At the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, taking place in China in October 2020, governments are expected to agree on a post-2020 framework that will include a set of targets to succeed the Aichi biodiversity targets.
At the same time, the WWF discussion paper notes, the UNGA must agree how the SDG targets maturing in 2020 will be aligned with the overarching 2030 Agenda deadline.
The authors stress that a decision would need to be reached at the HLPF when it convenes in September 2019.
28 March 2019: WWF published a discussion paper setting out possible options and decision-making milestones for reviewing the 12 SDG targets linked to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi biodiversity targets, given that they will “mature” in 2020. The relationship between a UN General Assembly (UNGA) process to decide on an approach to these SDG targets and the CBD’s post-2020 negotiations must be clarified as early as possible, the authors write, in order to avoid misaligned sets of CBD and SDG targets post-2020.
WWF notes that based on current progress on the 12 SDG targets, most of them are unlikely to be met by 2020. Therefore, the paper calls for a “clear and coherent” process to extend implementation efforts to 2030. The authors emphasize that conversations on these targets need to commence “well ahead” of 2020 in order to ensure buy-in from stakeholders and decision-makers.
The discussion paper explains that at the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (CBD COP 15), which will take place in China in October 2020, governments are expected to agree on a post-2020 framework that will include a set of targets to succeed the Aichi biodiversity targets. Therefore, at the same, the UNGA must agree how the SDG targets with a 2020 “deadline” will be aligned with the overarching 2030 Agenda timeframe, and such a decision would need to be reached at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) when it convenes under the auspices of the UNGA in September 2019.
The paper includes a table providing a detailed analysis of five options for action on the maturing targets, setting out efficiency gains, timelines, political acceptance, and overall contribution to SDG outcomes. The five options are:
- Do nothing (which WWF says is a “non-option”);
- Extend delivery date;
- Agree content of extended and updated targets;
- Agree process to extend and update targets; and
- Reopen the SDG framework (which WWF says is also a “non-option”).
WWF notes that failure to agree on a coherent process early may threaten the successful establishment of post-2020 environment targets under the SDGs. Without these targets, the paper argues, the achievement of all the other SDGs is “impossible” as a strong environmental pillar is “the foundation for humanity’s survival and wellbeing.”
An annex to the paper lists the 21 targets of the 2030 Agenda that have a 2020 deadline or no deadline, and identifies the 12 of those that integrate elements of the Aichi biodiversity targets. The targets found under Goals 2 (zero hunger), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 14 (life below water), and 15 (life on land). They are:
- SDG target 2.5: Maintain the genetic diversity in food production;
- SDG target 6.6: Protect and restore water-related ecosystems;
- SDG target 12.4: Responsible management of chemicals and waste;
- SDG target 14.2: Protect and restore ecosystems;
- SDG target 14.4: Sustainable fishing;
- SDG target 14.5: Conserve coastal and marine areas;
- SDG target 14.6: End subsidies that contribute to overfishing;
- SDG target 15.1: Conserve and restore terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems;
- SDG target 15.2: End deforestation and restore degraded forests;
- SDG target 15.5: Protect biodiversity and natural habitat;
- SDG target 15.8: Prevent invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems; and
- SDG target 15.9: Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity in governmental planning.