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Stakeholders address ways to implement global biodiversity plan

Some 600 delegates from around the world will gather together in Montreal, Canada, this week starting from this morning to examine the effectiveness of measures taken by Governments to implement the global biodiversity agenda and mainstream biodiversity into sustainable development through implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Discussions will focus on policy coherence and the monitoring of progress in achieving the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Secretary General, Convention on Biological Diversity
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Secretary General, Convention on Biological Diversity

The nineteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 19) is being held from 2 to 5 November 2015 at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal.

SBSTTA, the open-ended intergovernmental scientific body that advises the Conference of the Parties (COP), will review the main implications of the findings of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4), which was published in 2014. Using information contained in the fifth national reports, and seeking to identify best practices and lessons learned, SBSTTA will review options for overcoming obstacles to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Delegates will discuss how to make the best use of available data and information, including work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), to prepare future editions of the Global Biodiversity Outlook. SBSTTA will also look at the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The Group has recommended a set of potential indicators that could be used to monitor progress at the global level towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Many of these indicators would also be relevant to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the goals for sustainable development recently agreed by the United Nations General Assembly. In addition, delegates will discuss climate-related geoengineering, based on information submitted by Parties and the Update on Climate Geoengineering in Relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The report provides an update on the potential impacts of geoengineering techniques on biodiversity together with an account of regulatory developments since the 2012 studies on geoengineering and biodiversity presented in CBD Technical Series No. 66.

The relationship between biodiversity and human health will also be approached through a review of Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, a State of Knowledge Review, a joint report of the Secretariat of CBD and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Synergies in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of relevance to forests and other internationally agreed forest-related targets and objectives will be examined. This will include exploring how the Convention on Biological Diversity can better integrate its work with that of the United Nations Forum on Forests and other international organisations, in addition to looking at land use change, consumption patterns, and behaviour and institutional change.

Recommendations emanating from SBSTTA 19 will be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its thirteenth meeting, which will be held from 4 to 17 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.

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