Week one of Nairobi negotiations

Climate change, protected areas and marine issues were some of the hot topics discussed during the first week of a meeting in Nairobi, as Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) worked through a number of issues which, in their view, will help to deliver the Convention’s objectives. Decisions taken in Nairobi will provide a scientific basis for discussions that will take place in October in Nagoya, Japan, at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CBD.

Children washing laundry in a freshwater pool, with potable water, generated through upwelling from the dam, Saloum Delta, Senegal

Climate Change was among the first issues to be discussed, with a strong call from some of the Parties to increase the collaboration among the three so-called ‘Rio Conventions’: Desertification, Climate Change and Biodiversity. These three international treaties were born at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, - the "Rio Earth Summit."

The meeting also looked at work on Protected Areas. Several developing countries indicated the need to develop and implement sustainable finance plans for the Protected Area systems. Equitable benefit-sharing and effective participation of indigenous and local communities were highlighted as important aspects of this work.

IUCN and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) were central to these discussions. Delegates asked the Commission to develop technical guidance on many issues, such as governance, ecological restoration, monitoring and evaluation, and management of Protected Areas. They also called for the Commission’s cooperation in developing ways to measure the values, costs and benefits of Protected Areas, building on the existing work of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study. Countries were also asked to consider conservation planning approaches based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ in identifying Protected Area systems.

In the marine realm the importance of the protection of areas beyond national jurisdiction was strongly emphasized and discussed. Other issues discussed during the first week of negotiations in Nairobi included mountain biodiversity, inland waters and forests.

This week, Parties will focus on post-2010 Biodiversity Targets and the formulation of a new Strategic Plan - likely to have a powerful impact on the future of the Convention and – on the future of the world’s biodiversity. The meeting will also reiterate the importance of adopting a new Global Strategy for Plant Conservation which aims to conserve the world’s plant species.

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