The fifth meeting of the ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI 5) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) opened at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada.
Participants discussed: the review of progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and in providing support to parties in the context of the Strategic Plan and Aichi Biodiversity targets; resource mobilization, and the financial mechanism. In closing the meeting, Chair Hem Pande announced the establishment of an informal contact group on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism.
WGRI 5 Chair Pande (India), opened the meeting. Bureau President Prakash Javadekar (India), via video, emphasized the significance of the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan, and highlighted the importance of addressing poverty reduction as a major objective.
CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias announced that 26 parties have submitted NBSAPs, 78 parties have completed their 5th national reports and 30 countries have sent advanced drafts of their national reports. He emphasized the need to update resource mobilization and urged parties to ratify their commitments to the Nagoya Protocol.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Regarding the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020”, THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA informed delegates the roadmap will comprise the key elements of the recommendations of the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan as well as the achievements regarding the Aichi targets. He highlighted the need to enhance technical and scientific cooperation through sharing expertise and experiences for full implementation of the Strategic Plan, and drew attention to the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity into the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
MEXICO announced his country’s intention to host COP 13 in 2016. Bosnia and Herzegovina, for CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE (CEE), with many other countries, expressed gratitude to the donor countries for contributing to the participation of countries with economies in transition, with the CEE supporting simple and efficient recommendations for the mid-term review to ensure the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the achievement of the Aichi targets.
Thailand, for ASIA-PACIFIC, called for further support to enhance scientific and technical cooperation to achieve the Aichi targets. Grenada, for GRULAC, with many others, underscored that effective representation in meetings is the most fundamental element of the process and called for public financial flows to ameliorate resource mobilization.
Uganda for the AFRICAN GROUP, reiterated commitment to increase Nagoya Protocol ratifications and to submit updated and revised NBSAPs, underscoring the importance of partnership formation and capacity building.
Greece, for the EU, highlighted, inter alia: capacity building; the clearing-house mechanism (CHM); domestic resource mobilization; synergies with other Rio and biodiversity-related conventions; and the integration of biodiversity in the development agenda.
South Africa, for LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES (LMMCs), prioritized the provision of adequate resources and their effective mobilization as an integral part for the success of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Delegates adopted the agenda (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/1) and organization of work without amendment. They elected Eleni Rova Marama Tokaduadua (Fiji) as Rapporteur.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020
The Secretariat introduced documents on review of progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and review of progress in providing support to parties in the context of the Strategic Plan and Aichi targets (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/2 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/3).
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN: UPDATING AND IMPLEMENTING NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS (NBSAPs); AND PROVIDING SUPPORT IN IMPLEMENTING THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CONVENTION AND ITS STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020: Many countries provided updates on the progress of the NBSAPs. CAMEROON highlighted the successful participatory approach to draw national attention to biodiversity and the value of sub-regional meetings to share experiences.
On scientific and technical cooperation, JAPAN proposed revisions, including: specification of the kind of issues that require cooperation by collecting opinions from parties before collecting information on good practices and provision of expertise; clarification on the word “tailored support”; and, with NORWAY and SOUTH AFRICA, a proposal that the match making scheme not duplicate the existing international and regional schemes such as Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.
CANADA, reiterated the importance of the CHM, highlighting the need for further partnerships on marine and other protected areas. MEXICO called for the development of an interactive tool to assist countries to meet the 50 individual targets identified by the Secretariat.
BRAZIL discussed the establishment of national targets, some of which exceed global targets adopted by COP 10, including on the Amazon and other terrestrial biomes.
The EU called for, inter alia: clear, credible indicators to support implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi targets; capacity building self-assessments; and a strategy to link all CHMs under the CBD to avoid duplication.
On the specific requirements of Aichi target 17, INDIA proposed inserting a timeframe, and COLOMBIA reported on three workshops, multi-sectoral dialogue within the country, and sectoral implementation of their NBSAP, urging prioritizing capacity building.
SOUTH AFRICA, supported by CUBA noted, inter alia: linking biodiversity to all relevant SDGs; synergies between the Convention and its Protocols to enhance cooperation, avoid duplication and efficiently use resources; and its concerns regarding duplication of work in existing platforms including SBSTTA and IPBES.
SUDAN underlined setting up its national strategy in line with the overarching objectives of the Convention. BELARUS stressed the positive impact of regional seminars to develop effective initiatives. NIGER underscored the importance of assessing ecosystem services to ensure increased investment.
ARGENTINA stressed the importance of capacity building and the CHM, and OMAN and ETHIOPIA requested that Table 2 on the current status of NBSAP revision be updated to reflect recent submissions.
SWITZERLAND noted the overall emphasis on implementation in the agenda, cautioning against recommendations being too specific.
ETHIOPIA underscored challenges in resource mobilization, and UGANDA shared successes from nominating ‘target champions’ to create ownership, while acknowledging support received for capacity and awareness building.
THAILAND offered additional recommendations to guide the mid-term review to help mobilize financial resources and make available more resources for the translation of material within the CHM.
TIMOR LESTE called for technical and financial assistance for implementation of the targets, and supported self-assessments on capacity and financial gaps. SAINT LUCIA acknowledged the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity at the national level.
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS called for enhanced capacity building and additional resources for the achievement of the Aichi targets.
Chair Pande announced the Secretariat will produce a revised document on these two agenda items.
RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: The Secretariat presented the documents on resource mobilization (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/4, UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/4/Add.1 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/4/Add.2).
Carlos Rodriguez, Chair of the Second High-Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, Costa Rica, stressed that meeting the Aichi targets will, inter alia: deliver substantial benefits to peoples and economies across the world; support economic and business opportunities and job creation; provide insurance value; and contribute to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
Francis Ogwal, Co-chair of the Informal Dialogue Seminar on Scaling up Finance for Biodiversity and National Focal Point, Uganda, reported on the Quito Dialogue Seminar and discussed, inter alia: mainstreaming biodiversity to assess biodiversity values; incentives and options for financing including PES and biodiversity offsets; access and benefit sharing (ABS); fiscal reforms and international levies; and synergies for biodiversity financing.
THAILAND requested the Secretariat to develop a work plan with emphasis on further workshops on incentive measures. SWITZERLAND noted that Aichi target 20 is the binding target on this issue. BRAZIL stated that it was premature to discuss biodiversity-related finance flows, making it inappropriate to adopt the preliminary targets suggested.
ECUADOR called for strengthening the activities within Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) in order to operationalize the targets, and highlighted that official development assistance (ODA) is insufficient to cater to the attainment of the Aichi targets. NORWAY reiterated its support for doubling international financing for biodiversity by 2015 “if the baseline is as defined in the same decision. “
The EU noted that in addition to the adoption of final resource mobilization targets, there is a need to confirm the average of biodiversity funding for the period 2006-2010 as the final baseline for the international target. MEXICO stressed the need for a diversified approach to resource mobilization. BELARUS called for greater consideration to be paid to Eastern European countries, referencing the new GEF priorities on funding. BOLIVIA underscored the inclusion of indigenous and local communities (ILCs) in decision-making on issues of biodiversity, including finance.
TOGO called for reassessing the applicability of available financial mechanisms. INDIA stressed inter alia : they do not support inclusion of domestic financial resources in the target decision, and would like the target to be in the context of the provisions of Article 20 (financial resources) of CBD; and BIOFIN seems to have an underlying normative content on how developing countries can develop their NBSAPs.
COLOMBIA called for setting up a strategy for mobilizing resources rather than isolated approaches and noted the need for additional biodiversity related funds from the GEF. CANADA expressed interest in the way that the Pyeongchang Roadmap will reflect the collected data, underscoring that ODA alone cannot provide sufficient resources.
PERU, supported by ARGENTINA, clarified the need to engage natural sciences and economics, suggesting it should be a new and innovative application.
ARGENTINA called for a working group on resource mobilization to help meet targets, urging support for developing countries to participate in the Pyeongchang Roadmap.
BURUNDI stressed the need to channel financial resources from various donors to support sector-specific goals. CUBA underscored the need for external financial resources to be “new, additional and predictable.” ETHIOPIA opposed the inclusion of domestic resources in the recommendation. An NGO representative called for enhanced work on resource mobilization. ILCs underlined the need for the full participation of indigenous peoples in the resource mobilization strategy.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: In the afternoon, the Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/5 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/5/Add.1).
THAILAND, on the effectiveness of the GEF, suggested setting priorities for financial mechanisms to focus the support between 2015 and 2020. NORWAY, with SWITZERLAND, reiterated that the needs identified under the CBD could not be addressed adequately using the current available resources.
INDIA called for greater facilitation by the GEF on plant conservation and biosafety. EQUADOR suggested the GEF should be consistent with the sustainable development agenda, and collaborate with the Open Working Group on sustainable development.
SOUTH AFRICA expressed concern on securing adequate funding and proposed the GEF and CBD open a financial support window for the Cartagena Protocol.
WGRI 5 established a contact group on resource mobilization and financial mechanism, co-chaired by Jeremy Eppel, UK, and Francis Ogwal, Uganda.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On day one of WGRI 5, delegates braced themselves for the heavy agenda. Of the numerous issues to be discussed, some expressed confusion on the contents of the proposed “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020,” with one worrying that this may “diffuse the energy needed for a thorough mid-term review of the Strategic Plan and achievement of the Aichi targets.” Delegates engaged in long discussions on the strategy for resource mobilization, dwelling on contentious issues. “Quantification of resources is essential in order to reach any practical agreement on recommendations and avoid vagueness” one delegate said, and it remains to be seen whether the establishment of a contact group to handle deliberations will provide any compromise.