Earth Negotiations Bulletin
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Volume 09 Number 629 - Tuesday, 1 July 2014
SUMMARY OF THE 5TH MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION AND 18TH MEETING OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
16-28 JUNE 2014

The fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI 5) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal, Canada, from 16-20 June 2014. It was held back-to-back with the eighteenth meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 18), which convened from 23-28 June 2014.

Over 300 participants attended the WGRI and over 500 participants attended SBSTTA 18, representing governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, indigenous and local communities (ILCs), business, academia and youth.

WGRI 5 adopted 12 recommendations that will be submitted to the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD, to be held from 6-17 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. The recommendations address: review of progress in updating and implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs); review of progress in providing support in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; the strategy for resource mobilization; the financial mechanism; the report of an updated gender plan of action to 2020 and progress in gender mainstreaming; biodiversity for poverty eradication and development; cooperation with other conventions; engagement of business and other stakeholders; engagement with subnational and local governments; improving the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention; and retirement of decisions.

SBSTTA adopted 14 recommendations that will be submitted to COP 12. The recommendations address: the fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook report (GBO-4) and mid-term review of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; marine and coastal biodiversity; invasive alien species (IAS); synthetic biology; incentive measures, including, obstacles encountered in implementing options identified for eliminating, phasing out or reforming incentives that are harmful for biodiversity; the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and consideration of issues in progress, including biodiversity and climate change; REDD+; climate-related geoengineering; ecosystem conservation and restoration; biofuels and biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; and health and biodiversity.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CBD

The CBD was adopted on 22 May 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. There are currently 194 parties to the Convention, which aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The COP is the governing body of the Convention. It is assisted by the SBSTTA, which is mandated, under CBD Article 25, to provide the COP with advice relating to the Convention’s implementation. The WGRI was established by the COP in decision VII/30, paragraph 23, in 2004 to evaluate, report and review implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan.

COP 1-4: At its first four meetings (1994-1998), the COP set the general framework for the Convention’s implementation by: establishing the SBSTTA and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); designating the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the interim financial mechanism; adopting a decision on marine and coastal biodiversity (the Jakarta Mandate); establishing the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to elaborate a protocol on biosafety; establishing a Working Group on Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge) and a panel of experts on access and benefit sharing (ABS); and adopting a work programme on forest biodiversity and the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI).

CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY: Following six meetings of the Biosafety Working Group between 1996 and 1999, and the first Extraordinary Meeting of the COP (ExCOP) (February 1999, Cartagena, Colombia), delegates adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at a resumed ExCOP (January 2000, Montreal, Canada). The Protocol addresses the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements.

COP 5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), the COP: adopted work programmes on dry and sub-humid lands, incentive measures, Article 8(j), and agricultural biodiversity; endorsed the description of, and operational guidance on, the ecosystem approach; and established a Working Group on ABS.

COP 6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted the Convention’s Strategic Plan, including the target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The meeting also adopted: an expanded work programme on forest biodiversity; the Bonn Guidelines on ABS; guiding principles for IAS; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); and a work programme for the GTI.

COP 7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted work programmes on mountain biodiversity, protected areas, and technology transfer and cooperation, and mandated the ABS Working Group to initiate negotiations on an international regime on ABS. The COP also established the WGRI, and adopted: a decision to review implementation of the Convention, its Strategic Plan and progress towards achieving the 2010 target; the Akwé: Kon Guidelines for cultural, environmental and social impact assessments; the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for sustainable use; and guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development.

COP 8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), the COP adopted a work programme on island biodiversity and instructed the ABS Working Group to complete its work with regard to an international regime on ABS at the earliest possible time before COP 10.

COP 9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), the COP adopted the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, scientific criteria and guidance for marine areas in need of protection, and a roadmap for the negotiation of the international ABS regime; and established an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on biodiversity and climate change.

COP 10: At its tenth meeting (October 2010, Nagoya, Japan), the CBD COP adopted: the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, which sets out rules and procedures for implementing the Convention’s third objective; the CBD Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; and a decision on activities and indicators for the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy.

COP 11: At its eleventh meeting (October 2012, Hyderabad, India), the COP adopted an interim target of doubling biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries by 2015, and at least maintaining this level until 2020, as well as a preliminary reporting framework for monitoring resource mobilization. The COP further requested the IPBES to consider ways in which the activities of the Platform could, as appropriate, contribute to assessments of the achievement of the Aichi Targets and provide information on policy options available to deliver the 2050 vision of the Strategic Plan.

WGRI 5 REPORT

On Monday, 16 June 2014, WGRI 5 Chair Hem Pande (India) opened the meeting. COP President Prakash Javadekar (India), via video, emphasized the significance of the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, 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 for progress on resource mobilization and urged parties to ratify 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 the Latin American and Caribbean Group (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 European Union (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 post-2015 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.

Delegates adopted the agenda and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/1 and Add.1/Rev.1) without amendments. Eleni Rova Marama Tokaduadua (Fiji) was elected as rapporteur.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020

Delegates considered documents on review of progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan and review of progress in providing support to parties in the context of the Strategic Plan and Aichi Biodiversity Targets in plenary throughout the week and in two contact groups, and debated a number of issues, inter alia: progress in updating NBSAPs; resource mobilization; the relationship among the Strategic Plan, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and other agenda items; the financial mechanism; cooperation; and the operation of the Convention.

REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN UPDATING AND IMPLEMENTING NBSAPs: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/2, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/22 and 23. Many countries provided updates on the progress of the respective NBSAPs. Switzerland noted the overall emphasis on implementation in the agenda, cautioning against recommendations being too specific. Cameroon highlighted their successful participatory approach to draw national attention to biodiversity and the value of sub-regional meetings to share experiences. Belarus stressed the positive impact of regional seminars to develop effective initiatives. 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.

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 matchmaking scheme not duplicate the existing international and regional schemes such as 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.

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 concerns regarding duplication of work in existing platforms including the SBSTTA and IPBES. 

Sudan underlined setting up its national strategy in line with the overarching objectives of the Convention. 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 a table on the current status of NBSAP revisions be updated to reflect recent submissions.

Many countries 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 funds 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 Kitts and Nevis called for enhanced capacity building and additional resources for the achievement of the Aichi Targets. Saint Lucia acknowledged the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity at the national level.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/4/L.4), the WGRI recommends that the COP, inter alia:

•  urge parties that have not yet done so, to review and, as appropriate, update and revise their NBSAPs in line with the Strategic Plan to adopt indicators at the national level as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than October 2015, and to submit their fifth national reports;

• express appreciation and gratitude to the government of Japan and to the GEF for efforts in facilitating least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) develop their NBSAPs; and

•  call upon parties to continue and to accelerate NBSAP implementation in order to contribute towards the mission, goals and targets of the Strategic Plan.

REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN PROVIDING SUPPORT IN IMPLEMENTING THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CONVENTION AND ITS STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY 2011-2020: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/3, UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/3/Add.1 and 2, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/2 and 20. Delegates discussed textual amendments in plenary on Thursday and Friday. 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. 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.

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. 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 asked for more clarity on future strategic steps regarding the CHM and stressed capacity building. 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.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.12), WGRI recommends that COP 12:

•  consider incorporating key decisions taken at COP 12, including those on technical and scientific cooperation, technology transfer and capacity building, in a wider package of decisions that could collectively be known as the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020” for the enhanced implementation of the Strategic Plan and the achievement of the Aichi Targets;

•  encourage developing country parties, in particular LDCs and SIDS, and parties with economies in transition, as well as ILCs, to make available information regarding their capacity-building needs and priorities and encouragedonors and parties to provide funding in this context;

•  encourage parties to provide technical and scientific support and associated capacity building and technology transfer on a thematic, cross-cutting and/or regional basis; and

•  invite the GEF, parties and other donors to continue to provide financial support for sharing information and knowledge through the CHM, including for content preparation and translation.

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/4, Add.1 and 2, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/3, 4, 5,6,7,8 and 9. A contact group was established on Monday, co-chaired by Francis Ogwal (Uganda) and Jeremy Eppel (UK), and met throughout the week.

Carlos Rodriguez, Chair of the Second High-level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, 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, reported on the Quito Dialogue Seminar and discussed, inter alia: mainstreaming biodiversity to assess biodiversity values; incentives and options for financing including payment for ecosystem services (PES) and biodiversity offsets; ABS; fiscal reforms and international levies; and synergies for biodiversity financing.

On Friday morning, delegates considered revised text. Co-Chairs Eppel and Ogwal noted that despite substantial progress, good will and spirit of collaboration, full agreement on the setting of final targets for 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.

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, Co-Chairs Eppel and Ogwal introduced amended text, noting the inclusion of two options regarding final targets on resource mobilization in brackets, and delegates adopted the recommendation without amendment.

Final Recommendation: On resource mobilization (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.11), the WGRI recommends the following.

On modalities and milestones for Aichi Biodiversity Target 3,WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  welcome the analysis of the obstacles for eliminating, phasing out or reforming incentives that are harmful to biodiversity; and

•  adopt the milestones, as annexed in the document, for the full implementation of Target 3 and invite parties to report progress in achieving these or additional, national milestones.

On financial reporting, WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  adopt the revised financial reporting framework;

•  request the Secretariat to make the revised financial reporting framework available no later than 1 June 2015 and integrate the financial reporting framework into the guidelines for the sixth national report;

•  urge parties and other governments to report on their efforts to reach the global targets for resource mobilization in their sixth, as well as subsequent, national reports; and

•  recognize the important role of collective action for mobilizing resources and include activities that support such approaches into reporting under the Convention.

On technical support and capacity building, WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  note with appreciation the work of relevant international organizations on resource mobilization and the programme of work on incentive measures and invite them to continue and further upscale this work;

•  invite parties in a position to do so to provide financial support for capacity-building activities; and

•  request the Secretariat to, inter alia: further strengthen cooperation with relevant organizations to support the provision of technical guidance and capacity building and the development of national resource mobilization strategies; and initiate technical work by organizing a technical expert workshop on identifying, accessing, compiling and aggregating domestic and international biodiversity-related investments and impacts.

The recommendation also contains two bracketed options for resource mobilization targets.

Under the first option the WGRI recommends that COP 12 adopt the final targets for resource mobilization, under Aichi Target 20, using average annual biodiversity funding for 2006-2010 as a baseline, including:

•  double total biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, as well as countries with economies in transition, by 2015 and at least maintain this level until 2020; and

•  mobilize domestic financial resources from all sources, including, inter alia, the public and private sectors, and through new and innovative financial mechanisms, to significantly reduce the gap between identified needs and available resources at the domestic level.

The second option contains numerous additional brackets. Under it, the WGRI recommends that COP 12 adopt the final targets for resource mobilization to significantly reduce the gap between identified needs and available resources and/or to substantially increase from current levels the mobilization of resources from all sources, inter alia, the public sector, the private sector, and through new and innovative financial mechanisms, in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, including:

•  double total biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, as well as countries with economies in transition, by 2015 and at least maintain this level until 2020 to significantly reduce the gap between identified needs and available resources, including through a country-driven prioritization of biodiversity within development plans in recipient countries, using average annual biodiversity funding for 2006-2010 as a baseline; and

•  mobilize domestic financial resources from all sources, including, inter alia, the public sector, the private sector, and, as appropriate, through new and innovative financial mechanisms, to significantly reduce the gap between identified needs and available resources.

Under the second option, the WGRI also recommends that COP 12 decide that: the targets are to be considered mutually supportive but independent; and to review, at COP 13, progress towards the targets and consider the need for changes contingent on resource needs assessments developed and reported by parties or consider the need to review the targets at COP 13.

FINANCIAL MECHANISM: On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/5 and Add.1, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/10. The contact group on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism met on Wednesday afternoon, and 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.

In a plenary session on Monday, Thailand, on the effectiveness of the GEF, suggested setting local priorities for the financial mechanism for 2015-2020. Norway, with Switzerland, reiterated that the needs identified under the CBD cannot be addressed adequately using the current available resources.

India called for greater facilitation by the GEF on plant conservation and biosafety. Ecuador suggested the GEF be consistent with the post-2015 development agenda, and collaborate with the Open Working Group on SDGs.

South Africa expressed concern about securing adequate funding and proposed the GEF and CBD open a financial support window for the Cartagena Protocol.

On Friday, WGRI 5 adopted its recommendation.

Final Recommendation: On the financial mechanism (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.2), the WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  invite the governing bodies of the various biodiversity-related conventions to provide elements of advice concerning the funding of national priorities and transmit such advice, via their respective secretariats to the Secretariat;

•  request the Secretariat to include any advice received for consideration by the COP and further liaise with the various biodiversity-related conventions and the GEF; and

•  welcome the creation of programmes five and eight in the GEF-6 biodiversity focal area strategy, reflecting the importance of the Cartagena and the Nagoya Protocols, and invite parties to prioritize projects accordingly.

REPORT ON AN UPDATED GENDER PLAN OF ACTION TO 2020 AND PROGRESS IN GENDER MAINSTREAMING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AND INDICATORS: On Thursday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/7, and INF/17 and Add.1. Many delegates recognized the importance of gender mainstreaming for the achievement of the Aichi Targets.

On Friday, delegates considered revised text 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. WGRI 5 adopted the recommendation with these amendments.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.13), the WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  recognize the important steps in gender monitoring, evaluation and indicators relevant to the Convention, including with regard to collecting and using gender disaggregated data;

•  encourage parties to build capacity to integrate biodiversity considerations into national gender policies and action plans;

•  request the Secretariat to collect case studies and best practices, including those from ILCs, on monitoring, evaluation and indicators on gender mainstreaming regarding biodiversity, including information on biodiversity tailored for women and participatory models, and to disseminate it through the CHM;

•  invite the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide the CBD Secretariat and, as appropriate, national focal points, with training on gender mainstreaming; and

•  encourage further development of synergies and a common knowledge base between the different environmental conventions for gender mainstreaming.

BIODIVERSITY FOR POVERTY ERADICATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On Tuesday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/6, and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/11, 12 and 25. A Friends of the Chair group was established on Tuesday, with Maria Schultz (Norway) as Chair. The group met on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Several parties spoke on the role of biodiversity towards poverty eradication. Brazil, echoed by Colombia and Peru, agreed on the role of biodiversity as a cross-cutting issue in the post-2015 development agenda. Brazil proposed that recommendations be less prescriptive.

On Friday morning, Chair Schultz noted 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 noted that, since they did not take part in the Chennai negotiations and that 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. This was opposed by the EU and Japan.

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, proposed restructuring of the text, including reference to “targets and indicators.”

Japan asked that alterations made by the 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 changing reference to “the post-2015 framework” to “the post-2015 development agenda.” Delegates agreed to “the post-2015 UN development agenda and the SDGs.” The WGRI adopted the recommendation with this amendment.

Final Recommendation: On biodiversity for poverty eradication and sustainable development (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.9), WGRI 5 recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  encourage parties to integrate biodiversity into poverty eradication and development strategies, initiatives and processes at all levels and monitor, evaluate and report this information;

•  encourage parties and relevant stakeholders to, inter alia: identify and promote policies and projects that empower ILCs, the poor, marginalized and vulnerable; identify best practices and lessons learned and share this information using the CHM; and identify and overcome barriers, such as lack of cross-sector coordination, resources and political prioritization;

•  call upon parties to provide the necessary technical, scientific support and financial resources to effectively integrate the inter-linkages between biodiversity and poverty eradication and development; and

•  welcome the work of WGRI 5 in producing the Chennai Guidance for Implementation of the Integration of Biodiversity and Poverty Eradication, contained as an annex, and recommend that it be taken into account in parties’ plans, policies and actions.

On integrating biodiversity into SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, the WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  encourage parties and all relevant stakeholders and ILCs to engage in the discussion on the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs, highlighting the crucial importance of biodiversity and ecosystems for sustainable development; and

•  request the Secretariat to, inter alia: continue the collaboration with key partners to contribute to the discussions of the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda and inform parties of any major development related to biodiversity; and ensure the appropriate integration of biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services in the development agenda.

COOPERATION

COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES: On Wednesday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/8 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/14, 22 and 24.

On Thursday afternoon, delegates considered revised text. Canada requested deletion of text referencing the GEF. Delegates agreed to delete this text as it is reflected in the recommendation on the financial mechanism.

The EU provided additional language on 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.

On Friday, delegates considered a new revised text. Brazil proposed the replacement or deletion of text referencing environmental safeguards to maximize biodiversity-related benefits of REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) 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.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.8), WGRI requests the Secretariat to consider in its report to COP 12, inter alia:

•  a report on the cooperative partnership with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention to promote awareness of, and capacity building for, ecosystem-based solutions for water resources management; and

•  a progress report on ongoing initiatives, such as the online reporting system and InforMEA, in particular regarding their relationship to the general reporting requirements under the CBD as well as other ongoing developments, and the involvement of the Secretariat in these initiatives.

WGRI also recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  invite the Liaison Group of the biodiversity-related conventions and the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions to use coherent monitoring frameworks and indicator systems to optimize monitoring efforts and improve effectiveness; 

•  request the Secretariat, in collaboration with relevant organizations and processes, to further facilitate the necessary capacity building to support the focal points of biodiversity-related conventions to improve national collaboration, communication and coordination; and

•  invite the UN and other organizations to continue their efforts in furthering the integration of the Aichi Targets throughout the UN system, in particular through the Environment Management Group and other relevant initiatives.

ENGAGEMENT WITH SUBNATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: On Wednesday morning, the Secretariat introduced 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 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 that 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 dissemination to parties by the Secretariat.

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

On Thursday afternoon, delegates considered revised text. 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. WGRI 5 adopted the revised recommendation on Friday in plenary.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.6), WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  welcome efforts to quantify and draw attention to the challenges and solutions associated with current patterns of urbanization;

•  call on parties to incorporate biodiversity considerations into their urban and peri-urban planning and infrastructure, such as “green” infrastructure;

•  encourage parties to support relevant initiatives that are contributing towards achieving sustainable patterns of urbanization, and integrate biodiversity considerations into plans for sustainable urbanizations; and

•  request the Secretariat to increase efforts to mainstream biodiversity into the work of other agencies and key partners involved in work at the subnational and local levels.

ENGAGEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS AND MAJOR GROUPS, INCLUDING BUSINESS: On Wednesday morning, 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. A number of delegates shared national examples as evidence of mainstreaming biodiversity, highlighting opportunities to scale up successful initiatives.

On Thursday afternoon, delegates considered revised text on business in plenary. New Zealand supported 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 for mobilizing resources. After informal consultations, Bolivia agreed to delete the reference.

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) underscored the importance of participation and strengthening of partnerships with ILCs.

On stakeholder engagement, delegates considered revised text on Thursday afternoon. Norway, supported by the EU and ILCs, highlighted the duplication of work being done in the Working Group on Article 8(j), proposing to delete all references to ILCs as well as the strategy for youth engagement. The Global Youth Biodiversity Network reiterated the value of empowering youth specifically, to which India suggested a compromise by adding reference to youth with other stakeholders. Delegates considered revised text on Friday, and adopted the recommendation.

Final Recommendations: In the final recommendation on stakeholder participation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.7), WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  include appropriate practices and mechanisms to enhance effective and timely participation of stakeholders in processes and future meetings of the Convention, making full use of lessons learned at the international level; and

•  encourage parties to promote practices and mechanisms to enhance the participation of stakeholders, including youth, in consultations and decision-making processes related to the Convention and its Protocols at the regional and national levels as well as participation in the development and implementation of the next generation of NBSAPs.

On progress related to business engagement, delegates considered revised text on Friday. 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.

In the final recommendation on the report on progress related to business engagement (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.5), WGRI recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  invite parties to develop innovative mechanisms to support the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity to assist reporting by businesses regarding their efforts to mainstream the objectives of the Convention and its associated Protocols and provide this information through the CHM;

•  invite parties to create an enabling environment for businesses to effectively implement the Strategic Plan, taking into account the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises;

•  encourage business to include in their reporting frameworks considerations related to biodiversity and actively engage in the resource mobilization strategy of the Convention; and

•  request the Secretariat to support parties, in particular in developing countries, to promote their integration of biodiversity into the business sector and promote cooperation and synergies with other forums with respect to commodity indicators, and sustainable production and consumption.

OPERATION OF THE CONVENTION

IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES UNDER THE CONVENTION: On Tuesday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/12 and UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/INF/16, 18 and 19. A contact group was established, co-chaired by Spencer Thomas (Grenada) and Tone Solhaug (Norway), and met on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

In the plenary session on Tuesday afternoon, parties addressed the organization of meetings of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP) of the Nagoya Protocol. Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Japan, Niger and others supported option one, which proposes that the COP serves as the COP/MOP. India, Norway, the EU, and others supported both option one and two (with option two proposing that the COP considers COP/MOP agenda items, although distinct meetings of each would be formally opened). Canada supported option two on the condition that savings are accrued and a clear distinction is made between core issues. Senegal and Bosnia and Herzegovina supported option two. Belarus supported option three, which proposes conducting the work of the COP and the COP/MOP separately along the lines that currently prevail under the Cartagena Protocol. India, the EU and others supported holding the meetings of the Convention and its Protocols over a two-week period. South Africa, for the African Group, with Cuba, Argentina and ECOROPA, stressed that holding these meetings concurrently and over only two weeks may have implications regarding parties’ representation. Many called for further clarification on all of the options.

Many delegates supported the proposal to establish a subsidiary body on implementation to replace the WGRI, and supported the EU’s suggestion for the Secretariat to develop terms of reference for this body. Mexico and Ethiopia supported regional preparatory meetings, while Japan noted that this should be decided by each region. Norway and others supported the voluntary peer review mechanism, while Japan proposed the use of existing structures to avoid duplication of work. On reporting, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand opposed increasing the number and frequency of reports, and, with many, supported the use of an online reporting tool. The EU, supported by many, suggested that the online reporting tool be fully operational before it is rolled out. Switzerland, with others, supported a joint reporting system for the Convention and its Protocols.

Many delegates supported the proposal to dedicate one week of SBSTTA to scientific and technical dialogue, and the other to formulating recommendations to the COP.

On the coordinated approach to the implementation of biodiversity-related conventions, Japan suggested that this be extended to the three Rio Conventions. Switzerland suggested that the issues of merging trust funds of the Convention be discussed by the budget group at COP 12.

This agenda item was discussed again in plenary on Thursday afternoon. Commenting on the functional review of Secretariat staff, CBD Executive Secretary Dias 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.

In the contact group discussions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 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.

Delegates 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 Thursday night.

On Friday, delegates considered revised text in plenary. 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 and WGRI 5 adopted the recommendation.

Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.3), WGRI requests the Secretariat to, inter alia:

•  prepare: a plan for the organization of COP/MOP 1 of the Nagoya Protocol concurrently with COP 12 in consultation with the Bureaux of the COP and the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol; a plan for the concurrent organization in a two-week period of subsequent meetings of the COP and the COP/MOPs of the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya Protocol, building on the options on improving the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention and its Protocols for consideration by COP 12, COP/MOP 7 of the Cartagena Protocol and COP/MOP 1 of the Nagoya Protocol; a proposal for voluntary peer review of the preparation and implementation of NBSAPs; and prepare terms of reference for a subsidiary body on implementation to replace WGRI for consideration by COP 12;

•  complete the ongoing development of the online reporting tool of the CHM; and

•  make information available on the functional review of the Secretariat, in preparation for the budget committee at COP 12.

The WGRI also recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  add a standing item entitled “report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and implementation of Article 8(g)” to the agenda of its regular meetings;

•  decide that COP 13 shall be organized within a two-week period that also includes the COP/MOPs  of the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol on the basis of the plan prepared by the Secretariat;

•  establish a subsidiary body on implementation to replace the WGRI, with the mandate set out in the terms of reference in an annex to the discussion; 

•  enable a voluntary peer-review process for NBSAPs on a pilot basis by interested parties making best use of mechanisms such as the NBSAP Forum;

•  note the process to improve the operations of SBSTTA and request the Secretariat, in consultation with the Bureau, to continue to explore and implement ways to improve its efficiency;

•  request the Secretariat to explore options, including costs involved, for holding regional preparatory meetings prior to the concurrent meetings of the COP and COP/MOPs; and

•  encourage parties to integrate biosafety and ABS into NBSAPs, national development plans and other relevant sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, plans and programmes.

RETIREMENT OF DECISIONS: On Thursday, the Secretariat introduced 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 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (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.

On Friday, delegates considered revised text. The EU provided suggestions for textual amendments for 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, stating that online tools should reside on the CBD website rather than in the CHM, and opposed the EU’s proposal to mention specific tools.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.10), WGRI 5 recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  request the Secretariat to implement the online decision tracking tool on a pilot basis and use it to review the decisions of the eighth and ninth meetings of the COP, assemble information on their status and any other related information as contained in the annex to this decision; and

•  identify cases where the preparation and adoption of elements for a new decision on the same subject matter show that the previous decision in question: (i) will inevitably be superseded by the new decision; and (ii) may not be consistent with the new decision.

INFORMAL DIALOGUE SESSION

On Tuesday morning, WGRI 5 held its first informal dialogue session, with two panels responding to questions on: the adequacy of the zero draft of the SDGs in addressing biodiversity and ecosystems; the role of the Secretariat, CBD parties, and the CBD community in mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystems in the post-2015 development agenda; integration of the NBSAPs at the national level with development, disaster prevention and other relevant planning processes; examples of biodiversity-related activities that were successfully prioritized in national budgeting processes; the human and financial capacity required to mobilize resources to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; and identification of the positive impacts of biodiversity and ecosystem services on national income. For detailed Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the informal dialogues, see http://www.iisd.ca/vol09/enb09620e.html

CLOSURE OF THE MEETING

WGRI 5 convened in plenary on Friday afternoon to consider the meeting report (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.1), and adopted it with minor textual amendments.

CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias lauded delegates for the positive spirit of cooperation demonstrated throughout the week, welcomed South Sudan as the newest party to the Convention, 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 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 Central and Eastern Europe, 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.

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (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” in going beyond local and national communities, and establish an international initiative for youth engagement on biodiversity. Reminding delegates that three billion people face poverty, they urged delegates to use their power to give the youth a chance, who will use their energy to “help steer the world on course.”

UNEP expressed its willingness to continue to contribute and support parties in the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, especially the Nagoya Protocol.

The 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 Earth Negotiations Bulletin for the success of the week and gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:00 pm.

SBSTTA 18 REPORT

On Monday morning, 23 June 2014, SBSTTA Chair Gemedo Dalle Tussie (Ethiopia), on pursuing the new format established in 2013, cited an Ethiopian proverb: “If you catch a leopard by its tail, do not let go.” He said the outcomes from the coming week’s discussions should provide COP 12 with whatever is needed to implement the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and make sufficient progress in achieving the Aichi Targets by 2020. CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias urged delegates to bear in mind the “bigger picture” of the SDGs when deliberating on recommendations to COP 12, and expressed hope that this will form the basis of concrete decisions that can collectively be known as the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020.”

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS:  SBSTTA Chair Dalle Tussie introduced the agenda and outlined the proposed format and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/1 and Add.1). SBSTTA then adopted the agenda and organization of work without amendment.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: On Saturday, 28 June, plenary approved the following nominations to the SBSTTA Bureau: Horst Korn (Germany); Eugenia Arguedas Montezuma (Costa Rica); Malta Qwathekana (South Africa); Endang Sukara (Indonesia); Youngbae Suh (Republic of Korea); Shirin Karryeva (Turkmenistan); Andrew Bignell (New Zealand); and Snežana Prokić (Serbia). Continuing Bureau members include: Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation); Mustafa Fouda (Egypt); Jean-Patrick Le Duc (France); Brigitte Baptiste (Colombia); and Yousef Saleh Al-Hafedh (Saudi Arabia). Snežana Prokić (Serbia) was elected as rapporteur.

GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OUTLOOK

MID-TERM REVIEW OF PROGRESS TOWARDS THE AICHI BIODIVERSITY TARGETS: This item was introduced on Monday morning, with two experts presenting on the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4).

Review of the draft of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook: Paul Leadley, Université Paris-Sud, Group Leader for the Global Biodiversity Outlook Technical Study, provided a broad overview of GBO-4, acknowledging the ambitious undertaking by several contributors. He said GBO-4 drew from, inter alia, national reports, NBSAPs and biodiversity indicators. Leadley underscored inclusion of: regional success stories, even where global progress has been insufficient; and the link to the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs. He introduced the target “dashboard” in the Executive Summary, which illustrates that the significant progress made to date will probably be insufficient to achieve the goals set for 2020.

Reflecting on the report, Thomas Lovejoy, George Mason University, Advisory Group for GBO-4, noted, inter alia: contrasts to GBO-3; actions to address declining biodiversity that may contain mutually reinforcing or negative trade-offs due to the interconnectedness of the Aichi Targets; the need to transmit the goal of halting biodiversity loss beyond the bounds of the biodiversity community and involve different stakeholders in integrated management; and the importance of rendering biodiversity a central theme in the SDGs.

The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/2 and Add.1, and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/2, 8 and 9, with SBSTTA Chair Dalle Tussie noting that comments for the peer review of the draft could be submitted until 9 July 2014. Mali voiced concern regarding statistical validation of GBO-4, considering only 36% of countries have provided national reports and 13% revised NBSAPs, urging that the maximum number of reports be reviewed by experts before moving forward with GBO-4.

There were also calls to: make GBO-4 available to parties before COP 12; produce a list of concrete strategic actions; address resource mobilization; and include capacity building to enhance implementation at the national level. Several parties voiced concern over the amount of time available to review reports, with some requesting an extension on the peer review deadline.

A number of delegates highlighted the need for advocacy to send a clear political message on GBO-4 outcomes to scientists and businesses. In support for improved communication, Zambia pointed to directing outreach to those formulating the SDGs in order to enhance linkages between biodiversity and the post-2015 development agenda. Norway and others recommended that the COP acknowledge the link between biodiversity and sustainable development.

A contact group on GBO-4, chaired by Brigitte Baptiste (Colombia), met on Tuesday evening.

On Friday morning, Baptiste reported on progress made in the contact group and delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.4).

Sweden underscored the contribution to the post-2015 development agenda. Norway suggested identifying relevant stakeholders and youth in the communication strategy for GBO-4. Austria suggested including the challenges faced and lessons learned by SBSTTA 18 with regard to the preparation and timely finalization of draft GBO-4 to be reflected in the evaluation of scope and process of GBO-4.

 The EU requested that future SBSTTA meetings review the implications of key findings of GBO-4 with additional information arising from, inter alia: guidance from cross-cutting programmes of work and the updated global indicators of the Strategic Plan, for consideration by COP 13.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.5), SBSTTA encourages parties, other governments, ILCs, and relevant organizations and experts to participate in the peer-review process for GBO-4 draftsand the underlying technical report.

SBSTTA requests the Secretariat to, inter alia:

•  finalize GBO-4 and prepare a concise list of potential key actions to enhance progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the achievement of Aichi Targets on the basis of the actions listed in GBO-4 draft executive summary; and

•  include, inter alia, lessons learned in regard to the preparation and timely finalization of the draft GBO-4 and the challenges encountered by SBSTTA 18.

SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  consider incorporating key decisions taken at its twelfth meeting in a wider package of decisions that could collectively be known as the “Pyeongchang Roadmap 2020” for enhanced implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets;

•  note that: in most cases, progress towards meeting some elements of most Aichi Targets, will not be sufficient to achieve the targets unless further urgent and effective action is taken; achievement of the Aichi Targets will contribute to the post-2015 development agenda; the need for capacity building and technology transfer, especially in developing countries, in particular the LDCs and SIDS, as well as countries with economies in transition, requiring a substantial increase in the mobilization of financial resources from all sources; and great concern that Aichi Target 10 will not be achieved by its 2015 target date;

•  request the Secretariat to, inter alia: analyze and transmit GBO-4 to the secretariats of biodiversity-related conventions, IPBES, and other relevant organizations, and to implement, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, the GBO-4 communication strategy; and

•  request SBSTTA to review the main implications of the key findings of GBO-4 for the Strategic Plan, for consideration by COP 13.

Review of the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2011-2020: On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/3 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/10. Session Chair Jean-Patrick Le Duc stressed the importance of plant biodiversity in addressing overall biodiversity loss. Several parties noted, inter alia: the significant contribution of the GSPC to the overall achievement of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets; textual amendments; and national progress on meeting the targets of the GSPC

Several parties expressed concern about limited progress on meeting targets. Other issues raised included: links between the GSPC and strategies at the national and subnational level; integration of the GSPC into NBSAPs; the significance of cooperation and the importance of sharing experiences and lessons learned; the necessity for further mainstreaming and for a wider network of partners; and certain targets may only be reached through coordinated actions by different institutions.

A number of delegates pointed out that the GSPC requires additional efforts and capacity, urging resource mobilization for implementation, in particular for developing countries, SIDS and LDCs.

On the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (AHTEG), Cuba called for further analysis of key indicators. Greece requested addressing the needs for reporting on GSPC in preparation of possible elements for the terms of reference for the AHTEG on indicators for the Strategic Plan. The UK expressed concern over the AHTEG’s potential work load and proposed consideration of additional indicators at COP 12 and, with Belgium, proposed aligning GSPC reporting activities with the Strategic Plan. Norway lauded monitoring and use of indicators, and France and Switzerland proposed amendments to key indicators within the framework of plant conservation strategies.

On Thursday, SBSTTA considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.1). Canada, supported by the UK and Belgium, and opposed by Switzerland and Mexico, proposed deletion of a paragraph calling for preparation of indicators, including disaggregated information relevant to plant conservation by the AHTEG, with Canada noting, inter alia, that this cannot be done before COP 12.

Canada, Mexico and Switzerland proposed to invite the Global Biodiversity Indicator Partnership, in collaboration with the Global Partnership on Plant Conservation, to develop indicators for the GSPC aligned with the Strategic Plan.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.2), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  welcomethe initial progress made towards the achievement of some of the targets of the GSPC, and urge parties and invite other governments and relevant organizations to undertake actions to enhance  implementation, especially towards meeting targets where there is limited progress;

•  request the Secretariat to compile relevant information on opportunities to promote capacity-building activities and prepare a synthesis for consideration by SBSTTA at a meeting prior to COP 13;

•  urgeparties and invite others to enhance their efforts to implement the GSPC by promoting and facilitating communication, coordination and partnerships between all relevant sectors, including through improved use of the CHM; and

•  encourageparties and invite others to further engage with partner organizations, including members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation, and to facilitate and support the development of national plant conservation partnerships involving, where appropriate, ILCs and the widest range of stakeholders, recognizing the important role of women, in order to enhance GSPC implementation.

MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY

Ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs): On Tuesday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/4 and Add.1, and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/25, noting reports from the seven regional workshops. Session Chair Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation) reminded delegates that the definition of EBSAs has been agreed. Italy stated that describing EBSAs is an evolving process to be improved as regional scientific information becomes available.

A number of delegations requested workshops on: the Arabian Gulf to address the dangers and risks for EBSAs in the region, and Maldives requested a workshop to identify EBSAs within the Maldives’ jurisdiction. Sri Lanka announced it will host a regional workshop to facilitate identification of EBSAs in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. Turkmenistan requested help to establish the Caspian Sea as a protected area. Germany, supported by Belgium and Sweden, highlighted the need for workshops to cover all regions, welcomed governments to use EBSA descriptions in national reporting, and, with IUCN, called on other relevant organizations to make use of the EBSA descriptions.

On the incorporation of traditional knowledge (TK) in the identification of EBSAs, South Africa, for the African Group, with Mexico, and supported by Kenya, Egypt, Senegal, Togo, Sudan, Guinea and Mozambique, suggested the recommendation address socio-economic issues related to EBSAs, and noted the importance of capacity building and linking regional and global efforts through deep-sea research initiatives. Kenya, supported by Maldives, lamented the lack of knowledge and information and called for capacity building related to selection and management of EBSAs in deep waters.

Canada addressed, among others: “hybrid knowledge systems,” noting that TK and contemporary science are complementary knowledge systems in their own right; and, with the UNPFII, marine areas of social or cultural significance. The Cook Islands, for Asia-Pacific, noted the importance of TK informing EBSAs and the need to highlight this knowledge as part of EBSA criteria. Japan suggested that only TK relevant to scientific and technical knowledge be included in the development of practical options for further work. Guinea-Bissau supported enhancing protection of off-shore marine areas within states’ jurisdiction and identifying conservation priorities in those areas.

Norway, with Iceland and France, called for a disclaimer in the recommendation to clarify that the EBSA process constitutes a scientific and technical exercise and does not interfere with countries’ sovereign rights. Brazil stressed non-interference with states’ sovereignty in selecting and managing EBSAs within national jurisdiction. The UK and Portugal said the coastal state must put forward, or agree to the designation of, EBSAs in areas within national jurisdiction.

Argentina noted that the process of identifying EBSAs should not adversely affect the United Nations General Assembly Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. Norway, with Iceland, noted the need for a peer review mechanism on EBSAs. Brazil, with Argentina and Cuba, pointed out that only scientific peer-reviewed information should be included in the EBSA information-sharing mechanism.

On Friday, an informal group met to consider the addendum to the draft summary report on the description of areas meeting the scientific criteria for EBSAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/4/Add.1).

In the draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.5), delegates agreed to maintain brackets on text calling for the Secretariat to explore ways and means to undertake scientific and technical analysis of the status of marine and coastal biodiversity in relation to types and levels of human activity in areas described as meeting EBSA criteria, although Brazil, Peru, Argentina and others remarked that this request constitutes a new step in the SBSTTA process, favoring its deletion.

On Saturday morning, delegates considered the draft recommendation, as amended (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.9). China and Argentina called for deletion of a bracketed paragraph requesting the Secretariat, in collaboration with states and others, to explore options, ways and means with a view to tabulating information on types and levels of human activities in areas described as meeting the EBSA criteria contained in the EBSA repository. Canada and the Russian Federation suggested that the text remain in brackets, with a footnote indicating that this text can be deleted. The Secretariat proposed, and delegates agreed, to add an alternative paragraph on the topic and have both paragraphs in square brackets, leaving the option open for COP 12 to delete the paragraph in question altogether.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.9), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  request the Secretariat to include the summary reports prepared by SBSTTA 18 in the EBSA repository and to submit them prior to COP 13;

•  recall the sovereign rights of coastal states over their territorial seas, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and recognize that the sharing of the outcomes of the EBSA process does not prejudice the sovereign rights of coastal states;

•  request the Secretariat to continue to facilitate the description of areas meeting the EBSA criteria through the organization of additional regional or subregional workshops;

•  recognize the importance of TK as a source of information for describing areas meeting the EBSA criteria, and request the Secretariat to facilitate the ILC’s participation;

•  encourage parties and other governments to make use, as appropriate, of the scientific information regarding the description of areas meeting EBSA criteria, including the information in the EBSA repository and information-sharing mechanism, when carrying out marine spatial planning, development of representative networks of marine protected areas, and application of other area-based management measures in marine and coastal areas; and

•  request the Secretariat, building upon the existing scientific guidance and drawing upon the lessons learned from the regional workshops, to: facilitate the description of areas meeting the EBSA criteria; develop practical options for further work on the description of areas meeting the EBSA criteria, ensuring that the best available scientific and technical information and TK are used and that the products are scientifically sound and up-to-date; and to report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 13.

The annex to the document contains a 63-page summary report on the description of areas meeting the scientific criteria for EBSAs. 

Impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity of underwater noise, marine debris, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching; and developing tools and capacity, including marine spatial planning and training initiatives: On Tuesday morning, Phillip Williamson, University of East Anglia, UK, presented a systematic review on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity, contained in UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/6. He noted key findings, including: ocean acidification is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), is occurring rapidly and is already having biological impacts; and without action, severe consequences are likely to occur.

Jihyun Lee, CBD Secretariat, presented priority actions to achieve Aichi Target 10 on coral reefs and associated ecosystems, noting that these ecosystems are stressed by, inter alia, overfishing, destructive fishing practices and uncontrolled coastal development. She informed delegates that the updated workplan takes into account national reports and NBSAPs, with support from the International Coral Reef Initiative and UNEP, among others.

The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/5, 6 and 7, and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/11, 6, 7/Rev.1 and 23.

Delegates discussed the impacts of underwater noise, the need to promote less noisy technology, use measures of spatial and temporal restrictions on noisy activities to reduce their effect on marine animals, and include regulations on noise management plans for marine protected areas (MPAs). Japan proposed postponing consideration of the development of guidance and toolkits on underwater noise until SBSTTA 19.

A number of delegations expressed concern that reference to the development of ship identification systems for a broader range of vessels would duplicate the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) work. South Africa, for the African Group, called for further research to address significant knowledge gaps and, with Brazil, encouraged synergies with IMO, International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Norway noted discussions on micro-plastics at the UN Environment Assembly meeting, proposing coordination among the Secretariats to avoid duplication of work. Cuba, with Peru, called for investments to support infrastructure requirements, financial responsibilities and capacity required to maintain responsible fisheries and monitoring systems.

On ocean acidification, Canada suggested that the new workplan include all vulnerable organisms, rather than focus only on corals. The UK expressed reservations on preparing a specific workplan on cold-water corals as elements of a workplan on degradation and destruction of coral reefs, noting that cold-water corals are already identified in Decision VII/5 on marine and coastal biodiversity. Sweden said the workplan on cold-water corals should be more comprehensive to account for multiple pressures, and proposed it be added to the existing workplan. 

Welcoming peer review by parties, India said the specific plan on coral bleaching should be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other relevant processes. The EU said the review should be forwarded to the joint liaison meeting of the Rio Conventions and highlighted marine species’ vulnerability to rising CO2 concentrations.

A contact group, chaired by Renée Sauvé (Canada), met on Thursday afternoon and considered a non-paper on underwater noise. Delegates noted unanswered questions on the effects of underwater noise on fauna, and agreed to make specific reference to impacts of underwater noise “on animal populations.” The group examined sixteen proposed measures to address the potential significant impacts of underwater noise, with one delegate opposing a reference “offering incentives” for the development of relevant quieter technologies. Another called for research to be conducted on impacts “on ecosystems and animal populations,” with one other delegate suggesting conducting impact assessments before carrying out activities that may adversely affect noise-sensitive species.

On Friday, delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.9). On transmitting the updated synthesis of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity to the Joint Liaison Group of the three Rio Conventions, delegates agreed to include this as a request to the Secretariat, and not a request to the COP, in order to meet the deadline of the work of the Liaison Group. Sweden proposed requesting the Secretariat, UNEP and donors to support: development of understanding of context-specific challenges and enabling factors that arise within marine spatial planning and implementation; and enhanced methods and guidance for measuring progress towards meeting marine spatial planning goals. Delegates agreed to bracket this text, and approved the draft recommendation with minor amendments.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.7), SBSTTA, inter alia, requests the Secretariat to transmit the updated synthesis of impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity to the Joint Liaison Group.
On underwater noise, SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia: urge parties and invite, inter alia, IMO, CMS, and the IWC, as well as ILCs and other stakeholders, to take appropriate measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate potential significant adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity, including through, inter alia:

•  developing and transferring quieter technologies, including for airguns, pile driving and ship quieting;

•  combining acoustic mapping with habitat mapping of sound-sensitive species with regard to spatial risk assessments;

•  conducting appropriate impact assessments before carrying out activities that may have adverse impacts on noise-sensitive species;

•  including noise considerations in the establishment and development of management plans for MPAs;

•  considering thresholds as a tool to protect sound-sensitive species, taking into account their locations during critical life cycle stages; and

•  linking relevant information on adverse impacts of underwater noise on sound-sensitive species when harmonizing different processes related to marine spatial planning and area-based management.

INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

On Wednesday morning, session Chair Mustafa Fouda (Egypt) opened the session with a video titled “The Green Invasion – Destroying Livelihoods in Africa.”

Dennis Rangi, CABI Executive Director for International Development, presented on IAS in Africa, addressing: agriculture; IAS impacts; pathways of introduction; and biological control.

Piero Genovesi, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research and Chair of IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), reported on common pathways of IAS introduction, focusing on prioritizing pathways to enhance prevention.

The Secretariat then introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/8, 9 and Add.1, and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/20.

France and Sweden proposed inclusion of guidelines from the European Expert Meeting report, with Finland adding that these guidelines should be voluntary. France, with Mexico and Brazil, called for closer collaboration with IUCN and IPBES. A number of countries stressed the need for capacity building, public awareness, and resource mobilization.

Management of risks associated with invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food: New Zealand, with Brazil, noted that measures to recognize alien species as potential hazards to biodiversity, human health and sustainable development, should be voluntary and not override existing obligations.

Switzerland proposed including reference to IAS as infectious disease vectors. Thailand noted that the guidance proposed is lacking information on the transport of IAS. The UK requested that the document focus only on IAS, and called for greater collaboration with the pet industry. Colombia supported strengthening regulatory standards, especially on release of IAS. Argentina asked for clarification on whether recommendations on implementing national measures and standards are going through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for peer review, and through the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for coordination of efforts.

Palau, for Pacific Islands, with the Cook Islands, stressed the need to incorporate the potential of IAS whose hosts are pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and live bait into risk assessments. Sweden, with New Zealand, cautioned against placing the financial burden on parties for carrying out extensive risk assessments. Many called for international organizations to strengthen risk assessment guidelines and share those through the CHM.

Several countries noted the need to encourage participation of the private sector and civil society in IAS management. Canada suggested the use of taxonomic serial numbers for classifying IAS, and proposed the inclusion of ILCs for coherent management of IAS.

On Thursday afternoon, in a contact group chaired by Youngbae Suh (Republic of Korea), delegates considered a non-paper containing draft text of a SBSTTA recommendation to COP 12, and guidance on devising and implementing measures to address risks contained in an annex, introducing clarifying amendments.

On Friday, SBSTTA considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.6). The draft recommendation was approved without amendment.

Final Recommendation: In the recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.4), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12:

•  adopt the voluntary guidance on devising and implementing measures to address the risks associated with the introduction of invasive alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, noting that measures taken are to be consistent with applicable international obligations;

•  urge parties and others to disseminate this guidance widely and to promote its use for the development of regulations, codes of conduct and/or other guidance, as appropriate, by states, industry and relevant organizations at all levels, and to facilitate the harmonization of measures;

•  invite parties and others to make available relevant information, including the results of risk assessments on IAS and lists of species, through CHMs and/or the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership; and

•  request the Secretariat, in collaboration with CITES and relevant organizations, to explore ways and means to address the risks associated with trade in wildlife introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, noting that some trade is unregulated, unreported or illegal, and to report to a SBSTTA meeting prior to COP 13.

The guidance on devising and implementing measures to address risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food is contained in an annex and includes sections on: objectives and nature of the guidance; prevention and responsible conduct; risk assessment and management; measures; information sharing; and consistency with other international obligations.

Review of work on invasive alien species and considerations for future work: Delegates discussed the need for: assistance with evaluating and strengthening capacity of border control authorities at the national and inter-island level; increased stakeholder engagement and support to increase scientific, technical and financial capacity; capacity building, and improving, harmonizing and streamlining collection and dissemination of information on IAS; and international standards, institutional coordination and funding to mitigate adverse impacts of IAS on biodiversity and human livelihoods.

Other issues raised included: e-commerce; voluntary labeling of IAS that pose threat to biodiversity; including information on bad management practices to help parties avoid mistakes made by others; cost-benefit analysis for control and eradication of IAS; tools for addressing the economic consequences of IAS; and pathways of introduction, prioritization and management.

On Friday, SBSTTA considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.8).

On the COP calling upon parties and inviting other governments, when developing or updating and implementing their national or regional IAS strategies, to consider making use of the categorization of pathways of IAS introduction, Egypt proposed, inserting “under the provisions of the law of the sea and UNCLOS, taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR). Canada opposed reference to CBDR. Colombia, with Peru, suggested “under the law of the sea.” Argentina proposed “under UNCLOS and applicable international law.” New Zealand, with Mexico, Sweden, Colombia and Austria, opposed reference to UNCLOS, explaining that the sea is but one IAS introduction pathway.

Argentina, with Peru, suggested an additional reference to UNCLOS Article 196 on IAS, stressing the voluntary character of making use of the categorization. Following informal consultations, delegates amended the paragraph by inserting “on a voluntary basis.”

Sweden proposed a new paragraph where the COP urges parties and others to recognize the need to increase knowledge and build capacity on IAS and biodiversity, and invites them to improve, harmonize and streamline the collection and dissemination of information on IAS, their threats to biodiversity and ways to manage these risks, especially in developing countries and island states. Colombia stressed the need for financial resources. Argentina noted that risks are not limited to developing countries and SIDS. The Secretariat suggested referencing previous decisions on capacity building without mentioning specific country groups. Following informal consultations, Sweden withdrew its proposal.

A paragraph on the COP requesting the Secretariat to develop or facilitate the development prior to COP 13, of an appropriate warning symbol or label that could be voluntarily used to warn of a potential hazard or risk to biodiversity when trading potentially IAS via the internet, in collaboration with relevant partners, engendered much discussion.

Argentina, with Egypt and Canada, opposed by France, Finland, Sweden and Thailand, favored deleting the paragraph, explaining that the World Trade Organization (WTO), and not the CBD, was the appropriate forum for dealing with trade and trade-related labeling. Sweden emphasized that the CBD was the right forum to begin discussions. Argentina said countries can develop labels nationally, while France observed that the issue needs to be addressed globally, underlining the voluntary basis of the use of such a label.

New Zealand proposed that the Secretariat be requested to explore the feasibility of developing an appropriate warning label. Mexico suggested referring to “managing or transporting” potential IAS, with Sweden observing this could be a way forward. Noting that the paragraph was not in the original draft recommendation, Argentina proposed bracketing the entire document. Colombia observed that the document is based on scientific information and, cautioning against sending a negative message to the COP, proposed bracketing only the relevant paragraph.

Following extensive debate, delegates agreed to bracket the entire draft recommendation, with additional brackets placed around the relevant paragraph, including two alternative textual proposals by the Secretariat.

Following informal consultations, on Saturday morning, delegates agreed that the COP request the Secretariat to explore, with relevant partners, including the standard-setting bodies recognized by the WTO, methods of alerting potential buyers to the risks posed by IAS sold via e-commerce. With that amendment, SBSTTA adopted the final recommendation without brackets.

Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on review of work on IAS and considerations for future work (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.8), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  welcome the establishment of the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership and recognize with appreciation the contributions of its members towards free and open access to standardized IAS and pathway information globally;

•  invite the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group and others to continue and complete the work on pathway analysis, and to continue to develop a system for classifying alien species based on the nature and magnitude of their impacts;

•  note the strong interlinkages between IAS and infectious diseases; and

•  welcome the IPBES approval of the initiation of scoping for a thematic assessment of IAS, for consideration by IPBES 4.

SBSTTA also recommends that COP 12 call upon parties and invite other governments, when developing or updating and implementing their national or regional IAS strategies, to consider, on a voluntary basis, inter alia:

•  making effective use of communication strategies, tools and approaches to raise awareness of the risks associated with IAS introduction;

•  making use of existing guidance on risk analysis relevant to IAS to enhance prevention;

•  providing information to the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership on IAS recorded in their territory, based on the tools developed by the partnership, such as the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species;

•  making use of the categorization of pathways of IAS introduction, considerations for their prioritization and overview of available tools for their management, as contained in the Secretariat’s note;

•  identifying and prioritizing pathways of IAS introduction, taking into account, inter alia, information on the taxa, the frequency of introduction, and the magnitude of impacts, as well as climate change scenarios;

•  addressing risk associated with the introduction of IAS through activities related to development aid and ecosystem restoration;

•  sharing information on control, management and/or eradication of IAS, taking into account lessons learned and cost-benefit analyses;

•  prioritizing actions to address IAS in particularly vulnerable ecosystems;

•  continuing efforts on the management of IAS, with special emphasis, and giving priority to, protected areas and key biodiversity areas; and

•  collaborating with neighboring countries on prevention, monitoring, early detection and rapid response activities.

SBSTTA further recommends that COP 12: call upon donor countries and others to further support parties in IAS management; and request the Secretariat to:

•  facilitate through technical and scientific cooperation the development and implementation of regional projects to manage pathways and priority species at the regional level;

•  facilitate capacity building on identification of invasive and potentially invasive species, including on rapid approaches, in support of the Capacity-building Strategy for the Global Taxonomy Initiative;

•  develop, taking into consideration the proposed IPBES assessment on IAS, decision-support tools for: assessing and evaluating the social, economic and ecological consequences of IAS; cost-benefit analyses for eradication, management and control measures; and examining the impacts of climate change and land-use change on biological invasions;

•  explore with relevant partners, including the standard setting bodies recognized by the WTO (IPPC, OIE and Codex Alimentarius) and other members of the Inter-agency Liaison Group, methods of alerting potential buyers to the risk posed by IAS sold via e-commerce, and report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 13;

•  assess progress towards the achievement of Aichi Target 9 and report to SBSTTA prior to COP 13; and

•  develop a user-friendly guide to existing COP decisions on IAS and the relevant guidance and standards developed by other relevant organizations.

NEW AND EMERGING ISSUES: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

On Tuesday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/10, and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/3 and 4. Delegates discussed this agenda item on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. On whether synthetic biology can be considered a new and emerging issue, Brazil addressed the criteria from Decision IX/29 for an issue to be regarded as “new and emerging” and, with Japan, Argentina, Australia and Egypt, but opposed by the EU, Austria, Norway, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, for the African Group, and others, stated that a number of requirements are not met. Brazil requested that the Secretariat compile and synthesize available information on synthetic biology and submit it to SBSTTA 19.

Other issues raised included: the need to strengthen risk assessment methodologies; the need for urgent regulation; the need for a clear definition of synthetic biology; the need for addressing products of synthetic biology in production and commercialization phases; the importance of the precautionary principle; and the need for coordination with IPBES on knowledge generation and capacity building.

Some delegations noted that components of synthetic biology that include modern biotechnology techniques and living modified organisms can be dealt with under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Some NGOs called for a moratorium on applications of synthetic biology due to lack of clarity on their consequences.

On Thursday afternoon, a contact group chaired by Andrew Bignell (New Zealand), addressed, inter alia: the nature of benefits and risks associated with the components, organisms and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques; the nature of existing national and international regulatory regimes; whether synthetic biology constitutes a new and emerging issue under the criteria set out in decision IX/29; and the nature of requests to the Secretariat in the SBSTTA recommendation to the COP.

On Friday morning, Bignell reported on the work of the contact group, stressing that, despite the hesitant and cautious start, significant progress was made. The contact group reconvened during lunch, following which delegates considered the draft recommendation in plenary. Bignell suggested that the draft recommendation be approved as a whole, to avoid a long debate. SBSTTA adopted the recommendation on Saturday morning without amendment.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.7), SBSTTA requests the Secretariat to, inter alia:

•  prepare, provide for peer-review, and submit for consideration by SBSTTA, prior to COP 13, an updated report on the potential impacts of components, organisms and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and associated socio-economic considerations; and

•  convene an open-ended online forum followed by an open workshop of experts, including representatives of ILCs and relevant organizations, to: exchange views on how to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity; consider the differences between genetic engineering and synthetic biology; and work towards an operational definition of synthetic biology comprising inclusion and exclusion criteria.

In text that remains bracketed, SBSTTA requests the COP to, inter alia; urge parties to:

•  take a precautionary approach;

•  establish, or have in place and use, as appropriate, effective risk assessment and management procedures and regulatory processes, including definition of terms and guidance, that regulate and/or guide environmental release of any organisms resulting from synthetic biology techniques;

•  approve/authorize field testing of organisms, components and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques following appropriate scientific risk assessment;

•  approve organisms, components and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques for commercial use only after appropriate, authorized and strictly controlled scientific assessments with regard to their potential ecological and socio-economic impacts and any adverse effects for biological diversity, food security and human health, including, if possible, potential cumulative and synergistic impacts; and

•  ensure that funding for synthetic biology research includes appropriate resources for research into risk assessment methodologies and cooperate in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in synthetic biology and its potential impacts in developing country parties.

The bracketed text also requests the COP to invite parties, other governments, relevant international organizations, ILCs and relevant stakeholders to provide further information on potential and actual positive and negative impacts of organisms, components and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

INCENTIVE MEASURES: OBSTACLES ENCOUNTERED IN IMPLEMENTING OPTIONS IDENTIFIED FOR ELIMINATING, PHASING OUT OR REFORMING INCENTIVES THAT ARE HARMFUL TO BIODIVERSITY

On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/11, noting that the issue had been discussed at WGRI 5 (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/4/Add.1). Argentina proposed deleting the item from the agenda, but Chair Le Duc encouraged parties to add to WGRI discussions.

On Thursday, delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.2). Canada questioned having another decision on the topic, since WGRI 5 had already dealt with it and, opposed by Norway, asked for deletion of the paragraph requesting that the Secretariat compile and develop advice on options for overcoming obstacles. The text remained in brackets that were removed after informal consultations. The draft was revisited on Friday when delegates approved the draft recommendation without amendment.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/l.3), SBSTTA requests the Secretariat to:

•  compile and develop advice for overcoming the obstacles encountered in implementing options identified for eliminating, phasing out or reforming incentives that are harmful for biodiversity; and

•  include, among the elements of the terms of reference for a meeting of the AHTEG on Indicators, the review of the headline indicators related to Aichi Target 3, based on inputs from the fifth national reports and GBO-4 as well as other relevant submissions and sources.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL SCIENCE-POLICY PLATFORM FOR BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/12/Rev.1 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/19. Calling for stronger collaboration between IPBES and SBSTTA in order to achieve the Aichi Targets and the Convention goals, Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Executive Secretary, provided an overview of the work of IPBES, including the establishment of expert groups on, inter alia: delivering an assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production; and scoping and delivering a methodological assessment and development of a guide on scenario analysis and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Many parties lauded the cooperation between SBSTTA and IPBES, and stressed that duplication of work between the two organizations should be avoided. A number of delegates called for a more dynamic relationship between the CBD and IPBES, with Mexico noting that the procedure for submitting requests to, and prioritizing requests for, IPBES, as proposed, may not favor the Platform, as the Programme of Work and budget for 2014-2018 had already been agreed.

On submitting requests to IPBES, France, with Austria, proposed that SBSTTA initiate submission of a request to IPBES if quick action is required. The UK, with Belgium, preferred that, for routine requests, SBSTTA submit requests to IPBES through the COP, and, for issues on which SBSTTA has the mandate to provide scientific advice, that SBSTTA submit these requests to IPBES directly. Japan, with Canada, supported prioritization of requests by SBSTTA before transmitting them to IPBES.

China noted that transmission of proposals by SBSTTA to IPBES exceeds the role of SBSTTA under CBD provisions, and proposed that the COP assume this role. Argentina, supported by Ethiopia, called for active participation in, and coordination with, the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP). Brazil, with Germany, South Africa, and others, called for IPBES to develop strategies to ensure the voices of ILCs and civil society are heard.

Other issues raised included: capacity building; financial gaps; the importance of strengthening collaboration, linking IPBES, CBD and SBSTTA focal points; stakeholder engagement and strategic partnerships; workshops and studies on TK, emphasizing participation of indigenous women; and the role of SBSTTA focal points in the peer review of IPBES work.

On Thursday, delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.3). Belgium, with Mexico and Switzerland, proposed that SBSTTA, “in accordance with the procedures set out by IPBES,” prepare recommendations to the COP regarding issues that may be submitted as requests to the Platform, taking into account, inter alia, submissions from parties and other relevant information.

Delegates continued consideration of the draft recommendation on Friday morning. Mexico suggested that the SBSTTA Chair, in his capacity as a MEP observer review elements of the IPBES programme of work that follow or incorporate requests from, the CBD to proactively identify products and deliverables that may be relevant for the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

On Friday afternoon, Hesiquio Benitez Diaz (Mexico) reported on progress by the Friends of the Chair group, providing an overview of changes made to the draft recommendation.

A revised CRP document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.3/Rev.1) was discussed on Saturday. Argentina proposed that the paragraph on SBSTTA formulating requests to IPBES in cases where the subject is within its mandate and the matter requires urgent attention or would be significantly impaired by any delay, be put in square brackets. Mexico noted that the paragraph in question is related to the paragraph describing general requests to IPBES through the COP, and suggested that both paragraphs be put in square brackets, as well as the specific reference to the COP as the body submitting the requests. The revised draft recommendation was approved and adopted with these two paragraphs and the reference to the COP in square brackets.

Final Recommendation: SBSTTA requests the Secretariat, inter alia, in consultation with the SBSTTA Chair and Bureau, to continue to collaborate with the IPBES, where relevant, strengthening synergies and avoiding duplication of work and to report on progress to COP 12; and to facilitate the participation of the SBSTTA Chair in the IPBES MEP as an observer.

In brackets, SBSTTA recommends that the COP:

•  decide that SBSTTA should, in accordance with procedures established by IPBES, prepare recommendations regarding issues that may be submitted as requests to the Platform, taking into account the COP’s multi-year programme of work, the Strategic Plan, submissions from parties, and other relevant information; and

•  also decides that SBSTTA may formulate requests to the Platform, where the subject is within the mandate given to it by the COP, and the matter requires urgent attention by SBSTTA, which would be significantly impaired by the delay needed for transmission to the COP. In such cases, SBSTTA may transmit these requests through the Executive Secretary to the Secretariat of IPBES, in accordance with the procedures established by the Platform.

CONSIDERATION OF ISSUES IN PROGRESS

BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Integration of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into climate-change mitigation and adaptation activities: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/13 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/5, 14 and 17), noting the absence of draft recommendations from these progress reports. Uganda, for the African Group, highlighted mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into climate change policies, and the UK, supported by China, suggested linking NBSAPs, nationally appropriate mitigation actions and national adaptation programmes of action.

The EU, with Finland, favored submitting a recommendation on the role of biodiversity in adaptation and mitigation actions to COP 12. Japan highlighted that the ecosystem-based approach: is important for adaptation and disaster risk reduction; should be mainstreamed; and, with Italy, is cost-effective. Colombia, with Costa Rica, stressed the need for a more integrated model for ecosystem restoration, including rehabilitation and accelerated recovery.

On Thursday morning, SBSTTA continued discussions on this agenda item. France observed that climate change presents risks as well as opportunities to transition to low-carbon technologies, and, with India, welcomed integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation in NBSAPs.

Timor Leste underlined gaps in research on plant species vulnerability. Belgium, supported by New Zealand, suggested information sharing through the CHM, and requested that the Climate Change Adaptation Database be updated. FAO reported that the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will consider draft guidelines to support the integration of genetic diversity within national climate change adaptation plans.

On Friday evening, delegates considered UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.10, which was the subject of much debate. On the COP welcoming the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, Belgium, supported by Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and others, said the CBD should maximize the potential of REDD+ for creating biodiversity-related benefits, without additional requirements; and proposed referencing all UNFCCC decisions on REDD+, and two new paragraphs reflecting this and requesting the Secretariat to provide an assessment report on REDD+ guidance. Brazil, with Malaysia, Argentina, Costa Rica, China, Mexico and others, opposed.

On the COP encouraging parties to integrate the ecosystem-based approach into their national policies and programmes, the EU proposed encouraging “to promote and implement” ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction. This was opposed by Brazil and Argentina.

Bolivia, supported by Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Cuba and Uruguay, and opposed by Belgium and Canada, proposed a new paragraph promoting non-market-based approaches.

Belgium proposed requesting the Secretariat to keep in mind the mandate given in Decision XI/20, paragraph 16 (producing an update on the potential impacts of geoengineering techniques on biodiversity, and on the regulatory framework of climate-related geoengineering), and to deliver upon this request by a meeting of SBSTTA prior to COP 13, which was opposed by Brazil and Costa Rica, questioning the procedure.

Noting the amount of disagreement, Brazil suggested that no recommendation be forwarded to COP.

Delegates agreed to bracket proposed insertions. The final recommendation is summarized below.

Application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity with regard to policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to REDD+: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/13). During the two days of discussions, on the REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC, Brazil, for GRULAC, with Malaysia and India, opposed a recommendation on this issue for consideration at COP 12.

ILCs urged for application of the precautionary principle to safeguards, calling for, inter alia: policies that strengthen their role; prior informed consent for the use of natural resources; and, with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, monitoring safeguards. The final recommendation is summarized below.

Climate-related geoengineering: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/13 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/5 and 14). The Philippines stressed the need for the precautionary approach. Uganda, for the African Group, said that the potential impacts of climate-related geoengineering on biodiversity and its wider socio-economic and transboundary impacts are not known and are not governed by any legal framework. Italy noted that governance and social perceptions should be explored as challenges to the use of geoengineering. On Thursday, Belgium supported the Philippines on the need for the precautionary approach, and welcomed amendments to the London Protocol on marine geoengineering, with Norway encouraging its ratification.

South Africa, supported by Timor Leste, reiterated the need to better understand the impact of geoengineering socially, culturally and ethically and, with India, underscored that previous decisions advocating the precautionary principle remain valid. Bolivia emphasized that all activities related to geoengineering must be based on scientific knowledge and prior informed consent. The Global Youth Biodiversity Forum supported a moratorium on geoengineering and urged full prosecution of violators.

Final Recommendation: In the recommendation on biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.10), the SBSTTA: takes note of the progress report by the Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/13);notes with great concernthe findings of GBO-4 with regard to the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, and the findings of the three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Groups’ contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report regarding the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and recommends that COP 12:

•  take noteofResolution LP.4(8) on the amendment to the London Protocol to regulate the placement of matter for ocean fertilization and other marine geoengineering activities, and invite parties to the London Protocol to ratify this amendment and other governments to apply measures in line with this;

•  encourage parties and invite others to integrate ecosystem-based approaches into their national policies and programmes related to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the context the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and its revised Framework to be adopted at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction; and

•  request the Secretariat to promote ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, taking advantage of opportunities presented by relevant processes and forums.

The recommendation also contains bracketed text on SBSTTA recommending that COP 12:

•  welcome the Warsaw Framework on REDD+ and the methodological guidance on the implementation of REDD+ activities it provides;

•  encourage parties and others to promote and implement ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction; and

•  request the Secretariat to: develop advice, including from pilot experiences, on how parties can be best encouraged to maximize biodiversity-related benefits of REDD+ activities; provide an assessment report on whether and, if so, what kind of additional guidance is requested by REDD+ as well as donor countries and organizations; and promote non-market based approaches.

Ecosystem conservation and restoration: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/14). SBSTTA discussed this issue on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Canada suggested that the Secretariat link key biodiversity areas with EBSAs, and collaborate with IPBES.

Thailand and Belgium emphasized the role of private protected areas (PPAs) in rapid response to sudden threats to ecosystems. Numerous delegates called for capacity building and sharing of experiences and several African countries supported the involvement of ILCs to support the implementation of ecosystem conservation and restoration.

FAO reported on the launch of the FAO Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism, aimed to support countries in their efforts to restore degraded lands, highlighting the role of the private sector. The Bern Convention shared positive evaluations on awareness of impacts of climate change on biodiversity, outlining steps to, inter alia: identify vulnerable species and ecosystems; and implement management strategies and monitoring schemes.

On Friday evening, delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.11). Belgium urged that text on the link between ecosystem services and sustainable development send a scientific message from SBSTTA to the COP. Although many parties supported this concept, Norway recalled UNEP/CBD/WGRI/5/L.9, in which WGRI 5 delivers a similar, more general message. The Secretariat suggested, and delegates agreed to amended text that refers to: the ongoing discussion on the post-2015 development agenda; and the contribution of ecosystem conservation and restoration, and related services to sustainable development and poverty eradication.

France highlighted avoiding or reducing ecosystem losses as a priority, before promoting restoration activities. Canada suggested requesting the Secretariat to consider the upcoming work of IPBES global assessment on land degradation and restoration, and report back to SBSTTA.

Delegates approved the draft recommendation, with these and other minor textual changes.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.11), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  note, in the context of the ongoing discussions of the post-2015 development agenda, the contribution of ecosystem conservation and restoration, and related services, to sustainable development and poverty eradication;

•  recognize the contribution of PPAs in the conservation of biodiversity and encourage the private sector to continue its efforts to protect areas for the conservation of biodiversity;

•  invite parties and others to, inter alia: develop comprehensive land-use planning approaches; promote cross-sectoral approaches, including with the private sector and civil society, to develop a coherent framework; take into consideration that priority should be given, where possible, to avoiding or reducing ecosystem losses, to promote large-scale restoration activities that can contribute to biodiversity conservation, climate-change adaptation and mitigation, reducing desertification, and the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources and other ecosystem services; support ILCs in their efforts to conserve biodiversity; and give due attention to both native species and genetic diversity in conservation and restoration activities, while avoiding the introduction and preventing the spread of IAS; and

•  request the Secretariat, in consideration of the proposed thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration of IPBES and with a view to strengthening synergies and avoiding duplication of work, to share all relevant information and results with IPBES, and to report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 13.

Definitions of key terms related to biofuels and biodiversity: On Thursday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/15, noting that no draft recommendations have been prepared.

Brazil stated that information contained in the document is incorrect, unbalanced and prescriptive, questioning links to deforestation and land-use change as well as the food-fuel competition.

On definitions, Argentina underscored lack of universally accepted definitions and a variety of production systems worldwide that render standardization of criteria unattainable. Brazil, with Argentina, suggested definitions take into account the work of relevant organizations, including the Global Bioenergy Partnership. Timor Leste said a comprehensive review of the document is required. Italy underscored the need to standardize definitions. The UK noted that definitions included in the document are a good reflection of the discussion within the UNFCCC and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), but suggested that SBSTTA not recommend their adoption. Canada called for improvement of existing definitions that are not agreed and are not binding, and, with New Zealand, suggested parties utilize existing definitions in their national context.

Qatar said sustainable use of biofuels is unfeasible, linking increase in biofuel production to escalation of food prices that undermines food security. New Zealand, with Canada, noted there is no need for further guidance by the CBD on biofuels, as current decisions take into account both negative and positive impacts of biofuels on biodiversity.

Cambodia stressed that identification of criteria for sustainability regarding biofuels should include participation of ILCs and use of TK, while standards for identifying key biodiversity areas should take into account socio-economic and sociocultural considerations.

Italy underscored, inter alia, the need to: cooperate with other organizations, including FAO and the International Energy Agency (IEA) to review the document; remove emphasis from the RSB; and use certification schemes that assess sustainability of bioenergy production, including socio-economic dimensions.

Canada called, among others, for further understanding on biofuels, and deletion of reference to subsidies as those are not unique to biofuels. Tunisia called for striking an appropriate balance on biofuels, describing the issue as a “double-edged sword,” and incorporating social, economic, environmental and cultural considerations.

The CBD Alliance, with UNPFII, stressed that biofuels cause enormous harm to biodiversity, calling for the removal of related subsidies and perverse incentives.

On Saturday morning, delegates considered a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.12). Brazil proposed that references be added to: paragraph 11 of decision X/37 (biofuels and biodiversity) relevant organizations and processes, including FAO, UNEP, UN Energy Initiative, IEA, the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, and the Global Bioenergy Partnership. The draft recommendation was approved and adopted with these and other minor amendments.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.12), SBSTTA requests that the Secretariat revise and further peer-review the document regarding relevant definitions of key terms, taking into account available and additional information, for the information of SBSTTA at a meeting prior to COP 13.

Sustainable use of biodiversity: Bushmeat and sustainable wildlife management: On Thursday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/16.

Mexico welcomed collaboration with CITES and IPBES, and India suggested sending the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) progress report to CITES prior to its 17th COP. Sweden suggested incorporating sustainable wildlife management into NBSAPs.

Thailand warned of the dangers of disease transmission through hunting and handling wildlife species, and urged prioritizing global discussions on illegal wildlife trade. Albania shared progress on its sustainable wildlife management programme, and highlighted a moratorium imposed on hunting through 2017 to introduce a sustainable pathway towards wildlife utilization. Togo, supported by Tunisia, Namibia and Cameroon, lamented the increase in wildlife crime in Africa, and noted the important role of community-based wildlife management activities to conserve biodiversity.

IIFB welcomed the strengthening of regulation to ensure community-based wildlife benefits are devolved to the local level. The United Nations University underscored that research indicates that sustainable wildlife management has a beneficial impact on ILCs. FAO noted the complex associations of local communities with hunting practices, including cultural and religious connotations, and urged mitigation of human-wildlife conflict.

On Saturday morning, delegates considered a draft recommendation, which was approved and adopted with minor amendments.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.13), SBSTTA recommends that COP 12, inter alia:

•  welcome the establishment of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management;

•  note that IPSI is working towards the sustainable use of biodiversity and its integration into the management of land, forests and water resources;

•  take note of the “One Health” approach to develop national and local wildlife surveillance systems and strengthen countries’ biosecurity associated with bushmeat practices;

•  encourage cooperation between CBD and CITES national focal points concerning bushmeat to ensure synergies between the two conventions; and

•  request the Secretariat, in collaboration with the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management to: prepare technical guidance on the role of sustainable wildlife management for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020; enhance communication and information sharing among members of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management, and prepare joint awareness raising and outreach materials; and report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 13.

Health and biodiversity: On Thursday morning, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/17 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/17, noting the absence of a draft recommendation, and highlighting that the state of knowledge review on the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health is open for review until 10 July 2014.

Numerous delegations requested that the Secretariat collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant organizations on these issues and report on progress to SBSTTA prior to COP 13. Others called for full participation of ILCs, particularly women. Brazil and Colombia supported the development of a roadmap to explore synergies with the Strategic Plan, highlighting the impact of IAS on human health. Austria and Belgium noted that linkages between health and biodiversity as a contribution to mainstreaming for the post-2015 development agenda. Uruguay emphasized the interrelationship between biodiversity, climate change and health.

When considering the draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.14), delegates placed brackets on a proposal from Argentina to take note of, as well as the standing language to recognize, the “One Health” approach. Finland proposed adding a request to the Secretariat to report the results of the collaborative work on biodiversity and health to the 68th World Health Assembly of WHO.

Final Recommendation: In the final recommendation on health and biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/CRP.14), SBSTTA, inter alia:recalling that Aichi Target 14 focuses explicitly on ecosystem services that contribute to health, livelihood and wellbeing, and welcoming the progress of the joint programme between the Secretariat and the WHO, requests the Secretariat to, inter alia: further strengthen collaboration with other relevant organizations and take steps to prepare for the wide dissemination of the forthcoming state of knowledge review on the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health, and highlight the linkages between biodiversity and human health in the ongoing discussion on the post-2015 development agenda and SDGs. SBSTTA recommend the COP, inter alia:

•  welcome the outcomes of regional capacity building workshops on the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health co-convened by the Secretariat and WHO, in collaboration with other partners and invite relevant parties to make use of the report of the workshops in the updating and/or implementation of the national biodiversity strategies and action plans;

•  encourage parties and other governments to promote cooperation at the national level between sectors and agencies responsible for biodiversity and those responsible for human health;

• request the Secretariat to report the results of collaborative work on biodiversity and health to the 68th World Health Assembly of WHO; and

•  consider the state of knowledge review on the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health and its implication for the work under the Convention, including national biodiversity and action plans, its relevance to biodiversity in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, and opportunities to further promote knowledge and experience among parties and relevant partners.

OTHER MATTERS

On Tuesday morning, delegates observed a moment of silence for Chandrika Sharma, Executive Secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, who was on the Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing in March 2014.

CLOSURE OF THE MEETING

On Saturday morning, Rapporteur Snežana Prokić introduced the draft report (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/L.1), and SBSTTA adopted it with minor amendments.

CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias lauded delegates for priority actions adopted to help accelerate the achievement of Aichi Target 10 (coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems), as well as the guidance adopted on devising and implementing measures towards achieving Aichi Target 9 (IAS). He announced that 41 countries have ratified the Nagoya Protocol, and called on others to consider ratifying it, noting that the UN Treaty Division accepts signed scanned versions of instruments of ratification sent via email.

The Russian Federation, for Central and Eastern Europe, underscored that SBSTTA is not an additive to the COP, but a body in its own right. Thanking donor countries for support, he stressed that funding for delegates’ participation in the COP should be received at least 1.5 months in advance, and urged the Secretariat and donors to continue supporting ILCs’ participation in the COP.

South Africa, for the LMMCs, lamented that bracketed recommendations have been forwarded to the COP, calling for more scientific, technical and technological discussions and less politics in future SBSTTA sessions, in order to enhance the work of the CBD.

Mauritania, for the African Group, noted, inter alia: SBSTTA 18 constitutes a leap forward for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets; recommendations will help build a “Pyeongchang Roadmap”; GBO-4 is a good step forward, although further information is needed; IAS constitute a major concern, calling for an urgent solution; synthetic biology needs defining and an in-depth assessment to avoid negative impacts; and the importance of the Nagoya Protocol entering into force.

Greece, for the EU, thanked all delegates and the Secretariat for a week of constructive discussions and looked forward to progress at COP 12.

The Republic of Korea, on behalf of Asia-Pacific, with many others, acknowledged the great leadership of SBSTTA Chair Dalle Tussie; highlighted IAS and marine biodiversity as areas of importance for the region, encouraged the use of TK to help minimize negative impacts on biodiversity; and emphasized the need for capacity building and funding for developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS.

Egypt expressed interest in hosting COP 13 in 2016.

The Republic of Korea stressed that all necessary actions will be taken to guarantee effective participation in COP 12 by all, underscoring, the importance of the COP 12 High-level Segment for mainstreaming biodiversity into the post-2015 development agenda.

The IIFB, inter alia: urged taking into account the precautionary and ecosystems approaches with regard to social safeguards for REDD+; welcomed the recognition of TK on EBSAs, noting the importance of social and cultural criteria; recommended that UNPFII consider risks that synthetic biology poses for ILCs; and expressed concern that donor contributions are limited to covering participation of ILCs from the South.

UNPFII, noting the Code of Ethics developed in cooperation of ILCs and parties, stressed using TK to empower ILCs at the local and national levels.

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network called on parties and other governments to “do their homework” on accelerating the achievement of the Aichi Targets, stressing innovative and dynamic platforms to share the messages of GBO-4.

SBSTTA Chair Dalle Tussie stressed that, notwithstanding “a few scratches,” SBSTTA did not “let go of the leopard’s tail.” He underscored that, although some issues are still unresolved, there is a strong foundation for deliberations at COP 12, and highlighted the need to concentrate on work necessary to achieve the Aichi Targets and implement the Strategic Plan. He thanked delegates for the trust and support during the last two years, stressing it was an honor to chair SBSTTAs 17 and 18, and gaveled the meeting to a close at 1:12 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MEETINGS

Amidst a backdrop of collected cheers and moans from crowds gathered to cheer on their team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, WGRI 5 and SBSTTA 18 delegates faced their own challenges “on the field” in Montreal as they addressed the draft GBO-4 in preparation for the mid-term review to ensure the implementation of the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With halftime approaching, governments focused on reports and draft recommendations for COP 12 in October, laying the groundwork for the Pyeongchang Roadmap that, with coordinated action and “team spirit,” could lead to success in 2020.

This brief analysis will consider the progress under the WGRI and SBSTTA, and their efforts to accelerate the achievement of the Aichi Targets before the mid-term review later this year.

NARROWING THE ANGLES

As part of the CBD’s preparations for the mid-term or “halftime” review to assess progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan, SBSTTA 18 welcomed the draft of GBO-4, but also realized that the score was not in its favor. The target “dashboard” included in the draft executive summary of GBO-4 breaks the Aichi Targets down into their components and provides a preliminary assessment of progress on each of those components, with confidence levels attached. This assessment is augmented by a graphic representation of progress, including its numerical evaluation on a scale from 1 to 5.

Thus far, “good progress” has only been achieved on some elements of three out of 20 Aichi Targets (on terrestrial and inland water protected areas, restoration of degraded ecosystems, and submission of NBSAPs to the Secretariat), and only one—Target 16 on the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol—is estimated to be on track to exceed the target. While progress on most targets is at a rate insufficient to meet them by 2020, unless efforts are increased, certain elements of five targets (on keeping the impacts of use of natural resources within safe ecological limits; bringing down pollution from excess nutrients; minimizing anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs; conservation of species in decline; and ecosystem services taking into account the needs of women, ILCs, and the poor and vulnerable) are deemed to be backsliding.

Perhaps the biggest concern is Aichi Target 10 on coral reefs, which is one of the three targets to be achieved by 2015. SBSTTA 18 agreed on a list of priority actions to help accelerate its achievement and recommended that COP 12 adopt a decision to that effect. Success will ultimately depend on the implementation of those rather general priority actions; however, as many delegates pointed out, scientific evidence points to increased pressures on coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems, and it is unlikely that the target will be met. It has become apparent that the angles will need to be narrowed to maintain the integrity and functioning of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, Yet, given the latest scientific data on ocean acidification, climate change and other anthropogenic pressures, this target may be slipping out of reach.

MOVING DOWNFIELD

As delegates moved downfield in their consideration of the agenda, review of work and consideration of future work on invasive alien species towards Aichi Target 9, proved to be one of the more contentious issues. Argentina and others resisted text requesting the Secretariat to develop a label, to be used voluntarily, to warn of potential risks to biodiversity when trading potentially IAS on the internet, explaining that such issues should be addressed under the WTO. As a result, the original text was toned down to only invite the Secretariat to explore with relevant partners, including the standard-setting bodies recognized by the WTO, methods of alerting potential buyers to the risk posed by IAS sold via e-commerce, effectively keeping sensitive trade-related issues out of SBSTTA. Negotiations on what is considered a political issue in SBSTTA led some to restate their enduring concerns about SBSTTA effectively serving as a pre-COP—a forum where political issues are addressed—instead of being a scientific and technical body “in its own right.”

On a more positive note, SBSTTA prepared guidelines on devising and implementing measures to address the risks associated with the introduction of invasive alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, and also reviewed the major pathways for IAS and agreed on a number of recommendations. Although the guidance is voluntary and is not intended to affect any existing international obligations, it is expected to provide significant assistance to countries and relevant organizations in the development of regulations or codes of conduct.

Another significant accomplishment of SBSTTA 18 is a summary report containing scientific and technical evaluation of information describing EBSAs, which was prepared following the intersessional work of seven regional expert workshops. SBSTTA recommended that the COP send this report to the UN General Assembly as well as to parties. The report shows that Aichi Target 11, stating that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed systems of protected areas, seems to be on track. In addition to its findings, this report sends a positive message on the importance of effective intersessional scientific work at the regional level as well as on the role of SBSTTA in promoting and guiding similar actions.

Discussion on the review of implementation of the strategy for mobilization of financial resources considered by WGRI 5 did not substantially deviate from the archetypal North-South debate on means of implementation, with the focus on domestic financial resource mobilization received with skepticism by the majority of developing countries. As many expected, there was no consensus on the recommendation to the COP on final targets. While Aichi Target 20 provides the general framework, stating that the mobilization of financial resources “should increase substantially from the current levels,” quantification was a central theme. Lengthy discussions took place over doubling total biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, as well as countries with economies in transition, by 2015 and at least maintaining this level until 2020, using average annual biodiversity funding for the years 2006-2010 as a baseline. Yet this did not ease concerns on their adequacy to address the full implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets. Informal calls for a “doubling of the doubling” coming from developing countries were noted. At the same time, estimates between US$150-440 billion per year to meet the Aichi Targets by 2020, coming from the High-level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, portrayed both the urgent need for agreement and the range of uncertainties that accompanies such estimates. Coordinated action could substantially reduce the total estimate through influencing the investment needs for any Aichi Target through the resourcing and effectiveness of delivery of another. Yet, a major shift in priorities on the part of decision-makers will still be required to reach a balance, given current financial flows.

While, some policy-makers seem to think that comparison between financial resources devoted to biodiversity and funding available to address other sets of problems is out of context and impractical, the concluding paragraph of the third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) specifically referred to the “hundreds of billions of dollars, rapidly mobilized to prevent the collapse of a financial system whose flimsy foundations took the markets by surprise.” As it is evident that the majority of the Aichi Targets are not on course to be met by 2020, some participants suggested that a restructuring of the way we address ecosystem services is necessary. One prominent delegate noted that, given the current balance and the way economic paradigms are addressed, the best way to do that is to portray, in financial terms and with scientific certainty, the effects of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss on economic activities. Yet, even if a series of different disciplines pull together their most powerful applications, the task would still be monumental and, some feared, might even fail, due to its very nature, to incorporate all considerations. While, the mid-term review of the Aichi Targets, with the launch of GBO-4 at COP 12, will provide the appropriate forum to address such considerations, agreement on the final targets for resource mobilization may require a new attack plan to move downfield and score.

KEEPING THE EYE ON THE BALL

Trailing at halftime towards the Strategic Plan’s 2020 conclusion, the ecosystems of the world are confronted by staggering odds in the race against time. While at times SBSTTA discussions on replacing “significant” with “important” appeared circular, there was a distinct feeling that all eyes must stay on the ball. Players, too, need to continue hearing the whistle— a clarion call for enhanced implementation efforts sounded by the draft of GBO-4. Despite concerns over some of the Aichi Targets, slow but steady progress on most of them has demonstrated that the odds can be improved, or even reversed, before the final whistle.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

High-level Political Forum: The second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will take place in conjunction with the 2014 substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), from 30 June - 3 July, with a three-day ministerial segment from 7-9 July. The theme for the forum is “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals.” dates: 30 June - 9 July 2014  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development  phone: +1-212-963-8102  fax: +1-212-963-4260  email: dsd@un.org  www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1768

18th Meeting of the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Scientific Council: The 18th Meeting of the CMS Scientific Council will take place in Bonn. dates: 1-3 July 2014  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: Marco Barbieri, CMS Secretariat  email: mbarbieri@cms.int www: http://www.cms.int/en/node/4394

65th Meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Standing Committee: The CITES Standing Committee provides policy guidance to the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the Convention and oversees the management of the Secretariat’s budget.  dates: 7-11 July 2014  location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: CITES Secretariat  phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40  fax: +41-22-797-34-17  email: info@cites.org www: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/sc/index.php

Third Session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources:  The third session of the FAO Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources will address issues related to the Global Plan of Action on Forest Genetic Resources, genetic diversity and climate change, biodiversity and nutrition, application and integration of biotechnologies, and access and benefit-sharing for forest genetic resources. dates: 7-9 July 2014  location: Rome, Italy  contact: Douglas McGuire, FAO Forestry Department phone: +39-06-5705-3275  fax: +39-06-5705-5137  email: FO-ITWG-FGR@fao.org  www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/fgr/86104/en/ 

31st Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): The GEO will convene the 31st meeting of its Executive Committee (ExCom) to guide the work of the GEO and the activities of the GEO Secretariat. The 13 members of the ExCom represent the regions of Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe. dates: 8-9 July 2014  location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: GEO Secretariat  phone: +41-22-730-8505  fax: +41-22-730-8520  email: secretariat@geosec.org www: https://www.earthobservations.org/

Workshop on synergies between REDD+ and ecosystem conservation and restoration in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans: This workshop will support parties in the development of national targets and plans for ecosystem conservation and restoration within the framework of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 5, 11 and 15; integrate targets, as well as REDD+ actions, into updated NBSAPs; and demonstrate appropriate data gathering processes. dates: 8-11 July 2014  location: Douala, Cameroon  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288-6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=CBWECR-2014-08

OWG-13: The OWG will conclude its consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. Informal-informal consultations are scheduled for 9-11 July.  dates: 14-18 July 2014  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development  phone: +1-212-963-8102  fax: +1-212-963-4260  email: dsd@un.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg13.html

CBD International Workshop on Financing for Biodiversity: This workshop will provide technical follow-up on the elements of the recommendation on resource mobilization, adopted by WGRI 5 for consideration by CBD COP 12. dates: 18-19 August 2014  location: Ittingen, Switzerland  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288-6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int  www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=RMWS-2014-05

Third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): The Third UN Conference on SIDS will focus on the theme “Sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnerships.” dates: 1-4 September 2014  location: Apia, Samoa  www: http://www.sids2014.org/index.php?menu=32

CBD Expert Workshop to Provide Consolidated Practical Guidance and a Toolkit for Marine Spatial Planning: This workshop will assist the CBD Secretariat in compiling information on experience and use of marine spatial planning practices and make the compiled information available to parties, other governments and competent organizations to evaluate its usefulness and implications.  dates: 9-11 September 2014  location: Montreal, Canada  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288-6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=MCBEM-2014-04

UNEP Workshop: Incorporating Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into National Development Policy: UNEP’s Valuation & Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy programme and Project on Ecosystem Services aims to mainstream ecosystem services into fiscal, monetary, trade and investment policy of countries through economic tools. This workshop is intended to enhance knowledge and skills of participants in the application of economics to the problem of incorporating the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into national policies.  dates: 20-21 September 2014  location: Cambridge, UK  contact: Kristine Kjeldsen or Ruth Watulo  email: Kristine.kjeldsen@graduateinstitute.ch or Ruth.Watulo@unep.org  www: http://povertyandconservation.info/en/event/call-participants-unep-workshop-2014

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014 will be organized as a high-level plenary meeting of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and supported by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  dates: 22-23 September 2014  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Nilla Bernardi  phone: +1-212-963-8379  email: bernardi@un.org www http://wcip2014.org/

16th Annual Biodiversity and Economics for Conservation (BIOECON) Conference 2014: The BIOECON Partners have announced the 16th Annual International BIOECON conference with the theme of “Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability.” The conference is intended for researchers and policy makers working on issues related to biodiversity, ecosystem services, sustainable development and natural capital, in both developed and developing countries. dates: 21-23 September 2014  location: Cambridge, UK contact:  Tim Swanson The Graduate Institute  email: tim.swanson@graduateinstitute.ch  www: http://www.bioecon-network.org/pages/16th_2014.html

UNESCO’s International Conference “Botanists of the twenty-first century: roles, challenges and opportunities”: The aim of the conference is to develop a forward-looking perspective for the botanical profession of the twenty-first century. date: 22-25 September 2014  location: Paris, France  contact: Noeline Raondry Rakotoarisoa  email: n.raondry-rakotoarisioa@unesco.org www: http://en.unesco.org/events/botanists-twenty-first-century-roles-challenges-and-opportunities

Biosafety COP/MOP 7: The seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the CBD will hold a special session on exchange of experiences and challenges in the implementation of the Protocol, focusing on the integration of biosafety into national development plans and programmes. The meeting will further address a range of issues, including on handling, transport, packaging and identification, socio-economic considerations, and the Supplementary Protocol on liability and redress.  dates: 29 September - 3 October 2014  location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288-6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int  www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=MOP-07

XXIV IUFRO World Congress – Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The 24th World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) will be convened under the theme, ‘Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research’. Topics to be considered during the Congress include: forests for people; biodiversity and ecosystem services; climate change; forests and water; biomass and bioenergy; forest health; and forests in a green future. dates: 5-10 October 2014  location: Salt Lake City, US  www: http://iufro2014.com/

CBD COP 12: The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD will engage in a mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets, and will consider a range of cross-cutting, thematic, administrative and financial issues. The first Conference of the Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on ABS is tentatively scheduled to be held concurrently with CBD COP 12, dependent upon the ratification status of the Convention. dates: 6-17 October 2014  location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288- 6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int  www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=COP-12 

For additional meetings, see http://biodiversity-l.iisd.org/

GLOSSARY
ABS       
AHTEG
CBD
CHM
CITES
CMS      
COP
EBSA
FAO
GBO      
GEF
GRULAC
GSPC
GTI
IAS
IIFB
ILCs
IPBES
IUCN
LDCs
LMMCs
MEAs
MPA      
NBSAPs
PES
REDD+

SBSTTA
SDGs     
SIDS
TK
UNCLOS
UNEP
UNFCCC
UNPFII
WGRI
WTO

Access and benefit-sharing
Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group
Convention on Biological Diversity
Clearing-House Mechanism
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
Conference of the Parties
Ecologically or biologically significant marine area
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
Global Biodiversity Outlook report
Global Environment Facility
Latin American and Caribbean Group
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Global Taxonomy Initiative
Invasive alien species
International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity
Indigenous and local communities
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
International Union for the Conservation of Nature
Least developed countries
Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries
Multilateral environmental agreements
Marine protected area
National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans
Payment for ecosystem services
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks
Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
Sustainable Development Goals
Small island developing states
Traditional knowledge
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention
World Trade Organization

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Tasha Goldberg, Tallash Kantai, Elena Kosolapova Ph.D., Suzi Malan, and Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D. 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). Specific funding for the coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. 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.
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