XIII/6. Biodiversity and climate change: options for mutually supportive actions addressing climate change within the three Rio conventions
A. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) recommends that the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its ninth meeting:
1. Notes with appreciation the reports of the seventh and eighth meetings of the Joint Liaison Group and the document prepared jointly by the three Rio conventions (UNEP/CBD/WGRI/1/7/Add.1) containing proposals on mutually supportive activities for the secretariats of the Rio conventions;
2. Welcomes the High Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to be held from 3 to 5 June, 2008, that will address issues related to climate change adaptation and mitigation;
3. Notes the information notes on forests and adaptation highlighting the links between biodiversity, desertification/land degradation and climate change drafted jointly by the secretariats of the three Rio conventions;
4. Recognizing the distinct mandates and independent legal status of each convention and the need to avoid duplication and promote cost savings, requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the secretariats of the three Rio conventions in order to:
(a) Continue with the activities that are already ongoing or have been called for by Parties in the framework of the three Rio conventions, including those activities listed in annex II below;
(b) Implement the following:
(i) Publish a newsletter on synergies between the three Rio conventions including reports on progress from Parties;
(ii) Create tools to inform Parties about relevant activities on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, on combating environmental degradation, desertification/land degradation and climate change, including through updating existing tools and publications such as the clearing-house mechanism under the Convention and national biodiversity information systems;
(iii) Produce educational materials bearing in mind cultural circumstances and delivery methods based on the needs of the target audiences; and
(iv) Develop web-based communication tools;
(c) Identify further opportunities for mutually supportive activities and continue deliberating on streamlining reporting;
(d) Pursue opportunities to support activities linked to national capacity self assessment projects towards implementation of the three Rio conventions;
5. Further requests the Executive Secretary to continue discussions within the Joint Liaison Group on the following activities:
(a) Make available relevant notifications to other conventions focal points through the web;
(b) Compile, where available, lessons learned and case studies on national mechanisms for coordination among focal points in order to enhance co-operation;
(c) Share reports and reviews of national planning processes, where available, and highlight lessons learned that may be relevant across conventions in order to improve integrated planning;
(d) Provide case-studies and lessons learned on the integration of biodiversity and desertification issues within national adaptation plans of action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;
(e) Improve ways to communicate the three Rio conventions research needs on synergies to the scientific community; and
(f) Provide the focal points of all three conventions with up-to-date information on relevant assessments, research programmes and monitoring tools;
6. Further requests the Executive Secretary, as far as possible in collaboration with the secretariats of the other three Rio conventions, to examine multiple nutrient loading and acidification as a threat to biodiversity and report the findings to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its fourteenth meeting;
7. Requests the Executive Secretary to compile case-studies, good-practice examples and lessons learned on activities, tools and methods to promote synergies between activities addressing biodiversity, desertification/land degradation and climate change at the national and local levels; and report on this, during the in-depth review of the ongoing work under the cross-cutting issue of biodiversity and climate change at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
8. Requests the Executive Secretary to explore, inter alia, with the Global Environment Facility, in collaboration with the Joint Liaison Group, ways and means to achieve biodiversity co-benefits and benefits for combating desertification/land degradation in climate change activities, including through capacity building, with a view to presenting a specific proposal to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
9. Requests the Executive Secretary, recalling the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, to enhance cooperation with regard to changing risk for biodiversity resulting from climate change effects on plant pests in order to gather relevant scientific information so as to inform policy;
10. Requests the Executive Secretary to notify focal points of key meetings and invitations for submissions from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation;
11. Requests the Executive Secretary to explore with the United Nations Environment Programme, and as far as possible in collaboration with the Joint Liaison Group, the nature and scope of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building with a view to identify how it might support the achievement of synergies between the three Rio conventions in national implementation, and report thereon to the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting;
12. Invites the secretariats of the three Rio conventions to build on and strengthen existing tools and synergies with members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), including the CPF web platform, for forest-related activities;
13. Noting that efforts at the national and local levels are of high importance to the achievement of synergies between activities addressing biodiversity, combating desertification/land degradation and climate change, [urges] [invites] Parties and other Governments, where appropriate based on national circumstances, to implement the activities contained in the indicative list in annex I to the present recommendation;
14. Further invites Parties and other Governments to support, as appropriate, the implementation of relevant components of existing national climate change adaptation plans in developing countries, particularly least developed countries, small island developing States and countries with economies in transition;
15. Requests SBSTTA to include a consideration of progress in the implementation of mutually supportive activities in the context of the in-depth review of the ongoing work under the cross-cutting issue on biodiversity and climate change prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
16. Invites Parties and other Governments, as appropriate, to apply the ecosystem approach, to make use of existing publications such as Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series 10 and Technical Series 25, and the UNEP/IUCN TEMATEA Issue-Based Module on Climate Change and Biodiversity when planning or implementing mutually supportive activities among the three Rio Conventions with regard to biodiversity, combating desertification/land degradation and climate change at the national and international levels;
17. Invites relevant organizations to provide support to Parties, as appropriate and based on national circumstances, in implementing the activities laid out in annex I to the present recommendation in order to enhance cooperation and coordination between the three Rio conventions and other relevant multilateral environmental agreements;
18. Urges Parties and other Governments, considering the negative impacts of climate change on biodiversity and related traditional knowledge, to apply, as appropriate, the ecosystem approach in the implementation of climate change [mitigation and] adaptation measures;
19. Notes the Rio Principles when developing synergies;
20. Recognizes the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and Parties with economies in transition, when developing synergies;
21. Welcomes the decision of the twenty-ninth Consultative Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (the London Convention) and the second meeting of Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol, held from 5 to 9 November 2007, which (i) endorsed the June 2007 Statement of Concern regarding iron fertilization of the oceans to sequester CO2 of their Scientific Groups, (ii) urged States to use the utmost caution when considering proposals for large-scale ocean fertilization operations and (iii) took the view that, given the present state of knowledge regarding ocean fertilization, such large-scale operations were currently not justified, and:
(a) Requests the Executive Secretary to bring this issue to the attention of the Joint Liaison Group; and
(b) Urges Parties and other Governments to act in accordance with the decision of the London Convention;
[(c) Urges Parties and other Governments in light of questions about the effectiveness of ocean fertilization for climate change mitigation and its potential adverse impacts on marine biodiversity to adopt a moratorium on all ocean fertilization activities;]
22. Welcomes the priority given to the issue of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), invites the Framework Convention to take full account of opportunities for its work to provide benefits for biodiversity, including through collaboration among [the subsidiary bodies of] the three Rio conventions, and invites the Framework Convention to work to ensure that traditional knowledge, innovations and practices related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are adequately addressed bearing in mind relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
23. Recalling paragraph 11 of decision 1/CP.13, on the Bali Action Plan, in which Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed that this process shall be informed by, inter alia, the best available scientific information, experience in implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and processes there under, outputs from other relevant intergovernmental processes and insights from the business and research communities and civil society:
(a) Recognizes the need to provide biodiversity relevant input in a timely manner;
[(b) Establishes in this regard a possible Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change with a mandate, to develop advice on biodiversity, relevant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decision on the Bali Action Plan (1/CP.13) as well as the UNFCCC Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, drawing, inter alia, from the reports of the previous ad hoc technical expert groups on biodiversity and climate change and the relevant reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;]
[c) Requests the Executive Secretary to convey the report of this Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for appropriate consideration;]
24. Invites Parties to support efforts by developing countries to monitor, at the national level, the impacts of climate change on biodiversity.
B. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA):
1. Requests the Executive Secretary to develop a proposal for terms of reference of a possible Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change to develop advice on biodiversity relevant to the decision on the Bali Action Plan by the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (1/CP.13), as well as that Conventions Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, in consultation with the secretariats of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for consideration at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties; and
[2. Also requests the Executive Secretary to summarize information on the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and the impacts of climate change and response measures on biodiversity found within the existing documents, including the report of the Viterbo Workshop on Forests and Forest Ecosystems: Promoting Synergy in the Implementation of the three Rio Conventions (April 2004), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and CBD Technical Series Nos. 10 and 25; and provide this information to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with the intention that it be transmitted to that Conventions Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice at its twentieth-eighth meeting for consideration in discussing the issue of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.]
PROPOSALS FOR ACTIVITIES BY PARTIES TO PROMOTE SYNERGIES AMONG THE RIO CONVENTIONS
Collaboration amongst national focal points
1. Schedule periodic meetings between focal points and focal point teams.
2. Establish a national coordinating committee for implementation of the three Rio Conventions including, as appropriate, mainstreaming into sustainable development strategies, the Millennium Development Goals and other relevant sectors and strategies.
3. Build institutional linkages between the ministries responsible for implementation of each convention.
4. Engage, when relevant, focal points from other conventions when forming a position for negotiations.
Cooperation on national level planning
5. Review existing national plans to identify gaps in synergies.
6. Identify relevant sector plans and policies that could benefit from cooperation on biodiversity, desertification and climate change.
7. Revise relevant plans and policies, as appropriate to enhance cooperation.
8. Build institutional and scientific capacity and raise awareness among different ministries, policy makers and non-governmental organizations dealing with the three Rio conventions and other relevant conventions.
Collaboration at the level of convention bodies and secretariats
9. Provide input, as appropriate, to the Joint Liaison Group.
10. Provide inputs to the technology transfer databases of the three conventions.
11. Prepare, as appropriate, transparent impact assessments and risk analysis on the transferred technologies taking into consideration economic viability, social acceptability and environmental benefits.
12. Enhance cooperation among national focal points for the implementation of the programme of work on technology transfer under the Convention on Biological Diversity through, for example, the designation of appropriate institutions acting as a central consulting point for technology transfer.
13. Identify technologies of joint interest and relevance at a regional and global scale.
Forests and climate change
14. Integrate biodiversity, climate change and desertification/land degradation issues in forest sector planning.
15. Involve focal points from the United Nations Forum on Forests and relevant forest conventions and other conventions in discussions on relevant issues, such as, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, including through afforestation and reforestation, and, the in-depth review of implementation of the programme of work on forest biodiversity and other relevant issues.
16. Enhance the integration of biodiversity and desertification/land degradation issues within climate change adaptation planning.
17. Enhance consideration of the benefits for climate change adaptation of cross-sector planning in the context of the ecosystem approach.
18. Evaluate, as appropriate, the extent to which biodiversity and desertification/land degradation issues are integrated into existing climate change adaptation plans.
19. Subject to national capacity and the availability of funds, identify areas which are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, contain high levels of biodiversity or biodiversity at risk, and are exposed to desertification/land degradation.
20. Clearly express capacity-building needs to the secretariats.
Research and monitoring/systematic observation
21. Conduct, as appropriate, national and local assessments of climate-change impacts on biodiversity and desertification/land degradation.
22. Identify, as appropriate, local and indigenous knowledge that can contribute to synergies.
23. Identify research and/or monitoring needs and establish mechanisms or processes by which such needs could be met.
24. Encourage additional research on the impacts of climate change on oceans and marine biodiversity.
25. Encourage additional research and monitoring on the impacts of increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events on biodiversity and associated resources.
26. Identify actions that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of peatlands and other wetlands and enhance their positive contribution to climate change response activities.
27. Identify the impacts of climate change on ecosystem services.
28. Harmonize temporal and spatial scales in data collection and analysis considering climate change and biodiversity status and trends.
Information exchange and outreach
29. Share at regional and global levels, experiences and lessons learned on communicating synergies.
30. Develop a common pool of experts on the interrelated issues of climate change, biodiversity and combating desertification/land degradation to address the information gaps on the status, trends and threats to biodiversity, particularly within dry and sub-humid lands.
31. National focal points share, to the extent possible, databases containing reporting data and information sources.
32. Where relevant, focal points work together on drafting the national reports for each convention.
ACTIVITIES THAT ARE ALREADY ONGOING OR HAVE BEEN CALLED FOR BY PARTIES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE RIO CONVENTIONS
1. Keep staff in other secretariats informed of discussions and decisions on relevant synergistic activities or programmes.
2. Continuing the sharing of experiences by secretariat staff in forums such as the Convention on Biological Diversity Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Technology Transfer and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Expert Group on Technology Transfer or its successor.
3. Continue the provision by the secretariats, of inputs and views on forest issues and adaptation as requested by the subsidiary bodies of the conventions.
4. Share experiences reported by Parties on communication, education and public awareness events.