CBD CoP10 Nagoya

IUCN (Gonzalo Oviedo, Jane Smart and Hans Friederich) at CBD COP10

Parties Unite to Halt Biodiversity Loss

The Convention on Biological Diversity, in force since 1993, works to enable three main objectives: 1) the conservation of biologial diversity, 2) the sustainable use of its components and 3) the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from using genetic resources.

From Monday October 18th to Friday October 29th, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and observers met in Nagoya, Japan for the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10). The purpose of the meeting was to finalize the proposed documents and recommendations related to implementing the programs of work for the CBD. The agenda for the meeting covered such issues as CBD's proposed new 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, a proposed access and benefit sharing regime, sustainable use and a financing mechanism for implementing CBD. Various draft decisions were proposed for CBD COP10 and were discussed at the meeting.

Opening CBD COP10

News Highlights

CBD COP10 met from October 18-29 in Nagoya, Japan to discuss commitments to biodiversity conservation. The agenda for CBD COP10 covered CBD's proposed 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, a proposed access and benefit sharing regime, financial and resourcing mechanisms for implementing the CBD as well as sustainable use, plants, inland waters, protected areas, invasive species, marine and coastal biodiversity, forest and mountain biodiversity, among other topics.The following is a summary of some of the key issues that were discussed, IUCN's positions on them and their outcome. For the final documents and recommendations that were adopted at CBD COP10, see here (a few small changes were made to some of the documents during plenary on October 29th but you can refer back to the CBD COP10 website to see absolutely final versions of documents in a few days). For more general IUCN news, video and photos from the meeting, see here. For more detailed records of the discussions that took place on the various agenda items at CBD COP10, you can refer to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Access and Benefit Sharing

After two weeks of intensive, often late-night negotiations and a plenary session on Friday, October 29 that lasted until 3am, the regime on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was finally adopted. This was a major success of the meeting given that several developing countries stating early on that without an Access and Benefit Sharing regime, which would ensure that local communities and indigenous groups receive equal benefits from the use of natural resources on their land or under their management (e.g. for medicine), they would not continue to engage with the Convention.

The discussion on October 29, the last day of the meeting, started off tensely with several nations disagreeing about the way that it would be considered for adoption – the EU pressed for Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to be considered together with the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and Resource Mobilization, both of which were controversial, while States such as Cuba and Bolivia advocated that the documents be considered for adoption one by one. The latter approach was endorsed by the Chair of the Plenary, President Matsumoto, and though some countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia asked to record in writing that the ABS regime did not go far enough, they did not wish to stand in the way of the document being adopted if that was the majority decision.

The document on this agenda item was approved first and then followed by the Strategic Plan and then Resource Mobilization – with approval of the triad being considered by many as necessary for the success of the meeting and eliciting huge cheers in the packed meeting room after years of effort in trying to have the ABS regime passed. The final document on ABS that was adopted is L. 43 here. IUCN was strongly involved in the contact groups that discussed ABS and was thanked for their involvement in the issue.

Revised CBD Strategic Plan, Biodiveristy Target and Indicators

The text for the new 2011-2012 Strategic Plan, which will guide the work of the CBD for the coming ten years, was adopted on the last day of the meeting, October 29. As mentioned above, this was an extremely important agenda item since many countries felt that a functioning Access and Benefit Sharing regime was dependent on a clear and strong CBD Strategic Plan as well as agreement on Resource Mobilization.

The twenty targets that were proposed focus on such topics as: Target 12 - preventing the extinction and decline of known threatened species, Target 20 - increasing capacity (human resources and financing) for implementing the Convention and Target 6 and 7 - ensuring sustainable use of fisheries, forestry and agriculture. There was also much debate around the mission for 2020 and the vision for 2050. IUCN tried to improve upon the vision, mission and targets of the proposed new CBD strategic plan in its position paper and was instrumental in the discussions of the strategic plan contact group, particularly regarding preventing species extinction in target 12.

The adopted version of the strategic plan incorporated many of IUCN’s suggestions (e.g. for target 12) but not others (for example, IUCN recommended for target 20 that, by 2020, capacity for achieving the three objectives of the Convention be increased to at least one hundred fold but the final version of the document says that resources will be increased “substantially”. Regardless, overall the adoption of the strategic plan was considered a success given the high level of debate and discussion on the various topics. The final document that was adopted on the CBD Strategic Plan is L.44 here.

Resource Mobilization

This agenda item focused on strategies to ensure that there is adequate financing and capacity for Parties to implement the new CBD Strategic Plan. Resource Mobilization was considered critical for the implementation of the proposed regime on Access and Benefit Sharing and the new 2011-2020 CBD Strategic plan, so when it was adopted at 2am on the last day of the meeting, October 29, the packed room erupted in celebration and cheers.

The final document that was adopted is L. 45 here. It has a number of indicators of success for resource mobilization and outlines strategies for increased mobilization of resources. Some important commitments to targets are contained in paragraph 9 – part a is to increase annual international financial flows to partner countries by 2020 to contribute to achieving the Convention’s three objectives, part b challenges all parties to deliver a number of actions by 2015 and part c outlines innovative financial mechanisms, for example by freeing up resources through phasing out harmful subsidies.

Sustainable Use of Biodiversity

The final document that was adopted on sustainable use at CBD COP10 can be found in L.15 here. IUCN had written a position paper for this agenda item and delivered an intervention on it to the Parties. Recommendations that were passed focused on such measures as:

1. developing, through the Liaison Group on Bushmeat and others, options for small-scale food and income alternatives in tropical and sub‑tropical countries based on the sustainable use of biodiversity,

2. Developing or further improving criteria, indicators and other relevant monitoring schemes and assessments on the sustainable use of biodiversity; and identifying and utilizing targets and indicators at the national level that contribute to the relevant targets and indicators of the post-2010 Strategic Plan of the Convention

3. Instead of an Ad-Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) that was proposed in the original document (p.135) and would only focus on “forestry and agriculture”, convening a meeting before SBSTTA15 that will compile information on how to improve sustainable use of biodiversity in a landscape perspective, including on sectoral policies, international guidelines, and best practices for sustainable agriculture and forestry, including a review of relevant criteria and indicators.

IUCN was included in this consultative group. The Satoyama Initiative (a system of traditional land use) is recognized in the document as a potentially useful tool to better understand and support human-influenced natural environments for the benefit of biodiversity and human well-being.

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)

The final version of the GSPC document is L.19 here. Support for the strategy was strong with twenty-four Parties expressing their commitment to it during the discussions and outlining work that they have already done to implement it. Several countries (Mexico, Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore, Benin) stated the need to include other plant groups such as mosses in GSPC considerations and indicated that groups like algae and fungi (including lichen-forming species) could be more appropriately served by separate strategies of their own.

In paragraph 5, the text reads “While the Strategy addresses the plant kingdom with main focus on higher plants, and other well-described groups such as bryophytes and pteridophytes; Parties, other Governments and other relevant stakeholders may consider developing conservation strategies for other groups such as algae and fungi (including lichen-forming species).” Singapore also emphasized the importance of focusing attention on plants in the marine environment and this wording was incorporated into paragraph 4 of the document.

Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

The final document that was adopted on this agenda item can be found in L.42 here. Many of IUCN Marine Programme’s recommendations were included in the final text, for example: reference to the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) in paragraph 35 relating to the Executive Secretary working with others to facilitate availability and inter-operability of the best available marine and coastal biodiversity data sets and the Executive Secretary working with others to establish a repository for scientific and technical information and experience related to the application of the scientific criteria on the identification of EBSAs in annex I of decision IX/20, and as well as other relevant compatible and complementary nationally and intergovernmentally agreed scientific criteria that shares information and harmonizes with similar initiatives. The original document is here (p. 102).

Invasive Alien Species

The final document that was adopted on Invasive Alien Species can be found in L.35 here. An Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) was created to further explore issues on invasive alien species, which IUCN is a part of. The mandate of the AHTEG is “to suggest ways and means, including, inter alia, providing scientific and technical information, advice and guidance, on the possible development of standards by appropriate bodies that can be used at an international level to avoid spread of invasive alien species that current international standards do not cover, to address the identified gaps and to prevent the impacts and minimize the risks associated with the introduction of invasive alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, as live bait and live food with the present terms of reference”.

CBD COP10 Communications

There has been much communications activitiy this past week on CBD COP10, with many articles, interviews and events profiling the work of IUCN and its staff, members and Commissions.

SSC Meeting at CBD COP10

Meeting of SSC members and partners at CBD COP10

On Wednesday, October 20th members of the SSC and other partners that are attending CBD COP10 met with Simon Stuart, Chair of the SSC, along with Jane Smart, Head of IUCN Species Programme, Dena Cator, SSC Network Support Officer, and Arturo Mora, Species and Red List Program Officer. The purpose was to give SSC members and partners a chance to exchange information on their involvement in CBD COP10 and to establish synergies where relevant. Of course, it was also just an opportunity to see the IUCN booth at CBD COP10 and relax a bit with some drinks and snacks! Attendees included: Jon Paul Rodrigues, Jon Hutton, John Donaldson, Ali Stattersfield, Holly Dublin, Robert Kenward, Claude Gascon, Dave Balfour, Piero Genovesi, Nicolas Heard, Steve Broad, Roland Melisch, Anastasiya Timoshyna and Sue Lieberman all attended the meeting. There are various other SSC members that are also attended such as Russ Mittermeier, Tom Brooks, Andy Rosenberg, Sara Oldfield, Frederic Launay, Brahim Haddane and Stella Simiyu.

IUCN Booth at CBD COP10

IUCN Booth at CBD COP10

IUCN had a booth at CBD COP10 which was wonderfully run by our IUCN Japan National Office and its many volunteers. Many IUCN publications were distributed there including Wildlife in a Changing World, Adrift and the various European and Freshwater Fish Red List assessments. It was also very popular for its origami-making section and free coffee and tea which were provided by our partners Nespresso and Dilmah for the duration of the conference.

COP10 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, October 2010, Nagoya, Japan

IUCN and SSC involvement in CBD COP10

IUCN wrote position papers on most issues for CBD COP10 such as on the proposed new 2011-2020 CBD strategic plan, access and benefit sharing, sustainable use, protected areas and others. They are located here. SSC members played a key role in writing the position papers such as the Sustainable Use Specialist Group with the Sustainable Use position paper.