The second meeting of the Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG) kicked off on Monday, tackling procedural agenda items and listening to general statements on the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).During the opening, Co-Chair Basile van Havre thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the expeditious relocation of the meeting, from Kunming to Rome, following the Coronavirus outbreak in China. Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, provided an overview of FAO’s relevant initiatives to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, stressing that biodiversity is vital for food production.Hamdallah Zedan, Ministry of Environment, Egypt, speaking on behalf of CBD 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) President Yasmine Fouad, underlined the GBF's importance in providing a detailed plan of action to reduce biodiversity loss, which is taking place at an alarming rate and requires urgent response. Xia Yingxian, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the FAO, on behalf of the incoming COP 15 President Li Ganjie, underscored the need for goals and targets that follow the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) criteria, and the need to ensure accountability and transparency in the process.Elizabeth Mrema, Acting CBD Executive Secretary, expressed hope that parties and stakeholders would build a common understanding of the different elements on the GBF, in order to make progress at this meeting.During lunch, delegates attended an information session, titled, “Biodiversity, Agriculture, and Food.” This session, chaired by Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, former CBD Executive Secretary, highlighted the FAO’s work for sustainable food production, ecosystem health, and resilient livelihoods. Presentations included:
- Hans Hoogeveen, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations for Food and Agriculture, on expectations of the agricultural sectors from the GBF;
- François Pythoud, Chair, FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, on FAO’s work on biodiversity for food and agriculture;
- René Castro Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water, FAO, on FAO Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across the Agricultural Sectors;
- Irene Hoffmann, FAO, who provided highlights of the organization’s upcoming work on biodiversity; and
- Stephan Weise, Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, on using agricultural biodiversity for resilience and nutrition.
The opening of the second meeting of the WG confirmed the renewed sense of passion in the biodiversity community, in the past six months. The list of intersessional meetings and multiple consultations was received with great appreciation. While regional groups, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society all highlighted the urgency of addressing biodiversity loss and reversing the alarming negative trends, delegates and participants spared no time delving into the specifics necessary for a successful GBF. The lion’s share of discussions in the margins of the meeting revolved around implementation, monitoring, reporting, and review, spearheaded by a thematic consultation held in Rome prior to the meeting. As negotiations unfolded into concrete thematic discussions, most participants seemed to agree that the building blocks of a successful GBF are within grasp, notwithstanding the significant challenges that lie ahead. Especially the need to strike a delicate balance that keeps parties satisfied, while prioritizing the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention.A reception hosted by the FAO brought the day's work to a festive end, as delegates prepared for rigorous negotiations in contact groups to begin on Tuesday.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage. Α summary and analysis report from the 2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is available in HTML and PDF.
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Information Session: Biodiversity, Agriculture, and Food
Reception Hosted by the FAO