Throughout the day, delegates reviewed draft recommendations on: progress in updating and implementing NBSAPs; progress in providing support in implementing the objectives of the Convention and its Strategic Plan; the financial mechanism; improving the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention; progress related to business engagement; engagement with subnational and local governments; cooperation with other conventions, international organizations and initiatives; and stakeholder engagement. WGRI 5 considered items on mainstreaming gender and retirement of decisions.
In the morning, Jeremy Eppel (UK), Co-Chair of the contact group on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism reported back to WGRI 5, noting progress made, and proposed continued informal consultations to iron out issues on the final targets for resource mobilization.
In the afternoon, and into the evening, two contact groups met on resource mobilization, and improving the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention.The Friends of the Chair group met on biodiversity for poverty eradication and sustainable development.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020
GENDER MAINSTREAMING: The Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/7 and INF/17 and 17/Add.1). Many delegates recognized the importance of gender mainstreaming for the achievement of the Aichi Targets.
MEXICO proposed adopting methodologies linking gender to the sustainable use of biodiversity. Senegal, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed the importance of women in the management of, and decision-making on, biodiversity.
The AFRICAN GROUP, with ECUADOR, called for redoubling the efforts on gender mainstreaming at the national level, including in the development of NBSAPs. The EU suggested the development of a common knowledge base on gender across all multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). IUCN drew attention to the Environment and Gender Index, and, with the IIFB, called on the Secretariat to appoint a full-time gender focal point.
CAMEROON, with BRAZIL, MALI, and SOUTH AFRICA, called for stronger focus on gender within the NBSAPs, and underscored the need for a decision on the implementation of the Gender Plan of Action, including monitoring and evaluation considerations. ECUADOR, with many, lauded the inclusion of material on gender disaggregated environment and development data. IIFB underlined the need for development of bio-cultural indicators, and for studies on indigenous women, environmental violence and the militarization of natural resource management, as well as their effects on women in affected communities.
MALI called for the capacity building on gender mainstreaming for the Secretariat to be integrated into regional capacity building workshops for parties and interested stakeholders. TIMOR LESTE suggested the Secretariat establish a standard to encourage at least 40% participation of women in workshops and meetings.
Noting the importance of going beyond “gender-washing,” ECOROPA urged for inclusion of poor women into decision-making processes, and defining gender mainstreaming in terms of participatory models for women to use in a timely manner. A representative of the ILCs noted the critical role indigenous women play in safeguarding and relaying TK, and urged the development of an indicator with an indigenous focus.
OPERATION OF THE CONVENTION
RETIREMENT OF DECISIONS: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/13). NEW ZEALAND, INDIA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA and others, supported the proposed online tool to consolidate, archive and increase accessibility of COP decisions as well as testing this in a pilot phase.
NEW ZEALAND, supported by SWITZERLAND, proposed deleting consideration of previous decisions, indicating that time, energy and resources should be devoted to developing the online tool.
MEXICO called for developing a user-friendly tool in which decisions are thematically grouped. SWITZERLAND advised using existing databases with the addition of indicators on the status of decisions, underscoring that the focus should be on labeling and not interlinking decisions in order to further streamline work.
The EU, in support of the online tool, requested further clarification on the outputs, recommending the beneficial exercises of exchange with other MEAs that maintain operational and sophisticated systems, such as CITES.
On the issue of labeling of decisions, SWITZERLAND proposed that the Secretariat produce a notification to parties on the categories for labeling prior to COP 12. The AFRICAN GROUP, with ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, commented that although online publications are useful, many governments might not be able to use this tool adequately, requesting a summary of the online publications to be provided to parties.
BRAZIL requested replacing the word “no-action” as this conveys the perception of unimportance. Delegates will consider a revised draft recommendation on Friday.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN UPDATING AND IMPLEMENTING NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.1). NEW ZEALAND and GRENADA suggested textual changes and CAMEROON requested revised language so that each paragraph could stand-alone and not be reliant on the surrounding text. Chair Pande stated that amendments would be included in a revised document to be reviewed on Friday.
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN PROVIDING SUPPORT IN IMPLEMENTING THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CONVENTION AND ITS STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.2). GRENADA, supported by BRAZIL, CUBA and BELARUS, underscored the need for technology transfer and capacity building to accompany references to technical and scientific cooperation.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA called for a more coherent approach, stressing the importance of existing mechanisms like the GTI.
JAPAN noted that the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020” consists of a package of key decisions and is not limited to a specific agenda item, and called for clarification of the content of the proposed platform for technical and scientific cooperation and technology transfer.
CAMEROON noted, inter alia: language in the document omits existing donors, who should be encouraged to continue and intensify their efforts; and the need to address key recommendations to the GEF.
The EU asked for more clarity on future strategic steps regarding the CHM and stressed capacity building.
Delegates offered numerous textual changes for consideration. Chair Pande noted that a revised document will be considered on Friday.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: Parties considered and agreed to UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.4 on the financial mechanism without amendment.
OPERATION OF THE CONVENTION
IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES UNDER THE CONVENTION AND ITS PROTOCOLS: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.3 presented by contact group Co-Chairs Tone Solhaug (Norway) and Spencer Thomas (Grenada). Commenting on the functional review of Secretariat staff, Braulio Dias, CBD Executive Secretary, informed delegates that the process of reviewing the functions, operation and mandate of the Secretariat will provide a basis for the further restructuring of the Secretariat, and noted that a reclassification of posts will need to be approved by the UN System. He called on parties to delete text concerning the functional review, as it pertains to a request from the COP. His request for deletion was supported by ETHIOPIA, COSTA RICA, URUGUAY, BRAZIL, CAMEROON, BOLIVIA, MEXICO and CUBA. The EU opposed deletion underscoring the budgetary implications of the functional review.
CAMEROON, supported by ETHIOPIA, requested the addition of text reflecting the options relating to the organization of the COP and COP/MOP. The contact group on this issue reconvened in the afternoon to consider these two items. The revised recommendation will be considered on Friday.
REPORT ON PROGRESS RELATED TO BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.5 on progress related to business engagement. NEW ZEALAND, GRENADA, BOLIVIA, and Greece for the EU, offered textual amendments.
NEW ZEALAND noted support for IUCN’s intervention to request the Secretariat to support the Global Platform on Business and Biodiversity in implementing the Strategic Plan by identifying key milestones and developing guidance for business.
BOLIVIA, supported by CUBA, suggested adding text to clarify that private sector contributions do not exceed those of the public sector in order to harmonize the work carried out in different organizations. CANADA, supported by the EU, opposed this in order to avoid placing limitations on the potential of mobilizing resources. After informal consultations, BOLIVIA agreed to delete the reference.
UNFPII underscored the importance of participation and strengthening of partnerships with ILCs.
The Secretariat took note of interventions and will produce a revised document for review on Friday.
ENGAGEMENT WITH SUBNATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.6. The EU, JAPAN, TIMOR LESTE and NORWAY supported text on planning and implementing “green” infrastructure in urban and peri-urban areas, with ARGENTINA and BRAZIL proposing the term “sustainable.” SAINT LUCIA, opposed by the EU, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN and NORWAY, proposed removing reference to the availability of resources. A revised document will be considered on Friday.
COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.7, noting that text received from parties formed the basis of the recommendation under this issue. CANADA requested deletion of text referencing the GEF support for other biodiversity-related conventions. Delegates agreed to delete this text as it is reflected in the recommendation on the financial mechanism.
The EU provided additional language on cooperation with the collaborative partnership with the Ramsar Secretariat, while GRENADA proposed deletion of text encouraging the governing bodies of the biodiversity-related conventions to align their strategies with the Strategic Plan. The EU proposed including reference to strengthening biodiversity throughout the SDGs. A revised document will be considered on Friday.
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.8 on stakeholder engagement. NORWAY, supported by the EU and ILCs, highlighted duplication of work being done in the Working Group on Article 8(j), proposing deleting all references to ILCs as well as deleting the strategy for youth engagement. The GLOBAL YOUTH BIODIVERSITY NETWORK reiterated the value of empowering the youth specifically, to which INDIA suggested a compromise by adding reference to the Youth with other stakeholders. WGRI 5 will consider a revised draft on Friday.
CONTACT GROUPS: The contact group on resource mobilization reconvened on Thursday afternoon, following lengthy informal consultations. Co-Chair Eppel noted that, notwithstanding constructive work that has closed the gap towards compromise, a variety of issues could not be resolved. The revised text, with the final targets for resource mobilization in brackets, was forwarded to plenary.
The Friends of the Chair group on biodiversity in poverty eradication and sustainable development met in two sessions on Thursday. Chair Schwartz provided a consolidated version of the Dehradun/Chennai recommendations, and following deliberations, a new document was prepared incorporating elements of the Dehradun/Chennai recommendations to the main body of the recommendation to the COP. Negotiations on textual changes went on through the evening.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Thursday, the pleasant Montreal sunshine cast a positive light on delegates who seemed pleased with the progress made in contact groups on processes and structures, and on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism. The general feeling was “so far, so good,” even though one delegate commented on the “ghost of resource mobilization” which is “a whole different beast.”
On resource mobilization, one contact group participant confided “there may be some bruises,” expressing the sentiment that since the mega-biodiverse countries already carry the heavy burden of conservation, the rest of the world should “put their money where their mouth is.”
In a light moment in plenary, Chair Pande evoked some slightly uncomfortable laughter as he called out, by name, the “parties dwelling in the doorways” of the Nagoya Protocol, urging them to make swift moves to ratify the Protocol so as not to “waste the goodwill” of the 37 countries that are already on board.