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SBSTTA 13 Recommendation XIII/1

XIII/1. Review of implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity

The Subsidiary Body recommends that the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting adopt a decision along the following lines:

The Conference of the Parties,

Having conducted an in-depth review on the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity,

Alarmed by the loss of biological diversity and its negative impacts on the sustainability of agriculture and the world’s food security,

Aware that agriculture is dependent on biodiversity, and that cultivated systems provide food, feed, fibre and fuel, but can often affect other ecosystem services,

Convinced that agricultural biodiversity is a vital asset to achieve Millennium Development Goals 1 and 7,

Recognizing the important contributions of scientists, farmers, livestock keepers, breeders, international agencies, Governments and other stakeholders in the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity,

Also recognizing the important contribution of indigenous and local communities, including farmers and livestock keepers, in the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, in particular at centres of origin of agricultural biodiversity, the value of their traditional knowledge and their important contribution to the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention,

Emphasizing the need for sustained political will at all levels and provision of resources, enhancing exchange of information, access to and transfer of technology, and capacity-building in support of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, to reinforce national programmes for the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity,

Recognizing the need for enhanced efforts to further improve the positive impact of agriculture on biodiversity and to mitigate its negative impacts,

Reiterating its recognition, in decision V/5, of the special nature of agricultural biodiversity, its distinctive features, and problems needing distinctive solutions,

1. Welcomes the preparations for the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity; and emphasizes the importance of the Day for enhancing awareness of the value of agricultural biodiversity, its current status and rate of loss, the need to support conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and implement actions that will halt its loss for the benefit of food security, human nutrition, poverty eradication and improved rural livelihoods, noting the importance of agricultural biodiversity to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

2. Notes the significant contribution of agriculture to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through demonstrated good practice in the management of agricultural biodiversity, innovation and progress in supporting sustainable agriculture, reducing the negative impacts of agriculture and in particular its positive contribution to reducing hunger and poverty, improved food security and improved human well being;

3. Agrees that the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, including its three international initiatives, continues to provide a relevant framework to achieve the objectives of the Convention;

Implementation of activities in the programme of work: assessment

4. Welcomes the progress and plans made by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in preparing the State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, including in particular the current updating of the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources, the recent launch of the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources, and work towards the preparation of the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources, the State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources, and other reviews on the status and trends on micro-organisms and invertebrates for food and agriculture, and encourages the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to finalize them as planned; and encourages Parties and the other governments to provide information that would enable the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to complete, as planned, the preparation or updating of these reports, and support developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, to that end;

5. Invites Parties and other Governments and relevant organizations to finance and undertake research as appropriate to further develop and apply methods and techniques for assessing and monitoring the status and trends of agricultural biodiversity and other components of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems, and collect and refine the collated data into a coherent information set on best monitoring practices;

6. Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other relevant organizations to identify appropriate methods or means, including provisional goals and targets, and indicators, including existing indicators, to objectively evaluate how the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity contributes to the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention and the Strategic Plan of the Convention, consistent with the framework adopted by the Conference of the Parties in decision VII/30 and VIII/15, as a contribution to the achievement of the 2010 target and the Millennium Development Goals, building on ongoing initiatives, and further requests the Executive Secretary, to report on progress at a meeting of the Subsidiary Body prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

7. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with other relevant organizations, taking into account ongoing initiatives, and consistent with activities 1.4 and 1.5 of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, to compile and disseminate information on:

(a) The positive and negative impacts of agricultural practices and policies on all components of biodiversity related to agriculture;

(b) The impacts of agriculture on the conservation of [landscapes] and ecosystems

(c) The impacts of agriculture on ecosystem services;

(d) Best practices in actively promoting and using ecosystem services to support sustainable agriculture;

[(e) The impacts on sustainable development of perverse agricultural incentives, especially related measures that distort international trade, on the biodiversity of other countries;]

and based on this information, invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to provide information to Parties on options that promote sustainable agriculture, [reduce the ecological footprint of agriculture,] and contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Convention;

8. Recognizes the contribution of indigenous and local communities to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity as a contribution to the 2010 target[s], and in the context of 2008 being the International Year of the Potato, congratulates the indigenous peoples of the Andean region in their creation and maintenance of the natural centre of diversity of the potato;

Implementation of activities in the programme of work: adaptive management and capacity-building

9. Recognizing the need for accelerated implementation of policies that promote the positive and mitigate the negative impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, urges Parties, other Governments, and relevant organizations, to strengthen the capacity needed for implementing the programme of work, including through the application of the ecosystem approach to agriculture, consistent with international obligations;

10. Invites Parties, other Governments, relevant international and regional organizations, local and indigenous communities, farmers, pastoralists and plant and animal breeders to promote, support and remove constraints to on-farm and in situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity through participatory decision-making processes in order to enhance the conservation of plant and animal genetic resources, related components of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems, and related ecosystem functions;

11. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, to submit to the Executive Secretary best practices concerning the issue of on-farm and in situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity, and requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to collate this information and to disseminate it through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means, and to make it available to SBSTTA;

Implementation of activities in the programme of work: mainstreaming

12. Urges Parties and other Governments to ensure that national sectoral and cross-sectoral plans, programmes and strategies promote the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, and to implement agricultural policies that contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity, and discourage those agricultural practices that are causing biodiversity loss;

13. Notes the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture as a significant contribution towards managing the impacts of agriculture on water;

14. Urges Parties, other Governments, and relevant organizations, to engage indigenous and local communities, farmers, pastoralists, animal breeders and other stakeholders, including those whose livelihoods depend on the sustainable use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, to apply the ecosystem approach to agriculture consistent with international obligations;

15. Invites Parties, other Governments, relevant organizations and indigenous and local communities to improve the implementation of the programme of work through:

(a) Enhanced collaboration between all relevant actors at all levels in Government including at the local level and involving the private sector, as appropriate;

(b) Incorporating the awareness of the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agricultural production processes whilst meeting the demands for food and other products; and

(c) Making relevant elements of the programme of work compatible with national biodiversity strategies and action plans and related policies, including appropriate linkages with other programmes of work of the Convention;

16. Urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations:

(a) To strengthen dialogue with farmers, including through international and national farmers’ organizations, as appropriate, in the implementation of the programme of work;

(b) To promote opportunities for indigenous and local communities, and local stakeholders to participate in the development and implementation of national biodiversity strategies, action plans and programmes for agricultural biodiversity; and

(c) To improve the policy environment to support local-level management of agricultural biodiversity;

17. Welcomes the FAO Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources adopted by the first International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in September 2007, as an internationally agreed framework that contains the strategic priorities for the sustainable use, development and conservation of animal genetic resources for food and agriculture, and provisions for implementation and financing, and invites Parties, other Governments, indigenous and local communities, farmers, pastoralists, animal breeders, relevant organizations and other stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the Global Plan of Action;

18. Recalling decision VI/6, recognizes the close links between the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Convention, welcomes the progress in implementing the Treaty, especially with regard to the Multilateral System and Farmers’ Rights; and urges Parties to further support its implementation;

International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators

19. Welcomes the report on the rapid assessment of the status of pollinators prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;

20. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in coordination with the Executive Secretary and in collaboration with Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to continue the implementation of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators and, in particular:

(a) To complete information on pollinator species, populations and their taxonomy, ecology and interactions;

(b) To establish the framework for monitoring declines and identifying their causes;

(c) To assess the agricultural production, ecological, and socio-economic consequences of pollinator declines;

(d) To compile information on good practices and lessons learned;

(e) To develop proposals on how to promote, and prevent the further loss of, pollination services that sustain human livelihoods; and

(f) To disseminate openly the results through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means;

and to make available a progress report for consideration by SBSTTA before the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

[21. Urges developed country Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to assist developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, in the implementation of paragraph 20 above;]

International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity

22. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and requests the Executive Secretary to continue to support Parties, other Governments, indigenous and local communities, farmers and livestock keepers and other stakeholders, including regional initiatives to implement the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity, including through capacity-building and dissemination of good practices and lessons learned, through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means;

23. Also invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and other relevant organizations and initiatives such as the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) Programme to carry out further work and compile and disseminate information to improve the understanding of soil biodiversity, its interaction with above-ground biodiversity, and other soil functions, the various ecosystem services that it provides, and the agricultural practices that affect it, and to facilitate the integration of soil biodiversity issues into agricultural policies and to make available a report for consideration by the SBSTTA before the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

International Initiative on Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition

24. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Bioversity International and the Executive Secretary to support Parties, other Governments, indigenous and local communities farmers and livestock keepers and other stakeholders in their implementation of the International Initiative on Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition, including through research, capacity development and dissemination of good practices, such as the increased use of under-utilized crops and livestock, and lessons learnt, through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means;

Agricultural biodiversity and climate change

25. Encourages Parties and other Governments to document the observed impacts and consider the projected impacts of climate change, on agricultural biodiversity, to use the information in cross-sector planning in agricultural areas and to make this information available through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means;

26. Encourages Parties and other Governments, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders, to gather, information on lessons learned about the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, and integrate these into climate change adaptation [and mitigation] planning [and cross-sectoral planning in agricultural areas], and to make this information available through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant means;

27. Requests the Executive Secretary to continue the collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions, the organizations involved in follow-up to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, indigenous and local communities, and other partners to gather and disseminate information, on:

(a) The links between climate change, agriculture and biodiversity, including, in particular, the impacts of climate change on crops, livestock, food and nutrition, soil biodiversity and pollinators, as well as the availability of water;

(b) Ways and means to build resilience into food and agricultural livelihood systems as part of strategies for climate change adaptation, especially in communities of developing countries that are dependent on rain-fed agriculture for local food supplies;

(c) How vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries, might adapt to the impacts of climate-induced changes in agricultural practice;

(d) The impact of climate change on agricultural ecosystems for maintaining wildlife and habitats;

28. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other relevant organizations, in collaboration with the Executive Secretary, to continue to provide Parties and other Governments with data, tools and information to adapt their agricultural policies and practices and cross-sectoral programmes, to changing climate, and to improve the capacities of farmers, livestock keepers, plant and animal breeders, relevant organizations and other stakeholders to reduce the risks associated with climate change;

29. Welcomes the organization by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations of a high-level meeting to be held in June 2008 on “World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy” and invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to provide the report of the meeting to SBSTTA;

[Agricultural biodiversity and biofuels

[30. Recognizes the need to promote the positive and mitigate the negative impacts of agricultural biofuel production and its consumption on biodiversity, taking into account SBSTTA recommendation XII/7;]

or

[30. Recognizing the need to promote the positive and mitigate the negative impacts of agricultural biofuel production and its consumption on biodiversity, and taking into account SBSTTA recommendation XII/7:

(a) Endorses the principle that bioenergy production and consultation should be sustainable in relation to biodiversity

(b) Urges Parties, other Governments and other relevant organizations to establish and apply sound policy frameworks which ensure the sustainable production and consumption of bioenergy, including in particular, biofuels;

(c) Urges Parties, other Governments and other relevant organizations to develop and promote biodiversity-related guidelines to inform existing and emerging criteria, standards and certification schemes for sustainable biofuels, relating to the production and consumption of sustainable bioenergy, with a view to minimize negative and enhance potential positive impacts on biodiversity of the full life cycle of the bioenergy production and consumption;]

or

[30. Recognizing the need to promote the positive and mitigate the negative impacts of biofuel production and consumption on biodiversity, taking into account SBSTTA recommendation XII/7, and the new evidence since the twelfth meeting of the Subsidiary Body regarding the negative environmental and social impacts of the production of many biofuels:

(a) Requests that Parties establish and/or enhance the development of policy frameworks and biodiversity-related guidelines to strengthen ongoing efforts to develop criteria, standards and verification schemes for sustainable biofuels; and

(b) Encourages the Executive Secretary in collaboration with other relevant international organizations to develop a tool to accurately assess the indirect conversion or degradation of ecosystems due to policy measures that increase the demand for biofuels;

(c) Requests that Parties immediately adopt a precautionary approach by suspending the introductions of any new supportive measures for the consumption of biofuels until (a) and (b) above are effective or completed;

(d) Integrates this issue into the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity;]] 1/

Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines on Sustainable Use

31. Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other relevant organizations to further elaborate the operational guidelines of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, taking into account the special nature of agricultural biodiversity, its distinctive features, and problems needing distinctive solutions;

[32. Urges developed country Parties to fully implement their commitments regarding provision of financial support, including new and additional financial resources, technology transfer, scientific cooperation and capacity-building, as agreed in the relevant articles of the Convention, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and other major multilateral conferences, in order to ensure the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity in line with the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines on Sustainable Use;]

Research issues

33. Invites Parties and other Governments and relevant organizations to finance and undertake research that would contribute to the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity including, for example:

(a) To assess the performance of agricultural policies in achieving the target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss;

(b) To undertake multidisciplinary studies to evaluate the capability of different farming systems to conserve agricultural biodiversity and use it sustainably and to provide economic viability;

(c) To further investigate the use of agricultural biodiversity to develop sustainable agricultural systems that contribute to improved livelihoods, enhance biodiversity and make use of its benefits, as well as conserving the most vulnerable and potentially useful species;

(d) To evaluate and characterize germplasm potentially suitable for adaptation to climate change;

(e) Research to enhance resilience of agricultural systems;

General considerations

34. Welcomes the adoption of the multi-year programme of work of the FAO Intergovernmental Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, whose implementation would also contribute to the implementation of the Convention programmes of work, in particular the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity;

35. In response to the request from the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture at its eleventh meeting, requests the Executive Secretary to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Secretariat of the Commission to prepare a joint work plan on biodiversity for food and agriculture that would assist Parties in, inter alia, streamlining reporting requirements, and facilitating the dialogue at international, regional and national level between bodies dealing with environment and agriculture, while respecting each other’s mandates and intergovernmental authority, and present a report to SBSTTA before the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

36. Emphasizing the importance of agriculture to the sustainable development of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, particularly in those countries that are centres of origin or diversity encourages Parties, in particular developed country Parties, to take actions with a view to promote agricultural practices and policies that are supportive of the three objectives of the Convention and the internationally agreed development goals and are consistent with other relevant international obligations;

37. Urges developed country Parties, and invites other Governments and relevant organizations:

(a) To ensure that financial resources, are provided to developing countries, particularly least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, in particular countries that are centres of origin or diversity, in order to enable them to fully implement the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention;

(b) To facilitate the access to and transfer of technologies that contribute to development of sustainable agriculture practices, in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention.


Note:

1/: Two Parties stated that the text in brackets was not discussed or negotiated by Parties at the thirteenth meeting of SBSTTA.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme