UN Biodiversity Conference High-level Segment Emphasizes Need for Integrated Action
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Parallel sessions during the two-day High-level Segment addressed ways and means to mainstream biodiversity into the energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing, and health sectors.

The Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration on Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet, which was developed by Egypt following consultation with Parties, invites the UN General Assembly to convene a summit on biodiversity before CBD COP 15 in 2020.

15 November 2018: The High-level Segment (HLS) of the UN Biodiversity Conference brought together leaders from national governments and international organizations during a two-day event immediately preceding the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Parallel sessions addressed ways and means to mainstream biodiversity into the energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing, and health sectors. Participants also exchanged views on the transformational path needed for the new global biodiversity framework to be adopted in 2020.

During the HLS, which convened from 14-15 November, participants were addressed by the Prime Minister of Egypt, Mostafa Madbouly. In addition to parallel sessions on mainstreaming biodiversity into a variety of sectors, the HLS included a panel discussion on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and 2050 vision, and launched the International Alliance on Nature and Culture. At the conclusion of the two-day event, participants adopted the Sharm El-Sheikh Ministerial Declaration.

Societal narratives need to shift away from production and extraction, and towards co-existence, co-creating, and co-sharing.

Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt, opened the HLS highlighting the importance of participation of all sectors in mainstreaming biodiversity, drawing attention to the attendance of Egypt’s planning and finance Ministers. Ambassador José Octavio Tripp Villanueva, Mexico, on behalf of CBD COP 13 Presidency, stated that actions must be accelerated to meet 2020 targets and the SDGs. Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment), emphasized three key points to achieving the task at hand: conservation, co-existence, and communication. Cristiana Pasca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary, noted the need to shift societal narratives away from production and extraction, and towards co-existence, co-creating, and co-sharing. Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment, Estonia, and President of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), emphasized the need to create synergies on: efficient use of resources; maintenance and restoration of ecosystems; and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration on Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet was developed by Egypt following consultation with Parties. Through the Declaration, governments commit to mainstream biodiversity through, among other actions: integrating biodiversity values in legislative and policy frameworks, and development and finance plans; phasing out or reforming subsidies and other harmful incentives; strengthening ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation; promoting sustainable consumption and production and a circular economy; and facilitating access to and transfer of relevant technologies. The Declaration invites the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to convene a summit on biodiversity before CBD COP 15 in 2020.

CBD COP 14 is convening from 17-29 November 2018, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and is being held concurrently with 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 to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization. Known collectively as the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference, the meeting is organized around the following theme: ‘Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet.’ [IISD RS Coverage of First Day of High-level Segment] [IISD RS Coverage of Second Day of High-level Segment] [CBD COP 14 Webpage]


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