Highlights and images for 12 June 2021

The third session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) continued virtual 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 conference room papers (CRPs) on assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and on communication.

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

Plenary considered a CRP, including sections on:

  • liability and redress;
  • handling, transport, packaging, and identification;
  • socio-economic considerations;
  • transit, contained use, unintentional transboundary movements, and emergency measures;
  • information-sharing;
  • compliance and review;
  • public awareness and participation, biosafety education, and training; and
  • outreach and cooperation.

Among other issues, delegates debated, without reaching consensus:

  • whether to note “with regret” the limited number of parties that have ratified the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress;
  • whether parties should be “invited” or “encouraged” to develop approaches that facilitate socio-economic considerations; and
  • whether to include a paragraph encouraging parties to provide support, especially for developing countries, for effective participation in biotechnological and biosafety research activities.

The CRP was approved as amended and bracketed.

Capacity Building, Technical and Scientific Cooperation, Technology Transfer, Knowledge Management, and Communication

SBI Chair Charlotta Sörqvist (Sweden) introduced CRPs on:

  • communication;
  • knowledge management and the Clearing-house Mechanism; and
  • evaluation of the strategic framework for capacity building and development to support the effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing.

Contact group Co-Chair Haike Jan Haanstra (the Netherlands) reported on the proceedings of the contact group on technical and scientific cooperation. He introduced a CRP on capacity building and development, technical and scientific cooperation, and technology transfer, noting many issues remain outstanding. Chair Sörqvist said this CRP will be deferred for discussion at the resumed, in-person, session.

Haike Jan Haanstra, the Netherlands

Delegates then addressed the CRP on communication. Among other issues, they debated, without reaching agreement:

  • the membership of the Informal Advisory Committee (IAC) on Communication, Education, and Public Awareness, including whether to extend it to participants in the “Communications Flotilla” and youth representatives;
  • alternative proposals on the use of action-oriented messages to inform and mobilize action by all actors, including the role of the IAC and the Secretariat in the formulation of the messages and their potential to mobilize financial resources; and
  • linkages with the communication strategy to be developed under the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).

Delegates reached consensus on a request to the Secretariat - within available resources and in coordination with parties and stakeholders - to support a range of communication activities needed for initiatives to be undertaken in the upcoming biennium.

Uganda, on behalf of the African Group, reiterated the region’s disadvantage in participating in virtual negotiations, and called for bracketing the entire CRP on communications, as well as all CRP documents relevant to the GBF. He explained the region does not oppose to the content of the CRP as a whole, but maintained that all GBF-related items should be agreed upon as a package. Norway, Colombia, and Mexico proposed including a reference in the meeting’s report to explain the challenges, rather than bracketing the entire CRP.

Uganda on behalf of the African Group

Chair Sörqvist suggested, and delegates agreed, to bracketing the entire CRP and inviting the African Group as well as other interested parties to note their position in the meeting’s report.

SBI-3 will resume on Sunday, 13 June 2021, for its last plenary session.