The Council of the EU calls for increased efforts to fully achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and for the adoption of an ambitious follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, to strengthen implementation of the CBD and its Protocols, as well as of other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements and relevant SDGs.
It calls for the adoption of a long-term strategic approach on biodiversity mainstreaming, and highlights that ecosystem restoration, conservation and ecosystem-based approaches can significantly contribute to combating climate change.
9 October 2018: Environment ministers of the EU member States adopted conclusions setting out the EU negotiating position for the UN Biodiversity Conference. The Council of Environment Ministers calls for increased efforts to fully achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and for the adoption of an ambitious follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, to strengthen implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Protocols, as well as of other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and relevant SDGs.
The UN Biodiversity Conference will be held from 17-29 November 2018, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. It includes the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the CBD, the ninth Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the third Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS).
In the conclusions, the Council of the EU underlines that the process to be adopted at COP 14 for preparing a post-2020 global biodiversity framework should include a process for launching voluntary commitments from Parties, individually or in coalition, and stresses the need for convening a high-level biodiversity summit in 2020 to strengthen the political visibility of biodiversity and its “vital contribution” to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The EU calls for a high-level biodiversity summit in 2020 to strengthen the political visibility of biodiversity and its contribution to the 2030 Agenda.
On the CBD COP agenda, the Council calls for the adoption of a long-term strategic approach on mainstreaming, fully integrated with the post-2020 framework, and highlights that ecosystem restoration, conservation and ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation can significantly contribute to countries’ efforts to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, while supporting biodiversity objectives.
Issues related to synthetic biology and digital sequence information are expected to be among the most controversial items at the conference. In the conclusions, the Council stresses the need for a coordinated approach on issues related to synthetic biology under the Convention and its Protocols, and reaffirms that, in dealing with organisms, components and products of synthetic biology, and in particular organisms containing engineered gene drives, the precautionary approach should be applied, recognizing thus that there could be potential adverse impacts on biodiversity arising from such organisms. It further calls on Parties to deepen their understanding of digital sequence information, and of possible implications of its use for all three objectives of the Convention (biodiversity conservation, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources).
The Council stresses the importance to develop a specific follow-up to the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety that is anchored in and complementary to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and expresses willingness to further discuss issues related to a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, taking into account that more practical experience with the implementation of the Protocol is needed. [EU Press Release] [Council Conclusions] [2018 UN Biodiversity Conference Webpage]