All lights are shining over the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) at the Geneva Biodiversity Conference, with delegates deciding to channel remaining time and energy to ensure a productive outcome for the Working Group on the GBF (WG2020).
In the morning, a plenary session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) addressed marine and coastal biodiversity, the GBF monitoring framework, and biodiversity and health. Marine and coastal biodiversity derailed fast. Following an initial round of text suggestions for inclusion in the relevant document under discussion, some delegates proposed suspending the negotiation and inviting parties to send written submissions to the Secretariat. This was agreed upon, creating an unusual situation where L documents will be forwarded to COP-15 fully bracketed, essentially as a compilation of views. Parties justified this decision in light of the extraordinary circumstances, stressing that it should not set a precedent. Despite that, aficionados of marine and coastal biodiversity were unimpressed, including regarding interventions implying that the topic is not directly related to the GBF. Discussions were more productive on the remaining two topics under SBSTTA’s agenda despite bracketed parts in both documents.
In the afternoon and evening, Contact Groups under the WG2020 met to address GBF targets related to reducing threats to biodiversity, and GBF goals and milestones respectively. The afternoon Contact Group focused on targets related to:
- management actions for the recovery and conservation of species and their genetic diversity;
- pathways, introduction and establishment, and eradication or control of invasive alien species (IAS);
- ensuring that the harvesting, trade, and use of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine wild species is sustainable and legal; and
- ensuring that all areas globally are under integrated, biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning.
The evening Contact Group heard reports from an informal group addressing the GBF milestones and continued work on GBF goals.
Five side events took place at lunchtime, focusing on:
- nature-based finance - where investors and lenders have an interest in nature conservation;
- nature positive by 2030: adopting a clear, simple and rallying mission to reverse nature loss by 2030;
- targets for effective area-based conservation under the 30x30 ambitions: what counts? who counts?;
- contradictions and consequences from Geneva to the world; and
- networks of marine protected area managers, together to accelerate and support the implementation of the Aïchi target 11.