11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place from 8 to 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India. To prepare the COP meeting, the 15th meeting of the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the fourth meeting of the Ad-Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention (WGRI) were held in Montreal, Canada in May 2012. In July 2012, the contracting parties also convened for the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP) in New Delhi, India. During these meetings recommendations were drawn up for decisions to be taken at COP 11.
COP 11 focused on resource mobilisation for the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. These ambitious targets for international nature conservation in the decade from 2011 to 2020 had been adopted at COP 10 in Japan. Following lengthy negotiations, tangible progress was made on this point. There was general agreement at COP 11 that the future activities of the CBD should concentrate on the implementation of the decisions already taken. This includes key areas of the CBD's work, such as the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing, the Programme of Work on Protected Areas, the development of safeguards under the REDD+ programme and the identification of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSA). The targets of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi targets in particular have the potential to play a decisive role in combating the global loss of biological diversity. It will therefore be vital for the future to work towards effective, worldwide implementation of these targets together.
The most important topics of CBD COP 11 in brief:
Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
The role of the Clearing House Mechanism is to be strengthened to facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Plan. A new programme of work was adopted for this purpose. Moreover, a monitoring process for the implementation of the Strategic Plan was initiated, including a general list of indicators based on the 20 targets in the Strategic Plan that can be adapted by each country. The Secretariat was tasked with presenting regular progress reports on the development and use of indicators and monitoring systems to the CBD's scientific body (SBSTTA) before every COP until 2020. As expected, the difficult issue of mobilising resources for the implementation of the Strategic Plan dominated the negotiations. As an interim goal, it was decided that the amount of international funds flowing to developing countries should be doubled by 2015, based on the values from 2006 to 2010, and that this level of funding is to be maintained at least up to 2020. At the same time, quantitative targets were adopted for national reporting and needs analyses, national financial plans for biodiversity and mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development plans and policies. These targets will be reviewed at COP 12, and a final target will be set on the basis of this review. Moreover, parties agreed on a process for the continued analysis of innovative financing mechanisms under the CBD, which will be discussed at COP 12.
Status of the Nagoya Protocol
The negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol concentrated on the adoption of the recommendations drawn up at the two preparatory meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP). There was wide support for holding a third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee to shape the further international process.
Biological diversity in marine and coastal areas
The debate revolved around ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSA) that had been identified in regional workshops. The Executive Secretary was requested to include the areas identified in the CBD database (repository) and communicate them to the UN General Assembly and other relevant institutions. The process as such was endorsed, so that more areas can be included in the repository at COP 12.
The CBD will continue to contribute to the elaboration of safeguards for biodiversity conservation in the context of the REDD+ mechanism of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The mandate for the development of indicators to review effective implementation of the safeguards was extended up to COP 13. This will allow the CBD to cooperate with its parties and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests over the next four years to gather experience from ongoing REDD+ measures. A knowledge-based list of indicators is to be produced based on the analysis of this information. Recommendations on the application of safeguards regarding precautionary risk assessment and increasing the effectiveness of REDD+ measures have already been issued. The goal of these recommendations is to ensure the credibility and long-term success of REDD+ measures in terms of biodiversity conservation. A link has also been established with the Aichi targets (including the list of indicators), which provide an additional basis for assessing the impacts of REDD+ measures on biodiversity.
Business & Biodiversity
In the area of cooperation with industry, governments were called upon once again to continue their dialogue with industry and promote the establishment of national and regional "business and biodiversity" initiatives and global business partnerships. The parties were invited to strengthen capacities in developing countries and support them in designing political instruments and guidelines that help their industries to pursue biodiversity-friendly strategies.
Many parties underlined that progress had been made in the expansion of an effectively managed and ecologically representative system of protected areas and in the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas to date. There was broad support for recommendations submitted by SBSTTA, which call for a revision of national biodiversity strategies and action plans as well as measures to enhance financing and cooperation.