Highlights and images for 11 June 2021

The third session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) continued deliberations in preparation for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) scheduled to take place later this year in Kunming, China.

During the three-hour session, delegates addressed:

  • issues related to cooperation with other conventions, international organizations, and initiatives;
  • a conference room paper (CRP) on review of progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan; and
  • a CRP on assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Cooperation with Other Conventions

The plenary discussed activities to cooperate with other conventions, international organizations, and initiatives, focusing on their contributions to the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) and toward its implementation. Some parties noted the late publication of relevant documents, reserving their final positions for the resumed session.

Anne Teller, EU

Many parties underscored the importance of cooperation and synergies for achieving the objectives of the Convention and the effective development and implementation of the GBF. Many highlighted the need to avoid duplication of efforts, while respecting the different mandates of each convention and maintaining a party-driven approach to cooperation. Some pointed to the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions as a mechanism to foster collective action, while others noted the need to integrate biodiversity considerations in all relevant multilateral environmental agreements. Observers urged collaboration with human rights instruments and culture-related organizations.

SBI Chair Charlotta Sörqvist (Sweden) said she will consult on next steps.

Review of Progress in the Implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan

Delegates continued discussions on a CRP. SBI Chair Sörqvist suggested approving the CRP with brackets on: a paragraph in the draft recommendation noting lessons from the review of progress and committing to taking these lessons into account to enhance the implementation of the Convention and the GBF; and the annex, which outlines lessons learned from the review of progress.

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, the Democratic Republic of Congo stressed that the region is severely disadvantaged by virtual negotiations. He underscored that, while the region entered the virtual negotiations in good faith, challenges are impossible to overcome. He emphasized that all CRP documents relevant to the GBF should be bracketed and renegotiated during a face-to-face meeting. Stressing that the documents will be negotiated during the third meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the GBF and COP-15, he called for working toward an ambitious GBF that balances all the objectives of the Convention, including reaching a workable agreement in fairly sharing benefits from the use of digital sequence information.

Following debate, plenary decided to bracket the entire CRP.

Assessment and Review of the Effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Plenary considered a CRP. Delegates addressed sections on:

  • national biosafety frameworks;
  • coordination and support;
  • risk assessment and risk management; and
  • living modified organisms or traits that may have adverse effects.

Plenary deliberations on the CRP will resume on Saturday, 12 June 2021.