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CBD intersessional negotiations in Nairobi: key points

Automatic translation by DeepL, see original version in French.


From May 13 to 29, 2024, intersessional negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in Nairobi. The 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 26) was held from May 13 to 18, while the 4th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4) took place from May 21 to 29. With only a few months to go before the 16th Conference of the Parties on Biological Diversity (COP 16), to be held in Cali (Colombia) from October 21, 2024, the Nairobi intersessional meetings were an opportunity to shape and advance the texts to be negotiated at COP 16. These working sessions are therefore part of the road to achieving The Biodiversity Plan, which aims to implement the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by 2030.

 


Photo by  IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis


The 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 26)


The aim of the 26th SBSTTA meeting was to lay the scientific foundations for the successful implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework.The aim was to identify ways of translating the framework into actions that could be concretely inserted into the various scales of governance, from the local to the global level.

A number of participants stressed the need to prioritize a human rights-based approach, and to include indigenous communities.

The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Working Group (AHTEG) also presented its work on indicators to measure progress towards the global framework objectives. More work remains to be done between now and COP 16, particularly in the area of national monitoring systems, which, according to several delegations present, are a priority for measuring the extent of progress. Several delegates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) and Amnesty International, pointed out that it is essential to prioritize a human rights-based approach, to include indigenous communities in monitoring processes, and to consider the key role these communities play in preserving and monitoring the state of biodiversity. Recommendation 26/2 encourages collaboration with indigenous communities (art. 4. a)), but the human rights-based approach was not included in the text. The COP 16 presidency did, however, make an overture on this subject, which will no doubt be taken up in the COP 16 negotiations.


At the end of SBSTTA 26, which closed on May 18, the texts adopted in the form of recommendations will be forwarded to COP 16, forming the basis for the negotiations to be held in Cali in October 2024. The recommendations concern, in particular, the framework for monitoring the global framework by 2030, the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity, and the link between biodiversity and health.


Several delegates welcomed the results of the meeting, seeing it as a significant exercise in translating science into policy. The SBSTTA President emphasized that the 26th SBSTTA meeting had been particularly fruitful, setting the scene for an informed COP 16.


The 4th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 4)


Two days after the end of SBSTTA 26, the 4th meeting of the SBI got underway. Discussions focused in particular on monitoring progress in updating National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), reviewing implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework and mainstreaming biodiversity.


Several delegations presented progress reports on their respective NBSAPs. As the main instrument for implementing the CBD, NBSAPs must demonstrate the efforts made by States to adopt policies in line with the Kunming-Montreal framework targets. Considering that this was not, however, a generalized reality, and that NBSAPs are crucial to collectively meeting the objectives of the global framework, some delegates suggested imposing a stricter deadline for the submission of NBSAPs. Canada is currently working on its NBSAP and is confident that it will be published before the start of COP 16. A draft version is available for consultation.

A large number of delegates called for an approach that includes all players in society and all levels of government.

While long-term integrated approaches are essential, many delegates called for an approach that includes all players in society and all levels of government, encouraging regional and multi-stakeholder dialogues. In the same vein, the delegations present recognized the importance of integrating biodiversity at all levels of government and in all sectors, with a view to the long term. While long-term integration is mentioned in the Kunming-Montreal agreement, several delegates pointed out that the agreement adopted in 2022 contains no clear guidelines or benchmarks to support long-term integration efforts for the various sectors or the entire value chain.


In addition to updating the templates for national reports disclosing each state's progress in relation to the targets set by the global framework, the creation of new templates for disclosure reports from non-state actors wishing to make voluntary commitments was discussed, while emphasizing the transparency that must be demonstrated in these processes, in order to prevent the risks of greenwashing and reduce subsidies harmful to biodiversity, in line with target 18 of the global framework. Discussions also focused on the destination of these reports: some delegations suggested that they be collected by an international body, while others advocated reporting at national level.


Delegates called for strong regulatory frameworks and measurable commitments, in particular to redirect harmful subsidies towards achieving the NBSAPs, and to promote incentives for action to protect biodiversity, in order to align policies and financial flows with the global framework. Evaluation of the implementation of commitments, including the NBSAPs, is key, as a global review of the implementation of the global framework is scheduled for 2026, in order to realign where necessary.

The mobilization of financial resources has been a controversial subject, and will certainly be so at COP 16.

The mobilization of financial resources for the most vulnerable countries, but also for certain sectors of activity at national level, has been a controversial subject, and will certainly be so at COP 16. Indeed, the effective mobilization of international financial resources should not be delayed too long, given that the deadline for the global framework adopted in 2022 is already less than 6 years away. Specifically, it is expected that at least $30 billion per year will be mobilized between now and 2030.


Ultimately, the SBI 4 deliberations ended with a set of recommendations, albeit with many square brackets to be removed. Sentences in square brackets represent contentious issues that will need to be addressed further at COP 16. As the SBI 4 agenda was extremely full, some agenda items could not be fully addressed, which may require considerable work to reach consensus during COP 16. For example, the subject of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) was barely touched on and will remain on hold until COP 16, due to lack of time.


On the road to COP 16


At the close of the Nairobi intersessional meetings, a number of important milestones have been reached in the run-up to COP 16. These are part of the process of meeting the challenge of achieving the objectives set by the Kunming-Montreal Accord by 2030, by prioritizing an approach centred on human rights, multi-level governance and the inclusion of the various players in society, on the way to la paz con la naturaleza (peace with nature), which is the slogan of COP 16. 


 

For further information:

Laura Fequino, political analyst

Ateliers pour la biodiversité

 

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