Daily report for 26 May 2024

26th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 26) and 4th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4)

The fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4) focused on: the assessment and review of effectiveness of the Nagoya Protocol; the review of the programmes of work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) of the Conference of the Parties (COP); and administrative and budgetary matters. Contact groups on: resource mobilization; mechanisms for planning, monitoring, reporting, and review; and capacity building and development met in the afternoon and evening.

Assessment and Review of the Effectiveness of the Nagoya Protocol

The Secretariat introduced document CBD/SBI/4/12.

Belgium for the EU, the UK, and SWITZERLAND welcomed the draft recommendation and review based on annexed elements; and asked for submission of national reports “well before the deadline,” to allow time for a proper analysis. INDONESIA, BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CUBA, and PERU supported more flexible language on the reporting deadline. ZIMBABWE and MOROCCO urged the Global Environment Facility (GEF) support the development of national reports alongside national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs). INDONESIA emphasized that the future role of the GEF under the Convention is under discussion. JAPAN stressed maximizing use of existing information. The UK expressed concerns regarding the increasing number of requests to the Secretariat, and TAJIKISTAN about coinciding deadlines for national reports and other reviews, urging relevant training.

Egypt, for the AFRICAN GROUP, urged a bifurcated approach focusing on the evaluation of compliance and implementation by parties; and a process for further work on non-functional articles, such as the multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism and digital sequence information (DSI). MALAWI urged including information on potential solutions. The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) stressed resource mobilization and collecting information on implementation of benefit-sharing. UGANDA requested stocktaking of use of mutually agreed terms and Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ (IPLCs) customary laws and community protocols. KENYA urged considering IPLCs’ free, prior, and informed consent, data ownership, and coordination with intellectual property systems.

SWITZERLAND, MALAWI, INDIA, and others supported extending the work of the informal advisory committee on capacity building for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, and commissioning a scoping study. The SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC lamented insufficient resources for national implementation. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and others stressed the need for capacity building regarding benefit-sharing.

Regarding information sources for the analysis, the EU requested reference to reports of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; and JAPAN, opposed by BRAZIL, KENYA, the PHILIPPINES, and PERU, asked to delete reference to reports of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PHILIPPINES urged including information by non-state actors using genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and adding “other international entities that track and monitor microbial culture collections,” alongside WIPO. INDONESIA proposed assessing other negotiations relevant to access and benefit-sharing (ABS). BRAZIL cautioned references to “targeted surveys,” noting they are often sent with short notice, resulting in regional imbalance of submissions.

The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) urged parties to ensure IPLCs’ full and effective participation, and guaranteed and equitable ABS, calling for strengthening the development of community protocols and procedures.

Chair Chirra Achalender Reddy (India) noted a conference room paper (CRP) will be prepared.

Review of the Programmes of work of the Convention and MYPOW of the COP

The Secretariat introduced documents CBD/SBI/4/14 and CBD/SBI/4/15.

Many delegates stressed the importance of reviewing and assessing progress in implementation and required resources, and supported areas for further work listed under the MYPOW.

On the review of the Convention’s work programmes in the context of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) implementation, Uganda, for the AFRICAN GROUP, COLOMBIA, and others called for further reviews to address gaps in available implementation tools; and, with ARGENTINA, CUBA, and others, suggested work on capacity building and development, and technical and scientific cooperation. COLOMBIA urged considering contributions of different knowledge systems. BRAZIL noted that existing tools and guidance provide a good basis to support GBF implementation and cautioned updating existing work programmes, pointing to heavy workload. The EU proposed the Secretariat report to COP 16 on the alignment of the implementation of the work programmes with the GBF. The UK stressed that a strategic review and analysis of the work programmes should inform decision-making on future work.

On the MYPOW of the COP, the AFRICAN GROUP and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for a clear methodology for prioritizing issues identified in the annex. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION noted the need for follow-up steps until 2050.

The AFRICAN GROUP highlighted the need to consider: the operations and performance of the GBF Fund; invasive species; capacity-building; and resource mobilization. ZIMBABWE added mainstreaming, with the EU, and the review of the effectiveness of CBD processes; BENIN pollinators and pesticides; and EGYPT sustainable resource use and consumption patterns, and the links between biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. BRAZIL called for flexibility to potentially include: benefit-sharing from DSI, with the AFRICAN GROUP and ARGENTINA; and issues around the financial mechanism.

The EU requested for keeping the MYPOW under review by the COP, supported by MEXICO, who urged flexibility to address emerging issues. The EU further highlighted the topic of equity and human rights-based approaches for COP 16 consideration, including its contribution to the programme of work on Article 8(j).

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION urged leaving consideration of human rights-related matters to specialized UN bodies and cautioned “the intrusion of other organizations into the CBD mandate.”

CANADA, supported by COLOMBIA, called for: the preparation of draft updates of work programmes for consideration by COP 17; and having an item on the agenda of each COP to review and update work programmes, with CHINA, who emphasized that effectiveness depends on data availability and quality. The UK suggested postponing discussions until proposals for new work are considered at COP 16. SOUTH AFRICA and NORWAY highlighted the global analysis of information in NBSAPs at COPs 17-19. NORWAY added the analysis of strategic actions at COP 19 and COLOMBIA called for references to Afro-descendants.

The CBD ALLIANCE and the GLOBAL YOUTH BIODIVERSITY NETWORK highlighted the topic of equity and the human-rights based approach, with IIFB, and expressed concerns over the concept of bioeconomy. The CBD WOMEN’S CAUCUS urged monitoring and reporting on the Gender Plan of Action.

Chair Reddy noted that a CRP will be prepared.

Administrative and Budgetary Matters

The Secretariat introduced document CBD/SBI/4/16.

Namibia for the AFRICAN GROUP, Jamaica for GRULAC, CHINA, INDONESIA, and others urged financial support for full and effective participation of developing country parties in CBD meetings and decision-making processes. The AFRICAN GROUP and CHINA raised concerns about unpaid party contributions. The AFRICAN GROUP, supported by CANADA and NEW ZEALAND, urged aligning the budget with recommendations on the MYPOW and CBD work programmes. BENIN and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION pointed to cooperation with the UN Environment Programme on sending timely invoices for contributions. UGANDA urged improved administrative synergies, and, with EGYPT and KENYA, called for timely filling of vacant Secretariat positions.

GRULAC, the EU, and SWITZERLAND called for clarity in future appointments of CBD Executive Secretaries, with SWITZERLAND cautioning politicizing the selection process. BRAZIL, on behalf of ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ARGENTINA, the BAHAMAS, CHILE, COLOMBIA, GUATEMALA, MEXICO, PERU, URUGUAY, SAINT LUCIA, SURINAME, and VENEZUELA, supported by the DRC, proposed a draft recommendation to enhance the transparency, inclusivity, and objectivity of the process for future appointments, highlighting required consultations with the COP Bureau. COSTA RICA, NORWAY, and NEW ZEALAND opposed, noting the consultative role of the COP Bureau, and that the recommendation goes beyond CBD’s mandate. EGYPT, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, and INDONESIA suggested further work on the draft recommendation.

The UK, BELGIUM, CANADA, JAPAN, NORWAY, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SPAIN, KENYA, AUSTRIA, and others supported undertaking the mandated external in-depth functional and structural review of the Secretariat as soon as possible and requested progress updates.

CANADA, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, NEW ZEALAND, and SWITZERLAND, stressed party-led guidance on priority-setting and resource focus, noting, with NORWAY, additional burdens on the Secretariat. CANADA, supported by NEW ZEALAND, SWITZERLAND, SPAIN, and others, highlighted a request to the Secretariat to include detailed budgetary information in COP 16 documentation, particularly on substantive matters. AUSTRIA and others urged timely availability of documents on budgetary matters. 

Chair Reddy noted a CRP will be prepared.

Contact Group on Resource Mobilization

The contact group, co-chaired by Shonisani Munzhedzi (South Africa) and Salima Kempenaer (Belgium), resumed consideration of a revised non-paper, addressing draft recommendation elements on assessing efficiency, effectiveness, gaps, and overlaps, and proposals for potentially establishing a global instrument on biodiversity finance under the COP.

Delegates considered ways to recognize ongoing work towards closing the biodiversity finance gap, focusing on: relevant actors; and references to ongoing work to strengthen, simplify, and reform existing instruments. Delegates also discussed how to refer to a non-exhaustive list of actions on biodiversity finance, annexed to the draft recommendation, and its voluntary nature.

Delegates discussed a co-chairs’ proposal to address both a positive trend in biodiversity finance; and the critical financing gap, which many urged sending a strong political message on. Discussions focused on the need for operational provisions and overlap with preambular language. Many delegates recommended including, in the recommendation’s operational section, calls to relevant actors in line with finance-related GBF targets.

Regarding the GBF Fund, delegates disagreed, among other things, on whether numerical values on current pledges should be included. They further discussed the potential establishment of a global instrument on biodiversity finance with alternative proposals in the draft recommendation reflecting diverging positions.

Contact Group on Mechanisms for Planning, Monitoring, Reporting, and Review

Co-Chairs Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica) and Carolina Caceres (Canada) reopened discussions of the non-paper, containing a draft decision and annexes on the national reporting template; reporting of commitments for non-state actors; and terms of reference of an advisory committee on collective progress in GBF implementation. Regarding the preparatory process for the global review of progress, many delegates stressed that this should be party-led, with diverging opinions on the establishment of the advisory committee to support the review.

Delegates discussed bracketed parts of the draft recommendation forwarded by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice. Co-Chair Guthrie indicated that previously discussed provisions would be revisited and the outcomes of the small group on non-state actors would be considered. Discussions continued into the evening.

Contact Group on Capacity Building and Development

The contact group, co-chaired by Jesús Guerra Bell (Cuba) and Holly Kelley-Weil (UK), continued discussions on a revised non-paper, focusing on the section of the draft recommendation addressing technical and scientific cooperation and technology transfer, and remaining bracketed text.

Delegates agreed on language recommending the COP decide that the Bio-Bridge Initiative would continue to provide coordination support until the global coordination entity is established and operationalized. Delegates further agreed on recommendations inviting parties, other governments, and organizations; the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and other funds; and the GEF to provide contributions. On whether to request the Informal Advisory Group on technical and scientific cooperation to identify options to address technological, technical, and institutional capability gaps identified by developing country parties, some delegates cautioned duplication of work, and the text was bracketed. Delegates then focused on the list of proposed requests to the Secretariat. Discussions continued into the evening.

In the Breezeways

Saturday’s rest day, which many delegates used to connect with Kenyan biodiversity further afield from the richness inhabiting the UN Nairobi campus, seems to have served as a reminder of what is really on the table: “dealing with the devastating effects of biodiversity loss, rather than producing papers,” as one delegate stressed. It brought back the necessary momentum to complete the first reading of the remaining agenda items in the morning plenary, to the relief of delegates concerned about the few days remaining to conclude SBI’s work. This momentum did not seem to carry over to the afternoon contact group on resource mobilization, which left seasoned negotiators’ heads spinning from never-ending discussions about how to acknowledge ongoing efforts towards closing the biodiversity financing gap and where to place text, when most seemed to agree that an urgent political message was in order.

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