Marine biodiversity

Highlights and images for 15 October 2021

  COP 15 President Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment, China

COP 15 President Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment, China

The first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference concluded its deliberations, holding the closing plenaries for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the 10th meeting of the COP serving as the meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CP COP/MOP 10), and the fourth meeting of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (NP COP/MOP 4).

In the closing plenaries, participants:

  • Listened to a summary of the deliberations and conclusions from the forum on Ecological Civilization and the NGO forum;
  • Took note of reports from the Convention’s subsidiary bodies and the Open-ended Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF);
  • Listened to credential reports and reports from the protocols’ compliance committees;
  • Adopted the interim budget for 2022 for the Convention and its protocols, allowing for the smooth continuation of activities;
  • Adopted the meetings’ reports for the first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference; and
  • Listened to closing statements.

Cui Shuhong, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China

Xu Guang, Secretary-General, China Environmental Protection Foundation

Hesiquio Benítez Díaz, Mexico, Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), stressed that interlinkages among agenda items make progress on particular issues in isolation challenging. He highlighted that the resumed sessions of the subsidiary bodies and the Working Group on the GBF, to be held concurrently in Geneva in January 2022, will ensure coherence and allow for a comprehensive approach.

Charlotta Sörqvist, Sweden, Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), highlighted the considerable progress achieved in virtual meetings, including during the first part of the third meeting of SBI, stressing that further work needs to be done for the successful adoption of a package of decisions during the second part of the UN Biodiversity Conference.

Charlotta Sörqvist, Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) Chair

Hamdallah Zedan, Egypt, Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions, outlined recommendations from the 11th meeting of the Working Group. He highlighted that the unique association Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have with the CBD is one of the Convention’s biggest strengths, urging for further strengthening and empowering IPLCs’ role, fully respecting and protecting their rights.

Francis Ogwal, Uganda, and Basile van Havre, Canada, Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the GBF, reported on the good progress of the Working Group despite the challenges posed by the pandemic; acknowledged the encouraging commitments made by global leaders; and expressed their confidence that a new, truly transformational GBF is very achievable.

Basile van Havre, Co-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group on the GBF

In closing remarks, the UK announced an additional voluntary contribution of GBP 200,000 to the Special Voluntary Trust Fund to facilitate participation in the Convention’s processes. China reiterated its commitment to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, including a contribution of 1.5 billion yuan/renminbi (approximately USD 230 million) in the spirit of the Kunming Declaration.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, CBD, thanked China for successfully organizing the first part of the meeting and all involved for their contributions. She identified three key components of an effective GBF: sufficient ambition to meet the 2030 goals and 2050 vision by addressing all drivers of biodiversity loss; commensurate financial commitment including via the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and a mechanism to ensure we are on track to achieve our goals and targets.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, CBD Executive Secretary

COP 15 President Huang Runqiu expressed satisfaction that the hard work at the first part of COP 15 has paid off with good progress on all fronts, and ensured all participants that China will work hard to be ready for the second part of the Conference and the successful adoption of the GBF. He concluded with a Chinese proverb saying “if we walk together, we will be able to overcome any obstacles,” and closed the first part of COP 15 at 5:09pm Kunming time (UTC+8).

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