11 January 2023
Synergies Among Rio Conventions Emphasized at COP 15 Pavilion
Photo Credit: Debora Tingley on Unsplash
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The daily themes of the Pavilion included ecosystem restoration, food, transformative change, the Ocean, spatial data, and intergenerational dialogue.

Sessions focused on initiatives that have helped advance dialogue and action on biodiversity loss, and sought to formulate a forward-looking vision of the Rio Conventions.

More than ten years after its launch in 2011, the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) convened for six days during the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in Montreal, Canada, to address, among others, the critical juncture the planet is facing with respect to climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. The RCP at COP 15 events elaborated on the interlinkages between the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, food systems transformation, and the contribution of biodiversity protection to climate objectives. 

Speakers shared their expertise with respect to the daily themes of the Pavilion, which took place from 13-18 December. 

The opening day of the RCP was Restoration Day, which focused on, among others, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The UN’s First Ten World Restoration Flagships, spanning 23 countries, were announced, with the objective of producing diverse examples of ecosystem restoration. Germany announced an investment of EUR 40 million in the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which will direct significant funding to the flagship programme. Speakers called for increased participation of Indigenous Peoples in ecosystem restoration solutions, and emphasized that every dollar invested in restoration efforts will generate USD 30 in benefits. They discussed key findings of the Global Land Outlook 2, including land as the operative link between climate and biodiversity, and restoration as a tool to boost resilience, and showcased ways to engage youth in the restoration agenda.

The second day focused on food. Sessions addressed: transforming food systems to reverse biodiversity loss, and the nexus between biodiversity-climate-land-food systems; how to implement food-related targets of the GBF; transforming aquatic and terrestrial food systems together in the GBF and beyond; and Indigenous and local women as stewards of land and food sovereignty.

The third day of the RCP dedicated its morning session to Transformative Change for Nature Positive Pathways. Panelists discussed opportunities that transformative change poses for a nature-positive future that can holistically address the climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises. The afternoon session focused on nature-based climate solutions and how National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) can enhance synergies between climate and biodiversity strategies. 

Day four was dedicated to three themes: the Ocean; spatial data; and intergenerational dialogue for strengthening linkages between biodiversity and climate. The diversity of the themes demonstrated the reach of the Rio Conventions and underscored how integrative, coordinated opportunities can help overcome the environmental crises.

The Ocean theme addressed, among others: marine and coastal biodiversity knowledge needs for policy and society in the context of the GBF; and solutions for conserving and restoring marine biodiversity in the context of the new Global Framework. The second theme explored, inter alia, harnessing the power of spatial data to take early action on the GBF. GIZ presented the Mapeo tool, which gives Indigenous Peoples an opportunity to own the data and is accessible and useable by non-literate populations, furthering inclusivity. The intergenerational dialogue for strengthening linkages between biodiversity and climate focused on the Japanese experience in mainstreaming awareness and action on biodiversity and climate change. 

The fifth day of the RCP focused on initiatives that have helped advance dialogue and action on biodiversity loss through a concerted effort of multi-stakeholder engagement, quantifiable measures of success, and science-based and other innovative approaches. Speakers underlined the importance of South-South cooperation to share best practices, limitations, and lessons learned to realize the full potential of the GBF, climate goals, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Various projects and programmes were also presented, including:

  • the BIODEV2030 project, which was implemented in 16 pilot countries with multiple socioeconomic, environmental, and geographic contexts. The project aims to harness scientific assessments of threats to biodiversity in the national context to inform strategies and prioritization of actions; and 
  • Reverse the Red – a global movement that aims to build strategic cooperation and action to ensure the survival of wild species and ecosystems.

The final day offered a forward-looking vision of the Rio Conventions and how discussions, decisions, and events at COP 15 can help streamline even stronger coherence and cooperation among them. Sessions addressed maximizing synergies among the Rio Conventions, including through harmonized and coherent implementation of commitments, which could improve effectiveness and realize efficiency gains in achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN), meeting biodiversity and climate targets, and transforming food systems. Speakers underscored the importance of, among others: clear monitoring of projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to assess benefits accrued for the three Conventions; and joint data and information sharing, and coordination across institutional structures to help overcome working in silos. The Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) Award Ceremony also took place

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) provided coverage of the Rio Conventions Pavilion at COP 15 events from 13-18 December. 

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