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Delegates record positive progress at Rome biodiversity negotiations

Participants appeared to make a headway on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 in Rome as negotiations on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) continued at the second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG).

CBD co-chairs
Co-chairs Francis Ogwal (Uganda) and Basile van Havre (Canada)

For instance, delegates resumed their discussions in Contact Group 2, on reducing threats to biodiversity, co-chaired by Wadzanayi Goredema-Mandivenyi (South Africa) and Gabriele Obermayr (Austria).

Later in the day, delegates attended an information session on resource mobilisation and the financial mechanism, which provided briefings from two teams of experts conducting related studies on the assessment of resources required for the period of the Eighth Replenishment of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF-8) and on resource mobilisation for the GBF.

On the GEF-8 needs assessment, Ravi Sharma, an independent consultant, outlined that consultations for the study would include a questionnaire, interviews with key stakeholders, and potentially regional and sub-regional consultations with Stephanie Mansourian of the Mansourian Consultancy outlining the details of the questionnaire. Yasha Feferholtz of EcoHealth Alliance noted that the financial needs assessment would use econometric models to predict financial expenditures and needs of parties.

Considering options for a four-year framework of programme priorities for the GEF aligned with the GBF, Yibin Xiang of the GEF Secretariat highlighted disconnections between guidance to the GEF and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) planning processes, and noted that this is a good moment for re-connection.

Outlining findings of the review of the strategy for resource mobilisation, Jeremy Eppel of the World Bank noted that the underlying structure of the resource mobilisation strategy is valid, but questions arise around its operational effectiveness. On options for the future strategy, Tracey Cumming, an independent consultant, outlined components for resource mobilisation essential for transformative change in support of the GBF.

Contact Group 3 convened in the afternoon to negotiate text on targets of the zero-draft clustered under the topic, “Meeting people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit-sharing,” co-chaired by Jorge Murillo (Colombia) and Anne Teller (EU).

Contact Group 1 on the goals of the GBF, convened in the evening for its second meeting to consider the first draft of a non-paper summarising progress and text submissions since its first meeting on Tuesday.

As contact groups built further momentum on Wednesday, with three out of four groups having met already, delegates felt a sense of pride for what some considered good progress.

Learning from the previous day’s negotiations, Contact Group 3 Co-Chair Murillo, suggested, and delegates agreed, that rather than resorting to general statements followed by tedious and painstaking line-by-line negotiations, parties take 30 minutes to provide views on each target, which would allow even faster progress. This proved effective in some instances, and some were heard saying, “it’s like speed-dating for targets.”

Whether this positive attitude sustains through the week remains to be seen, as delegates pouring out of contact group meetings, expressed concern on the rapid spread of the coronavirus, and whether it might impact smooth completion of the meeting.

Courtesy: IISD Reporting Services

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