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COP 9 Decision IX/2

Agricultural biodiversity: biofuels and biodiversity

The Conference of the Parties,

Taking into account the importance and complex nature of the issue of biofuel production and use for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,

Further taking into account the discussions in the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice as reflected in recommendation XII/7 which provide a preliminary analysis of the potential positive and negative impacts of biofuels on biodiversity and human well-being,

Recognizing the potential contribution of the sustainable production and use of biofuels for the 2010 biodiversity target and the 2010 target of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the promotion of sustainable development, and the improvement of rural livelihoods, especially in developing countries, as well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and aware of potential negative environmental and socio-economic impacts from unsustainable production and use of biofuels,

Recognizing the need to promote full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in the implementation of activities relevant to the sustainable production and use of biofuels,

Also noting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2/

Stressing that the sustainability of the production and use of biofuels must necessarily take into account the environmental, economic and social pillars of sustainable development,

Recognizing that in order to foster the sustainable production and use of biofuels it is necessary to promote capacity-building, research, transfer of environmentally sound technologies and technological cooperation, as well as the provision of new and additional financial resources in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention,

Stressing that the sustainability of the production and use of biofuels depends on the adoption of adequate policy frameworks,

Recognizing that the potential positive and negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity depend, inter alia, on the feedstocks used, the mode and place of production, the agricultural practices involved and the relevant policies in place,

Acknowledging that a comprehensive understanding of the potential impacts of biofuels on biodiversity requires a comparative understanding of other fuel types,

Welcoming the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to organize a high-level meeting on "World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy" held in Rome, from 3-5 June 2008,

1. Agrees that biofuel production and use should be sustainable in relation to biological diversity;

2. Recognizes the need to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of biofuel production and its use on biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities;

Policy frameworks

3. Urges Parties and invites other Governments, in consultation with relevant organizations and stakeholders, including, indigenous and local communities, to:

(a) Promote the sustainable production and use of biofuels with a view to promote benefits and minimize risks to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;

(b) Promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels;

(c) Develop and apply sound policy frameworks for the sustainable production and use of biofuels, acknowledging different national conditions, and taking into account their full life cycle as compared to other fuel types, that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, making use of relevant tools and guidance under the Convention as appropriate, including, inter alia:

  1. The application of the precautionary approach in accordance with the preamble of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  2. The Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for Sustainable Use (decision VII/12) and their further elaboration;
  3. The application of the ecosystem approach (decision V/6);
  4. The voluntary guidelines on biodiversity-inclusive impact assessment (decision VIII/28);
  5. The Akwé: Kon voluntary guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding development on sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities (decision VII/16 F);
  6. The programme of work on protected areas (decision VII/30), the programme of work on Article 8(j) (decision V/16) and other relevant programmes of work of the Convention;
  7. The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (decision VI/9);
  8. The guiding principles on alien invasive species (decision VI/23*);
  9. The application of sustainable forest management and best agricultural practices in relation to biological diversity;
  10. National biodiversity strategies and action plans;
  11. Relevant guidance developed under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety as appropriate; 

4. Recognizes that supportive measures, consistent with national and where appropriate regional policies, should promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity;

Research and monitoring needs

5. Calls upon Parties, other Governments, the research community, and invites other relevant organizations to continue to investigate and monitor the positive and negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity and related socio-economic aspects, including those related to indigenous and local communities, and requests the Executive Secretary to further compile this evidence and to make it available through the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention and other appropriate means;

Collaboration

6. Urges Parties and other Governments to strengthen development cooperation with a view to promote the sustainable production and use of biofuels through, inter alia:

(a) The transfer of environmentally sound technologies in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention for the sustainable production and use of biofuels, through North-South, South-South, regional and trilateral cooperation;

(b) Exchange of information concerning best practices on the sustainable production and use of biofuels and its contribution for the improvement of livelihoods in developing countries;

Tools relevant for the sustainable production and use of biofuels

7. Recognizes the role of the Convention on Biological Diversity in biodiversity-related aspects of the sustainable production and use of biofuels;

8. Bearing in mind principle 11 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and relevant international obligations, encourages Parties and other Governments, indigenous and local communities, and relevant stakeholders and organizations, to:

(a) Share their experiences on the development and application of tools relevant to the sustainable production and use of biofuels, in relation to promoting the positive and minimizing the negative impacts on biodiversity, taking into account their full life-cycle as compared to other fuel types, by, inter alia, submitting examples to the Executive Secretary;

(b) Participate in efforts, carried out by various bodies other than the Convention on Biological Diversity, who are addressing matters relevant to the sustainable production and use of biofuels, with a view to promoting the positive and minimizing the negative impacts on biodiversity and biodiversity-related aspects within the mandate of the Convention;

9. Recognizes the current preliminary views of Parties that the biodiversity-related factors of biofuel production and use that should be considered are outlined in paragraphs 3 (b) and 3 (c) of recommendation XII/7 of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, also taking into account their full life cycle as compared to other fuel types and the need to ensure that the management objectives of protected areas are met. In addition, the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources can improve the production and use of biofuels;

10. Bearing in mind principle 11 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 3/ encourages the private sector to improve social and environmental performance of the production of biofuels, in particular through voluntary initiatives, including through environmental management systems, codes of conduct, certification and public reporting on environmental and social issues;

Further action

11. Requests the Executive Secretary to disseminate the experiences submitted by the Parties, under paragraph 8 (a) above, through the clearing-house mechanism, and further requests the Executive Secretary to compile those submissions for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

12. Requests the Executive Secretary to convene regional workshops on the sustainable production and use of biofuels, subject to the availability of financial resources, aiming at considering ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity, taking into account relevant guidance from the Convention;

13. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to consider the reports of the regional workshops, the compilation of submissions referred to in paragraphs 5 and 11 and to recommend, for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity;






2/ General Assembly resolution 61/295 of 13 September 2007, annex.

* One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of decision VI/23 and underlined that he did not believe that the Conference of the Parties could legitimately adopt a motion or a text with a formal objection in place. A few representatives expressed reservations regarding the procedure leading to the adoption of this decision (see UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20, paras. 294-324).

3/ Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex I.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme