UN Biodiversity Conference Discusses Capacity Building, Traditional Knowledge
Photo by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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On Wednesday, Working Group I discuss various issues, including: the financial mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols; capacity building; public awareness, education and participation; the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH); and the Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) Clearing-House.

Working Group II addressed issues related to Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge), the sixth national reports, the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) and indicators.

7 December 2016: On Wednesday, at the UN Biodiversity Conference, the two Working Groups continued their deliberations on various issues. Other meetings were held during the day, addressing, inter alia: budget issues; ecologically or biologically sensitive marine areas (EBSAs); synthetic biology; invasive alien species (IAS); and resource mobilization.

Working Group I (WG I) held sessions throughout the day to discuss: the financial mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Protocols; capacity building under the Convention and its Protocols; awareness raising under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization; public awareness, education and participation under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH); the Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) Clearing-House; modus operandi under the Convention and its Protocols; integration among the Convention and its Protocols; and cooperation with other conventions and organizations.

Working Group II (WG II) addressed issues related to Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge (TK)), the sixth national reports, the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) and indicators.

On the financial mechanism under the Convention, delegates addressed, inter alia, the four-year framework of programme priorities for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) seventh replenishment period (GEF-7), Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ prioritization and assessment of needs for GEF-7.

On the financial mechanism under the Cartagena Protocol, the EU called for additional GEF support for biosafety-related capacity building and for the development of national biosafety frameworks. India expressed concern about declining GEF support for biosafety activities and supported a dedicated focal area for biosafety under GEF-7.

On the financial mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol, Norway suggested an additional element for inclusion in the four-year framework of programme priorities for GEF-7, on the number of countries that have implemented the Protocol in a mutually supportive manner with other relevant international agreements. The EU highlighted the need to establish administrative measures that enable access in accordance with the Protocol, and called for GEF support to promote understanding of the internationally recognized certificates of compliance. A contact group on the issue was established.

Discussion on capacity building under the Convention focused on whether to “endorse,” “adopt” or “take note of” the short-term action plan (2017-2020) to enhance and support capacity building for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Under the Cartagena Protocol, delegates considered the report on implementation of the Framework and Action Plan for Capacity-Building for implementation of the Cartagena Protocol, and discussed the roster of experts. Under the Nagoya Protocol, discussions focused on the progress report on implementation of the Strategic Framework for Capacity-Building and Development to support implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

On cooperation with other conventions and organizations, Norway called for inviting the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to join discussions on synergies, and for prioritizing continued access to GEF finance and the harmonization of national biodiversity indicators.

On Article 8(j) (TK), Norway reported on national regulations on TK associated with genetic resources, under which indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) can decide whether to share their knowledge. Delegates addressed, among other issues: guidelines on TK legislation, including whether to use “free” prior informed consent (PIC) and “approval and involvement” as an alternative to PIC; TK repatriation; glossary; and in-depth dialogue.

In the contact group on synthetic biology, following lengthy discussions on issues around the definition, consensus was reached on the relevant part of the draft decision.

On indicators, Costa Rica proposed adding two generic indicators under Aichi Biodiversity Target 11: trends and the extent to which protected areas (PAs) are contributing to women’s and IPLCs’ well-being; and trends and recognition of indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) in traditional territories.

In the contact group on synthetic biology, following lengthy discussions on issues around the definition, consensus was reached on the relevant part of the draft decision. Discussions on the use of digital sequence information and its relation to ABS continued into the night.

The contact group on EBSAs continued to discuss options for describing new EBSAs and revising existing EBSAs in marine areas within and beyond national jurisdiction. Participants held a lengthy discussion on the need for a robust scientific process to modify EBSAs. They also discussed language to capture situations where a described EBSA occurs within the national jurisdiction of a single state, and cases where it extends across two or more jurisdictions. [IISD RS Coverage of UN Biodiversity Conference]

Side events took place throughout the day. An event on small-scale fisheries and Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 drew attention to the importance of livelihoods and food security in marine protected areas (MPAs). Participants considered the role of small-scale fishers as part of the solution to healthy marine ecosystems, particularly in coastal areas. The meeting highlighted the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (the SSF Guidelines).

IPBES and the CBD held a side event on the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The event was presented by: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Fisheries and Aquaculture Department; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission of Ecosystem Management Fisheries Expert Group (IUCN-CEM-FEG); the European Bureau of Conservation and Development (EBCD); and the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the CBD held a side event on the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Participants discussed the relevance of the IPBES work programme 2014-2018 in informing progress towards the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the review of implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, through thematic, regional and global assessments and scenario analysis and modeling. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

The CBD convened an event on ‘Mainstreaming Biosafety Experiences from a Global Project on Integrated Implementation of the CBD and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at the National Level.’ Participants heard presentations on lessons learned from parties participating in the project ‘Capacity building to promote integrated implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the CBD at the national level,’ and on ongoing activities to develop capacity-building material for enhancing mainstreaming of biosafety. In the discussion, participants stressed, inter alia: the need to capture biosafety in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and to ensure, in turn, that NBSAPs are integrated into national development plans; that governments should be encouraged to have one common body to manage the Convention and the Protocol; and the need to consider a variety of approaches so if a model is not feasible or appropriate in a national context, another approach can be implemented. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

At a side event held by the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP), convened by UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the BIP launched the redeveloped BIP website and interactive search facility, designed to support users in identifying multiple uses of CBD global indicators and applicability at the national level. [UNEP-WCMC Press Release] [BIP Website]

Other Wednesday’s events addressed, among other issues: bridging the science-policy gap for biodiversity and human health; considering intellectual property in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol; synergies across the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) towards sustainable development; and strengthening global partnerships to recognize the role of Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) in achieving the CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11, 14 and 18. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

The 7 December theme for the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) was ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Tourism and Fisheries Management.’ Presentations and discussions focused on showcasing solutions from small island developing States (SIDS) and from other States as tourism destinations and “biodiversity hotspots.” Participants also addressed integrating sustainable fisheries management into wider sustainable development frameworks, including tourism.

The event was organized by the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), the CBD Secretariat and the Government of Mexico. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio Conventions Pavilion]


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