SBSTTA-21 – so far, so good

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice is meeting from 11 to 14 December 2018 in Montreal with the following themes (clickable table at the end of the blog below):

 

Since the meeting’s start yesterday morning, each agenda item has been discussed in plenary with parties providing their comments on the official document. The CBD Secretariat has already prepared two CRPs, and is still preparing the remaining updated conference room papers (CRPs) based on parties’ feedback. Below a short overview of some of the issues discussed.

On the scenarios for the 2050 vision, the link to IPBES was made and Paul Leadley (IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel member) presented work of the IPBES scenarios and models expert group.

Paul Leadley presenting IPBES' activities on scenarios and models; Picture credit: K.Raab

Many interventions on the topic of scenarios were already considering the post-2020 Strategic Plan of the CBD by reiterating support for the 2050 vision (from UNEP/CBD/COP/10/2): “Living in harmony with nature”, where “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.”

Indeed, it is clear that the topic of the post-2020 Strategic Plan is gaining a lot of traction. Prior to SBSTTA, WWF Germany with support from the Institute for Biodiversity (ibn), a German scientific NGO, organized a one-day meeting, part of a longer process with a series of three international workshops, addressing the post-2020 strategic plan. A group of ca 40 people discussed whether to maintain, adjust or replace the current strategic plan’s Vision (above), as well as it rather unwieldy Mission (pasted below), and Strategic Goals, under which the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are clustered.

WWF meeting participants and co-organiser Cornelia Paulsch (front). Photo: K. Raab

Biodiversity and health was also discussed at length, with several parties underlining the importance of prevention, collaboration with appropriate/relevant partners (such as WHO, FAO, and many more), and the integration into national action plans. Microbiota was not mentioned too often, but was picked up as a topic at the side event on biodiversity and health on 12. Dec 2017. The biodiversity and health theme is gaining traction, both within and outside CBD. UNEA last week also adopted a resolution on Environment and Health, for example. It was pointed out, though, that the importance of traditional medicines and indigenous people and women is lacking, and that this should be adjusted. The document on Mainstreaming includes mainstreaming of health, but was rarely mentioned in the interventions on this document. More information on how the documents address both Biodiversity and Health and Mainstreaming can be found here (coming soon).

To date, negotiations have been fairly uncontroversial and the process has been smooth. Only one official document has been relegated to a Friends of the Chair group (Sustainable wildlife management: Guidance for achieving a more sustainable bush meat sector) for more intensive negotiations led by Prudence Galega from Cameroon, and is to be continued tonight.

The CRP on ‘Tools for evaluating the effectiveness of policy instruments for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020’ has already been approved and plenary will continue discussing the CRP on ‘Scenarios for the 2050 Vision for biodiversity, and links between the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals’ tomorrow.

Thus the meeting is progressing well, and in the meantime outside the meeting venue, sub-zero temperatures and increasing amounts of snow make the stay in Montreal a true Canadian winter experience.

 

 

*CBD Mission: to "take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet’s variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication. To ensure this, pressures on biodiversity are reduced, ecosystems are restored, biological resources are sustainably used and benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resources are shared in a fair and equitable manner; adequate financial resources are provided, capacities are enhanced, biodiversity issues and values mainstreamed, appropriate policies are effectively implemented, and decision-making is based on sound science and the precautionary approach."

 

Agenda item

Topic

Official Documents

Information documents (INF)

3.

Scenarios for the 2050 Vision for biodiversity, and links between the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/2

2, 3, 4, 18, 19

4.

Sustainable wildlife management: Guidance for achieving a more sustainable bush meat sector.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/3

6, 7, 8, 20

5.

Biodiversity and human health.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/4

CBD/HB/LG/2017/1/1  CBD/HB/WS/2017/1/2

6.

Mainstreaming of biodiversity into the sectors of energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing industry, and health: scientific and technical considerations and use of the programmes of work of the Convention.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/5

5, 9, 11-15

7.

Fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/6

1, 10, 16, 17

8.

Tools for evaluating the effectiveness of policy instruments for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/7

N/A

9.

New and emerging issues.

CBD/SBSTTA/21/8

N/A