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Due the continued uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as restrictions on travel and the convening of large physical gatherings, the 24th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) and the 3rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on implementation (SBI-3), original scheduled for August 17 to 22 and August 24 to 29, 2020 respectively, will not take place physically at those dates in Montreal, Canada.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Instead, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) says it is exploring alternative arrangements. These include:

  • The possibility of holding some preparatory sessions for the meetings virtually in early September. 
  • The possibility of holding physical meetings of SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 in the second half of October 2020, subject to logistical constraints and restrictions on travel and the convening of large gatherings being lifted.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how critical biodiversity health and ecosystem stability is for the world,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, CBD Acting Executive Secretary.

“Consequently, agreeing a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework is now even more important. This pandemic has shown in clear terms that international cooperation is paramount for the health of our nature, our economies and our people. Now is the time to ensure that we do what is right for human wellbeing,” she added.

The CBD Secretariat disclosed that it is presently consulting with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties (COP Bureau), the SBSTTA Bureau, and the SBI Chair, as well as the Co-Chairs of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on these matters, and will make further announcements in due course.

According to the CBD, the Secretariat and the Bureaux remain committed to ensuring the successful and timely preparation of these meetings, the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and other preparations for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties and associated meetings of the Parties to the Protocols, scheduled for next year in Kunming, China.

Furthermore, the Secretariat is preparing a series of webinars on various issues related to the agenda items of SBSTTA and SBI to be held in June, July and August.

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