WGRI 5 reconvened in plenary on Friday morning and considered draft recommendations throughout the day. The meeting adopted 12 recommendations to be forwarded to COP 12.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN UPDATING AND IMPLEMENTING NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS: Delegates considered and adopted the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.4).
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/Rev.1). The EU, supported by GRENADA and COSTA RICA, noted that the GTI should not be singled out, as there are other similar programmes. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, supported by the EU, said that explicit reference to the GTI could be removed, and mention of all existing programmes and initiatives included.
GRENADA, opposed by SWITZERLAND, proposed that the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020” name be expanded to include more information. COSTA RICA called for a definition of the Roadmap to be included as a footnote.
The EU noted that existing donors are singled out in the revised document and requested reverting to the original language. CAMEROON clarified the need for the draft to contain specific calls for existing donors to continue their efforts and for future donors to support NBSAPs realization. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA, the EU, CAMEROON and TIMOR LESTE offered textual changes.
In the afternoon, the Secretariat considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.12 on the review of progress in providing support in implementing the objectives of the Convention and its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Delegates adopted the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.12).
REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY FOR RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: Co-Chairs of the contact group on resource mobilization Eppel and Ogwal, introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.9), noting that despite substantial progress, good will and spirit of collaboration, full agreement on the setting of final targets on resource mobilization could not be reached.
Cameroon for the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by BRAZIL, ETHIOPIA, CUBA, ARGENTINA and SOUTH AFRICA noted that in order to reach an agreement on final targets, mutual understanding and clarity are essential and proposed that different positions presented in the contact group are portrayed in the final document in brackets. The EU, supported by SWITZERLAND, CANADA, AUSTRALIA and JAPAN clarified that all suggestions are presented in brackets in the final document.
ARGENTINA, with CUBA, said that international workshops on financing for biodiversity should follow an inclusive process, assuring the representation of all parties.
BRAZIL asked that the reduction of the gap between identified needs and available resources maintains a central role in the chapeau and called considering the need to review the targets at COP 13.
GRENADA called for a transparent procedure as they were not part of the contact group, and NORWAY questioned the practicality of incorporating new elements from informal groups at such a late stage.
CANADA, with the EU, suggested that the Secretariat and the Co-Chairs prepare a final document incorporating all opinions presented during the contact group.
In the afternoon, the Co-Chairs of the contact group on resource mobilization Eppel and Ogwal, introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.11), noting the inclusion of two options regarding final targets on resource mobilization in brackets. The recommendation was adopted without amendment.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: Delegates considered and adopted the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.2).
REPORT ON AN UPDATED GENDER PLAN OF ACTION TO 2020 AND PROGRESS IN GENDER MAINSTREAMING: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.11) on an updated Gender Plan of Action to 2020 and progress in gender mainstreaming, monitoring and evaluation and indicators. BRAZIL suggested, and delegates agreed to delete reference to the definition of gender, noting that the definition included is not consistent with the CBD definition. MALI requested addition of text referencing capacity building on gender mainstreaming for national focal points. In the afternoon, delegates considered a final recommendation on this issue (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.13) and adopted it, with no amendment.
BIODIVERSITY FOR POVERTY ERADICATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: In the morning, Chair Schultz of the Friends of the Chair Group on biodiversity for poverty eradication and sustainable development introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.10), noting that elements of the Dehradun/Chennai recommendations were incorporated into the recommendation to COP 12.
The REPUBLIC OF KOREA indicated that biodiversity for sustainable development will be a focal area at COP 12 and stressed the opportunity to consider the document and the SDG process as a step towards achieving the 2020 vision and the post-2015 development agenda.
BRAZIL asked that “living well in harmony with nature and Mother Earth” be capitalized in the recommendation to illustrate that it refers to a specific initiative. BRAZIL, opposed by the EU and JAPAN, noted that, since they did not take part in the Chennai negotiations and time to revise the text was limited, they would rather “take note” instead of “welcome” the work of WGRI 5 in producing the Guidance for Implementation of the Integration of Biodiversity and Poverty Eradication and Development.
BRAZIL, supported by ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA and ECUADOR, and opposed by NORWAY, the EU, SWITZERLAND and COLOMBIA, proposed deleting reference to “targets and indicators” and “ecosystem services.” SWITZERLAND, supported by the EU, ECUADOR and COLOMBIA offered restructuring of the text, including reference to “targets and indicators.”
JAPAN asked that alterations made by WGRI to the original work of the Expert Group on Biodiversity for Poverty Eradication and Development be portrayed under the related heading of the document.
The EU, supported by COSTA RICA and ETHIOPIA, called for removal of bracketed text on “mitigation hierarchy” and “integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions in implementing the outcomes of discussions in the UN General Assembly on SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda.” ARGENTINA agreed but specified that this be done only in this section.
ARGENTINA, supported by CUBA and BRAZIL asked to remove reference to “building upon the mitigation hierarchy principles” as far as the assessment of outcomes of investments and development projects regarding poverty eradication and biodiversity protection are concerned. The EU agreed to the deletion under the condition that brackets are removed around text referencing “mitigation hierarchy” in a section referring to strengthening an enabling environment.
In the afternoon, the Secretariat introduced the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.9). BRAZIL, opposed by SWITZERLAND, proposed to change reference to “the post-2015 framework” to “the post-2015 development agenda.” Delegates agreed to “the post-2015 UN development agenda and the SDGs.” WGRI adopted the recommendation with this amendment.
COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.8. BRAZIL proposed the replacement or deletion of text referencing environmental safeguards to maximize biodiversity-related benefits of REDD+ activities, proposing relevant stakeholders be invited to strengthen efforts to promote REDD+ to achieve the CBD objectives. The EU, supported by NORWAY, opposed by BRAZIL, proposed language referencing decision XI/19 on the application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity with regard to policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to REDD+. Delegates agreed to keep both proposals in brackets. With these amendments, delegates adopted the recommendation.
REPORT ON PROGRESS RELATED TO BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.5. Delegates agreed to the suggestion from BRAZIL to exchange reference to “components of Mother Earth” with “living in harmony with nature” regarding the role of governments. WGRI 5 adopted the recommendation.
ENGAGEMENT WITH SUBNATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.6, and the meeting adopted the recommendation with minor amendments.
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.7, and adopted the recommendation.
OPERATION OF THE CONVENTION
IMPROVING THE STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES UNDER THE CONVENTION AND ITS PROCESSES: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.3. The EU made a comment referencing the functional review, noting that an individual staffing post review has budgetary implications. This was noted in the meeting report. WGRI 5 adopted the recommendation.
RETIREMENT OF DECISIONS: On Friday morning in plenary, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/CRP.12 on the retirement of decisions. The EU provided suggestions for textual amendments for a common formulation of language. MEXICO responded to the concerns raised by the EU on duplication of work by suggesting identification of new decisions on the same topic.
MEXICO, supported by SWITZERLAND, suggested broadening consolidation of decisions to include resolutions. SWITZERLAND reiterated the benefit of building on existing tools, identifying that online tools should reside on the CBD website rather than in the CHM and opposed EU’s proposal to mention specific tools. In the afternoon, delegates considered and adopted the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.10).
ADOPTION OF THE REPORT: WGRI 5 considered UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.1, and adopted the report with minor textual amendments.
CLOSURE OF THE MEETING: Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD, lauded delegates for the positive spirit of cooperation demonstrated throughout the week, and said that South Sudan is the newest party to the Convention, bringing the number to 194, and also announced Guatemala’s ratification of the Nagoya Protocol, bringing the number of ratifications to 38.
Thailand, for ASIA-PACIFIC, lamented the lack of financial resources currently available for the full achievement of the Aichi Targets, and pledged to alert relevant authorities to maintain the biodiversity and ecosystem goals in the final draft of the SDGs.
Grenada, for GRULAC, expressed gratitude for support received for participation at this meeting and called for enhanced political will to continue providing resources to achieve the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets, underscoring the need for effective participation of all parties.
South Africa, for LMMCs, reiterated the need to set and adopt robust targets for resource mobilization to close the gap between identified needs and availability of resources, on all levels, for effective implementation.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, for CEE, emphasized their continued commitment to reach their national targets, but stressed that this will not be possible without sufficient resources and capacity building efforts.
Mauritania, for the AFRICAN GROUP, stated their appreciation for the spirit of conviviality and the positive attitude of WGRI 5 towards poverty eradication.
IIFB and INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S BIODIVERSITY NETWORK lauded progress made and drew attention to the declining participation of ILCs due to lack of funding, noting that they need to be considered as partners in future work and decisions.
The GLOBAL YOUTH PARTNERSHIP noted the vast experience they have gained during the meeting, and stated their intention to “step up their game” to establish national biodiversity initiatives. Reminding delegates that three billion people face poverty, they urged delegates to use their power to give the youth a chance, to use their energy to pursue the objectives of the Convention.
UNEP announced its willingness to continue to contribute and support parties in the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, especially the Nagoya Protocol.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA shared views for successful deliberations that have paved the way for COP 12 in Pyeongchang, inviting inputs to the High Level Segment.
In closing the meeting, Chair Pande thanked delegates, particularly the Youth, the Secretariat and the ENB for the success of the week and gavelled the meeting to a close at 4:59 pm.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On the last day of WGRI 5, some delegates who had worked hard into the night on text in a Friends of the Chair group on biodiversity for poverty eradication and sustainable development, expressed disappointment that the carefully agreed compromise was reopened in plenary. However, work in plenary on the adoption of recommendations did go as smoothly as possible, the opening of the sensitive text notwithstanding.
On the other end of the corridor, in reference to an incident in plenary on Thursday regarding the Chair and the representatives of the Youth Major Group, one participant was heard recounting a special dinner shared with the “marginalized youth” aimed to support and build capacity for future engagement with the Convention.
On final targets for mobilization, a prominent participant opined that WGRI 5 had taken steps in the right direction even though consensus remained a mirage. “I am optimistic” he noted, “I just hope that it’s not a long and winding road!”