Summary of the Convention on Biological Diversity Special Virtual Sessions IISD/ENB

Uganda, for the African Group, said that indicators should consider biodiversity at multiple scales, and that the draft should recognize sustainable use as a poverty alleviation strategy.

2020 was supposed to be a super year for biodiversity. The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) scheduled for Kunming, China, in October 2020 was supposed to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework containing a new ten-year set of global goals and targets to reverse the negative trend of biodiversity loss. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not to be. Numerous biodiversity-related meetings were postponed. The 24th meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), originally scheduled for May 2020 to prepare for COP 15, are now planned for early 2021. COP 15 has been postponed to at least May 2021. In-person negotiations on the post-2020 framework have also been put on hold until next year.

 

To maintain momentum ahead of the United Nations Biodiversity Summit on 30 September 2020 and COP 15 in 2021, the CBD convened a series of special virtual sessions. The virtual sessions were conducted under the guidance of the SBSTTA and SBI Chairs and provided the opportunity for the presentation of information and for statements by parties and observers.

 

The virtual sessions began with bad news for global biodiversity. The launch of the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, a final report card on progress against the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted in 2010 with a 2020 deadline, starkly announced that none of the targets will be met. The report outlines eight transition areas that recognize the value of biodiversity, the need to restore the ecosystems on which all human activity depends, and the urgency of reducing the negative impacts of such activity.

 

Other events included the testing of a process for party-led review of implementation, a report from an expert panel on the strategy for resource mobilization for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and an update on the process for developing the framework. There were mixed reviews on the updated zero draft of the framework, indicating which issues will have to be tackled going forward so that parties can adopt the framework at COP 15.

 

The virtual sessions were held each day from 7:00–9:00 am Montreal time (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-4:00), due to the challenges of finding suitable times to meet with participants living in numerous time zones with varying degrees of internet connectivity.

 

This briefing note summarizes the four days of events at the CBD Special Virtual Sessions.

 

Launch of the Fifth Edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook

The launch of the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5) headlined the opening of the special virtual sessions on Tuesday, 15 September. SBSTTA Chair Hesiquio Benitez noted the sessions are taking place to help parties prepare for the next meetings of the subsidiary bodies, delayed until the first quarter of 2021.

CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema stressed that the future of humanity depends on the capacity to act “with urgency and compassion.”

Hamdallah Zedan, on behalf of the COP 14 presidency, said that the issues of climate, land, biodiversity, and water must be at the heart of countries’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Presentation of GBO-5: David Cooper, CBD Deputy Executive Secretary, presented the report. Cooper highlighted GBO-5’s conclusions that although some of the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been partially achieved, none will be fully met. The report emphasizes: poor alignment between international and national targets; slow progress in conservation efforts; and parties’ failure to address financial subsidies in sectors harmful to biodiversity. It notes some successes, including a falling rate of global deforestation and an increase in protected areas.

 

To bend the curve of biodiversity loss, Cooper continued, GBO-5 recommends eight transition areas for integrated and transformative change, including climate action, biodiversity-inclusive health, and sustainable production.

 

Cooper stressed that achieving the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature” remains attainable as long as parties take strong conservation and restoration actions.

 

Local Biodiversity Outlooks and Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC): Joji Cariño, Forest Peoples Programme, presented the second edition of the Local Biodiversity Outlooks, which focuses on local biodiversity and stories of resilience among indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs). Cariño explained the report finds that IPLCs are underrepresented in national strategies and action plans, despite agreement that putting culture and the rights of IPLCs at the heart of biodiversity strategy can bring about positive outcomes. She explained the report stresses that sustained partnerships between scientific and indigenous knowledge are necessary and proposes six transition areas aligned with GBO-5, including culture, food, and incentives and finance.

 

Suzanne Sharrock, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, reported on the GPPC. She stressed that, despite most targets not being met, more progress in plant conservation has been made than without the GPPC. She stressed the need for plant conservation to be included in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

 

Statements by Parties: Chile, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, and Mexico welcomed GBO-5. South Africa pointed to the need to mainstream biodiversity into other sectors in order to implement targets. Sweden pressed for society to build resilience through biodiversity restoration and wise use of resources.

 

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network pressed for the inclusion of local, grassroots voices in future GBOs. The CBD Women’s Caucus emphasized that women are key knowledge holders in biodiversity and conservation. The CBD Alliance questioned the lack of attention to structural causes of biodiversity loss.

 

Testing of A Party-Led Review Process Through an Open-Ended Forum

SBI Chair Charlotta Sörqvist moderated this session on Wednesday, 16 September, which began the test of a party-led review of implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The review aims to increase transparency between parties and identify options to overcome obstacles.

Moustafa Fouda, on behalf of the COP 14 presidency, reminded participants that their expertise and experiences would be invaluable to developing an enhanced review mechanism in the context of COP 15 and the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

 

Noting the popularity of championing technological solutions to biodiversity conservation, CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema called the virtual session an opportunity to “put our money where our mouth is.”

 

Presentations by Parties: Five parties presented on their implementation efforts.

Sri Lanka presented an overview of its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), which includes objectives of, among others, ensuring long-term conservation of biodiversity and promoting equitable benefit-sharing. Considering challenges to implementation, she raised a lack of trained staff, as well as the poor perception of how biodiversity conservation can contribute to national development.

 

Ethiopia presented an overview of its revised NBSAP, as well as of its fifth and sixth national reports, noting that its targets are mapped to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. He raised the challenge of physically auditing the reported implementations. Responding to a question from Canada, he suggested that the party-led review process would be useful as a mechanism in the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

 

Poland presented its NBSAP’s objectives, which include improving nature protection systems; the integration of economic sectors with biodiversity objectives; and reducing threats from climate change and invasive species. She noted that Poland has not made sufficient progress to achieve any of its objectives by 2020, citing a poor choice of indicators as one potential cause.

 

Presentations from parties continued on Thursday, 17 September.

Reviewing its implementation efforts, Finland noted that the most pronounced improvements in biodiversity conservation were in low-ambition actions. Moreover, there were promising trends in partially implemented actions. He said that future actions need to be fewer in number, have concrete outcomes, and should be accompanied by clear implementation indicators. He highlighted Finland’s involvement across biodiversity multilateral environmental agreements, as well as chemical conventions, and stressed the need for consultations with all involved stakeholders.

 

Confessing a “mixed level” of progress, Guyana reflected on its NBSAP, which included promoting conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity through, among others, a national land use policy, access and benefit-sharing regulations, and improving biodiversity monitoring nationally in key sectors. He noted that, while resources were made available, strategies were implemented unevenly, with certain areas receiving more focus. He highlighted challenges involving limited funding, lack of capacity, inconsistent methodologies, and lack of awareness of biodiversity needs at the political level.

 

For more Information, please, download the Document here below:

Biodiversity Virtual Sessions Briefing Note

 

 

Go back

Partners News

African Development Bank President Adesina named a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall climate-adaptation initiative -AFDB

African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina has been announced as a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative. The appointment was made at a forum held in the margins of the One Planet Summit 2021 to mobilise support for the ambitious project to plant an 8,000 km swathe of trees and other vegetation across the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa.

Adaptation Fund Raises Nearly US$ 116 Million in New Pledges for Adaptation Action in Most Vulnerable Countries - Adaptation-Fund

Washington, D.C. (December 16, 2020) – Recognizing the Adaptation Fund’s tangible and effective adaptation actions on the ground for the most vulnerable and its growing portfolio of work, several contributor governments came forward with new pledges to the Fund totaling nearly US$ 116 million.

IFAD and GCF scale-up action to improve life for millions of people and restore ecosystems in Africa’s Great Green Wall - Green Climate Fund

Millions of poor farmers living in the world’s most climate-impacted parts of the Sahel have cause for hope today because of their governments’ support for accelerating Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW), an area covering 11 countries from Senegal and Mali in the West to Ethiopia and Djibouti in the East.  A new investment programme is planned to support Sahelian governments through a partnership between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in order to boost climate finance for these rural populations.

Great Green Wall receives over $14 billion to regreen the Sahel – France, World Bank listed among donors – UNCCD

The ambitious Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative has received at least 14.326 billion United States Dollars in new funding. The funding will fast track efforts to restore degrading land, save biological diversity as well as create green jobs and build resilience of the Sahelian people. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, made the announcement at the just concluded One Planet Summit for Biodiversity on 11 January 2021, co-organized by France, the United Nations and World Bank.

Canada to support land restoration in developing countries - UNCCD

Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification Ibrahim Thiaw welcomes the announcement that the Government of Canada is set to invest up to 55 million Canadian dollars in the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund. The Fund supports private sector projects in developing countries that use sustainable land management techniques to restore degraded ecosystems and adapt to green economies.

A new guide to sustainably manage wildlife in Central African production forests - Atibt

In collaboration with the Forest is life scientific team from the Faculty Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège), Nature + published at the end of 2020 a book entitled "Development and implementation of a management plan de la fauna - Technical guide for managers of production forests in Central Africa ”.

Feedback on the Sino-African meeting organized by CTWPDA and ATIBT the 17th and 18th December on Sustainable Timber - ATIBT

The Sino-African Sustainable Timber Online B2B Meeting jointly organized by China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) and the International Tropical Timber Association (ATIBT), was successfully held on 17-18th December.

CBFP Meeting - GIZ Side event: "Experiences of taking into account human rights in the processes of sustainable management of forests and protected areas in the COMIFAC area".

Organized on the sidelines of the 8th Meeting of the CBFP's Governing Council, the Side Event on "Experiences in taking into account human rights in the processes of sustainable management of forests and protected areas in the COMIFAC area" was an appropriate opportunity for the different programs, projects and non-governmental organizations involved in biodiversity conservation activities and protection of indigenous heritage, including REPALEAC, GIZ-BGF, GIZ-COMIFAC and GIZ-COMIFAC-BSB-Yamoussa to share success stories, key challenges and work sites they are facing.

The Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany of the CBFP, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck wishes you the best for the year 2021!

In this festive season at the end of the year 2020, we are pleased to get back to you to express our appreciation, because from our interactions during this year 2020 that is drawing to a close, we have benefited from your diverse and rich contributions and proactive engagements that have enriched and enhanced our joint partnership. Together, we have moved forward and the successful implementation of the CBFP meetings in Kinshasa has confirmed this conviction. This is our joint success! Together, we have moved forward! Together, we have raised the standard of the Congo Basin and its peripheries.

Side event ICCN-GIZ: Community conservation as a solution to the sustainability of conservation and local development actions: Standard-setting tools for PA management, the experience of ICCAs in the DRC

A side event was organized on Thursday 10 December, in room Panorama 3 of the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa. Held on the sidelines of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, the side event was entitled 'Community conservation as a possible solution to the sustainability of conservation and local development actions: Standard-setting tools for managing PAs, the experience of ICCAs in the DRC '. Moderated by Ms. Sarah Mam-bu, participants in the event discussed community conservation approaches that can help reconcile biodiversity conservation with local development.

Forestry and Environment Ministers of COMIFAC member countries resume hiring of COMIFAC statutory staff

Convened by the Cameroon Minister of Forests and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), an extraordinary session of the Council of Forestry and Environment Ministers of the COMIFAC member countries was held on 10 December 2020 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the wings of the 8th CBFP Council meeting.

The Sahel G5 takes part in the 39th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) - sahel g5

The Executive Secretary of the Sahel G5 took part in the 39th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), held on 1 December 2020 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and chaired by Mr. M. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

Sustainable forest management in the DRC: participatory approaches for resilient development of local communities

A side event entitled “Sustainable forest management in the DRC”, was held on 10 December 2020 within the framework of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, with a view to exploring specific themes with stakeholders active in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management.

Community forestry in Cameroon to test other non-logging models – CIFOR

In 1994, Cameroon became the first Congo Basin country to adopt the concept of "community forestry" in its legal framework, allowing rural populations to secure land as a non-permanent forest domain for income-generating activities, based on a simple management plan validated by the administration. In conducting these activities, most of the community forests have opted for timber production, which is often favored by rural populations as the fastest route to significant income.

Blue economy/CCBC-F2BC: Ministers validate final report of the Blue Fund's preliminary study - Afriquenvironnementplus

From 1 to 2 December, the city of Brazzaville hosted an in-person and video conference, the 4th Steering Committee meeting of the Congo Basin Blue Fund’s preliminary study (F2BC) and ministerial segment during which the results of the study and the roadmap for the operation of the Blue Fund were presented for validation by the Environment ministers of the CCBC-F2BC countries.

Second edition of the special CBFP Civil Society College Day: sharing of success stories and looking forward to upcoming climate and biodiversity events

On 8 December 2020, the second edition of the special Civil Society College Day of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) was held at the Pullman Hotel in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Press release and minutes of the second session of the Tripartite Supervision and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) on the Ndjamena Anti-poaching tripartite agreement between Cameroon, CAR and CHAD

At the invitation of Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon, Acting Chairman of the N’Djamena Anti-poaching Tripartite Agreement of (N'Djamena AT6LAB of 2013) between Cameroon, CAR and Chad, the expert meeting in view of the second session of the Tripartite Supervision and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) of the N’Djamena AT-LAB between Cameroon, CAR and Chad took place on 8 December 2020 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 

Climate: Civil society organizations from five Congo Basin member countries to speak with one voice at COP 26 - Environews-rdc

Members of civil society organizations in the Congo Basin sub-region met Wednesday 09 December in Kinshasa to discuss relevant strategies and resolutions that will go into their common position during the Conference of the Parties on the Climate next year in Glasgow, England.

Cameroon - MINFOF: First country in the sub-region to make the use of legal origin wood mandatory for its public contracts

ARTICLE 1. - (1) This decree shall lay down the terms and conditions for the use of wood of legal origin in public procurement. (2) It shall apply to public procurement initiated by the State and other legal persons governed by public law.

Fourth ordinary session of the Tri National Supervisory and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) of the Sangha Tri-National (TNS)

The fourth ordinary session of the Tri-national Supervisory and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) was organized on December 9 in Kinshasa, on the sidelines of the 8th Council meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP).  Please download the Final press release of the meeting…

Minutes of High-Level Political Dialogue between members of the CBFP Regional and the members of the Donor College

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 10 December 2020: A High-level dialogue was held between the members of the CBFP Regional College (member States, COMIFAC and ECCAS) and the Technical and Financial partners who belong to the CBFP Donor College.

The minutes of the 8th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council are available for download!

Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - 11 December 2020 – the CBFP Council held its eighth meeting. The gathering was chaired by the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of COMIFAC and hosted by: His Excellency Barrister Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

TRANSHUMANCE DAY SIDE-EVENT: Multidisciplinary approach to pacific management of cross-border transhumance aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence

The "Transhumance Day" side event was held on 9 December 2020, in the Kinshasa meeting room of the Congo River hotel. The day was devoted to strategic reflection on the topic of peaceful transhumance and gathered experts from the different geographical blocs established as part of the implementation of the N’DJAMENA Declaration. During the meeting, participants were presented a roadmap and a logical framework, which had been developed during previous working sessions.

Poor governance fuels ‘horrible dynamic’ of deforestation in DRC - Mongabay

There’s a saying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that refers to “Article 15,” a nonexistent paragraph of the country’s constitution during the Mobutu Sese Seko dictatorship in the 1970s. It stands for “figure it out yourself” and acknowledges the wide spread of corruption, implying that people cannot rely on the state to survive.