The sixteenth session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened from 30 April - 5 May 2012 in Montreal, Canada, directly prior to the fourth meeting of the Ad hoc Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention (WGRI). More than 400 representatives from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, indigenous and local communities, business and academia attended the meeting.
SBSTTA adopted 15 recommendations that were forwarded to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11), to be held from 8-19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India.
SBSTTA 16 adopted a package of recommendations on marine and coastal biodiversity, namely on: ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs); sustainable fisheries and addressing adverse impacts of human activities on the marine environment; and marine spatial planning and voluntary guidelines for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental assessments in marine areas. A second package of recommendations was adopted on biodiversity and climate change, namely on: biodiversity safeguards, indicators and mechanisms to monitor impacts of reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, including conservation (REDD+) on biodiversity; integration of biodiversity considerations into climate-change related activities; and impacts of geo-engineering on biodiversity and gaps in regulatory mechanisms.
SBSTTA also adopted recommendations on: an in-depth review of implementation of the work programme on island biodiversity; progress in implementing decisions on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), biofuels and biodiversity; incentive measures; capacity building for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI); new and emerging issues; the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO); and collaborative work in the areas of agriculture, forests and health.
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. COP 7 established the WGRI with the mandate to address a range of implementation-related issues, such as progress in the implementation of the CBD’s current Strategic Plan and impacts and effectiveness of existing CBD processes.
COP 1: At its first meeting (November - December 1994, Nassau, the Bahamas), the COP set the general framework for the Convention’s implementation, by establishing the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) and SBSTTA, and by designating the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the interim financial mechanism.
COP 2: At its second meeting (November 1995, Jakarta, Indonesia), the COP adopted a decision on marine and coastal biodiversity (the Jakarta Mandate) and established the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to elaborate a protocol on biosafety, specifically focusing on transboundary movement of living modified organisms (LMOs) that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity.
COP 3: At its third meeting (November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina), the COP adopted work programmes on agricultural and forest biodiversity, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with the GEF, and called for an intersessional workshop on Article 8(j) and related provisions.
COP 4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP established a Working Group on Article 8(j) and a panel of experts on access and benefit sharing (ABS), and adopted the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) and a work programme on marine and coastal biodiversity, as well as decisions on: inland water, agricultural and forest biodiversity, and cooperation with other agreements.
EXCOP: Following six meetings of the Biosafety Working Group between 1996 and 1999, delegates at the first Extraordinary Meeting of the COP (ExCOP) (February 1999, Cartagena, Colombia) did not agree on a compromise package to finalize negotiations on a biosafety protocol, and the meeting was suspended. The resumed ExCOP (January 2000, Montreal, Canada) adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and established the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to undertake preparations for COP/MOP 1. The Protocol addresses the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements.
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 ABS, Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge), the ecosystem approach, sustainable use, biodiversity and tourism, invasive alien species (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 for 2002-2010, 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, protected areas (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 Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), 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), CEPA, 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 regime on ABS at the earliest possible time before COP 10.
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 ad hoc technical working group on biodiversity and climate change, and adopted decisions concerning a wide range of issues, including biofuels, genetically modified trees, PAs, and language cautioning against ocean fertilization.
COP 10: At its tenth meeting (October 2010, Nagoya, Japan), the COP adopted as a package: the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization; the CBD Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020, including a mission, strategic goals and the Aichi Targets aiming to inspire broad-based action by parties and stakeholders; and a decision on activities and indicators for the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy adopted at COP 9. The COP also adopted over 40 decisions, including on: inland water biodiversity, sustainable use, climate change and biodiversity, GTI, IAS, and ways and means to improve SBSTTA’s effectiveness.
SBSTTA 15: At is fifteenth session (November 2011, Montreal, Canada) SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: indicators and other tools and guidance for assessing progress in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020; ways and means to support ecosystem restoration; proposals on ways and means to address gaps in international standards regarding IAS introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food; implications of changes in the water cycle and freshwater resources for the implementation of the work programmes on inland water biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity, including revised recommendations of the Liaison Group on Bushmeat, options for small-scale food and income alternatives, and a report on how to improve sustainable use from a landscape perspective; Arctic biodiversity; and ways and means to improve SBSTTA’s effectiveness. The meeting could not reach agreement on the GTI capacity-building strategy.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
On Monday morning, 30 April, SBSTTA Chair Senka Barudanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) welcomed delegates, thanking former Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf for his commitment to the Convention and welcoming new Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias. She highlighted agenda items on increasing SBSTTA’s effectiveness, island biodiversity, marine and coastal biodiversity, and biodiversity and climate change.
CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias called for SBSTTA 16 to focus on issues that hinder progress on achieving the Aichi Targets and implementing the Strategic Plan, and highlighted the recent establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), noting the need to further consider how SBSTTA and IPBES can collaborate.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: On Monday, delegates adopted the agenda and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/1/and 1/Add.1/Rev.1) after deleting reference to “fisheries” in the title of the agenda item on adverse impacts of human activities on marine and coastal biodiversity, as requested by Japan. Delegates then established two working groups (WGs), WG I co-chaired by Maadjou Bah (Guinea) and Ole Hendrickson (Canada) and WG II co-chaired by Gabriele Obermayr (Austria) and Larissa Maria Lima Costa (Brazil), and elected Monyrak Meng (Cambodia) as the meeting’s rapporteur.
On Friday, delegates elected as new members of the SBSTTA Bureau: Jean Patrick Le Duc (France) for the Western Europe and Others Group; Brigitte Baptiste (Colombia) for Latin America and the Caribbean; Ivna Vukšić (Croatia) for Central and Eastern Europe; Yousef Al-Hafedh (Saudi Arabia) for Asia; and Gemedo Dalle Tussie (Ethiopia) for Africa.
The following report is organized according to the meeting’s agenda.
In plenary, delegates discussed ways and means to improve SBSTTA’s effectiveness and options for collaboration with IPBES (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/2 and INF/40) on Monday and a draft recommendation on Thursday afternoon. Discussion focused on the relationship between SBSTTA and IPBES, including: how IPBES could improve SBSTTA’s effectiveness; how IPBES could provide input to the GBO; how issues for consideration by IPBES should be identified; and whether and how the CBD COP or SBSTTA can make direct requests to IPBES. Delegates also cautioned against duplication of work, with some calling for formalizing cooperation but others suggesting this was premature.
On making requests to IPBES, Brazil and Japan favored SBSTTA making direct requests on scientific and technical issues, whereas Ethiopia, Mexico, Niger and South Africa said only the COP should make requests. France expressed concern with the potential time lag between a request by SBSTTA to IPBES through the COP and IPBES’ response. Delegates eventually agreed to request SBSTTA to identify the scientific and technical needs relating to the Strategic Plan that could be considered by IPBES and that COP should consider proposals on transmitting requests to IPBES.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on ways and means to improve the effectiveness of SBSTTA and options for collaboration with IPBES (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.6), requests SBSTTA to report on scientific and technical needs related to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets at COP 12, based on a compilation of information to be prepared by the Secretariat on: scientific and technical needs related to the Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets; existing policy support tools under the Convention, their adequacy and impact, obstacles to their uptake, and gaps and needs; the adequacy of existing observations, data and monitoring systems for biodiversity; and options for assessing effects of measures taken in accordance with the Convention.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- welcome the establishment of IPBES;
- invite IPBES to consider how it could build on and contribute to GBO-4 and other biodiversity assessments, and to consider how its work plan can contribute to their achievement;
- decide that SBSTTA, within its mandate and following further COP guidance, should identify which scientific and technical needs related to the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets could be considered by the Platform, and consider relevant outputs of the Platform and take them into account and complement them with further work as needed in its recommendations to the COP; and
- request the Secretariat to explore options for formalizing the collaboration with IPBES.
- takes note of the intersessional work to be undertaken by IPBES and requests the Secretariat to contribute to that work and report on it at COP 12;
- invites the submission of views on how requests from the Convention would be conveyed to IPBES; and
- requests the Secretariat to prepare proposals based on these submissions for COP 11 consideration.
GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OUTLOOK
WG I first discussed this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/3, INF/1) on Monday and then a draft recommendation on Wednesday. On Thursday, plenary adopted a recommendation. During initial discussions, Australia suggested ensuring that conclusions of the GBO-3 evaluation be considered in GBO-4. Denmark and Brazil proposed linking GBO-4 to other assessment processes, such as reports on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, with Brazil suggesting considering Sustainable Development Goals if they are adopted by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Denmark requested the Secretariat to submit the evaluation of GBO-3, the plans for GBO-4 and the CBD Strategic Plan to the IPBES interim Secretariat for consideration in the development of IPBES’ future work programme. The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) called for GBO-4 to include the contribution of indigenous and local communities (ILCs).
Switzerland, supported by Colombia, called for the urgent establishment of a GBO-4 advisory group to make recommendations to COP 11. This proposal was opposed by Australia who, with Mexico and Canada, suggested that the SBSTTA Bureau provide oversight of the GBO-4 preparation process. During later discussions, the UK, supported by the European Union (EU), underscored the role of the advisory group to provide “guidance,” and the role of the SBSTTA Bureau to provide “oversight,” to the GBO-4 preparation. The UK also suggested deleting “oversight” in relation to the advisory group, to which delegates agreed.
On the composition of the advisory group, Brazil said it should be geographically balanced and Malaysia recommended that its members should be selected transparently and involve ILCs. Ethiopia suggested referring to the UN regions. After informal consultations, delegates agreed to take the SBSTTA modus operandi into account, which considers geographical and gender balance.
During discussion on the draft recommendation, a paragraph on exploring options to engage IPBES in the preparation of GBO-4 with the advisory group and the SBSTTA Bureau was bracketed. In Thursday’s plenary, Belgium proposed removing the brackets, to which delegates agreed.
On national reports, Belgium and others suggested incorporating information from national reports in GBO-4, while others expressed concern over the short timeline between submission of national reports and peer review. Canada, supported by Colombia, suggested that countries submit case studies prior to the national reports. South Africa called for timely report submission. Japan called for a simple, and Ethiopia a common, reporting format. Thailand suggested using the regional and sub-regional capacity-building workshops for National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and case studies to complement information provided through national reporting.
Delegates later addressed draft text recommending that the COP urge parties and invite other governments and organizations, including ILCs, to make available data, information and case studies, including by using appropriate indicator frameworks, in their fifth national reports or through earlier submissions. The EU suggested using the flexible framework and the indicative list of indicators referred to in SBSTTA Recommendation XV/11 (Indicator Framework for the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets), instead of “appropriate indicator framework,” and recommended bracketing the reference pending adoption by COP 11. Mexico suggested “using appropriate indicator frameworks, including” the flexible framework and the indicative list of indicators. After further deliberations, delegates agreed to this proposal, but it remained bracketed. During Thursday’s plenary, the Secretariat explained that text referring to “the flexible framework and the indicative list of indicators identified in the annex to SBSTTA recommendation XV/1 (Indicator framework for the Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets)” was bracketed because it refers to a recommendation to COP. Delegates agreed to delete the brackets. On the provision of such information through the fifth national reports or earlier submissions, China proposed, and delegates agreed, to replace “building on the material already available” with “making use of, as appropriate.”
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on the Global Biodiversity Outlook (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.3), SBSTTA requests the Secretariat to, inter alia:
- establish in accordance with the guidance on the composition of expert groups contained in the consolidated modus operandi of SBSTTA (Decision VIII/10, Annex III), an advisory group for GBO-4, in order to provide guidance to the preparation process for GBO-4 at the earliest possible time;
- explore, in collaboration with the advisory group and the SBSTTA Bureau, the way in which the activities of the IPBES could build on, contribute to, and strengthen the process towards GBO-4 and future GBOs, with a view to minimizing duplication of efforts and information and maximizing complementarity between the two processes.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- urge parties and invite other governments and relevant organizations, including ILCs, to make available data, information and case‑studies, including by using appropriate indicator frameworks on the status and trends of and threats to biological diversity, drivers of biodiversity loss and measures to address them, and progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, by providing such information in their fifth national reports or through earlier submissions, building on the material already available on the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership web pages, for possible inclusion in GBO-4;
- urge parties and invite other governments and donors to make timely financial contributions for the preparation and production of GBO-4 and ancillary products, including translations into all UN languages;
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP request the Secretariat to: continue collaborating with other biodiversity-related conventions and other relevant processes, including IPBES, and other organizations and partners, including ILCs, and to engage them in the preparations of the GBO, as appropriate, and in accordance with their respective mandates; further develop, in collaboration with relevant partners, including with the Consortium of Scientific Partners on Biodiversity, and in line with the programme of work on communication, education and public awareness, the communication strategy for GBO-4; make use of relevant regional and sub-regional capacity-building workshops organized under the Convention to facilitate inputs and contributions to the preparation of GBO-4; and make a draft of GBO-4 available for review at a meeting of the SBSTTA prior to COP 12.
Plenary first considered this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/4) on Monday and discussed a revised draft recommendation on Wednesday. On Thursday, delegates adopted the recommendation without amendments.
Delegates discussed, inter alia: inclusion of all six priority areas of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity (PoWIB); consideration of linkages with terrestrial ecosystems in the prioritization of marine protected areas (MPAs) network management; sustainable and innovative financing; the need for adequate legislation and enforcement; and reference to “states” versus “governments”. India proposed deleting references to sustainable and innovative financing mechanisms and economic valuation tools. Several developing countries and small island developing states (SIDS) highlighted financial and human resources constraints, with some calling for direct access to GEF funding. Argentina requested replacing reference to “governments” with “states” throughout the revised draft recommendation. The EU and the Philippines objected, arguing this would have implications beyond this recommendation. Delegates agreed to add a footnote recording Argentina’s concern.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on island biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.2), SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- urge parties to strengthen the implementation of the PoWIB and to build on successful island approaches by: promoting and supporting relevant high-level regional commitments; adapting and expanding mechanisms to strengthen local capacity; considering development of innovative financial arrangements to support the long-term implementation of the PoWIB; and maintaining and supporting key databases and information portals to effectively monitor and eradicate island invasive species;
- call on parties to continue to focus international attention and action on the six priority areas for implementing the PoWIB: management and eradication of IAS; climate change adaptation and mitigation activities; establishment and management of MPAs; capacity building; access to and fair and equitable benefit sharing from utilization of genetic resources; and poverty alleviation, with particular attention to: developing and strengthening regional and local collaboration to manage IAS within and across jurisdictions and adopting a biosecurity approach to address invasive threats; and mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, ecosystem restoration and invasive species management for human health and well-being into all island development and conservation plans and projects and building capacity in their applications;
- call on parties to: prioritize management of terrestrial protected areas, including inland waters; enhance regional and international cooperation with a view to addressing transboundary pollution that significantly impacts island ecosystems, including through mitigating land-based discharges; and support subnational implementation by engaging sub-national and local authorities through the Plan of Action for Subnational Governments, Cities and other Local Authorities for Biodiversity and, as informed by the “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook;”
- encourage parties to enter into cross-sectoral partnerships to: develop, disseminate and integrate appropriate tools and a process to apply The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study and other tools to support island level decision-making; use NBSAP revisions to further mainstream biodiversity conservation with other key sectors and to determine national targets and related indicators, in line with the Aichi Targets; coordinate these efforts with the process to assess implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation; and explore possibilities to engage national and local leadership in public-private partnerships and to encourage participatory approaches for sustainable natural resources management;
- invite parties to recognize and engage with the Global Island Partnership to support implementation of the PoWIB;
- take note of the “Small Islands, Big Difference” campaign on IAS and invite parties to engage with the campaign;
- request the Secretariat to cooperate with international and regional organizations and relevant convention secretariats to promote coherent, harmonized national information systems related to the reporting needs of biodiversity-related conventions and joint reporting for SIDS and least developed countries (LDCs) with islands; and
- request the Secretariat to enable support networks to help the ongoing review, updating and implementation of NBSAPs in SIDS and LDCs with islands, in particular for developing national targets and for mainstreaming NBSAPs to implement the Strategic Plan.
MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY
ECOLOGICALLY OR BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT AREAS: Delegates discussed this issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/5, 5/Add.1 and INF/5-10) in WG II on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. A contact group met on Tuesday and Wednesday. The final plenary adopted a recommendation on Saturday. Discussions focused on: legal arrangements for conservation of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ); whether the result of a series of regional workshops on EBSA identification should be included in a summary report prepared by SBSTTA for COP consideration; whether SBSTTA should recommend that COP endorse this summary report; and outstanding workshops.
On legal arrangements for conservation of ABNJ, China said the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are responsible, with the Netherlands recognizing UNGA’s role. Noting that many states have not ratified UNCLOS, the Dominican Republic suggested that a CBD amendment may be needed to adequately address marine biodiversity in ABNJ. Argentina cautioned against contradicting UNGA resolutions and France opposed re-opening the agreement reached at COP 10. Canada said the CBD has the mandate to delineate areas that meet EBSA criteria but not to identify EBSAs and, with Norway, said EBSAs and MPAs are not interchangeable. On Friday, Contact Group Co-Chair Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation) explained that delegates had agreed to add a footnote to the section on referring the summary report to COP 11 as part of a compromise on a series of issues. The footnote specifies that any measures taken with respect to the EBSAs must be in conformity with international law, including UNCLOS.
The issue of procedures related to how to incorporate consideration of workshops in regions yet to be completed in a timely manner received attention throughout the week. On Monday, South Africa first noted that not all regional EBSA workshops had taken place and opposed endorsing conclusions from those that had. Other parties supported incorporating ongoing input from outstanding workshops, and made suggestions to ensure that future work would be incorporated, including via the EBSA repository and information-sharing mechanism under development. On Friday, South Africa requested reference to a time frame to ensure workshops in regions that have yet to be completed would be, and the Secretariat proposed “before COP 12.” Canada requested text to ensure workshops are convened before the SBSTTA prior to COP 12. Delegates approved text “requesting the Secretariat to develop a complete schedule for full coverage of all regions and further urged parties and donors to support these workshops as a high priority.”
Ghana stated that African inputs have not been included in the discussion of EBSA criteria and noted its reservation on the proceedings. In plenary on Saturday, Liberia asked that the entire EBSA report be put in brackets because African concerns had not been addressed. After informal consultations the issue was resolved by addressing outstanding workshops and how to proceed with their outcomes in a separate section of the SBSTTA recommendation.
On whether to include the scientific and technical outcomes of the workshops that had already been held in the report of SBSTTA 16, a number of parties initially questioned their scientific credibility and robustness. After a contact group met, delegates agreed to refer to the workshop reporting as a dynamic and continuous process in order to ensure ongoing information inputs. On Friday, delegates agreed to “welcome” the information contained in the workshop reports. Delegates also agreed in the final recommendation to request the Secretariat to include ongoing results in the EBSA information-sharing mechanism for future consideration of SBSTTA and to specifically ensure that revised results of the North-East Atlantic workshop, the results of which Norway and others found to be weak, would be incorporated in the development of criteria before COP 11.
On referring to the report of SBSTTA 16 on the scientific and technical evaluation of workshop information and areas that meet EBSA criteria to COP, delegates were divided on how or if it should be included in the recommendation to COP 11. Initially, Iceland and Japan opposed endorsement. By Wednesday evening, most delegates were in agreement that SBSTTA should recommend that the COP “endorse” the summary report, but Argentina objected, preferring the COP to “take note” of it. On Friday a contact group initially agreed to “endorse” the reports, but China then requested retaining both terms in brackets. Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, EU and the Republic of Korea supported the term “endorse.” China said only the COP can “endorse” a report so it must be a COP decision. Japan supported “endorsing” but suggested leaving brackets on the term to ensure it was a COP decision. Russia noted that bracketing the word “endorse” would imply no additional information would be collected or submitted before COP 11 to the repository. The Republic of Korea supported “endorse,” stating there was no flexibility in “take note of.” In plenary on Saturday, China proposed deleting “takes note of” and keeping “endorses” in brackets.
The text was adopted with “endorsed by the COP” in brackets.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on EBSAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.13) is divided into four sections and includes an annex that incorporates the summary report on the description of areas meeting the scientific criteria for EBSAs.
On description of areas, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- request the Secretariat to: include the summary reports in the repository, submit them to the UNGA and the Working Group on marine and coastal biodiversity as well as to parties, other governments and relevant international organizations; and to further collaborate with parties, other governments and competent organizations and global and regional initiatives;
- take note of the need to promote additional research and monitoring in accordance with national and international laws, including UNCLOS; and
- affirm that description is an open process that should be continued as information becomes available in each region.
On the repository and information-sharing mechanism, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- welcome the repository and information-sharing mechanism;
- encourage the development of regional data inventories with metadata, taking into consideration their confidentiality, where applicable; and
- request parties and other governments to provide further scientific and technical information and experience before COP 12.
On capacity-building, SBSTTA recommends that the COP request the Secretariat to further refine training manuals and modules, collaborate on the strengthening of country capacity and organize training workshops.
On social and cultural criteria for describing EBSAs, SBSTTA recommends that the COP welcome integration of traditional scientific, technical and technological knowledge of ILCs into the criteria, and invite parties, other governments and competent intergovernmental organization to make use of this guidance.
SBSTTA also requests the Secretariat to:
- include the results of regional workshops on describing areas that meet the criteria for EBSAs in the information-sharing mechanism for consideration by SBSTTA, with a view to subsequent submission to COP;
- accord highest priority to the organization of additional workshops, with a view to covering all regions, and to provide a full schedule of workshops as soon as possible and at the latest by COP 11; and
- include the revised results of the regional workshop for the North-East Atlantic in the summary report before COP 11.
ADVERSE IMPACTS OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES: WG II first discussed this issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/6 and INF/11-15) on Tuesday and again on Friday and Saturday. Delegates debated coral bleaching, ocean acidification, sustainable fisheries, marine debris and underwater noise, with discussion focusing on fisheries and noise. A recommendation was adopted in plenary on Saturday.
On fisheries, many called for enhanced collaboration with regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and regional seas conventions. Japan noted that many RFMOs already have a mandate to address biodiversity management. The UN Office of Legal Affairs, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea highlighted an UNGA resolution which addresses illegal unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices. A group of NGOs said that genetically-modified fish are not covered under the Cartagena Protocol and must be addressed under this agenda item.
On Friday, debate ensued on the nature and scope of the “role” of fisheries management bodies with regard to addressing impacts on biodiversity. Canada considered the bodies to be responsible for being responsive and thus favored saying they “have a role in addressing their impacts on biodiversity,” with France further specifying “the impact of fishing on biodiversity.” Argentina preferred that the bodies “could have a role,” while Belgium proposed “should have a role.” Norway highlighted conflict between RFMOs, which have a mandate to address this issue on the high seas, and the mandate of individual nations. The Chair proposed adding that “depending on differing situations in different countries” the bodies “have differing roles to play.” Argentina emphasized “could have a role,” since fisheries management is a state matter and not the mandate of SBSTTA to determine. Delegates agreed to “fisheries management bodies are competent bodies for managing fisheries and, depending on the situations in different countries and regions, could have roles to play in addressing the impacts on biodiversity.”
In plenary on Saturday, Norway, supported by the EU, advocated changing “could” to “should” play a role in addressing the impact on biodiversity, since this task should be integrated into the work of all sectors.
On underwater noise, many called for further scientific work on noise measurement, registration, terminology and acoustic mapping. Spain suggested developing practical guidelines but Japan considered guidelines premature. Japan proposed deleting that it “is predicted to increase in significance,” opposed by Canada, Spain and Peru, who stated that the prediction was well known. The text was retained. Delegates debated the development of criteria and indicators for monitoring, with some calling them prescriptive. After informal consultations, delegates agreed to “develop indicators and explore frameworks for monitoring” and to report to SBSTTA before COP 12.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on adverse impacts of human activities (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.16) contains four sections on: sustainable fisheries; coral bleaching; underwater noise; ocean acidification; and marine debris.
On sustainable fisheries, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- recognize that fisheries management bodies are competent bodies for managing fisheries and, depending on the situations in different countries and regions, should have roles to play in addressing the impacts on biodiversity;
- note the need for further improvement and implementation of the ecosystem approach in fisheries management and to enhance capacity; and
- encourage collaboration between biodiversity and fisheries bodies and invite fisheries management bodies, nationally and regionally, to ensure biodiversity considerations are a part of their work.
On coral bleaching, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- welcome the report on progress in implementation of the specific work plan on coral bleaching and take note of its key messages;
- take note of the urgent need to update this plan and of the fact that meeting the challenge of climate change impacts on coral reefs will require significant investment; and
- request the Secretariat to incorporate the impacts of climate change on coral reefs in capacity-building workshops and also to develop proposals to update the specific work plan.
On underwater noise, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- welcome the report on impacts to marine and coastal biodiversity and take note of its key messages;
- note that noise may have negative consequences for marine and other biota and that it is predicted to increase in significance, which could add further stress to oceanic biota;
- encourage parties, other governments and relevant organizations to promote research and awareness of the issue, take measures to minimize these impacts, and develop indicators and explore frameworks for monitoring; and
- request the Secretariat to organize an expert workshop with a view to improving knowledge sharing.
On ocean acidification, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- welcome the report of the expert meeting;
- request the Secretariat to collaborate with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and others to prepare a systematic review on the impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem functions for SBSTTA’s consideration prior to COP 12; and
- encourage the use of Annex III of UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/6 as guidance to reduce threats from ocean acidification.
On marine debris, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- welcome the report on impacts and take note of its key messages; and
- request the Secretariat to receive, compile and synthesize submissions on impacts, as well as to organize an expert workshop to prepare practical guidance and submit this information for SBSTTA’s consideration prior to COP 12.
MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS: WG II discussed this issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/7, Add.1 and INF/16-18) on Tuesday and Friday. Plenary adopted a recommendation on Saturday. Discussions centered on voluntary guidelines on environmental impact assessment in marine and coastal areas (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/7/Add.1) and this text remains in brackets.
Most delegates initially expressed support for voluntary guidelines on environmental impact assessments in marine and coastal areas, including in ABNJ, although some cautioned against applying them to ABNJ and suggested that the COP “take note of,” rather than “endorse” them. Delegates also called for an international agreement for ABNJ, noting that the guidelines would need to be revised in line with such an agreement.
On Friday, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and France suggested recommending that COP 11 “welcomes” the voluntary guidelines, opposed by Japan, Australia, Mexico, and China. Mexico favored “takes note with appreciation.” Australia reiterated that the draft voluntary guidelines require further work before COP consideration because of the strong focus on ABNJ. Specifically, she highlighted: the challenge of applying the guidelines equally to coastal and offshore areas as well as in developing countries and SIDS; the need for appropriate recognition of UNCLOS; and the need to ensure high quality guidelines. Some delegates emphasized the voluntary nature of the guidelines. The Secretariat proposed including Australia’s statement in the report of WG II to which Australia, supported by Argentina and the Dominican Republic, bracketed all text on voluntary guidelines.
In plenary on Saturday, noting the lack of a clear process to comment on the compiled guidelines within SBSTTA16, Australia drew attention to the opportunities for further work on marine issues at the upcoming fifth session of the UNGA Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group on Marine Biodiversity, as well as potential related work expected at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). She proposed that text on the voluntary guidelines for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental assessments in marine and coastal areas remain in brackets, noting that COP 11 should further consider them. She proposed additional language in the chapeau of the paragraph specifying that the guidelines are to be used in a manner consistent with UNCLOS and should incorporate further submissions of parties. Pointing to the need to ensure work on the guidelines in preparation for COP 11, Belgium proposed requesting that the Secretariat receive these submissions before COP 11.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on adverse impacts of human activities (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.15), SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia: request the Secretariat to refine the voluntary guidelines based on further views submitted by parties by the end of June 2012, for consideration by COP 11.
On marine spatial planning, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:
- acknowledge the synthesis document on marine spatial planning (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18) and take note of its key messages; and
- request the Secretariat to collaborate on developing a web-based information-sharing system, compile information on practices, convene an expert workshop to provide practical guidance and a toolkit for application of the guidance to enhance cross-sectoral efforts on the ecosystem approach, and organize training workshops.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
REDD+ SAFEGUARDS FOR BIODIVERSITY: This issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/8 and INF/19-25) was considered throughout the week by WG I as well as in informal consultations. On Saturday, a draft recommendation was adopted in plenary with minor amendments.
Discussions focused on how to refer to a list of indicators for biodiversity safeguards and how REDD+ could contribute towards the implementation of the Aichi Targets.
Brazil said the proposed draft recommendation went beyond the mandate of the relevant COP decision. Switzerland supported a consistent implementation of REDD+ guidelines and safeguards to enhance national synergies between UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and CBD implementation. Many suggested that recommending that the COP “approve” advice on biodiversity safeguards was too strong, with Argentina suggesting that it “take note,” and others supporting “welcome.” Text “approving,” “taking note of” or “welcoming” the advice on relevant country-specific biodiversity safeguards for REDD+ remained outstanding.
On a paragraph concerning the indicative list of indicators, parties accepted language “noting that the indicative list of indicators to assess progress towards goals of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets could be useful for assessing the contribution of REDD+ activities for achieving the objectives of the Convention.” However, parties were not able to agree on another paragraph on the indicative list of indicators in the annex. Mexico, supported by Ecuador, proposed “taking note of,” instead of “considering” the indicative list. Norway proposed the addition of “national” and Switzerland “sub-national” level for promoting the biodiversity safeguards. Japan proposed to take note “as appropriate.” The UK expressed preference for the original text. The text was retained in brackets.
Australia, opposed by Norway, suggested retaining a request to the Article 8(j) Working Group to consider potential risks of REDD+ to ILCs and explore ways of mitigating these risks. IIFB stressed the need for ILC participation at all levels of planning, design and implementation of REDD+. Global Forestry Coalition called for an effective compliance mechanism at local, national and regional levels.
Mexico said valuable experience is being derived from many countries addressing biodiversity safeguards as they implement REDD+ and that lessons learned from those experiences should be taken into consideration. Parties were able to agree on language noting that there are ongoing safeguards initiatives related to REDD+, and inviting parties and other governments and relevant organizations involved in these initiatives to share their experiences and lessons learned, as a contribution to the development and implementation of national and, where appropriate, subnational safeguard frameworks.
In the closing plenary, Belgium, opposed by Brazil, suggested adding a reference to “other relevant stakeholders” in text on promoting broad participation including the full and effective participation of ILCs. The reference remained in brackets.
Final Recommendation: In its recommendation on the application of relevant REDD+ safeguards for biodiversity, and on possible indicators and potential mechanisms to assess impacts of REDD+ measures on biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.12), SBSTTA recommends that the COP “approve,” “take note of,” or “welcome,” the advice on relevant country-specific biodiversity safeguards for REDD+ contained in Annex I as guidance focused on national implementation, with these three alternatives remaining in brackets. A footnote indicates that Annex I will be based on document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/8 after it has been revised by the Secretariat based on views to be submitted by parties, other governments and relevant organizations.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- urge parties, other governments, and relevant organizations to ensure that efforts for REDD+, the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets are implemented in a coherent and mutually supportive way;
- note that the indicative list of indicators to assess progress towards the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets, as contained in recommendation XV/1(Indicator framework for the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets), could be useful for assessing the contributions of REDD+ activities for achieving the Convention objectives;
- note thatrelevant technical guidance for achieving biodiversity and ILC benefits in the context of REDD+ activities is available or under development at national, regional and international levels;
- invite parties, other governments, and relevant organizations to continue and strengthen their efforts to promote the contribution of REDD+ activities towards achieving the Convention’s objectives, and provide benefits for biodiversity and to ILCs, with particular attention to, inter alia, “the indicative list of indicators in the annex of document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/8, as appropriate, to promote biodiversity safeguards,” which remains outstanding;
- encourage parties planning and implementing REDD+ activities to develop and apply REDD+ safeguards for biodiversity and for ILCs, and to share their experiences and lessons learned;
- note that there are ongoing safeguards initiatives related to REDD+, and inviteparties, governments and relevant organizations to share their experiences and lessons learned, as a contribution to the development and implementation of national, and where appropriate, sub-national safeguard frameworks;
- invite organizations and countries to provide further support to developing countries in addressing biodiversity concerns and in achieving multiple benefits in REDD+ activities at national and, where appropriate, sub-national levels;
- request the Secretariat to compile information from parties on experiences regarding how the potential effects of REDD+ activities for the traditional way of life and related knowledge and customary practices of ILCs are being addressed, and to submit this information to the Working Group on Article 8(j) for its consideration, as appropriate; and
- invite parties and other governments to reduce the risk of displacement of deforestation and forest degradation to areas of lower carbon value and/or higher biodiversity value, including through promoting broad participation in all phases of REDD+, including the full and effective participation of ILCs and other relevant stakeholders. Reference to other relevant stakeholders remains bracketed.
SBSTTA requests the Secretariat to:
- collaborate with relevant organizations involved in the development of REDD+ safeguard initiatives to further integrate biodiversity concerns; and
- further develop advice on issues included in decision X/33 (biodiversity and climate change), paragraph 9(h), based on parties’ views and report to COP 12 or 13. Text on further developing advice remains bracketed.
INTEGRATION OF BIODIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS INTO CLIMATE-CHANGE RELATED ACTIVITIES: This issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/9 and INF/26 and 27) was considered by WG I throughout the week. On Saturday, a draft recommendation was discussed in plenary and approved with some bracketed text. Discussions focused on: gaps in knowledge and information on the relationship between biodiversity and climate change; knowledge and practices of ILCs; and reference to the Rio Principles, specifically in the context of financing, in particular the principle on common but differentiated responsibilities.
Canada preferred referring to prior informed consent (PIC) as it is agreed language rather than to “free” PIC and requested clarification on reference to “vulnerability” of traditional knowledge. Ethiopia proposed widening the scope of data collection and analysis. South Africa suggested identifying relevant ILC knowledge and practices. India said gaps in knowledge and information should be addressed.
Delegates extensively debated a paragraph relating to the dissemination and use of local and traditional knowledge with the PIC of ILCs. Brazil, supported by Guatemala, preferred “promoting conservation and use,” rather than “improving documentation, dissemination and use” of such knowledge. Canada suggested that PIC or approval and involvement of ILCs be “in compliance with the Convention and its protocols,” but opposed explicit reference to the Nagoya Protocol as had been suggested by Denmark. As an alternative, the UK proposed, “subject to national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovation and practices of ILCs.” Australia suggested referring to PIC “of the holders of such knowledge.” The Philippines suggested deleting reference to the “approval of ILCs.” Delegates eventually agreed to “subject to national legislation; respect, preserve and maintain knowledge innovations and practices of ILCs related to biodiversity-climate change links with PIC of the holders of such knowledge or approval and involvement of ILCs and including the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge innovation and practices.”
Delegates then addressed language on encouraging parties, governments and organizations to explore options for further financing, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (Rio Principle 7), to fill biodiversity and ecosystem services data gaps critical for climate change planning and modeling. Switzerland, supported by the EU and Canada, suggested that options “from all sources” be considered. Brazil highlighted the relevance of the Rio Principles and, supported by Argentina, China, India and Malaysia, suggested retaining reference to Principle 7 in the text. Australia, Norway and others said the reference should be deleted, with Australia stressing that it falls outside SBSTTA’s mandate and Norway suggesting the issue be addressed by the CBD WGRI. The UK suggested “in accordance with the Rio Principles, including Principle 7,” but delegates did not agree. In the closing plenary, China said that, according to CBD Article 20, on financial resources, developed country parties shall provide new and additional financial resources to developing country parties for implementing the Convention and suggested including this language. Belgium objected. Delegates eventually agreed to retain the entire paragraph on financial resources in brackets.
On encouraging the establishment of policies integrating biodiversity and climate change issues, India said the provision is too prescriptive and lies outside SBSTTA’s mandate as a scientific body. Delegates eventually agreed to encourage parties to “mainstream biodiversity and climate change issues,” as proposed by India. Brazil, Japan, Ethiopia and India requested deleting language on PAs and other conservation measures in climate change strategies to ensure concrete action of ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and/or mitigation. Delegates also agreed to include reference to CBD COP Decision X/33 (Biodiversity and Climate Change), which addresses such measures, and to “recognize the role PAs and conservation measures can play in climate-change related activities,” as suggested by Mexico.
On a request to the Secretariat to share information regarding such approaches from relevant workshops and to explore options to enhance cooperation between the CBD and UNFCCC Secretariats, delegates debated at length whether to retain reference to ecosystem-based approaches for mitigation and adaptation. Brazil, India and Ethiopia requested its deletion, whereas Belgium, the EU, Uganda, Japan, Norway and the Philippines insisted on its retention. Delegates eventually agreed to refer to “Decision X/33” without specific reference to mitigation and adaptation.
On raising awareness of ongoing biodiversity data and modeling initiatives through the CHM, delegates agreed to Colombia’s proposal to include a list of specific initiatives.
Final Recommendation:In its recommendation on proposals on integrating biodiversity considerations into climate-change related activities, including addressing gaps in knowledge and information (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.5), SBSTTA invites parties and relevant organizations to provide technical and financial support, strengthen capacity building and build knowledge and information on biodiversity and climate change linkages, including traditional knowledge, innovations and practices by, inter alia:
- subject to national legislation, respecting, preserving and maintaining the knowledge, innovations and practices of ILCs embodying traditional lifestyles related to the linkages between biodiversity and climate change with the PIC or approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge and encouraging the equitable sharing of such benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices;
- increasing research to strengthen knowledge on how the impacts of climate change on biodiversity affect the delivery of ecosystem services;
- liaising with existing data‑standard bodies and data‑sharing initiatives at the global, regional and national levels to enhance access to and the interoperability of relevant global data sets and promoting the establishment or enhancement of national data collection and management systems; and
- strengthening or establishing multi-purpose monitoring programmes for climate change impacts on biodiversity, among others, the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observations Network (GEOBON), and encouraging the online publication of the resulting data.
SBSTTA further recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- reiterate the importance of activities to integrate biodiversity into relevant climate change activities and to ensure coherence in national implementation of UNFCCC and CBD;
- encourage parties to integrate biodiversity and climate change policies and measures; and recognize the role that PAs and other conservation measures can play in climate change-related activities;
- requestthe Secretariat in line with Decision X/33, to identify relevant workshops and activities under the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and National Adaptation Plans and disseminate such information through the CHM for enhancing knowledge sharing on ecosystem based approaches; and continue discussions on activities in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/9 based on their financial feasibility; and
- further request the Secretariat through the CHM to build awareness and capacity in climate change modeling and studies of ongoing biodiversity modeling, scenario, and data management initiatives, including DIVERSITAS, the GEOBON and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, among others.
A paragraph on SBSTTA recommending that the COP encourages parties, other governments and relevant organizations to explore options for new and additional financial resources from all sources, in accordance with Article 20 and the Rio Principles, including Principle 7, to fill biodiversity and ecosystem services data gaps in the context of climate change, and for research studies at larger spatial scales, remains bracketed.
GEO-ENGINEERING: This issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/10 and INF/28-30) was considered by WG I throughout the week. On Saturday, a draft recommendation was discussed in plenary and approved with some amendments. Discussions focused on: gaps in knowledge on geo-engineering; the need for further research; and financing for capacity building and research on the issue.
Denmark and Sweden called for compiling and updating information on the impacts of geo-engineering on biodiversity and, with the UK, Finland, France and Sweden, emphasized that the priority should be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source. The Philippines underscored the need to extensively and effectively review geo-engineering technology, noting the limited input that ILCs and farmers have contributed to the discussion so far.
Norway proposed that parties report on geo-engineering activities in their next national reports. The UK and France suggested postponing discussions on geo-engineering until the release of the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
South Africa pointed to insufficient knowledge on solar radiation management (SRM), noting that tension over SRM could increase environmental insecurity. France suggested exploring how to fill the regulatory gap on SRM. Sweden called for a global regulatory mechanism on geo-engineering. Argentina stressed possible adverse and transboundary effects.
TEBTEBBA called for strengthening reference to consultation with ILCs. ETC Group recommended a transparent effective mechanism to provide a scientific basis and an open and accessible register of activities.
India, supported by Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, China and Ethiopia, proposed deletion of a paragraph on addressing anthropogenic climate change at the source. The UK, with Finland, Denmark, France and Colombia, proposed strengthening language by adding that “the priority is” to address anthropogenic climate change at the source. Parties agreed to bracket the original and the revised UK formulation. In the closing plenary, the UK suggested deleting language on “rapid and significant” reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. India supported the proposal. Ethiopia expressed concern over the reference to adaptation to climate change impacts that “are unavoidable;” Brazil said the proposal goes beyond the Convention’s mandate and, with Cuba and others, suggested, retaining both alternatives for the paragraph in brackets, to which delegates agreed.
Parties also considered text on geo-engineering definitions. China proposed an additional definition from IPCC 32. Delegates agreed the recommendation would include several different possible definitions.
Delegates discussed text that notes that many geo-engineering techniques do not meet basic criteria for effectiveness, safety and affordability, and are difficult to deploy or govern. The UK suggested, and delegates agreed, to replace “are difficult to deploy” with “may prove difficult to deploy.” The Philippines suggested “there is no single geo-engineering approach that currently meets” basic criteria. Noting that the text reflected some of the findings of the expert group on Impacts of Climate-Related Geo-engineering on Biological Diversity prepared as per Decision X/33, Australia suggested that the COP “note the findings contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/28 (Impacts of Climate-Related Geo-engineering on Biological Diversity),” to which delegates agreed.
On a reference to gaps in the understanding of the “impacts” of climate-related geo-engineering on biodiversity, Australia, opposed by Uganda and Norway, suggested “impacts and benefits.” Some agreed to refer to the “relationship between” climate-related geo-engineering and biodiversity, but the Philippines objected.
Delegates then addressed text that notes gaps in understanding the socio-economic, cultural and ethical issues associated with possible geo-engineering techniques, including global justice, the unequal spatial distribution of impacts, benefits and risks, and intergenerational equity. Mexico, supported by Guatemala, Australia and Canada but opposed by the Philippines and Norway, supported deletion. Delegates eventually agreed to “the socio-economic, cultural and ethical issues associated with possible geo-engineering techniques, including the unequal spatial and temporal distribution of impacts.”
Delegates discussed language on the current state of customary international law. Australia, supported by the US, opposed text on “including the obligation to avoid causing significant transboundary harm and the obligation to conduct environmental impact assessments where there is risk of such harm, as well as the application of the precautionary approach,” noting that these references may be relevant for geo-engineering activities but would constitute an incomplete basis for global regulation. The text remained in brackets.
Uganda suggested inviting parties, other governments and relevant organizations to support capacity development for better understanding of geo-engineering at the national and regional levels. Canada suggested requesting IPCC to include an in-depth consideration of biodiversity within the geo-engineering section of its fifth Assessment Report. ETC Group objected, saying that it would be more appropriate for SBSTTA to provide input on biodiversity in the context of what IPCC does. Delegates agreed to request the Secretariat to make available for peer review a synthesis report for consideration by future SBSTTA meetings.
On building on views and experience of ILCs and stakeholders, Canada, opposed by the Philippines, Norway and Ethiopia, suggested deleting reference to giving “particular attention to sustainable use, socio-economic and cultural rights, and the right to food.” Delegates eventually agreed to recommend that the COP request the Secretariat to provide a summary of further views of ILCs “on the potential impacts of geo-engineering on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts.”
During the closing plenary, delegates debated a paragraph stating that the need for a comprehensive science-based, global, transparent and effective mechanism may be most relevant for those geo-engineering concepts that have a potential to cause significant adverse transboundary effects, and those deployed in areas beyond national jurisdiction and in the atmosphere. The Philippines said the text no longer reflected the spirit of COP Decision X/33 (biodiversity and climate change). Supported by India, she suggested retaining the paragraph from a previous version that “notes the lack of a comprehensive science-based, global, transparent and effective framework for climate-related geo-engineering, and recognizes that the need for such a framework is most necessary for those geo-engineering concepts that have a potential to cause significant adverse transboundary effects, and those deployed in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the atmosphere.” Delegates eventually agreed to retain both alternatives in brackets.
Final Recommendation: In its recommendation on geo-engineering (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.11), SBSTTA recommends that the COP emphasize that anthropogenic climate change should be addressed primarily through tackling, or “the priority is to tackle,” anthropogenic climate change, through rapid and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, together with adaptation to those climate change impacts that are unavoidable, including through ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation. The reference remains bracketed.
SBSTTA also recommends that the COP note that climate-related geo-engineering may be defined as:
- any technologies that deliberately reduce solar insolation or increase carbon sequestration from the atmosphere on a large scale that may affect biodiversity (excluding carbon capture and storage from fossil fuels when it captures CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere) (COP Decision X/33);
- deliberate intervention in the planetary environment of a nature and scale intended to counteract anthropogenic climate change and/or its impacts (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/10);
- deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment (IPCC 32nd session); or
- technological efforts to stabilize the climate system by direct intervention in the energy balance of the earth for reducing global warming (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report).
SBSTTA further recommends that the COP note:
- the findings contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/28, that there is no single geo-engineering approach that currently meets basic criteria for effectiveness, safety and affordability, and that approaches may prove difficult to deploy or govern;
- remaining significant gaps in the understanding of the impacts of climate-related geo-engineering on biodiversity, including: the socio-economic, cultural and ethical issues associated with possible geo-engineering techniques, including the unequal spatial and temporal distribution of impacts; and
- that customary international law, including the obligation to avoid causing significant transboundary harm and the obligation to conduct environmental impact assessments where there is risk of such harm, as well as the application of the precautionary approach, may be relevant for geo-engineering activities but would still form an incomplete basis for global regulation. This reference remains bracketed.
- Two alternatives remain bracketed on a paragraph recommending that the COP note either:
- the need for a comprehensive science-based, global, transparent and effective mechanism may be most relevant for those geo-engineering concepts that have a potential to cause significant adverse transboundary effects, and those deployed in areas beyond national jurisdiction and in the atmosphere; or
- the lack of a comprehensive science-based, global, transparent and effective framework for climate-related geo-engineering, and recognizes that the need for such a framework is most necessary for those geo-engineering concepts that have a potential to cause significant adverse transboundary effects, and those deployed in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the atmosphere.
SBSTTA recommends that the COP further request the Secretariat to: invite the IPCC to include an in-depth consideration of biodiversity when addressing geo-engineering in its fifth Assessment Report; prepare, provide for its peer-review and submit to a future meeting of SBSTTA for its consideration, among other things, an overview of the further views of ILCs on the potential impacts of geo-engineering on biodiversity, and associated social, economic and cultural impacts, building on the overview of the views and experiences of ILCs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/30), and taking into account gender considerations.
GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION
Delegates first considered this issue (UNEP/SBSTTA/16/11) in WG II on Tuesday and adopted a recommendation on Thursday with minor amendments.
Participants generally expressed strong support for the GSPC’s work, with a number of delegates calling for greater linkages to the Aichi Targets. India and Thailand said monitoring of the GSPC should be linked to monitoring, review and evaluation of the Strategic Plan. Delegates welcomed an online toolkit on implementation and urged parties to designate national focal points and integrate the Strategy into NBSAPs. Delegates also discussed reference to the Nagoya Protocol and agreed to place “where applicable” before references to the Nagoya Protocol when emphasizing GSPC implementation. On providing support to implement the Strategy, Peru proposed emphasizing support to countries that are centers of origin of biodiversity in addition to developing countries, LDCs and SIDS.
In plenary, on support to implement the Strategy to those countries that are centers of “origin of biodiversity,” Peru proposed, and delegates agreed, to refer to centers of “genetic diversity” instead.
Final Recommendation:In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.7) on GSPC, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- urge parties and others to provide support for the implementation of the Strategy, especially for developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, as well as parties with economies in transition and those countries that are centers of genetic diversity;
- reiterate the call inviting parties and others to develop or update national and regional plant targets and, where appropriate, to incorporate them into relevant plans, programmes, and initiatives, including NBSAPs, and to align further GSPC implementation with implementation of the CBD’s Strategic Plan;
- encourage parties to: make use of the technical rationales, as appropriate, for example by adapting them to, inter alia, guide national plant conservation strategies and their integration into NBSAPs; and make available such use and application for possible inclusion in the GSPC toolkit;
- agree that monitoring the implementation of the GSPC should be seen in the broader context of the monitoring, review and evaluation of the Strategic Plan; and note the relevance of the indicator framework for the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets and analysis on the applicability of the GSPC indicators contained in SBSTTA recommendation XV/1 (Indicator framework for the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets);
- request the Secretariat to reflect in the toolkit that the GSPC should be implemented in accordance with the Convention and, where applicable, the Nagoya Protocol;
- request the Secretariat, when preparing indicator-based information for GBO-4, to disaggregate information relevant to plant conservation, where possible;
- encourage parties to: provide information about progress towards the GSPC targets to supplement fifth national reports; and consider the application of the indicative list of Strategic Plan indicators to the GSPC;
- urge parties to use and contribute to the online GSPC toolkit and request the Secretariat to include guidance on measures that can be taken to manage and conserve plant species impacted by climate change in the toolkit;
- reiterate the call inviting parties to identify national GSPC focal points;
- invite parties to enhance their engagement with partner organizations for the development and implementation of national and subnational strategies and targets;
- request the Secretariat to assist parties in establishing links between monitoring of national implementation of the GSPC and revision of updated NBSAPs;
- welcome the proposed resolution by the CITES Plants Committee related to cooperation between CITES and the GSPC, which is being submitted for consideration at CITES COP 16; and
- welcome the initiative of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to lead the development of a World Flora Online database by 2020.
GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE
Delegates considered this issue (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/12 and INF/31) in WG II on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Plenary adopted a recommendation on Saturday.
Several parties underlined the fundamental role taxonomy plays in achieving the CBD Strategic Plan. Brazil underscored that the GTI is a cross-cutting issue supporting all Aichi Targets. Delegates noted the need for additional efforts in training and education for taxonomists, including training at the university and post-graduate level. Delegates also recognized awareness raising as a complement to the dissemination and popularization of taxonomic knowledge. Delegates also agreed on conducting taxonomic reviews and informational workshops at the sub-regional level and on the UK’s amendment to include, as part of building capacity for national and thematic facilities, text on building and maintaining information systems and infrastructure for collating, curating and tracking use of biological specimens and providing free and open access to relevant biodiversity information to the public.
During the closing plenary on Saturday, delegates discussed whether to refer to the Nagoya Protocol in specific actions or in the preambular text and agreed to refer to the Nagoya Protocol “as relevant” in preambular text. On the GTI as a flexible framework for the development of taxonomic capacity, Ethiopia suggested, and delegates agreed on, adding “and the generation of taxonomic knowledge.”
In the Action 3 (improving taxonomic skills and the quality of taxonomic knowledge) rationale, Peru requested, and delegates agreed, deletion of “improve communication awareness raising,” noting that taxonomists should not be asked to promote awareness raising.
On Action 7 (establishing human resources and infrastructure to maintain and build collections), Lebanon, supported by Sweden, suggested referring to “possible job opportunities that would encourage specialization in taxonomy to address the current deficit.” Delegates agreed.
On Action 9 (facilitation of all taxa inventories in targeted priority areas), Ethiopia proposed, and delegates agreed, to include reference to “biodiversity hotspots, key biodiversity areas.” Under Action 9’s relevant activities, Lebanon, opposed by Mexico and Peru, suggested limiting reference to “raising public awareness” and deleting “education.” Delegates decided to retain education. Burkina Faso suggested adding “fauna” or “wildlife” to a reference to inventory, characterization and monitoring of the genetics of domesticated species in their production environments. Delegates agreed to add “as well as wildlife” after reference to agricultural, forests, and aquacultural facilities.
Final Recommendation: The recommendation on GTI (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.4) contains an annex on a draft capacity-building strategy for the GTI for consideration by COP 11. SBSTTA decides that the revised Strategy, as annexed to the document, will be annexed to its recommendation XV/3.
The annex describes the capacity-building strategy’s: vision; mission; goals; 10 strategic actions to take in the period 2011-2020; and implementation, monitoring, review and evaluation. Each strategic action includes text describing its rationale, relevant activity in the GTI programme of work and output. The ten strategic actions include:
- by the end of 2013, review taxonomic needs and capacities at national, sub-regional and regional levels and set priorities to implement the Convention and the Strategic Plan;
- by the end of 2013, organize regional and sub-regional workshops to inform parties and others about the importance of taxonomy and cooperation to implement the Convention and the Strategic Plan;
- by 2014, organize additional workshops and academic training to improve taxonomic skills and the quality of taxonomic knowledge and information, as well as the contribution of taxonomy for the implementation of the Convention;
- by 2015, produce and share taxonomic tools and risk-analysis tools in the context of IAS and biosafety, and facilitate the use of these tools to identify and analyze: threatened species; IAS; species and traits useful to agriculture and aquaculture; species subject to illegal trafficking; and socio-economically important species, including microbial diversity;
- by 2015, review and enhance human capacity and infrastructure to identify and to assist monitoring of biodiversity, particularly on IAS, understudied taxa, threatened and socio-economically important species.
- by 2016, support existing efforts to establish capacity for national and thematic biodiversity information facilities, build and maintain the information systems and infrastructure needed to collate, curate and track the use of biological specimens, in particular tree specimens, and provide free and open access to relevant biodiversity information for the public;
- by 2017, establish the human resources and infrastructure to maintain existing and build further collections of biological specimens and living genetic resources;
- by 2019, improve the quality and increase the quantity of records on biodiversity in historic, current and future collections and make them available through taxonomic and genetic databases to enhance resolution and increase confidence of biodiversity prediction models under different scenarios;
- facilitation of all-taxa inventories in targeted national and regional priority areas in which biodiversity inventories are a priority for decision-making; and
- between 2018 and 2020, evaluate the progress in the GTI capacity-building strategy at the national, regional and global levels with a view to sustaining it beyond 2020.
NEW AND EMERGING ISSUES
Delegates first considered this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/13 and INF/35) on Wednesday and again on Thursday and Friday. The revised recommendation was adopted on Saturday by plenary.
Discussion focused on three options: not to add any new and emerging issues to SBSTTA’s agenda (option 1); adding synthetic biology to SBSTTA’s agenda, initiating the compilation of relevant information and including identification of possible gaps and overlaps with the Cartagena Protocol (option 2); and a compromise option proposed by Mexico to initiate the compilation of relevant information on synthetic biology without adding the item to SBSTTA’s agenda (option 3). Belgium, Thailand, Guatemala, Australia, Argentina, Peru and Iceland opposed adding new and emerging issues to SBSTTA’s agenda. Many stressed SBSTTA’s heavy agenda. Several also questioned the links and overlaps between synthetic biology and the mandate of the Cartagena Protocol. Denmark, Ghana, Norway, India, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia supported option 2. The Philippines agreed and proposed text stressing the precautionary approach. Ghana, supported by Grenada, Norway and others, proposed adding “organisms” when referencing the possible impacts of synthetic biology techniques and products. Mexico, supported by Canada, Brazil, the UK, Argentina and others, preferred option 1, but proposed retaining option 2 text on the Cartagena Protocol and inviting information on possible impacts. Mexico and others stressed that the process for identifying new and emerging issues requires refinement.
Delegates also discussed and agreed to note the effects of tropospheric ozone as a greenhouse gas, with impacts on human health and biodiversity.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.14) on New and Emerging Issues, SBSTTA recommends that the COP, inter alia:
- take note of the proposals on new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
- decide to include consideration of the impacts of tropospheric ozone in the programme of work on the interlinkages of biodiversity and climate change and request the Secretariat to report on progress to a future meeting of SBSTTA where biodiversity and climate change is on the agenda.
The recommendation contains three bracketed options:
- Under option 1, the COP would decide not to add any of the proposed new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to SBSTTA’s agenda.
- Under option 2, the COP would: note, on the basis of the precautionary approach, and aware of the need to consider the potential positive and negative impacts of products and organisms derived from synthetic biology on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It would further request the Secretariat to compile and synthesize relevant available information, to consider if there are: possible impacts of synthetic biology, techniques, organisms and products on biodiversity including social, economic and cultural considerations relevant to the Convention; and possible gaps and overlaps with the applicable provisions of the Convention and its protocols and other relevant agreements. The COP would request that the Secretariat make the above information available for SBSTTA consideration before COP 12; and invite parties and others to submit relevant information.
- Under option 3, the COP would note that the process established for identifying new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity requires refinement and, based on the information provided on this agenda item, SBSTTA 16 was not able to make a judgment to recommend adding any proposed new and emerging issues to the SBSTTA agenda. The COP would also: invite parties and others, including ILCs, to submit additional relevant information on the possible impacts of synthetic biology techniques, organisms and products on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural considerations, in accordance with paragraphs on the procedure for identifying new and emerging issues; request the Secretariat to prepare and make available for peer review a synthesis report, for SBSTTA consideration before COP 12; urge parties, in accordance with the precautionary approach, to ensure that synthetic genetic parts and living modified organisms produced by synthetic biology are not released into the environment or approved for commercial use until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and due consideration is given to associated risks and risks to the environment, human health, food security, livelihoods, culture and traditional knowledge, practices and innovations; and request the Secretariat to include a review of information applying the criteria for identifying new and emerging issues contained in decision IX/29 (Operations of the Convention), with a view to enabling SBSTTA to consider the proposals.
WG I discussed this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/14 and INF/32) on Tuesday and throughout the week. The issue was also discussed in informal consultations. The closing plenary adopted a recommendation with minor amendments.
During discussions, Brazil expressed concern with the overemphasis on negative effects of biofuels on biodiversity and Mexico called for more balanced recommendations. The Philippines stressed the need to consider impacts on livelihoods of indigenous peoples as well as socio-economic impacts related to biofuels.
On definitions, Denmark, supported by Switzerland and the UK, proposed inviting the Secretariat and other relevant organizations to compile existing definitions of biofuels for consideration before COP 12. India proposed addressing biofuels as a cross-cutting issue under the relevant CBD work programmes. Thailand called for case studies on assessment of biofuels with regard to energy security. The UK proposed that the Secretariat develop guidance and enable parties to identify and avoid areas of high biodiversity value.
Argentina stressed that the CBD is not the appropriate forum for developing standards and methodologies for biofuels. Canada noted that SBSTTA and the CBD COP should only address biofuels where there is a clear and direct impact on biodiversity. He also said that tools and approaches should be voluntary. Biofuel Watch drew attention to harmful effects of large-scale biofuel use and called for addressing taxes and subsidies. Global Forest Coalition called for application of the precautionary principle.
During the closing plenary India proposed, and delegates agreed, to the insertion of “taking into account national and socio-economic conditions” to a paragraph inviting parties to evaluate incentive measures using the Aichi Biodiversity targets.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on biofuels (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.10), SBSTTA invites parties to: consider relevant biofuels matters, when and if appropriate, when updating and implementing their national and subnational biodiversity strategies and action plans, and other relevant policies; and consider the use of various relevant voluntary tools regarding the impact of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity, such as in strategic environment and socio-economic assessment and integrated land-use planning in accordance with national circumstances.
Recognizing that some incentive measures can be significant drivers of biofuels expansion in certain circumstances, SBSTTA invites parties and other governments to evaluate these measures using the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in the context of the Convention’s cross-cutting issue on incentive measures, taking into account national and socio-economic conditions. Also recognizing the rapidly developing technology associated with biofuels, SBSTTA urgesparties and other governments to monitor these developments.
SBSTTA takes note of the progress report of the Secretariat, on his work in response to decision X/37 (biofuels and biodiversity), submitted to SBSTTA (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/14), and requests the Secretariat to continue to compile information, inter alia, on gaps in available standards and methodologies. SBSTTA requeststhe Secretariat, in regard to decision X/37 to compile information on relevant definitions of relevant key terms to enable parties to implement decisions IX/2 and X/37, and to report on progress to a meeting of the SBSTTA prior to COP 12. SBSTTA decidesto review progress on the implementation of Decisions IX/2 and X/37 at its seventeenth meeting.
WG I first discussed this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/15 and INF/36) on Tuesday and Thursday and a draft recommendation was approved on Friday. The item was also considered during informal consultations.
Denmark suggested broadening the scope of the recommendation, relating it to all the Aichi Targets, with the UK highlighting the role of incentive measures in implementing the Aichi Targets and in mobilizing resources. Thailand supported compiling a synthesis document on obstacles and options. Australia stressed that consideration of incentive measures should be consistent and in harmony with other international agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). South Africa noted synergies with IPBES. Mexico and Ecuador highlighted the relevance of capacity building and exchange of lessons learned on ecosystem services.
During consideration of a revised draft recommendation, on text noting the analytical work undertaken on harmful incentives, Argentina, opposed by Norway, Switzerland and Sweden, proposed language on the necessity of complying with the WTO Doha Mandate for reducing and eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies. Denmark proposed alternative language on work consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations. Both alternatives were bracketed.
On a reference noting the support of international organizations and initiatives, Argentina requested deletion of reference to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), while Norway, France, the Netherlands, Germany and others, supported retaining the reference. The reference was bracketed.
On a request to the Secretariat to explore options for technical support and capacity building on valuation methodologies and the integration of biodiversity values into relevant policies, Rwanda suggested that the Secretariat “develop proposals,” and Mexico supported that parties and organizations do so as well.
During informal consultations to address outstanding issues, parties reached agreement on the bracketed text.
During closing plenary, India proposed, and delegates agreed, to the insertion of “taking into account national and socio-economic conditions” to a paragraph inviting parties to take into consideration in their policy planning the linkages between the elimination, phase-out, or reform of harmful incentives, including subsidies. Delegates also agreed to a proposal from China to develop proposals for longer-term technical support and capacity building on valuation and integration of the values of biodiversity into, inter alia, relevant national and local policies, “as appropriate.”
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on incentive measures (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.9), noting considerable analytical work already undertaken on harmful incentives by international organizations and initiatives such as the UNEP, the OECD, IUCN and WTO, SBSTTA:
invites parties and other governments to develop and apply tools to identify incentives that are harmful for biodiversity, as well as methods to monitor progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 3, using the relevant indicator of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization (Decision X/3, paragraph 7, indicator 13);
invites parties to take into consideration in their policy planning the linkages between the elimination, phase-out or reform of harmful incentives, including subsidies, and the promotion of positive incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant obligations, including in revised NBSAPs taking into account national and socio-economic conditions;
emphasizes that conducting studies for the identification of incentives, including subsidies, harmful for biodiversity need not delay immediate policy action in cases where candidates for elimination, phase out or reform are already known, taking into account national socio-economic conditions;
invites parties, other governments, relevant organizations and initiatives, and bilateral and multilateral funding organizations, to develop proposals for extending longer-term technical support and capacity building on valuation methodologies and the integration of the values of biodiversity into relevant national and local policies, programmes and planning processes, including NBSAPs, as well as reporting systems, including national accounting, as appropriate; and
encourages parties and invites other governments to take appropriate action in these cases, in the form of elimination or initiation of phase-out or reform, taking into account national socio-economic conditions, including by seizing opportunities arising within the review cycles of existing sectoral policies, both at national and regional levels.
SBSTTA requests the Secretariat, with a view to supporting progress towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in particular targets 2, 3 and 4, and in mobilizing resources for biodiversity, to:
compile the submissions, and prepare a synthesis report on obstacles encountered in implementing identified options for eliminating, phasing out or reforming incentives that are harmful for biodiversity, for consideration by SBSTTA prior to COP 12;
continue and further strengthen its cooperation with relevant organizations and initiatives, with a view to catalyzing, supporting and facilitating further work in identifying and eliminating, phasing out or reforming harmful incentives, in promoting positive incentives and in assessing and mainstreaming the values of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services;
continue holding regional capacity-building workshops in cooperation with relevant organizations and initiatives, and, as appropriate, with the participation of relevant experts from finance and planning ministries, to support countries in making use of the findings of the TEEB studies as well as similar work at national or regional levels, and in integrating the values of biodiversity into relevant national and local policies, programmes and planning processes.
COLLABORATIVE WORK ON AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND HEALTH
WG I discussed this item (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/16) on Tuesday and during the rest of the week.
Several parties welcomed collaboration with various partners. During discussion on the revised draft recommendation, Belgium proposed a new paragraph inviting Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to examine how the indicative list of indicators for the Strategic Plan can be taken into account when carrying out future global forest resources assessments (FRA) and requesting the Secretariat to collaborate with FAO to help ensure that the FRA continues to provide useful data and analysis for assessing progress in implementation of the Convention.
A paragraph noting that insufficient funds are available for joint activities between the CBD and UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) and inviting parties to provide funds for a staff position and activity funds through the voluntary trust fund of the convention was bracketed.
During closing plenary, on the indicative list of indicators, Argentina, supported by Belgium and opposed by Canada, proposed “requesting the Secretariat in collaboration with relevant organizations and based on the views of parties to further develop indicators in line with recommendation XV/1 and encourage parties and others to make use of them.” Delegates agreed to bracket the proposal as well as the entire paragraph.
Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on Collaborative Work on Agriculture, Forestry and Health (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/L.8), SBSTTA stresses the importance of further strengthening the collaboration between the Convention and the FAO in achieving relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and takes notes of the revised joint work plan between the Secretariats of the CBD, FAO and FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/33, annex).
SBSTTA invites the FAO to examine how the indicative list of indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (recommendation 15/1, UNEP/CBD/COP/11/2) can be taken into account when carrying out future FRAs and requests the Secretariat to collaborate with FAO to help ensure that the FRA continues to provide useful data and analysis for the purpose of assessing progress in implementation of the Convention.
SBSTTA welcomes with appreciation the strengthening of collaboration between the CBD and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other relevant organizations and initiatives, and requests the Secretariat to establish a joint work programme with the WHO, and, as appropriate, with other relevant organizations and initiatives, to support the contribution that the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 can make to achieving human health objectives.
SBSTTA notes that the indicative list of indicators (SBSTTA Recommendation XV/1, Annex I), contains a number of indicators that may be relevant to the links between biodiversity and health, including: trends in benefits that humans derive from selected ecosystem services; trends in health and well-being of communities that depend directly on local ecosystem goods and services; and trends in the nutritional contribution of biodiversity to food composition. SBSTTA encouragesparties, requests the Secretariat and invites the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership to develop and make use of these indicators, in line with Recommendation XV/1. The paragraph is bracketed.
A paragraph noting that insufficient funds are available for joint activities between the CBD and UNFF and inviting parties to provide funds for a staff position and activity funds through the voluntary trust fund of the convention is bracketed.
The closing plenary convened at 10:00 am on Saturday morning to resolve outstanding issues on draft recommendations, including on capacity building for the GTI, biodiversity safeguards for REDD+, and identification of EBSAs. After prolonged discussions and informal consultations on EBSAs, SBSTTA 16 adopted these and eight other recommendations in addition to the recommendations on island biodiversity and the preparations for the fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook, which had been adopted on Thursday. Delegates also adopted the reports of the WGs and the meeting report. CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias said that SBSTTA 16 had underlined the important role that IPBES will play for SBSTTA and the implementation of the Convention, and encouraged delegates to promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity in all sectors through the review of their NBSAPs.
Brazil, on behalf of the Latin America and the Caribbean Group, observed that for SBSTTA to be fully operational it is important to identify ways and means to improve effectiveness and also to foster a close relationship between SBSTTA and the IPBES. Denmark, for the EU, observed that the meeting demonstrated that SBSTTA was on the right track.
IIFB noted that full and effective participation in the Strategic Plan for biodiversity is the bigger challenge for parties and ILCs and expressed commitment to working with others in order to achieve maximum benefits.
SBSTTA Chair Barudanovic thanked delegates for their hard work and gaveled the meeting to a close at 4:16 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF SBSTTA 16
THE BIODIVERSITY GOVERNANCE JIGSAW PUZZLE
For many environmentalists, global biodiversity governance resembles a complicated jigsaw puzzle consisting of different instruments, or pieces, which cover diverse elements of the world’s ecosphere and utilize disparate approaches based on ecosystems, regions, activities or individual species. While the plethora of instruments reflects the diversity of nature itself, it leads to a number of well-known problems such as duplication of work, overlapping jurisdictions and, increasingly, conflicts over mandates.
SBSTTA 16 encountered at least three particular challenges: a missing jigsaw piece on marine biodiversity, a mismatch between the pieces on biodiversity and climate change, and the addition of a new piece – the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
This analysis will review how these challenges affected SBSTTA 16 deliberations but also how the outcomes of the meeting can contribute towards putting the biodiversity jigsaw puzzle together.
THE MISSING PIECE ON OCEANS
Addressing marine and coastal biodiversity under the CBD has always presented a challenging dilemma. The CBD’s mandate on the marine environment is limited to living organisms and areas under national jurisdiction. Yet, to fully address the range of marine conservation issues, management tools such as marine protected areas or marine spatial planning must include areas beyond national jurisdiction in order to protect species that migrate or whose habitats extend beyond coastal areas and national waters, such as tuna fisheries or coral reef habitats.
Successful action on marine and coastal biodiversity, therefore, depends on coordinated action within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction. However, an agreement that complements the CBD by providing a policy framework to encompass the breadth of these areas and issues is yet to be developed. This architectural vacuum has affected past discussions, making progress on marine biodiversity a thorny issue when decisions appear to affect areas beyond national jurisdiction. The complexity of the Law of the Sea regime and additional political undercurrents have also complicated and permeated CBD discussions.
The establishment of a new entity, the UN Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable use of Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (UNGA Working Group on Marine Biodiversity), as an additional piece of the biodiversity governance jigsaw puzzle, may have changed the outlook. Despite it emerging only recently, the UNGA Working Group on Marine Biodiversity provided an opportunity for COP 10 to draw a clear boundary around SBSTTA’s mandate by recognizing the issues that will be addressed by the Working Group. The second game changing jigsaw piece was the completion of the negotiation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS), which dissipated the fears of some countries that ABS relating to marine genetic resources would be addressed under the CBD. These changes helped facilitate fruitful discussions during a series of regional workshops held since COP 10 aimed at developing scientific criteria for EBSAs as well as describing priority areas for protection by neutralizing political undercurrents on the mandates.
Nevertheless, SBSTTA 16’s discussions on EBSAs proved difficult. In its recommendation, delegates were unable to find agreement on whether SBSTTA should recommend “endorsing” the summary report on EBSAs, leaving it in brackets for the COP to decide. Delegates attributed the lack of agreement to several factors. Some noted that the level of support for the outcome of each workshop varied. This discrepancy was related in part to divisions among members of regional instruments as well as to regional differences in the way the relationship between science and policy is conceived. For example, some participants speculated that the more adversarial relationship between science and policy in Latin American countries emanated from fears that the workshops could prejudge further scientific work and policy development on oceans governance. This added to general concerns by some countries about any type of scientific activity in or near their exclusive economic zones because of unresolved territorial disputes, as well as additional concerns about scientific marine research. African delegates articulated concerns about their exclusion from the process, noting that a workshop has not yet been held in their region, preventing them from participating in evaluating the EBSA criteria.
Despite these hiccups, some delegates however felt that SBSTTA achieved all it could under its current mandate. “We can tell these guys in New York ‘Over to you,’ our job is done here.” Whether this message will provide momentum to the UN Working Group discussions or a possible Rio+20 outcome remains to be seen. As several delegates who opposed endorsing SBSTTA’s summary report on EBSAs mentioned, issues relating to the Law of the Sea raise fundamental questions on the architecture, nature and jurisdiction of oceans governance, which will likely require many further rounds of negotiations to be resolved, and possibly, more jigsaw pieces to complete the marine puzzle.
WHEN PIECES DON’T FIT
The discussions on biodiversity and climate change faced a different kind of challenge. The protracted negotiations appeared to many as déjà vu. During SBSTTA 16’s negotiations, no matter whether the issue was biofuels, geo-engineering, or REDD+, many countries were extremely cautious about language that could in any way “prejudge, preempt or prejudice” negotiations under the UNFCCC. The “three Ps,” as the delegate from India called them, have become the mantra for those wanting to ensure that the CBD doesn’t stray too far from its own backyard.
In the Montreal discussions on biodiversity safeguards for REDD+, delegates explained that the main reason for caution about whether to recommend that the COP “approves,” “takes note of” or “welcomes” the advice on relevant country-specific biodiversity safeguards for REDD+ is that countries have different interpretations of the mandate provided by CBD COP 10 and different opinions on how to avoid conflict with UNFCCC decisions. The CBD decision adopted in Nagoya in October 2010 requested the Secretariat to provide advice on the application of relevant REDD+ safeguards for biodiversity and to identify possible indicators to assess the contribution of REDD+ to achieving the Convention’s objectives, as well as potential mechanisms to monitor impacts on biodiversity. Since then, the UNFCCC has adopted decisions on REDD+ and safeguards in Cancun and Durban. The UNFCCC decisions state that monitoring safeguards for REDD+ should be country-driven and respect sovereignty. In the context of SBSTTA 16’s discussions, some parties were wary that adoption of “advice on relevant country-specific biodiversity safeguards” and international indicators could compromise the principles of country-driven implementation and sovereignty. Eventually, the SBSTTA recommendation states that the advice is “guidance focused on national implementation.”
It remains to be seen how CBD guidance on safeguards for biodiversity “fit” into the broader evolution of the climate change regime.
IPBES – THE NEW PIECE ON THE BOARD
Formally established only a week prior to SBSTTA 16, IPBES is the latest addition to the biodiversity governance jigsaw puzzle. While important details on IPBES’ form and function remain to be worked out, the discussions at SBSTTA 16 gave a preview of the challenges awaiting the IPBES Secretariat in establishing working relationships with the different biodiversity-related conventions. As an independent body, IPBES will establish a process to review the needs of different conventions, including the CBD. The advantage of such a process is that IPBES could take possible overlaps and conflicting perspectives from different conventions into account and provide its conclusions in a manner that circumvents the mandate trap.
As noted during the meeting, one of the potential downsides of such a process is that it risks creating delays in the process of identifying and responding to issues. SBSTTA 16 delegates considered the process for making submissions to IPBES but could not resolve the issue of whether SBSTTA could make requests directly to IPBES or if such request would have to be made through COP. As some delegates pointed out, if the request has to be made through the COP, potentially a time lag of several years between the submission of a request by the CBD and the initiation of an assessment by IPBES would arise. The result would be that IPBES could not be in a position to address a fundamental weakness of SBSTTA: its difficulty in responding to new and emerging issues.
Synthetic biology, for example, has been proposed for its consideration under the agenda item on new and emerging issues for several years now. SBSTTA has repeatedly declined to address the issue arguing that its agenda is already heavy. As frustration with SBSTTA’s “business” grows, some delegates have questioned the usefulness of its current procedure for reacting to emerging trends and developments. The aspiration of many in the Montreal meeting was that IPBES would be able to step in by providing scientific information that would form a basis for more meaningful discussion under SBSTTA.
IPBES’ role as a new piece to the biodiversity puzzle is still unclear but SBSTTA16 participants, including Executive Secretary Dias, have heartily welcomed it and its potential utility for enhancing conservation to the biodiversity arena.
THE WAY FORWARD
As SBSTTA 16 Chair Barudanovic stated, the quality of the discussions during this meeting and of the recommendations adopted show that SBSTTA has left the period of “growing pains” behind and has firmly established itself as source of scientific advice for the CBD. While this statement adequately reflects the SBSTTA’s evolution from the inside, the meeting has also demonstrated that, on the outside, the biodiversity governance puzzle is still a long way from completion. Many of the difficult questions that SBSTTA 16 encountered have been postponed to COP 11 in Hyderabad. Often these are not the questions of scientific advice per se, but what will happen with that advice. To increase SBSTTA’s impact on actual decision making, it is crucial to resolve the relationships with other agreements and scientific bodies. The emergence of IPBES could motivate efforts to do so since it could become a real alternative for the provision of scientific advice. As the IPBES defines its niche, SBSTTA will have to review its own place in the puzzle.
In fact the number 16 could be interpreted either way. SBSTTA may have left the growing pains of childhood behind, but it has yet to resolve the most difficult challenges of adolescence: defining its identity and finding its place in an ever changing world of global biodiversity governance.
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction: The fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction will take place in accordance with UNGA resolution 66/231. dates: 7-11 May 2012 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea phone: +1-212-963-3962 fax: +1-212-963-5847 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.un.org/depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm
Fourth Meeting of the CBD Working Group on Review of Implementation: The fourth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI 4) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is organized by the CBD Secretariat. dates: 7-11 May 2012 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: email@example.com www: http://www.cbd.int/wgri4/
11th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: The 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) will consider the theme “The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (Articles 28 and 37 of UNPFII)”. dates: 7-18 May 2012 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UNPFII Secretariat email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples/UNPFIISessions/Eleventh.aspx
Workshop on Financing Mechanisms for Biodiversity: Examining Opportunities and Challenges: This workshop, convened by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the European Commission (EC), in association with the co-chairs from India and Sweden of the Quito informal Dialogue Seminar on Scaling up Finance for Biodiversity, aims is to build on the Quito discussions and related discussions in WGRI-4 to examine in further depth issues associated with biodiversity finance mechanisms. date: 12 May 2012 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: email@example.com www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2012/ntf-2012-054-financial-en.pdf
Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group Meeting on the Second Assessment and Review of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group Meeting on the Second Assessment and Review of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will take place in May. dates: 14-16 May 2012 location: Vienna, Austria contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=BSAR-01
AEWA MOP 5: The fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 5) to African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) is organized by the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat. dates: 14-18 May 2012 location: La Rochelle, France contact: UNEP/AEWA Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-24143 fax: +49-228-815-2450 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unep-aewa.org/meetings/en/mop/mop5_docs/mop5.htm
CBD Sub-regional Workshop on Valuation and Incentive Measures for South America: Organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) through its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and its Coordinating Office on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), this workshop aims to support countries in making use of the findings of the TEEB study, as well as similar work at national or regional levels. dates: 15-17 May 2012 location: Santiago, Chile contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=RWIM-SA-01
CBD Regional Workshop on Valuation and Incentive Measures for Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Organized by the CBD Secretariat, UNEP, through its Coordinating Office on TEEB, and IUCN, this workshop seeks to: provide decision makers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with economic arguments for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; promote synergies and enhanced cooperation among relevant policy areas and sectors by mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services; and support the revision and review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans in light of the new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. dates: 29-31 May 2012 location: Tbilisi, Georgia contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: email@example.com www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=RWIM-EECASI-01
Third round of informal-informal negotiations on the zero draft of the Outcome Document: This round of informal informal negotiations was announced on 4 May to continue to negotiate the draft outcome document for Rio+20. dates: 29 May - 2 June 2012 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UNCSD Secretariat email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
GEF 42nd Council Meeting: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council will meet in June to develop, adopt, and evaluate GEF programmes. Council members meet for three days, twice each year. dates: 4-7 June 2012 location: Washington, DC, US contact: GEF Secretariat phone: +1-202-473-0508 fax: +1-202-522-3240 email: email@example.com www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/4578
African Regional Indigenous and Local Community Preparatory Meeting for CBD COP 11: This regional workshop aims to increase the number of indigenous and local community (ILC) representatives, with an emphasis on women, effectively involved in the CBD processes, as well as to build their capacity to do so. The workshop will focus on Articles 8(j) (traditional knowledge), 10(c)(customary sustainable use), and related provisions, as well as the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing, and aims at preparing ILC representatives CBD COP 11. dates: 12-15 June 2012 location: Bujumbura, Burundi contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=8J-PREPCOP11COP 11-01
Third PrepCom for UNCSD: This meeting will take place in Brazil prior to the UNCSD. dates: 13-15 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email: email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
Rio Conventions Pavilion at Rio+20: This event is a collaborative outreach activity of the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD), the GEF, and 25 other international, national and local partners. It aims to promote and strengthen synergies between the Rio Conventions at implementation levels by providing a coordinated platform for awareness-raising and information-sharing about the linkages in science, policy and practice between biodiversity, climate change and combating desertification/land degradation. dates: 13-22 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: Rio Conventions Pavilion phone: +1-514-288-6588 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.riopavilion.org/
ICLEI - 2012 World Congress: This triennial congress will address themes including: green urban economy; changing citizens, changing cities; greening events; and food security and how biodiversity protection can be integrated into municipal planning and decision-making. dates: 14-17 June 2012 location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil contact: ICLEI World Secretariat phone: +49 228 97 62 9900 fax: +49 228 97 62 9901 email:email@example.com www: http://worldcongress2012.iclei.org
Oceans Day at UNCSD: The Global Ocean Forum will organize “Oceans Day” during the thematic days immediately preceding the UNCSD. date: 16 June 2012location: Rio Conventions Pavilion, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: Miriam Balgos, Program Coordinator Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands phone: +1-302-831-8086 fax: +1-302-831-3668 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.globaloceans.org/sites/udel.edu.globaloceans/files/Rio20-GOF-Event-Flyer.pdf
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20): The UNCSD will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. dates: 20-22 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email: email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference 2012: The Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC) aims to discuss how informatics can best meet the challenges posed by biodiversity science and policy. It will focus on the practical steps needed to provide the information needs of global commitments such as the Aichi 2020 targets to halt biodiversity loss. Attendance at GBIC is by invitation only. dates: 2-4 July 2012 location: Copenhagen, Denmark contact: Conference organizers email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: www.gbic2012.org
ICNP-2: The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization (ABS) will consider guidance to the financial mechanisms and on resource mobilization, and the need for, and modalities of, a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism. dates: 2-6 July 2012 location: New Delhi, India contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: email@example.com www: http://www.cbd.int/icnp2/
Ramsar COP 11: The 11th meeting of the contracting parties (COP 11) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat will be preceded by the 44th meeting of Standing Committee planned for 4 July 2012. The broad theme for World Wetlands Day 2012 and COP 11 is “Wetlands, Tourism and Recreation.” dates: 6-13 July 2012 location: Bucharest, Romania contact: Ramsar Secretariat phone: +41-22-999-0170 fax: +41-22-999-0169 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.ramsar.org
62nd Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee: The CITES Standing Committee provides policy guidance to the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the Convention and oversees the management of the Secretariat’s budget; coordinates and oversees, where required, the work of other committees and working groups; carries out tasks given to it by the Conference of the Parties; and drafts resolutions for consideration by the Conference of the Parties. dates: 23-27 July 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email: email@example.com www: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/sc/index.php
Southern Indian Ocean Regional Workshop to Facilitate the Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs): This workshop aims to facilitate the description of EBSAs through the application of scientific criteria adopted at CBD COP 9 as well as other relevant compatible and complementary nationally and intergovernmentally-agreed scientific criteria, as well as the scientific guidance on the identification of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. dates: 30 July - 3 August 2012 location: Mauritius contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012: The Congress theme will be Nature+, a slogan that captures the fundamental importance of nature and its inherent link to every aspect of people’s lives, including: nature+climate, nature+livelihoods, nature+energy and nature+economics. dates: 6-15 September 2012 location: Jeju, Republic of Korea contact: IUCN Congress Secretariat phone: +41-22-999 0336 fax: +41-22-999-0002 email: email@example.com www: http://www.iucnworldconservationcongress.org/
CBD COP 11: The agenda for the next meeting of the CBD COP includes consideration of, inter alia: the status of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization; implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; issues related to financial resources and the financial mechanism; and biodiversity and climate change. This meeting will be preceded by the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. dates: 8-19 October 2012 location: Hyderabad, India contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=COP-11