New York, September 19, 2022 – The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD in partnership with Afreximbank, co-launched the AUDA-NEPAD Energize Africa initiative on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Energize Africa initiative recognises that Africa’s youth and women – making up more than half of the continent’s populations - must be at the core of Africa’s economic growth and inclusive development strategies.
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.
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Press Release: Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss - NEPAD
New York, September 20, 2022 – Climate financing will play an important role in unlocking Africa’s potential to combat climate change. It is estimated that Africa requires about 2.5 trillion dollars of climate finance between 2020 and 2030 averaging about 250 billion dollars each year. However, the total annual climate finance flows in Africa for 2020 were only 30 billion dollars, which is just about 12 percent of the amount needed.
Global Leadership Council unveiled to scale up clean, reliable energy and stop global warming - AFDB
22-Sep-2022 - The battle to stop global warming from rising above the catastrophic 1.5 degree Celsius received a boost on Wednesday as the newly launched Global Leadership Council got down to business during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
As the world faces multiple crises dominated by new conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economic shocks, and growing inequalities, development has been halted or even reversed across several domains, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
The African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) have launched a serious game known as “Mission55 Conflict in Anaka”, to commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2022. The game, which the AU and GIZ developed, aims to raise awareness, educate and inform the public, particularly youth, on the mandate of the AU to promote good governance, peace and security in Africa.
African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa have been prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol organized by the AU Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
September 15, 2022 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today launched the IGAD Regional Trade Policy 2022-2026 in Nairobi. Representatives of IGAD Member States from Ministry of Trade and Heads of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representatives of partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) attended the one-day event.
New biodiversity commitments announced as world leaders declare nature summit COP15 a priority - GEF
New commitments aimed at catalyzing biodiversity finance and conservation were unveiled today at a high-level event convened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to showcase action and support for a nature-positive world. New initiatives announced include €0.87 billion of new funding from the German government; a 10 point plan for financing biodiversity, endorsed by 16 initial countries; and the next phase of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC for Nature and People 2.0)...
Nancy Karigithu is Kenya’s Ambassador and Special Envoy for Shipping and the Blue Economy. In an interview, she explained how the maritime sector can reduce pollution, rein in carbon emissions, and combat wildlife trafficking on a global scale.
Patricia Zurita is CEO of BirdLife International, a leading conservation organization that works with 115 national partner organizations and 13 million members to protect birds and their habitats worldwide. In an interview marking BirdLife’s 100th anniversary, she shared her vision for how the world can create a healthy environment for healthy societies in the coming century.
Media Release: Governments Meet on Science and Evidence to Address Global Biodiversity Crisis - ipbes
Bonn, Germany – Representatives of almost 140 Governments will begin a week-long meeting on Sunday in Bonn, Germany to advance the science and evidence necessary to address the global biodiversity crisis. The ninth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES9) will be the first in-person meeting, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of the global body tasked with presenting decision-makers with the best-available science and expertise, to inform policy and action on nature.
Hindou, a Mbororo Indigenous pastoralist woman, is the founder of the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women in the Mbororo community and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection. She is an influential climate leader in Africa, advocating for the importance of traditional knowledge for building resilience of Indigenous and forest communities to cope with the climate crisis.
Enforcement officers new to the fight against wildlife crime have put a suite of TRAFFIC resources and newly developed materials to the test in a series of trainings in Southeast Asia. The face-to-face trainings with newly designed materials have been critical in bringing up-to-date information and tools to frontliners in some of the region’s major wildlife trade hotspots. However, staff turnover, regulatory changes, and evolving trends in wildlife crime mean there is a constant need for training.” Renee Yee, TRAFFIC’s Training and Capacity Building Officer in Southeast Asia
UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued a report, which presents evidence on gender equality across all 17 SDGs. Emphasizing the pivotal role of gender equality in driving progress on the entire 2030 Agenda, the report warns that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflict, and climate change have exacerbated gender disparities.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published the results of a regional assessment of progress towards SDG 4 (quality education). The report highlights the urgent need for more investment and social participation to enable a systemic transformation of education.
On the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2022, we reflect on the important role of indigenous women in the preservation and the transmission of traditional knowledge.
COP 15 PRESIDENCY: latest news from Huang Runqiu, President of the COP 15 and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China – CBD
On September 12, Huang Runqiu, President of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, had a video meeting with Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on the second part of COP 15 and key issues related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) .
From 19 September to 20 November 2022, learn to develop a step-by-step ecosystem restoration plan and apply effective restoration solutions in your national and sub-national context. Now is the time to restore our damaged ecosystems. Join a FREE MOOC on Ecosystem Restoration on the Learning for Nature platform.
We, the representatives of Central African civil society who participated in-person and virtually in the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), which was organized by the Federal Republic of Germany and took place from 5 to 8 July, 2022, in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, came together on 6 July 2022, as part of a strategic workshop of civil society organizations working to ensure effective management of natural resources in Congo Basin countries…
Berlin, 12th September 2022, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), has officially joined the 124 members of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). INBAR has submitted its application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework to promote sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
CBFP RDP 19: Main conclusions of Streams of the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the CBFP: Strong messages and recommendations...
Please download the recommendations, conclusions, messages coming out of the deliberations of Streams 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, Technical Segment of the MOP 19 of the CBFP of Libreville towards sustainable development for Central Africa’s countries, people, forests and biodiversity...These conclusions also serve as a roadmap for the partners to implement the "Declaration of commitment of COMIFAC Member States to the forests of Central Africa and call for equitable financing" and the “Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin donors of COP26”…
MoP 19 - CIFOR - USFS: Peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands: climate responses in the Congo Basin
Please kindly consult the main conclusions of the two side events organised by CIFOR and USFS in the margins of CBFP MOP 19 on: Slot 1: Current scientific activities on peatlands (and other wetlands) in the Congo Basin and Slot 2: Early responses to protect and manage peatlands in the Congo Basin.
A new member of the great CBFP family: Welcome to the Republic of Korea (ROK) represented by the Korean Forest Service (KFS)!
Berlin, 12th August 2022, the Republic of Korea (ROK), represented by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). ROK has submitted their application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework in promoting sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
The UN Global Compact published its China strategy seeking “to unlock the potential of business and other stakeholders to maximize their impact on the SDGs and contribute to sustainable development in China and the rest of the world.” The document recognizes China’s local priorities while striving to align itself with the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and global ambition.
Participants at the 2022 World Water Week, which convened against the backdrop of the flooding in Pakistan, the food crisis in Africa, and the drying rivers of Europe, highlighted the need for investments and political will to implement available water solutions.
The latest Human Development Report, published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), warns that due to the impacts of the multiple crises, mounting layers of uncertainty, and increasing polarization, human development has dropped to its 2016 levels, “reversing much of the progress” towards the SDGs. Yet, it argues, there is “promise and opportunity in uncertainty” to “reimagine our futures, to renew and adapt our institutions and to craft new stories about who we are and what we value.”
Berlin September 7, 2022. Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany travelled to Brussels to co-host together with the Member of the European Parliament from the Group of the European People's Party (EPP) Dr. Angelika Niebler, a casual round table on the importance of the EU’s support in achieving better protection of the Congo Basin Forests, including through a “Fair Deal” mechanism for long-term financing of the region by means of payments for ecosystem services approach.
Delegates to the fourth session of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP4) advanced their work on the outline for a future global policy framework to promote chemical safety.
A strong majority of Europeans think businesses are failing in their responsibility to protect the world’s forests and therefore support a new law to ban products that destroy them. On Amazon Rainforest Day, a new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Europeans (82%) believe businesses should not sell products that destroy the world’s forests and think (78%) that the government needs to ban products that drive deforestation. When informed that the European Parliament has proposed such a law, support rises to 81 per cent.
MEPs have a crucial chance to ensure smallholders around the world don’t pay the price for EU efforts to end deforestation. When the European Commission published its proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products in November 2021, it was hailed as a landmark in the fight against deforestation.
Will the EU biomass loophole give a lifeline to energy giant EPH’s coal power plants? “A carbon bomb in the heart of Europe” investigates the rapidly growing Czech energy company EPH’s exploitation of loopholes in the European Union’s (EU) Renewable Energy Directive. The loopholes allow Member States to offer subsidies to extend the life of power stations. EPH is using such subsidies to burn biomass from forests, thereby dangerously delaying the energy sector’s decarbonisation.
On 28 June 2022, European Union Council of Environment Ministers (Council) adopted their opinion on the Commission’s proposal for a deforestation-free regulation intended to rein in the forest destruction caused by EU consumption of coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soya, beef and wood. While the text makes certain advances, other concerns and notable omissions must be addressed by the European Parliament when it adopts its position in mid-September.
CBFP MOP19; Summary of proceedings of side Event II: Monitoring the implementation of the N’Djamena Declaration and the development of Country Investment Plans in preparation for N’Djamena 2
A side-event entitled "Monitoring the implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration and the Development of Country Investment Plans in preparation for N'Djamena 2” was held on 07 July 2022. Experts from the 3 geographical and thematic blocs of the N'DJAMENA Declaration attended the day of strategic reflection on the subject of transhumance. A roadmap and a logical framework which the experts had established during previous work sessions were presented at the meeting. Other presentations delivered during the gathering highlighted the wide range of activities conducted by conservation actors, from the perspective of peaceful management of transhumance.
MOP19 CBFP - Summary of proceedings of DYNAFAC side events: From Mbaiki to Bambidie, 40 years monitoring the dynamics of production forests
The DYNAFAC side event consisted of presentations reviewing the results of 40 years of research on forest dynamics and ended with draft recommendations for policy makers. The first presentation entitled "Structure, diversity and dynamics of Central African forests: main achievements of the DynAfFor and P3FAC projects" was delivered by Sylvie GOURLET-FLEURY (CIRAD, France) and Félix ALLAH-BAREM (ICRA, CAR), and the second presentation entitled “Population dynamics of commercial species in Central Africa: main achievements of the DynAfFor and P3FAC projects” was delivered by Jean-Louis DOUCET (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech – University of Liège, Belgium) and Franck MONTHE (Nature+ asbl, Belgium).
Final Press Release: Thirteenth Workshop of COMIFAC Protected Areas and Wildlife Sub-Working Group (SGTAPFS)
The 13th Workshop of the Central African Forest Commission's Sub-Working Group on Protected Areas and Wildlife (SGTAPFS) took place in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, from 11 to 15 July 2022. The German Cooperation through the GIZ Regional Project to Support COMIFAC, the European Union through the ECOFAC VI Program, and WCS provided technical and financial support for the workshop, which was coordinated by the institution's Executive Secretariat.