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COP 8 Decision VIII/9

Implications of the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

The Conference of the Parties

1. Acknowledges the reports of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, in particular the Synthesis Report on Biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/11/INF/22) and its summary for decision makers, as well as other reports, including the General Synthesis Report, synthesis reports on Desertification, Human Health, and Wetlands and Water, the report on Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry, and the reports of the four working groups on, respectively, current status and trends, scenarios, policy responses, and multi-scale assessments, recognizing that these reports include key findings relevant to the implementation of the Convention’s programmes of work;

2. Commends the ongoing efforts made by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to make available the summary and synthesis reports in the official languages of the United Nations and invites Parties, other Governments and relevant donors to provide support to complete this process;

3. Notes the successful use of indicators in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, including those indicators of the framework contained in decision VII/30, for communicating trends in biodiversity and highlighting its importance to human well-being, and further notes the need for additional and improved measures of biodiversity and ecosystem services at all scales, in order to facilitate the application of indicators at the national level, assist in communication, set achievable targets, enhance mutual supportiveness between biodiversity conservation and other objectives, and optimize responses;

4. Takes note of the main findings of the Biodiversity Synthesis Report, namely that:

(a) Biodiversity is being lost at rates unprecedented in human history;

(b) Losses of biodiversity and decline of ecosystem services constitute a concern for human well-being, especially for the well-being of the poorest;

(c) The costs of biodiversity loss borne by society are rarely assessed, but evidence suggests that they are often greater than the benefits gained through ecosystem changes;

(d) The drivers of loss of biodiversity and the drivers of change in ecosystem services are either steady, show no evidence of declining over time, or are increasing in intensity;

(e) Many successful response options have been used, but further progress in addressing biodiversity loss will require additional actions to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss; and

(f) Unprecedented additional efforts will be required to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss at all levels;

5. Notes the key messages contained in the Biodiversity Synthesis Report;

6. Noting that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment finds that the degradation of ecosystem services could significantly increase during the first half of this century, and is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and that, at the same time, many of the actions being undertaken to promote economic development and reduce hunger and poverty could contribute to the loss of biodiversity, emphasizes that the Millennium Development Goals, the 2010 target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss, and other internationally agreed targets related to biodiversity, environmental sustainability and development need to be pursued in an integrated manner;

7. Noting the new and significant evidence presented in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to strengthen their efforts and take the measures necessary to meet the 2010 target adopted in the Strategic Plan of the Convention, and the goals and sub-targets annexed to decision VII/30, taking into account the special needs, circumstances and priorities of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition;

8. Invites the Global Environment Facility, in coordination with the Executive Secretary, to identify gaps and needs in relation to existing financial resources, until 2010, to meet the unprecedented additional efforts needed to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss and maintain the provision of ecosystem goods and services;

9. Noting the finding of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment that an increase in average global temperature of two degrees or more above pre-industrial temperatures will give rise to globally significant impacts on ecosystems, with significant consequences for livelihoods, urges Parties and other Governments, where appropriate, to meet their commitments under, and to take cognizance of, the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, in order to avoid dangerous impacts;

10. Mindful that the loss of biodiversity is continuing, and recognizing the inertia in ecological systems and in the drivers of biodiversity loss and therefore the need for longer-term targets, decides to consider, at its ninth meeting, the need to review and update targets as part of the process of revising the Strategic Plan beyond 2010;

11. Recognizes that the main drivers of biodiversity loss differ among regions and countries;

12. Decides to consider the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in the implementation and the future review of the programmes of work and cross-cutting issues under the Convention;

13. Notes in particular the urgent need to address the issues which the Assessment finds most significant at the global level in terms of their impacts on biodiversity and consequences for human well-being, such as:

Land use change and other habitat transformation;

(a) The consequences of over-fishing;

(b) Desertification and degradation in dry and sub-humid lands;

(c) The multiple drivers of change to inland water ecosystems;

(d) Increasing nutrient loading in ecosystems;

(e) The introduction of invasive alien species; and

(f) The rapidly increasing impacts of climate change;

14. Aware in particular of the impacts of these issues on the conservation and customary use of biodiversity by local and indigenous communities, and the consequences for their well-being, emphasizes the need for dialogue with such communities;

15. Awarealso of the inter-sectoral nature of many of these issues, urges Parties and other Governments to promote dialogue among different sectors, to mainstream biodiversity, at the regional and national levels including, when appropriate, through the processes of the Convention, to address linkages between the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and, among others, international trade, finance, agriculture, forestry, tourism, mining, energy and fisheries, in order to contribute to the more effective implementation of the Convention, in particular its Article 6;

16. Recognizing that these issues are the concern of a number of other international and regional conventions and processes, encourages Parties and other Governments to also address these issues within these other international conventions and regional processes;

17. Requests the Executive Secretary to bring the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to the attention of the liaison group of the biodiversity-related conventions, and to other multilateral environmental agreements and relevant international and regional processes, with a view to explore options, within their respective mandates and, as appropriate, for joint activities to successfully address and respond to the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss;

18. Aware of the impacts of the inequalities in the use of resources and the implications of this imbalance for the drivers of biodiversity loss, urges Parties to change unsustainable patterns of production and consumption that impact on biodiversity, taking into account the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in Article 7 of the Rio Declaration, as well as the provisions of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

19. Awarealso of the need to improve knowledge of trends in biodiversity, and understanding of its value, including its role in the provision of ecosystem services, as a means of improving decision-making at global, regional, national and local levels, and also recognizing cross-scale interactions in ecosystems, urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, including scientific bodies, to increase support for and coordinate research, inter alia, to improve: basic knowledge and understanding of biodiversity and its components; monitoring systems; measures of biodiversity; biodiversity valuation; models of change in biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services; and understanding of thresholds;

20. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with relevant organizations, taking into account the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios, to assist Parties in the development of appropriate regionally-based response scenarios within the framework of the Convention’s programmes of work, and to coordinate these efforts with other international and regional organizations involved with work on scenarios;

21. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to take note in its deliberations of the linkages between biodiversity and relevant socio-economic issues and analysis, including economic drivers of biodiversity change, valuation of biodiversity and its components, and of the ecosystem services provided, as well as biodiversity’s role in poverty alleviation and achieving the Millennium Development Goals;

22. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and invites Parties to draw upon the lessons learned from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment process, including the sub-global assessments, and to make use as appropriate of its conceptual framework and methodologies in further developing work on environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment and the ecosystem approach;

23. Encourages Parties and other Governments to conduct national and other sub-global assessments making use of the conceptual framework and methodologies of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, as appropriate, and invites the Global Environment Facility and bilateral and multilateral funding organizations, as appropriate, to provide funding for these assessments;

24. Requests the Executive Secretary to draw upon relevant information from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and other relevant sources in the preparation of future editions of the Global Biodiversity Outlook and meeting documentation;

25. Invites Parties and the Executive Secretary to use all relevant Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports, as appropriate, in strengthening dialogue with other stakeholders, including the private sector, and to promote the wider dissemination of the findings contained in these reports, including through the clearing-house mechanism;

26. Encourages Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to make use, as appropriate, of the methodologies and conceptual framework of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment;

27. Emphasizesthe need for contributions of Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations for capacity-building to support integrated ecosystem assessment and improvement of knowledge and understanding about trends in biodiversity, ecosystem goods and services and human well-being, through the provision of adequate resources and the dissemination of findings, methodologies and procedures of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, especially in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States among these, and countries with economies in transition;

28. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and the Executive Secretary to contribute to the evaluation of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, due to be undertaken during 2007 by the institutions represented on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board, focusing in particular on the impact of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment on implementation of the Convention at global, regional, national and local levels;

29. Decides to consider, at its ninth meeting, the evaluation of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to be undertaken during 2007, and the need for another integrated assessment of biodiversity and ecosystems, taking into account the future plans of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, as well as the outcomes of the current and future processes of the Global Environment Outlook of the United Nations Environment Programme, and scientific assessments that may be undertaken by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

30. Also decides to consider, at its ninth meeting, taking into account the results of other relevant processes, options for improving the availability to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of scientific information and advice on biodiversity, keeping in mind the need to avoid duplication of efforts.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme