status, trends and threats to biodiversity and its services. With Canada, Spain also preferred bracketing a reference to IPBES, while Iran and China favored deleting it.
Nepal, for the Asia Pacific Region, suggested online consultations for SBSTTA Bureau members and focal points and, with Tunisia, for the African Region, recommended convening pre-SBSTTA regional meetings. Ethiopia proposed intersessional meetings of regional focal points before SBSTTA meetings. The Philippines proposed reflecting the three CBD objectives with reference to training workshops. The African Region suggested a SBSTTA meeting segment among eminent scientists, and facilitating online discussion among regional groups on well-defined themes.
The Russian Federation, opposed by the Philippines, requested deleting or bracketing text inviting SBSTTA focal points to submit reports on the scientific and technical issues arising from the Strategic Plan implementation. Mexico, for GRULAC, suggested: disseminating key messages from SBSTTA; convening two SBSTTA meetings in every intersessional period; inviting parties to participate in peer-reviewing SBSTTA documents; shorter SBSTTA recommendations; and including executive summaries in information documents. Canada, on behalf of Switzerland, Norway and Japan, questioned the need for a multi-year plan of action for SBSTTA coinciding with the duration of the CBD Strategic Plan. Iran suggested more cautious language on promoting synergies and collaboration for the implementation of SBSTTA’s multi-year plan of action to be submitted to COP 11. China stressed that language on cooperation with other conventions be approved by the COP rather than SBSTTA and requested deleting, and Germany bracketing, references to synergies among the Rio conventions.
New Zealand proposed: keeping within the CBD mandate; reducing the number of agenda items and recommendations; and streamlining the text of draft CBD decisions. Australia proposed considering at COP 10 language on convening two expert meetings, with China and Iran requesting clarification on their terms of reference.
On urging resource mobilization, Mexico, opposed by Canada, proposed a footnote indicating that the final decision will be taken by the COP. China, opposed by Spain, requested retaining language on keeping within the CBD’s mandate. Spain suggested requesting SBSTTA to focus its work on technological and scientific aspects of the strategic plan and Multi-year Programme of Work. To enable SBSTTA to identify priority actions unambiguously for the COP, Malawi, supported by Brazil and South Africa, proposed requesting COP 10 to clarify SBSTTA’s mandate regarding the consideration of financial resources and guidance to the financial mechanism. On Friday morning, in plenary, Spain supported the text introduced by Malawi on providing clarification on financial mechanisms enabling SBSTTA to deal with financial issues and improve the advice to the COP. Spain, supported by the UK and Sweden, proposed new text requesting the Executive Secretary to provide analysis of previous COP decisions to identify possible inconsistencies and duplications contained in the recommendations to be addressed at COP 10. Malawi, China and South Africa requested bracketing the text.
Mexico proposed, and delegates agreed to, compromise language further requesting the Executive Secretary in collaboration with the SBSTTA Bureau members to prepare a reference manual to serve as guidance for SBSTTA focal points, Bureau members and delegates.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14.L.15), in bracketed portions, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- further requests the Executive Secretary to elaborate a format where SBSTTA national focal points can submit voluntary reports on the scientific and technical issues arising from the implementation of the Strategic Plan in a manner that is in harmony with national reports; and
- urges the mobilization of human and financial resources for the submission of voluntary reports in particular in support of developing countries, including for strengthening the CHM.
SBSTTA further recommends that the COP
- requests the Executive Secretary to convene pre-SBSTTA regional meetings at least six months prior to SBSTTA meetings;
- requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with SBSTTA Bureau members and interested partners such as the Consortium of Scientific Partners (CSP), to prepare a Manual for SBSTTA to enhance the duties of national focal points, SBSTTA Bureau members and delegates; and
- invites parties and governments to encourage and support SBSTTA Bureau members and national focal points to organize and coordinate online consultations to facilitate regional consultation on matters to be discussed at upcoming SBSTTA meetings.
In a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP encourages the SBSTTA Bureau, subject to the availability of funds, to convene joint meetings with the bureaus of the subsidiary bodies of the Rio conventions, as well as with biodiversity-related conventions, to promote synergies and collaboration as per the relevant decisions of the Rio conventions.
On documentation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP requests the Executive Secretary to streamline and shorten the texts of draft SBSTTA recommendations so that the actions required are clear, and evident.
On the mandate of SBSTTA in a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- requests SBSTTA to keep the status of biodiversity under constant review according to its mandate and to provide technical and scientific recommendations, in particular regarding the implementation of the strategic plan for the period 2011-2020, including the drivers of biodiversity loss, inter alia, climate change and invasive alien species. References to drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change and invasive species are bracketed within the brackets; and
- requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Bureau to submit to COP 11, the draft modus operandi on the relation between SBSTTA and an IPBES when and if established, to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP requests the Subsidiary Body, in considering the issues before it, notwithstanding the cross-cutting nature of some of the issues, to ensure that the CBD keeps within its mandate and that SBSTTA takes into account the need to align its work with the Strategic Plan of the Convention.
On links between the COP and SBSTTA, the SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- decides to try to reduce the number of agenda items to be considered by SBSTTA, or, if the agenda of SBSTTA is to expand, to ensure the provision of adequate resources within the budget of the Convention;
- requests the Executive Secretary to prepare executive summaries for information notes introduced under SBSTTA agenda items; and
- invites parties and governments to actively participate in the peer review process for SBSTTA documents.
In a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP encourages SBSTTA to submit, for the consideration of the COP, key messages on the status and trends of, and threats to biodiversity and its services.
On Friday, 21 May, following a brief resumption of Working Group I and II to adopt their respective reports (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/L.1 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/L.1), the closing plenary convened. Delegates elected the following officers to the SBSTTA Bureau: Ignatius Makumba (Zambia) for Africa; Alexander Shestakov, Russian Federation, for CEE; Maria Cecilia Vieira (Brazil), for GRULAC; Monyrak Meng (Cambodia) for Asia and the Pacific; and Gabrielle Obermayr (Austria) for Western Europe and Others. Delegates adopted the report of the meeting (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/L.1) without amendment.
The Philippines reiterated great concern regarding synthetic biology, invoking application of the precautionary approach, with Malawi for the African region also referring to geo-engineering and the negative impacts of biofuels. New Zealand lamented that new and “submerging” issues had led SBSTTA into unproductive debates, noting limited resources. CBD Executive Secretary Djoghlaf praised the participation of scientific communities and NGOs. SBSTTA Chair Thomas stressed the increasing urgency to implement the Convention and the fundamental linkages between climate change and biodiversity. He gaveled the meeting to a close at 6:48 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF SBSTTA 14
The relationship between climate change and biodiversity loss has become a cause of concern, based on the increasing understanding of the importance of mitigation and adaptation activities for the multi-faceted work of the Convention on Biodiversity. But never before has this issue come to the forefront in a CBD meeting, as was the case at SBSTTA 14. Questions about the links between climate change and protected areas, forest and marine biodiversity were further explored through the important technical work done by the AHTEG on biodiversity and climate change mandated by COP 9. Institutional questions about improved synergies among conventions were also prominent in this respect, because of the opportunity provided by the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Conference, but also due to the unprecedented level of global attention that climate change has received in recent years.
Attention at SBSTTA 14 was not only focused on mainstreaming climate change into the CBD, but equally on ensuring that biodiversity concerns and approaches would be integrated appropriately in non-biodiversity processes, particularly the UNFCCC. This brief analysis will thus delve into the inward and outward dimensions of the relationship between climate change and biodiversity addressed at the meeting, and conclude by discussing the role of SBSTTA in enabling the CBD COP to take informed decisions on these topical inter-linkages.
MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE INTO THE CBD
Several substantive issues before SBSTTA 14 were related to climate change: recommendations on marine, inland waters, forest and mountain biodiversity, protected areas, and dry lands all incorporated a climate component. Discussions on biofuels, although relevant, were reminiscent of previous SBSTTAs in terms of entrenched positions as to the possible normative role of the CBD (this time, focusing on whether or not to develop a toolkit) to ensure sustainable production and use. New concepts like geo-engineering and more advanced discussions on REDD safeguards and protected areas stood out.
While it is unclear what technologies are comprised by this term, geo-engineering points to large-scale deliberate manipulation of the atmosphere and the biosphere to counteract the effects of climate change. In light of the success of a COP 9 decision in establishing what was considered an implicit moratorium on ocean fertilization—a specific type of geo-engineering—the vast majority of CBD parties proposed extending the same approach to other forms of such innovative and still unknown technologies. While the relevant recommendation remains in brackets, some delegates considered this an issue that is “here to stay,” congratulating SBSTTA for timely “flagging” it in anticipation of more elaborate discussions in the future.
Another important question was that of creating awareness about the linkages between protected areas and climate change adaptation and mitigation. While some countries called for caution to avoid undermining primary biodiversity conservation objective of PAs, certain donor countries in particular were keen on highlighting the adaptation and mitigation benefits of PAs, apparently with a view to channeling some REDD money to alleviate the chronic problem of underfunding for PAs. Although some emerging economies argued that separate streams of new and additional funding are necessary to fulfill the objectives of the CBD and UNFCCC—an argument that has also been made under other processes—others took a more pragmatic approach welcoming new opportunities in times of global economic hardship. To this end, more efforts are required to make the association between PAs and climate finance, in particular to ensure that any additionality requirement can also be met by existing PAs that may not be de facto protected, may be degraded and in need for restoration, or may need to be better connected.
INTEGRATING BIODIVERSITY INTO THE UNFCCC
Animated discussions also centered on the more specific issue of REDD biodiversity safeguards, Given these safeguards’ limited place within the negotiations of a post-2012 international climate change regime, SBSTTA delegates debated whether the CBD should provide guidance for the development of these safeguards or at least be involved in their implementation and monitoring. Difficulties arose, however, from reluctance to open up issues that are still being negotiated under the UNFCCC—a more politically charged and extremely technical context. While there was general agreement that CBD expertise is crucial on REDD, some preferred for the CBD to wait for a decisions to be taken at the UNFCCC before joining forces in implementation. Eventually, delegates considered a set of bracketed options for COP 10, a good compromise to keep an informed debate going.
To ensure the integration of biodiversity concerns into other processes and with a view to moving from existing, ad hoc collaboration toward a more programmatic approach, the proposal of a joint work programme for the Rio conventions was debated at length. As the CBD already has a joint work programme with the UNCCD, the question was really how to expand it to embrace the climate change regime. While the substance of the proposed joint work programme was about national-level activities for coordinated implementation of the Rio conventions, discussions at SBSTTA 14 rather focused on the procedural steps needed to reach agreement on the programme within each Convention. Options included holding a joint high-level segment or joint COP as part of the Rio+20 celebrations, joint preparatory meetings between the conventions’ scientific bodies or bureaus, or more cautiously undertaking further consultations between the Secretariats and respective parties.
While consensus prevails that synergies among MEAs during national-level implementation are required, some delegates doubted that in practice the very different “species” into which the three conventions have evolved since Rio can converge at the international level. Issues relating to separate legal identities aside, as one CBD/UNFCCC negotiator observed, “institutional cultures,” negotiating practices and the dimension of the respective processes are so distinct, making the idea of a joint COP almost inconceivable. Other observers were also suspicious that the proposal was more about sharing the UNFCCC high-profile and financial means than in constructing a solid basis for the CBD to cooperate on an equal footing. These concerns were addressed by agreeing, once again, to keep all the possible procedural options open for COP 10 to evaluate.
Overall, many believed that this session had brought about incremental progress on the difficult questions related to biodiversity and climate change. Looking ahead, some, however, cautioned that increasing focus on climate change within the CBD should not be motivated by “what is fashionable” or “where the money is”-type of reasoning. Sound scientific and technical advice is thus needed to correctly place the importance of climate change among the other biodiversity loss drivers, such as over-exploitation and human-induced habitat loss. SBSTTA, therefore, is now expected to ensure that serious, less trendy, threats are not lost sight of, while establishing a dialogue with climate scientists to identify environmentally holistic solutions to global warming and biodiversity loss on equal footing.
TIMING AND TIMELINESS
Many of the discussions at SBSTTA were underpinned by a tension between taking urgent action to reverse the current biodiversity loss rate, finding the right timing for more politically acceptable decision-making, and making use of the opportunities offered by the International Year of Biodiversity and the Rio+20 process. COP-10 will certainly see more discussion on mandates and scope of collaboration between the CBD and UNFCCC. And just before that, the General Assembly high-level event on biodiversity and a meeting of the Joint Liaison Group that is likely to be held on the margins may provide an opportunity both for the Rio conventions’ parties and Secretariats to lay the ground for more synergistic and programmatic collaboration. Progress in the intervening negotiating sessions under the UNFCCC may also provide some clarity on the status of biodiversity-relevant items, which will certainly be useful to further discuss when and how the CBD should step in to contribute to ensure mutual supportiveness.
Against the disturbing findings of the GBO 3 that the 2010 target has not been met, and actually extinction and habitat loss are continuing and accelerating, the stakes for COP 10 are even higher. However, SBSTTA 14 made headway in charting a renewed way forward to fulfilling the three objectives of the Convention by mainstreaming biodiversity in different sectors and strengthening synergies across the composite puzzle of global environmental governance.
FOURTH GEF ASSEMBLY: The Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will convene from 24-28 May 2010 in Punta del Este, Uruguay, to review and evaluate the GEF’s general policies, operation and membership. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240/3245; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://gefassembly.org/j2/index.php
Second Expert Meeting for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development: This meeting will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 29-30 May 2010, immediately following WGRI 3. It is expected to address the draft multi-year plan of action for South-South cooperation on biodiversity for development of the CBD. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=EMSSC-02
UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The UNFCCC subsidiary bodies are scheduled to meet from 31 May-11 June 2010 in Bonn, Germany, including the Subsidiary Body on Implementation, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Paries of the Kyoto Protocol and the eleventh sessions of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/sb32/items/5573.php
2010 GREEN WEEK: BIODIVERSITY – OUR LIFELINE: This conference will be held from 1-4 June 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. It will address the state of biodiversity and nature in Europe and the world, the benefits they bring, present-day pressures on them, and possible solutions to the current rates of loss. For more information, contact: Isabelle Michiels, European Commission; tel: +32-02-299-6873; fax: +32-02-298-6327; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://ec.europa.eu/greenweek
FOURTH INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONFERENCE ON TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: This Conference will be held from 6-9 June 2010, in Auckland, New Zealand. It is organized by New Zealand’s Maori Centre of Research Excellence. For more information, contact: tel: +64-9-373-7599 ext. 84220; fax: +64-9-373-7928; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz/
IPBES III: The third Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multistakeholder meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES III) will be held from 7-11 June 2010 in Busan, Republic of Korea. It will finalize consideration of whether to establish a science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services. For more information, contact: UNEP IPBES Office; tel: +254-20-762-5135; fax: +254-20-762-3926; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://ipbes.net/
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY: This conference will be held from 8-10 June 2010 in Montreal, Canada. It is co-organized by the CBD Secretariat and UNESCO, in collaboration with UNEP and Université de Montréal. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/icbcd/
FOURTH GLOBAL BOTANIC GARDENS CONGRESS: This congress will be held from 13-18 June 2010 in Dublin, Ireland. It is organized by Botanic Gardens Conservation International and its partner network organizations representing botanic gardens throughout the world. For more information, contact: the Secretariat; tel: +44-20-8332-5953; fax: +44-20-8332-5956; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.4gbgc.com/
THIRD MEETING OF THE GROUP OF FRIENDS OF THE CO-CHAIRS ON LIABILITY AND REDRESS: The third meeting of the Group of Friends of the Co-Chairs will meet from 15-19 June 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting, organized by the CBD Secretariat in the framework of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, will aim to finalize negotiations on a supplementary protocol on liability and redress under the Biosafety Protocol. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=BSGFLR-03
BERN CONVENTION GROUP OF EXPERTS ON BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: This meeting will be held from 21-23 June 2010 in Reykjavik, Iceland. It is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). For more information, contact: Secretary of the Bern Convention; tel: +33-3-9021-5151; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/nature/Bern/News/Iceland2010x.asp
IWC 62: This year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will convene from 21-25 June 2010 in Agadir, Morocco. For more information, contact: IWC Secretariat, tel: +44-1223-233-971; fax: +44-1223-232-876; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://iwcoffice.org/meetings/meeting2010.htm
CMS SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL 16: The 16th meeting of the Scientific Council to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) will be held from 28-30 June 2010 in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2426; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cms.int/bodies/ScC/16th_ScC_documents_overview.htm
GEF COUNCIL MEETING: This meeting, to be held from 29 June - 1 July 2010 in Washington, DC, will develop, adopt and evaluate GEF programmes. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240/3245; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.thegef.org/gef/council_meetings/1
SECOND MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE FUTURE SHAPE OF THE CMS: This meeting will be held from 1-2 July 2010 in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2426; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cms.int/bodies/future_shape/future_shape_mainpag
RESUMED ABS 9: The resumed session of the ninth meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing will be held in Montreal, Canada, from 10-16 July 2010. It aims to finalize work on an international ABS regime, on the basis of a draft protocol proposed by the Co-Chairs, to be submitted to CBD COP 10 for consideration and adoption. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=ABSWG-09-2ND
EXPERT MECHANISM ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: The third session of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be held from 12-16 July 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; tel: +41-22-928-9676; fax: +41-22-928-9066; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/ExpertMechanism/index.htm
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN TRANSBOUNDARY TROPICAL FORESTS: This conference, co-organized by ITTO, CBD, IUCN and the government of Ecuador, will be held in Quito, Ecuador, from 21-24 July 2010. Its objective is to review the status and ways ahead for the conservation, management and financing of biodiversity in tropical transboundary conservation areas. Its results, conclusions and recommendations will feed into the CBD COP 10. For more information, contact: Hwan Ok Ma; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.itto.int/en/workshop_detail/id=2245
ECOHEALTH 2010: The Third Biennial Conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health will take place in London, UK, from 18-20 August 2010. It will bring together academic institutions, government bodies and civil society groups to discuss jointly the major challenges facing people, wildlife and ecosystems internationally in 2010 and the future. For more information, contact: e-mail: Ecohealth2010@profileproductions.co.uk; internet: http://www.ecohealth2010.org/
WORKSHOP ON FOREST GOVERNANCE, DECENTRALISATION AND REDD+ IN LATIN AMERICA: This workshop, to be held in Oaxaca, Mexico, from 31 August - 3 September 2010, is organized by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), with a number of government collaborators. The results are expected to feed into UNFF 9. For more information, contact: CIFOR; tel: +62-251-8622-622; fax: +62-251-8622-100; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Events/CIFOR/decentralisation-redd.htm
UNFF AD HOC EXPERT GROUP ON FOREST FINANCING: This group will meet from 13-17 September 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. It will be the first open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc expert group on financing for sustainable forest management, as part of the UNFF’s strategic plan on forest financing. For more information, contact: UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3401; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/
HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON BIODIVERSITY: On 22 September 2010, on the eve of opening the general debate of the sixty-fifth session of the UN General Assembly, a high-level event is scheduled to mark the International Year of Biodiversity. In parallel to that event, the General Assembly has decided to convene, from 20-22 September 2010 a high-level plenary meeting on accelerating progress to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. For more information, see: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/calendar.shtml; http://www.cbd.int/doc/press/2010/pr-2010-04-16-unga-en.pdf
COFO 20: The twentieth session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) will meet from 4-8 October 2010 at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in, Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: FAO Forestry Department; tel: +39-06-5705-3925; fax: +39-06-5705-3152; e-mail: COFO2010@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry/57758/en/
BIOSAFETY COP/MOP 5: The fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will be held from 11-15 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The meeting is expected to adopt rules and procedures on liability and redress in the context of Article 27 of the Protocol. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cbd.int/mop5/
CBD COP 10: The tenth Conference of the Parties to the CBD will be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. COP 10 is expected to: assess achievement of the 2010 target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss; adopt a protocol on ABS and a revised strategic plan for the Convention; and celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cbd.int/cop10/