Duck flock

Highlights and images for 13 May 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in December 2023 was an historic moment for biodiversity conservation, aiming to fulfill the long-term vision of the CBD of living in harmony with nature by 2050. In order to achieve this vision, the biodiversity community agrees that implementing the GBF is of paramount importance — and can make or break commitments for a fairer and more sustainable world for future generations.

Want to dig deeper into today's talks? Read the full Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

Participants at the 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 26) aim to lay the scientific foundations for successful implementation by providing a robust set of recommendations to COP 16, which will be held in October-November 2024 in Cali, Colombia.

In opening remarks, SBSTTA 26 Chair Senka Barudanović, Bosnia and Herzegovina, encouraged delegates to rise to the challenge of translating the GBF into action by drawing on experiences from the global to the local level.

SBSTTA Chair Senka Barudanović, Bosnia and Herzegovina

SBSTTA 26 Chair Senka Barudanović, Bosnia and Herzegovina

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen stressed the need for a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach, and highlighted three areas of opportunity for SBSTTA 26: increasing accountability and transparency; advancing the global action plan on biodiversity and health; and multilateral and institutional collaboration addressing biodiversity within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP

Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP

CBD Acting Executive Secretary David Cooper expressed solidarity with the victims of floods in Kenya who are “paying the price for inaction,” alongside other environmental catastrophes caused by climate change, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss, and emphasized the role of the GBF in halting and reversing these trends.

David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary, CBD

David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary, CBD

Delegates ran through organizational matters before turning to the monitoring framework for the GBF. Many welcomed the work of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on indicators, stressing the need to build on its work. Others further supported updating the monitoring framework with a view to adopting it at COP 16, offering relevant suggestions.

Some parties expressed concerns that many of the AHTEG’s conclusions are inconsistent with language agreed at COP 15 and emphasized that national information and monitoring systems should be prioritized.

On scientific and technical needs to support the implementation of the GBF, delegates discussed matters related to the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as well as proposals for new areas of work for the CBD. Many preferred directing further work on biodiversity and climate change, while others prioritized issues related to, among others, pollution, poverty, and sustainable wildlife management.

Many highlighted biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning as well as further work on equity and a human rights-based approach. Divergent views were expressed regarding sustainable biodiversity-based activities, products, and services and the bioeconomy, as some delegations supported further work, while others expressed fundamental concerns regarding the concept of bioeconomy.

As the first day drew to a close, delegates initiated discussions on synthetic biology, discussing the work of the relevant multidisciplinary AHTEG and whether its mandate should be renewed.

Two side events took place at lunchtime, focusing on biodiversity and climate change, and on scientific and technical tools and guidance to support GBF implementation.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For CBD SBSTTA 26 and SBI 4, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB Mike Muzurakis.