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Volume 09 Number 621 - Thursday, 19 June 2014
WGRI 5 HIGHLIGHTS
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

WGRI 5 continued on Wednesday, with delegates discussing recommendations on cooperation, including: cooperation with other conventions, international organizations and initiatives; engagement with subnational and local governments; and engagement of stakeholders and major groups, including business.

In the afternoon, two contact groups met on resource mobilization, and improving the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention.

In the evening, a Friends of the Chair group met on biodiversity for poverty eradication and sustainable development with Maria Schultz, Sweden, as Chair.

COOPERATION

COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES: The Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/8 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/14, 22 and 24).

URUGUAY stressed the increasing complexity in biodiversity management requires synergies and invited all parties to the 12th COP of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Punta del Este in June 2015.

SWITZERLAND, supported by NORWAY, called for a more strategic approach to increase potential for synergies and avoiding duplication of work.

MEXICO focused on collaboration with IPBES and the implementation of its 2014-2018 work program as well as CITES and its Plants Committee vis-à-vis the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

SOUTH AFRICA, supported by MALI, concentrated on cooperation at the national level to assist implementation, reporting and efficient use of resources, as well as collaboration between the Convention and its protocols.

MALI, supported by TOGO and OMAN, noted that the Strategic Plan should be recognized as the driving force for all other strategic plans to ensure that parties meet their commitments without duplication of efforts.

The EU, supported by SWITZERLAND, NORWAY, and JAPAN, but opposed by CANADA, called for a draft recommendation on this issue to be prepared and considered at COP 12.

Malawi for the AFRICAN GROUP stressed that lack of resources poses a serious constraint for most African countries and supported SOUTH AFRICA and THAILAND on the need for organizing regional working groups to enhance cooperation.

COLOMBIA, supported by BOLIVIA, reported on forest resources and the conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon area, highlighting a joint project bringing together the CBD, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

CANADA noted, inter alia: the independent status of different conventions should be respected; cooperation can improve coherence in a cost-effective way; all organizations and initiatives referenced in the document are relevant to the successful implementation of the Convention and there should be no exclusion in the recommendations.

CAMBODIA, supported by ECUADOR, underscored the Satoyama Initiative and urged international organizations, including ITTO, to continue providing support at the national level.

PERU highlighted the links with the UNFCCC and invited the Executive Secretary to UNFCCC COP 20 in Lima.

JAPAN, supported by TIMOR LESTE, suggested that the UNU be included in the relevant organizations for future cooperation.

TURKMENISTAN, TOGO and DJIBOUTI offered examples of ongoing projects that illustrate cooperation and synergies.

ECUADOR stressed the links to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and said that CMS COP 11 held in Quito next November will provide potential to strengthen the ties.

ITTO drew attention to the joint ITTO/CBD Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity. UNEP noted specific efforts to enhance cooperation at the national level providing non-prescriptive guidance. UNU focused on the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). The Global Youth Biodiversity Network noted the need to reduce duplication of work regarding online platforms and called for one central database. The Global Forest Coalition emphasized the need to respect the autonomy of different groups in the process.

ENGAGEMENT WITH SUBNATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/9).

SINGAPORE reported on the City Biodiversity Index as a local government self-assessment tool for monitoring and evaluating biodiversity in cities. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, with NORWAY, NIGERIA and others, emphasized the need to: adopt and assimilate subnational biodiversity strategies into urban planning; highlight the role of urban communities in conserving biodiversity; and use incentives to mainstream biodiversity into urban and subnational plans, avoiding counter-productive incentives.

THAILAND proposed that the Secretariat consult with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on ways of providing a mutual platform on strategies to incorporate biodiversity into urban and peri-urban planning practices.

NORWAY and INDIA proposed eliminating text that is already referenced in the recommendation on resource mobilization. JAPAN, MEXICO and INDIA reported on subnational activities which have been established over the past decade to address the Aichi Targets.

The REPUBLIC OF KOREA reported on establishing regional biodiversity characteristics into subnational strategies such as those found in the Demilitarized Zone.

The EU proposed to incorporate additional policy areas into the text, including green infrastructure and local transport initiatives, and nature-based solutions. ETHIOPIA suggested including “local government” in the text in addition to “subnational government.”

BURUNDI and URUGUAY suggested collecting all information on local initiatives for distribution to parties by the Secretariat.

MALDIVES reported on the challenges of involving local government through incorporating biodiversity training workshops due to the isolated nature of the island councils.

ENGAGEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS AND MAJOR GROUPS, INCLUDING BUSINESS: The Secretariat introduced the documents on engaging business (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/10 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/15 and 20) and stakeholder engagement (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/11, related working documents UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/8, 9, 10 and 12, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/1 and 2).

Several parties supported increased engagement of business and stakeholders to realize the objectives of the Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets. JAPAN, COLOMBIA, PERU, INDIA, URUGUAY, BELARUS and others shared national examples as evidence of mainstreaming biodiversity, highlighting opportunities to scale up successful initiatives.

On the progress of engagement with business, CANADA specified the development of innovative mechanisms to support these partnerships and PERU noted the need to create enabling conditions for the involvement of business. INDIA and ARENTINA highlighted the role and needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), calling for capacity building.

Several parties spoke of the importance of collaboration and information sharing with other global initiatives to avoid duplication of work and magnify impacts, with the EU pointing to the CHM as an appropriate tool. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA drew attention to the outcomes of the fourth meeting of the Global Platform on Business and Biodiversity.

JAPAN, referencing their fifth national report, suggested that the Secretariat analyze specific case studies before drawing conclusions, and indicated that substantial progress has been achieved. BOLIVIA showed support for the promotion of local activities to strengthen relationship building among the public and private sectors.

MEXICO requested including text to encourage the private sector to mobilize resources in order to support achieving the Strategic Plan. TIMOR LESTE raised a question on the inclusion of the construction sector in the consideration of business.

IUCN called for the expanded role of their partnership to help implement the Aichi Targets by identifying key milestones and developing guidance for business.

THAILAND proposed encouraging parties to engage with stakeholders on the meeting agendas to enhance contributions and improve the consolidation of opinions for consideration during meetings.

Cameroon on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by BURKINA FASO and GUINEA BISSAU, proposed text to highlight the link in engaging stakeholders on the global as well as national level. SOUTH AFRICA added a request to develop a protocol that supports engagement with leaders of Major Groups as a significant catalyst to change behavior.

MEXICO underscored the need to build capacity for ILCs to support effective participation and apply traditional knowledge (TK) to the conservation and use of biodiversity, with URUGUAY adding the importance of awareness raising of specific protocols.

The UNFPII, supported by EUROPA and the FEDERATION OF GERMAN SCIENTISTS, reiterated the need to harmonize international instruments and underscored the role of indigenous people in operationalizing the Strategic Plan.

GLOBAL YOUTH BIODIVERSITY NETWORK, reminding delegates that over half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, requested support for full and effective participation through strengthening capacity by, inter alia, establishing multi-stakeholder dialogues and innovative stakeholder engagement mechanisms before COPs.

CONTACT GROUPS

STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES: The contact group, co-chaired by Spencer Thomas (Grenada) and Tone Solhaug (Norway), met on Wednesday afternoon. Delegates commented on a non-paper containing a Chair’s text. Some requested that the Secretariat prepare a plan for the organization of concurrent COP and COP/MOP meetings of both the Nagoya and Cartagena Protocols, particularly considering the benefits and risks of all the options on improving efficiency of the Convention’s structures and processes. Delegates also discussed the implications of creating a subsidiary body for implementation, with some requesting that text referencing the additional staffing requirements be added to the recommendation. One delegate requested clarification of text regarding voluntary peer review of NBSAPs, suggesting a focus on implementation.

They also discussed the Convention’s decision-making forum and added text clarifying the equal standing and independence of COP, the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya Protocol.  On the recommendation to the COP, the group agreed to include an item on the COP agenda specifically to hear progress on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol, and the need to ensure full and effective participation of parties and ILCs by increased contributions to voluntary trust funds. They discussed the new practices of SBSTTA, with some favoring a call to the Executive Secretary and the Bureau to continue the development of these practices. The contact group continued deliberations into the night.

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION AND THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM: The contact group reconvened on Wednesday afternoon to continue deliberations on the review of the implementation of the strategy for resource mobilization.

Regarding the financial mechanism, delegates discussed, inter alia: the implementation of the Convention’s protocols and in particular the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, with some countries supporting a separate allocation for its implementation; the effectiveness and participatory character of contact groups in general; ways that guidance can be prioritized before submitted to the financial mechanism; and the GEF’s structure as a demand driven institution, its allocation process and the nature of its reports. Following lengthy deliberations, a final document was agreed to be considered in plenary.

On the review of implementation of the strategy for resource mobilization, delegates addressed among others: clarifications on the way that the “Pyeongchang Roadmap to 2020” should be understood; the final targets for resource mobilization to be considered at COP 12; financial reporting on contributions to reach global targets; and timelines regarding milestones for the full implementation of Aichi Target 3. Final targets for resource  mobilization were not agreed and informal deliberations will continue on Thursday.

IN THE CORRIDORS

In the corridors on Wednesday, there were a few whispers of plans to request a “doubling of the doubling” in reference to the financial resources necessary for the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Some expressed hope that reaching an agreement as strong as this would demonstrate real commitment, while others balked at the thought of taking such a notion back to their capitals given the current global financial situation.
During the more formal discussions on resource mobilization, calls for private sector engagement have been, and continue to be, prominent. One delegate saw the call for participation of the business sector and philanthropic community as “maybe too hopeful” as most governments do not have the ability to make direct requests to the business community, even on matters as important as biodiversity.

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Tasha Goldberg, Tallash Kantai, Suzi Malan, and Asterios Tsioumanis. The Digital Editor is Brad Vincelette. The Editor is Pamela 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 and DG-CLIMATE) and the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)). General Support for the Bulletin during 2014 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Wallonia, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD). 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 WGRI 5 can be contacted by e-mail at <suzi@iisd.org>.
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