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COP 8 Decision VIII/8

Implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan

The Conference of the Parties,

Emphasizing the need to address each of the three objectives of the Convention,

Noting the slow progress towards the goals of the Strategic Plan as summarized in paragraph 2 of the note by the Executive Secretary on implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan and progress towards the 2010 target (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/2),

Noting that the major obstacles to the implementation of the Convention have already been identified in the Strategic Plan, and ways and means of overcoming these obstacles need to be identified,

Taking into account the report of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention (UNEP/CBD/COP/8/4/Rev.1),

Noting the importance of national biodiversity strategies and action plans for the implementation of the Convention, and that, for some Parties, these are still under elaboration while for some other Parties, their national biodiversity strategies and action plans may need to be updated,

Stressingthe need for the provision of new and additional financial resources for the implementation of the Convention in accordance with Article 20, and looking forward to a successful replenishment of the Global Environment Facility,

Recalling that paragraph 4 of Article 23 tasks the Conference of the Parties with keeping under review the implementation of the Convention,

Recognizing that the third national reports provide relevant information for the in-depth review of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan,

1. Decides to consider, at its ninth meeting,

(a) The in-depth review of the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan, including consideration of barriers to implementation; and

(b) Consolidated guidance for the development, implementation and evaluation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans and the effective integration of biodiversity concerns into relevant sectors;

2. Further decides that the results of the review process will be used to:

(a) Recommend priority areas for capacity-building, access to and transfer of technology and technology cooperation in relation to implementation of the Convention;

(b) Develop voluntary guidance to Parties to assist in overcoming barriers to implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;

(c) Provide inputs to the process of revising the Strategic Plan beyond 2010;

3. Reaffirms the request to Parties that have not submitted their third national reports to do so as soon as possible, to ensure that the information contained therein can be used in the review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;

4. In preparation for the review process referred to in paragraph 2 above, invites Parties to provide an update on the information in the third national report, on a voluntary basis and taking note of the guidelines provided in annex I to the present decision, on:

(a) The status of national biodiversity strategies and action plans, their implementation and updating, and the extent to which biodiversity concerns have been effectively mainstreamed in accordance with Article 6(b) of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(b) The main obstacles to implementation of the Convention at the national level, including: (i) obstacles to the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans; and (ii) the effective integration of biodiversity concerns into relevant sectors (using as a framework the list of obstacles identified in the Strategic Plan); and (iii) ways and means by which these identified obstacles might be overcome;

(c) An update on actions taken in response to paragraph 41 of decision V/20 on reviewing implementation at the national level;

(d) The availability of resources, in particular those from the Global Environment Facility;

5. Following the review process, requests the Executive Secretary to review the usefulness of the guidelines annexed to the present decision in developing the guidelines for the preparation of the fourth national report, and provide this to the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation at the next meeting*;

6. Recommends that regional and/or subregional meetings be convened, where possible back to back with other relevant meetings, in order to discuss national experiences in implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and the integration of biodiversity concerns into relevant sectors, including consideration of obstacles and ways and means for overcoming the obstacles;

7. Invites the Global Environment Facility to provide information on its contribution and experience regarding the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan;

8. Invites relevant organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, Fauna and Flora International, IUCN, and the World Resources Institute, to submit proposals or information which may assist Parties in the development, implementation, evaluation and updating of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;

9. Further requests the Executive Secretary to compile the information referred to in the preceding paragraphs and also to prepare a synthesis/analysis of obstacles encountered, lessons learned, effectiveness of policy instruments and strategic priorities for action, and to make this compilation and synthesis/analysis available to the regional and/or subregional meetings, and to the second meeting of the Working Group on Review of Implementation;

10. Requests the Working Group on Review of Implementation, prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to consider the information compiled by the Executive Secretary and

(a) To prepare for the in-depth review of the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan by the Conference of the Parties, focusing in particular on:

(i) The provision of financial resources, capacity-building, access to and transfer of technology and technology cooperation;

(ii) The status of national biodiversity strategies and action plans, their implementation and updating, and the extent to which biodiversity concerns are effectively integrated into relevant sectors and have been effectively mainstreamed in accordance with Article 6(b) of the Convention;

(b) To develop, consolidated and up-to-date guidance for the development, implementation and evaluation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans, taking into account subparagraph (a) above;

11. Requests the Executive Secretary to collect information from relevant organizations and institutions to facilitate increased technical and advisory support to assist developing countries, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition, in addressing their needs, including those emerging from the in-depth review;

12. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, and other relevant organizations, such as the World Bank and regional development banks, to take the lead in collaboration with the Executive Secretary in the development and operation of enhanced technical assistance activities;

13. Welcomes the project on issue-based modules developed by the United Nations Environment Programme as a useful tool for facilitating coherent implementation of biodiversity commitments and invites the United Nations Environment Programme to collaborate with relevant organizations and convention secretariats to maintain and further develop the issue-based modules for key biodiversity issues and to report on progress at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

14. Invites bilateral and multilateral funding organizations to provide funding for the review and update of national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

Annex

PROPOSED VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES TO PARTIES FOR REVIEW OF NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

A. Introduction

Purpose

The purpose of these voluntary guidelines is to:

(a) Serve as a practical tool for use by Parties on a voluntary basis as they review implementation of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans in order to assist Parties to improve implementation;

(b) Elicit consistent information from Parties supplementary to that provided in the third national report that will assist the Conference of the Parties to complete an in-depth review of implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans under the Convention and to help mobilize international resources to address priority needs.

For each section of the guidelines, if Parties have already provided the relevant information in their Third National Reports, they are asked to refer to those reports and only give updates if new or additional information is available.

Parties that have undertaken national capacity self-assessments may wish to draw upon the results of those assessments in undertaking a review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

The guidelines are framed for those Parties that have national biodiversity strategies and action plans already in place, although it is recognized that some Parties may still be in the process of developing their strategies and/or action plans.

(a) For those Parties that do not have national biodiversity strategies and action plans, but do have other equivalent programmes in place to meet their obligations under the Convention, we ask that you indicate as such, and adapt these guidelines to your particular programme(s);

(b) For those Parties that have not yet begun or are in the process of developing national biodiversity strategies and action plans, we ask that you complete parts 1 and 5 only. In your answer to part 1, please provide an indication of when national biodiversity strategies and action plans will be available, and (if possible) what their scope will be. For part 5, your answer can discuss obstacles to the preparation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and national needs for overcoming these challenges.

Style and length

The format of the report is left to the discretion of individual Parties, although suggestions are given in the guidelines. It is suggested that you keep the report brief, and attach more detailed information, as required, in annexes.

If possible, it would assist the Secretariat if your report could be submitted electronically, as well as (or instead of) in paper form.

Approach

The biodiversity planning process, including the work of review, should be as participatory as possible. Parties may wish to assemble a team to undertake the review, composed of representatives from lead institution(s), other government sectors, local and indigenous communities and other stakeholder groups. There should be an emphasis on concrete outcomes (reviewing what has been achieved in terms of meeting national biodiversity priorities) rather than on simply reporting whether or not activities have taken place. Wherever possible, Parties are asked to document these outcomes, through indicators or other means.

B. Guidelines

 

Part 1. Status of national biodiversity strategies and action plans

This section will serve to give a brief overview of the status and scope of your country’s biodiversity strategies and action plans.

Identification

(a) Please provide the title and date of adoption for your country’s:

    • Original national biodiversity strategy and action plan
    • Updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan (if applicable)
    • Any sub-national biodiversity strategies and action plans (if applicable)

    (b) If any of these documents are available on the internet, please provide the website address.

Scope

(a) If biodiversity strategies and action plans have been updated since first adopted, what updates were made and why? (i.e., were the updates made in response to new guidance generated by the Conference of the Parties since the national biodiversity strategy and action plan was first developed, or put in place for another reason?);

(b) Does the most recent version of your biodiversity strategy and action plan address all of the major thematic areas and cross-cutting issues of the Convention relevant to your country and national priorities? (See list A). List here any major issues not covered, and briefly explain why each issue is not considered in existing national biodiversity strategies and action plans;

(c) Does the most recent version of your available biodiversity strategy and action plan include national targets and indicators? Are these consistent with the framework for monitoring implementation of the Convention and achievement of the 2010 target? Please append a list of these.

NB. Parties can refer to their third national reports if they have already provided information on NBSAP targets and indicators, and are asked only to give updates here if new targets/indicators have been developed since the report was completed.

Part 2. Development of national biodiversity strategies and action plans

In this section, you are asked to provide a brief description of the methodology followed in developing (and, if applicable, in updating) the above biodiversity strategies and action plans.

Your response can be in the form of a narrative answer.

Please include in your answer information on:

  • Which institution(s) took the lead in preparing the NBSAP;
  • Whether, and which, guidelines were used;
  • Whether, and how, different sectors and stakeholders (including local and indigenous communities) were involved in the process;
  • Whether, and what, financial or technical support was received;
  • The principal advantages and limitations of the methodology followed.
  • Timelines and financing issues.

Appendices:

If your country has developed its own guidelines for developing and/or updating national biodiversity strategies and action plans, or has prepared reports on the NBSAP process, please append these to your report.

Please append a list of groups that were involved in the preparation of the national biodiversity strategy and action plan, including an indication of the type of group (NGO, government, private sector, etc.) and the extent of their involvement.

NB. If this information is already available (e.g., in the NBSAP itself, or in an accompanying report) please simply refer to those documents.

 

Part 3. Evaluation of implementation

In this section, Parties are asked to review progress made in implementation, based on the framework provided by their own national biodiversity strategy and action plan. Progress should be considered in terms of concrete outcomes, with Parties asking, for each element identified under their national biodiversity strategy and action plan: To what degree has implementation helped to achieve national biodiversity priorities?

Options for demonstrating concrete outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • Using the global framework indicators adopted by decision VII/30;
  • Using indicators developed nationally, as called for in decision VII/8
  • Citing specific legislation, regulations or national strategies developed in response to specific elements.

Parties should pay particular attention to identifying obstacles or challenges encountered in implementation, as this forms the basis for completing part 5 of the report.

Although Parties are free to structure their report as they see fit, one option is to present information on progress in implementation in a table, such as follows:

Element

Status of Implementation

Outcome

Obstacles

 

 

 

 

 

 

where:

  • “Elements” might correspond to specific goals or targets, objectives, activities or other organizational category, depending on the structure of the national biodiversity strategy and action plan under review.
  • “Status of implementation” provides information on the extent to which the element has been implemented. Parties may wish to use process indicators to measure state of implementation, such as whether a budget line exists for this element, staff have been assigned, etc.
  • “Outcome” corresponds, wherever possible, to concrete evidence of progress, as explained above.
  • “Obstacles” include challenges specific (though not necessarily unique) to this element. Obstacles might include, but not be limited to, those identified in the Strategic Plan (presented in List B).

Part 4. Integration of biodiversity concerns

Parties are asked to review whether biodiversity concerns are being effectively integrated into relevant sectors. Integration can be considered in terms of:
  • Other sectors besides the environment, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, finance, trade and industry;
  • Other national and sub-national programmes and strategies, including Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, national reports on implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, National Development Plans, National Plans to Combat Desertification, and others;
  • Other convention processes besides the Convention on Biological Diversity, such as the four other biodiversity-related conventions (CITES, CMS, Ramsar, WHC), the Rio conventions (UNCCD, UNFCCC) and others.
As in reviewing implementation, progress made in integration should be considered in terms of concrete outcomes for achieving the priorities of the national biodiversity strategy and action plan. (See part 3 for some ideas of how to measure outcomes).

Although Parties are free to structure their report as they see fit, one option is to present information on the integration of biodiversity in a table, such as follows:

Sectoral Plan, Programme or Policy

Manner in which biodiversity is integrated

Outcome

Obstacles

 

 

 

 

Part 5. Ways and means

Success stories and lessons learned

Parties are invited to share any success stories and lessons learnt in overcoming obstacles to the development, implementation, cross-sectoral integration, evaluation and/or update of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans, specifically for the information of other Parties and of the Conference of the Parties as it seeks to update guidance on these processes.

Specific mention of factors that facilitated NBSAP processes would be particularly useful. For example,

  • Technical or financial support received
  • Political mandates and national priorities
  • Facilitating legal frameworks
  • Engagement of civil society and the private sector.

Parties may also wish to comment on whether the framework for monitoring implementation of the Convention and achievement of the 2010 target was useful in developing national biodiversity strategies and action plans and in prioritizing appropriate actions for implementation.

Needs for further support

In light of the review process (reported on in Parts 3 and 4), Parties are asked to consider what resources they would need in order to overcome obstacles to implementation of NBSAPs, and obstacles to the integration of biodiversity concerns into other sectors. These needs might include, but need not be limited to, technical support from developed countries.

Please be specific in your response, and prioritize those needs that will make the greatest difference to implementation and integration.

List A

MAJOR THEMATIC AREAS AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES UNDER THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Thematic areas

Agricultural biodiversity

Island biodiversity

Dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity

Marine and coastal biodiversity

Forest biodiversity

Mountain biodiversity

Inland waters biodiversity

 

Cross-cutting issues

Access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing

Impact assessments

Invasive alien species

Indicators

Biological diversity and tourism

Liability and redress – Article 14(2)

Climate change and biological diversity

Protected areas

Economics, trade and incentive measures

Public education and awareness

Ecosystem approach

Sustainable use of biodiversity

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Technology transfer and cooperation

2010 Biodiversity Target

Traditional knowledge, innovations and practices

Global Taxonomy Initiative

 

 

List B

OBSTACLES TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

(Reproduced from the appendix to the Strategic Plan, decision VI/26, annex)

  1. Political/societal obstacles
    1. Lack of political will and support to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity
    2. Limited public participation and stakeholder involvement
    3. Lack of mainstreaming and integration of biodiversity issues into other sectors, including use of tools such as environmental impact assessments
    4. Political instability
    5. Lack of precautionary and proactive measures, causing reactive policies.
  2. Institutional, technical and capacity-related obstacles
    1. Inadequate capacity to act, caused by institutional weaknesses
    2. Lack of human resources
    3. Lack of transfer of technology and expertise
    4. Loss of traditional knowledge
    5. Lack of adequate scientific research capacities to support all the objectives.
  3. Lack of accessible knowledge/information
    1. Loss of biodiversity and the corresponding goods and services it provides not properly understood and documented
    2. Existing scientific and traditional knowledge not fully utilized.
    3. Dissemination of information on international and national level not efficient
    4. Lack of public education and awareness at all levels.
  4. Economic policy and financial resources
    1. Lack of financial and human resources
    2. Fragmentation of GEF financing
    3. Lack of economic incentive measures
    4. Lack of benefit-sharing.
  5. Collaboration/cooperation
    1. Lack of synergies at the national and international levels
    2. Lack of horizontal cooperation among stakeholders
    3. Lack of effective partnerships
    4. Lack of engagement of scientific community.
  6. Legal/juridical impediments
    1. Lack of appropriate policies and laws
  7. Socio-economic factors
    1. Poverty
    2. Population pressure
    3. Unsustainable consumption and production patterns
    4. Lack of capacities for local communities.
  8. Natural phenomena and environmental change
    1. Climate change
    2. Natural disasters.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme