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Volume 09 Number 586 - Tuesday, 9 October 2012
CBD COP 11 HIGHLIGHTS
MONDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2012

The morning plenary heard opening and regional statements, and addressed organizational issues. In the afternoon, Working Group I (WG I) considered island biodiversity and ecosystem restoration. WG II addressed implementation of the Strategic Plan and progress towards the Aichi targets.

OPENING PLENARY

Hoshino Kazuaki, on behalf of the Minister of Environment of Japan, opened the meeting, underscoring support to the revision of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) through the Japan Biodiversity Fund. Ryu Matsumoto, former Minister of Environment of Japan and COP 10 President, called for urgency in implementing the COP 10 outcomes, including the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and the Aichi targets. He then handed the COP Presidency to Jayanthi Natarajan, India’s Minister of Environment and Forests.

COP 11 President Natarajan called for agreement on a roadmap and means of implementation for the Nagoya outcomes. Noting that COP 10 did not conclude on resource mobilization, she urged agreement on targets for funding. She said developing countries need to balance environmental concerns and poverty eradication. Amina Mohamed, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) opened potential pathways to sustainable development, including through inclusive green economy, and highlighted the need for more effective and targeted implementation processes.

CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias called for a pragmatic approach focusing on sharing experiences on implementation, as opposed to negotiation. He stressed the need for: enhancing the links between the Convention and its protocols; an effective and continuous monitoring system of the Aichi targets’ implementation; a structured capacity-building process at the regional and local level, through strengthened collaboration with UN entities and stakeholders; and supporting community-based approaches.

Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh, called for allowing each country to implement internationally agreed policies according to domestic circumstances. India’s Secretary of Environment and Forests T. Chatterjee stressed the need to reach consensus on: financial issues; the Strategic Plan’s implementation; biodiversity and poverty reduction; marine and coastal biodiversity; and the Nagoya Protocol’s implementation.

ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES: Delegates adopted the agenda and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/1 and Add.1 Rev.1); and elected Betty Kauna Schroder (Namibia) as Rapporteur for the meeting, and Valeria González Posse (Argentina) and Andrew Bignell (New Zealand) as Chairs of WG I and WG II, respectively.

M.F. Farooqui, on behalf of the COP Presidency, noted that the COP is not in a position to adopt outstanding majority-voting rules in the Rules of Procedure and Financial Rules; and introduced the reports of intersessional and regional preparatory meetings (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/2-7).

REGIONAL STATEMENTS: Argentina for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) encouraged COP 11 to reflect on the Rio+20 outcome, common but differentiated responsibilities, poverty eradication and avoidance of trade restrictions. She prioritized financial resource mobilization for implementing the Strategic Plan and Aichi targets, maintenance of COP meetings’ periodicity, and a strengthened core budget.

Syria for the ASIA-PACIFIC emphasized the linkages between the Convention objectives, as well as the need for effective financial resources and capacity building for implementation. Serbia for CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE (CEE) underscored the need for resource mobilization for ratification of the Nagoya Protocol. Benin for the AFRICAN GROUP recalled that the CBD is one of the rare international legally binding agreements on sustainable development; prioritized the Aichi targets on natural habitats, protected areas and the Nagoya Protocol; and underscored the need to maintain the COP meetings’ periodicity.

The EU with CROATIA emphasized the need to focus on effective implementation through: policy frameworks and governance structures; a significant increase in financial, human and technical resources; and mobilization of new funding sources, including green economy and innovative financial mechanisms. Kiribati for SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) urged addressing the loss of island biodiversity and highlighted the need for capacity building and provision of financial resources in a timely manner.

The CBD ALLIANCE called for: keeping under review the Convention’s implementation; adopting indicators on the Aichi targets; allocating financial resources for the forest biodiversity work programme, rather than focusing on non-binding guidelines for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+); ending subsidies and targets for biofuels; and extending the moratorium on geoengineering. The WOMEN’S CAUCUS called for integrating the gender dimension in social, environmental and cultural indicators, and committing to long-term action on gender equality. The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) highlighted remaining challenges, including respecting indigenous practices and livelihoods when establishing protected areas, and mainstreaming rights enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in national CBD implementation.

ADMINISTRATION AND BUDGET: CBD Executive Secretary Dias presented the report (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/9-11 and INF/36), including the status of the Convention trust funds and staffing, and budget scenarios. Plenary established an open-ended informal group on the budget, to be chaired by Amb. Conrod Hunte (Antigua and Barbuda), noting that WG and budget group Chairs will liaise to coordinate policy and budget discussions.

WORKING GROUP I

ISLAND BIODIVERSITY: WG I Chair González Posse presented the SBSTTA recommendation on the in-depth review of the island biodiversity work programme (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/3). Many countries supported the SBSTTA recommendation. The Seychelles for SIDS said the review assisted in island biodiversity management.

The EU with CROATIA called for increased attention on poverty alleviation and ABS. With SOUTH AFRICA, he emphasized biodiversity loss in uninhabited and seasonally habited ecosystems. ARGENTINA said the work programme should not apply to disputed territories. Ethiopia for the AFRICAN GROUP called for integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in island biodiversity conservation. THAILAND supported assessing islands’ carrying capacities for anthropogenic activities.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO called for individual and institutional training. INDIA suggested considering sustainable tourism practices and promoting eco-friendly initiatives, such as establishing seed banks on resilient native species.

BRAZIL called for progress on Aichi Target 12 on preventing species extinction. CHINA called for reference to CBD Article 20 (Financial Resources).

ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: Delegates addressed a draft decision based on a SBSTTA recommendation (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/2 and 21). The AFRICAN GROUP underscored the need to clarify the understanding of “ecosystem restoration” under the Convention, with SOUTH AFRICA suggesting more focus on ecosystem health and functioning.

The EU stated that ecosystem restoration should be integrated in the CBD work on specific ecosystems and, with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, that it should be the last resort. SWITZERLAND proposed that the Secretariat not only identify, but also “use as appropriate” opportunities for collaboration with other conventions. SAINT LUCIA noted the importance of cooperation among biodiversity-related conventions.

THAILAND recommended compiling degraded ecosystem inventories to identify best practices and appropriate technology for restoration. NORWAY called for: user-friendly guidance to support restoration planning and to avoid negative net effects; consideration of existing land use, including pastoralism and low-impact agriculture; elaboration of safeguards including on land ownership in the identification of land suitable for restoration; and consideration of different financial mechanisms, including those from the private sector.

MEXICO cautioned that restoration should not be seen as an end in itself but rather as a long-term process subject to continuous management. GUATEMALA, ARGENTINA and EL SALVADOR stressed the need for financial support. CANADA acknowledged information, capacity and financial limitations, saying it is not an excuse for lack of conservation. INDIA asserted the need to adopt ecologically and socio-economically sound and user-friendly restoration practices, address the causes of degradation and support natural regeneration. FAO and the INTERNATIONAL MODEL FOREST NETWORK highlighted landscape approaches.

GHANA, ECUADOR and CANADA supported an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on ecosystem restoration. PERU and COLOMBIA urged compilation of existing information. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC suggested that the mining sector be targeted in further development of practical guidance for restoration.

WORKING GROUP II

STRATEGIC PLAN IMPLEMENTATION AND AICHI TARGETS: The Secretariat introduced the item, including sub-items on: progress in establishing national targets and updating NBSAPs (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/12 and 4); capacity building, the Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM) and technology transfer (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/4, 13, 13/Add.1 and 2, 31 and INF/5 and 8); and monitoring implementation, including indicators (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/2, 3 and 27).

Establishment of national targets and NBSAP updating: Several parties highlighted progress in updating their NBSAPs in line with the Strategic Plan. CHINA also highlighted formulation of provincial NBSAPs. The EU stressed integrating NBSAPs into relevant sectoral plans. INDONESIA stressed involving relevant stakeholders in all aspects of updating NBSAPs to remove barriers to implementation.

COSTA RICA called on parties to identify financial resources needed to reach national targets. JAPAN stressed enhancing synergies between the Japan Biodiversity Fund and GEF funding. BANGLADESH called for a simplified procedure for accessing GEF funds.

Capacity building: Many requested removing brackets around text urging the provision of financial resources, technology transfer and benefit-sharing. Egypt for the AFRICAN GROUP said unless the brackets were removed, “we are wasting our time.” JAPAN proposed “inviting,” rather than “urging,” the commitment of developed countries. SOUTH AFRICA proposed preambular text based on CBD Article 20.

KENYA urged establishment of capacity-building networks. BRAZIL called for clarification on the classification and criteria for selecting centers of excellence in the proposed capacity-building network. The PHILIPPINES urged technology needs assessments be funded and undertaken as a matter of priority.

The EU supported enhancing the CHM and developing a consistent approach on technical and scientific cooperation. NORWAY prioritized biosafety and ABS for development of tools under the CHM. SWITZERLAND proposed the Secretariat facilitate a voluntary peer-review process to enhance information exchange on good practices.

Monitoring implementation: The EU supported the development of global indicators for use by the CBD and relevant processes. CANADA supported reaching consensus on a small set of indicators during COP 11, rather than further developing the draft list of indicators for discussion at COP 12. The AFRICAN GROUP called for support, warning of a shrinking timeframe for implementation. MEXICO welcomed the proposed indicators, but stressed further work to enable their implementation at the national level. BRAZIL questioned the inclusion of certain indicators proposed. INDIA urged keeping the proposed indicators as a flexible framework to be used according to national circumstances. Cautioning against commercialization of biodiversity and a development model based on unsustainable production and consumption, BOLIVIA suggested recognizing the different visions in achieving the CBD objectives and discussing indicators as part of a larger framework of social and environmental sustainability.

On traditional knowledge indicators, NEW ZEALAND highlighted the value of working with existing forest assessment processes to help reduce data burdens. ECUADOR andMALAYSIA called for developing indicators specific to indigenous peoples.

IN THE CORRIDORS

After the intense law-making session at COP 10 in Nagoya, many considered COP 11 in Hyderabad to be an opportunity to focus on “implementation, implementation, implementation.” Initial views differed, however, on whether such a focus necessarily implies dealing with “thorny money issues,” or could be addressed otherwise. More than one delegate affirmed that “the world’s reality is much changed with the economic crisis,” leaving doubts about who can pay and how much. Still, rumor in the corridors has it that financial issues, particularly the budget and targets for resource mobilization, will dominate the meeting’s deliberations.

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Kate Louw, Elisa Morgera, Ph.D., Dorothy Wanja Nyingi, Ph.D., Teya Penniman, Eugenia Recio and Elsa Tsioumani. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and the Government of Australia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2012 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute – GISPRI), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Belgium Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022, USA. The ENB Team at CBD COP 11 can be contacted by e-mail at <elsa@iisd.org>.
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