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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Govts advance text of landmark global agreement on biodiversity

With six days of negotiations behind them in Nairobi at the fourth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity advanced a global plan to bend the curve on biodiversity loss, expected to be adopted in Montreal, Canada in December 2022.

UN Biodiversity
Opening session of the at the fourth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in Nairobi, Kenya

Delegates took the text from the March meetings held in Geneva, rationalised parts of it, achieved consensus on several targets, and proposed diverse options for large parts of the framework.

Parties set out their ambitions with respect to the goals of the framework, and refined the essential targets related to conservation, sustainable use, and benefit-sharing.

They worked to develop a plan for resource mobilisation and other means of implementation and highlighted the contribution of nature to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Parties also charted the pathway for an agreement on the sharing of benefits from Digital Sequencing Information on genetic resources.

Their discussions also strengthened the role of Indigenous peoples, local communities, women, youth, and other stakeholders and to ensure that all voices will be heard, and no one will be left behind.

“I want to thank the Parties for their hard work, their commitment to consensus, and honest engagement in these negotiations,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. “These efforts are considerable and have produced a text that, with additional work, will be the basis for reaching the 2050 vision of the Convention: a life in harmony with nature.”

“I call upon the Parties, in the next months, to vigorously engage with the text, to listen to each other and seek consensus, and to prepare the final text for adoption at COP15,” she said.

Discussions over the week covered the entire framework text, which includes four goals, 23 proposed targets, and all of the elements that will enable nations to meet them. Delegates also made progress on the issue of Digital Sequence Information; a separate agenda item related to the framework.

The important four goals of the framework – A through D, were also a subject of intense discussion:

  • Goal A – protecting biodiversity at all levels and preventing extinctions
  • Goal B – ensuring that biodiversity can meet people’s needs and support their human rights
  • Goal C – benefits from the use of biodiversity and genetic resources are shared with equity and the traditional knowledge and rights of Indigenous and Local Communities are respected.
  • Goal D – Adequate level of the means of implementation are enabled, including financial resources, capacity building and other supports to action.

A path for work towards COP15 in Montreal, Canada in December 2022

Notwithstanding the important advances, a considerable amount of work will be required to advance the text for final high-level consideration by CBD’s 196 Parties at COP15.

The Meeting agreed to develop a path forward that includes the engagement of all regions preparing for talks involving all Parties immediately before the second part COP15. These gatherings would prepare a text for final negotiation by Ministers and their delegations at the second part of COP15.

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