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SBSTTA 14 Recommendation XIV/10

XIV/10.Agricultural biodiversity

A.Follow-up to requests of the Conference of the Parties in decision IX/1

1.The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice notes the importance of agricultural biodiversity to the revised Strategic Plan of the Convention for the period beyond 2010.
2.The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice recommends that the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting consider adopting a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties
1.[Welcomes] [Endorses] [Notes] the joint work plan on biodiversity for food and agriculture between the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, contained in the annex to document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/11;
2.Notes with appreciation the ongoing work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, on the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and the three international initiatives on: soil biodiversity, pollinators and biodiversity for food and nutrition;
3.Notes with appreciation the ongoing work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on the implementation of the agricultural biodiversity programme of work and welcomes the Strategic Plan 2010-2017 for the implementation of the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) approved at the twelfth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2009. In this context, welcomes the periodical publications undertaken and foreseen in the MYPOW for the State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, and on their different genetic resources components, which will provide a solid technical base for the development of action plans; and invites Parties, and other Governments, to take into account the inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral nature of these publications in their contributions to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on this subject;
4.Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture for areas within its mandate to further contribute to the development and implementation of the revised Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the period beyond 2010 by elaborating targets for agricultural biodiversity, including at the ecosystem and genetic resources levels, and monitoring progress towards them using indicators;
5.Notes the importance of the joint work plan between the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, its important contribution to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1 and 7, and the opportunities to further enhance the joint work plan in accordance with relevant matters arising from the revised Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the period beyond 2010, including consideration of matters in relation to targets and indicators of relevance to the programme of work, and relevant matters arising from the Strategic Plan 2010-2017 of the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW) of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;
6.Requests the Executive Secretary and invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to work together in their design of the second phase of their joint work plan covering at least until 2017 and to note that this second phase should consider, inter alia:
(a)The sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, particularly underutilized crops, wild relatives of cultivated plants and other potential food sources, to improve human nutrition, to address the impacts of climate change and to contribute to food security;
(b)On-farm, in situ and ex situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity; in accordance with decision IX/1 adopted at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
(c)Relevant aspects of access and benefit sharing in the context of the international regime on access and benefit sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity to be [considered][adopted] at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as within the context of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, taking into account existing cooperation between the two secretariats consistent with resolution 18/2009 of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
[(d) Trends on the extent of patents and other intellectual property rights, such as plant variety protection, applied for and granted over plant, animal, [forest] and microbial genetic resources as identified by the Global Assessments of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; ]
(e)Potential actions to promote sustainable biodiversity-related agricultural practices that contribute to biodiversity as well as ecosystem based carbon sequestration of soils and to conserve and restore organic carbon in soil and biomass;
(f)Inter-linkages between the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (as per decision IX/2 of the Conference of the Parties and any subsequent relevant decisions) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, regarding promoting the positive and minimizing, or avoiding, negative impacts of biofuels on biodiversity, including environmental and socio-economic considerations, and food and energy security [as well as impacts on land security] aspects related to them, in the form of joint studies and assessments;
(g)Ways and means to strengthen cooperation to: (i) obtain and consider the views of farmers' and producers' organizations and the views of indigenous and local communities, and (ii) facilitate their effective participation in the deliberations of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and of the Food and Agriculture Organization and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and their contributions to the implementation of the work of these bodies;
(h)A strengthened process to identify, indicate and disseminate information to relevant focal points of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture regarding matters of common interest;
(i)
Option A
[(i)Promoting the conservation, [restoration] and the sustainable management of [biodiversity-rich] agricultural landscapes and [ high-nature value farmland], such as, but not limited to, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS);]
Option B
[(i)Promoting, as appropriate, the integration of conservation, [restoration] and sustainable management, including sustainable production, in agricultural areas with [high] biodiversity value, such as, but not limited to, [high nature value farmland] and Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), consistent and in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international obligations;]
Option C
[(i)Promoting, as appropriate, the integration of conservation, [restoration] and sustainable management, including sustainable production, in agricultural areas with [important] [high] biodiversity value, such as, but not limited to, [important] [high nature value farmland] and Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), [and that are identified as contributing to the achievement of global and national targets for protected areas,] consistent and in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international obligations];
(j)Promoting public awareness of the importance of agro-biodiversity and its relationship to advancing food security, in the context of production oriented agro-ecosystems, at the global, regional, national and local levels;
(k)The relevant findings and recommendations of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development; and their implementation, as appropriate; and
(l)Further exploring possibilities for actions, where necessary, to rehabilitate agricultural ecosystems on land where agriculture has declined, or ceased, and where the land was degraded as a result, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, where appropriate;
7.Recognizes the importance of the processes led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, such as implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Animal Genetic Resources and updating of the Global Plan of Action on Plant Genetic Resources, which contribute directly to achieving the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in crop and livestock sectors.
8.Invites Parties to incorporate, as appropriate, relevant elements of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity into their national biodiversity strategy and action plans as well as into their relevant sectoral and inter-sectoral policies and plans;
9.Invites Parties and other Governments, as appropriate, to recognize the critical importance of scientific, informal and traditional knowledge systems in the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity;
10.Requests the Executive Secretary to strengthen collaboration with the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) to improve collaboration in the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and the Treaty, as appropriate;
11.Invites the national focal points of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to enhance their collaboration;
12.Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to provide an expanded progress report on the implementation of the international initiative on soil biodiversity (in addition to information already submitted in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/INF/30) to the Executive Secretary for dissemination through the clearing-house mechanism;
13.Recognizes the importance of agricultural biodiversity and scientific and traditional knowledge systems to the achievement of the objectives of the Convention and recognizes the lead role of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in supporting the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity as well as related traditional knowledge systems, while also recognizing the important contributions and roles of other partners in this regard, including those indigenous and local communities;
14.Noting the excellent progress made in collaboration between the Executive Secretary and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and that there is considerable benefit from further enhanced cooperation, requests the Executive Secretary and invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to strengthen their cooperation and invites Parties and other Governments to consider, as appropriate and feasible, providing further support to facilitate such enhanced cooperation;
15.Recognizes the continuing problems of nutrient loading caused by some agricultural practices (as noted in the in-depth review of the programme of work on inland water ecosystems in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/3), invites Parties and other Governments, in accordance with paragraph 40 of decision IX/1 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to further enhance action on reducing nutrient loading caused by some agricultural practices and to provide further information to the Executive Secretary on the progress made, and requests the Executive Secretary to collate this information and to disseminate it through the clearing house mechanism and other relevant means;
16.Notes the inter-connections between agricultural ecosystems and other ecosystems, particularly through land and water use activities, and invites Parties to consider the need for strengthened harmony between implementation of relevant elements of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and other programmes of work of the Convention, consistent with the ecosystem approach, including at national and, where appropriate, regional levels;
17.Requests the Executive Secretary to communicate to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the information submitted in response to notification 2008-130 of 3 October 2008;
18.Expresses its appreciation to Bioversity International for the secondment of a staff member to assist the Executive Secretary, in particular regarding, inter alia, agricultural biodiversity and sustainable use;
19.Notes the importance of the issue of sustainable use of biodiversity to the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and invites Parties and requests the Executive Secretary to ensure coherence between the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and Article 10 of the Convention, on sustainable use, noting decision IX/1 paragraph 32, of the Conference of the Parties, relating to agriculture and the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity;
20.Requests the Executive Secretary and invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Bioversity International, together with other relevant partners, including indigenous and local communities, subject to available resources, to provide further information on the nature of sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, including building upon information contained in the information note submitted by Bioversity International on sustainable agriculture and the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity: concepts, trends and challenges (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/INF/34);

Valuing agricultural ecosystems

21.Welcomes resolution X.31 of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) on the subject "Enhancing biodiversity in rice paddies as wetland systems" which notes, inter alia, the culture of rice in 114 countries worldwide, that rice paddies (flooded and irrigated fields in which rice is grown) have provided large areas of open water for centuries and that they support a high level of rice associated biodiversity important for sustaining rice paddy ecosystems, as well as providing many other ecosystem services; recognises the relevance of resolution X.31 of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to the implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity and invites relevant Parties, as appropriate, to fully implement this resolution; and
22.Recognizes the importance of agro-ecosystems, in particular rice-paddy systems, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, subject to resources, and in consultation with the Executive Secretary and relevant partners, including indigenous and local communities, to undertake further studies on the valuation of the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by agricultural ecosystems, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, in order to further support policy-relevant guidance to Parties for consideration by the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

B.Biofuels and biodiversity: Consideration of ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice recommends that the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting adopt a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties
Recalling decision IX/2 of the Conference of the Parties;
[Recognizing that given the scientific uncertainty that exists, and the recent information that has emerged, significant concern surrounds the potential intended and unintended impacts of biofuels on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels [as well as impacts on land security] and on indigenous and local communities;]
[Also recognizing that improved monitoring, scientific assessment, open and transparent consultation, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, and information flow are crucial needs for the continuing improvement of policy guidance, and decision making, to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of biofuels on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels [as well as impacts on land security];]
1.Expresses its gratitude to the European Union for its financial contribution towards the regional workshops for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific, and to the Government of Germany for the regional workshop for Africa, on ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impacts of biofuel production and use on biodiversity, to the Governments of Brazil, Thailand and Ghana for hosting these workshops and to the Government of Brazil for providing Spanish interpretation to facilitate active participation of the entire region;
2.Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations and stakeholders to examine, and as appropriate, to further develop, based on scientific assessments on the impacts of biofuel production and use, and with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, voluntary conceptual frameworks for ways and means to minimize or avoid the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of biofuel production and use developed by the three regional workshops; in further developing such voluntary conceptual frameworks, an effort should be made to focus the framework on the impacts of biofuel on biodiversity, and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels, as decided by the ninth meeting of the Convention of the Parties in decision IX/2;
[3.Urges Parties and other Governments, in collaboration with indigenous and local communities and relevant organizations, when carrying out scientific assessments of the impacts of biofuel production and use to ensure that land rights, as appropriate and subject to national legislation [and applicable to international obligations], as well as the sustainable agricultural practices and food security of indigenous and local communities, are respected and promoted, and that steps are taken to redress any negative impacts on these communities by the production and use of biofuels;]
4.
Option A
[4.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of financial resources, to:
(a)Compile [and analyse] information on tools [and develop a toolkit] for voluntary use consisting of available standards and methodologies to assess direct and indirect effects and impacts on biodiversity of the production and use of biofuels, in their full life cycle as compared to that of other types of fuels, and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels [as well as impacts on land security];
(b)Carry out this work [taking into account the work of] [in collaboration with] relevant partner organizations and processes, such as, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, the Global Bio-Energy Partnership and other relevant organizations, in order to reduce duplication of effort. This work should [build on] [take into account] the outcomes of the regional workshops, and build on relevant decisions taken and guidance developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
(c)Disseminate the tools [and the toolkit] through the clearing house mechanism and other relevant means in order to assist Parties, the business sector and relevant stakeholders in applying ways and means to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of biofuel production and use on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels [as well as impacts on land security];]
Option B
[4.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of resources, to compile, organize and disseminate information on tools for voluntary use, as identified in the regional workshops for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, on ways and means to promote the positive and minimize the negative impact of biofuel production and use on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels, taking into account the work of other competent partner organizations and relevant processes such as, inter alia, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, the Global Bio-Energy Partnership, and other relevant organizations, so as to avoid duplication and recognizing the specific role of the Convention on Biological Diversity in biodiversity-related aspects of the sustainable production and use of biofuels and disseminate through the clearing-house mechanism and relevant means;]
5.Requests the Executive Secretary to compile information on gaps in available standards and methodologies identified in the work undertaken in paragraph 4 and bring it to the attention of relevant organizations and processes and report on progress to a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice prior to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
[6.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to availability of resources, to contribute to ongoing work of relevant partner organizations and processes, such as the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Standards Organization, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the International Energy Agency, and roundtables, such as the Round Table on Sustainable Biofuels and the Global Bio-Energy Partnership, and other relevant organizations, consistent with the mandate and decision IX/2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to assist in their [ongoing work] [development of frameworks [and policy options]] to promote the positive and minimise the negative impacts of [the production and use of biofuels] [biomass for energy production and use] on biodiversity, taking into account the [precautionary approach and the] results of ongoing thorough scientific assessment of such impacts, bearing in mind the need to add maximum value, avoid duplication and to provide clarity to these processes; and invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit relevant information, including on activities identified in paragraphs 10, 11, 15, to support this activity, and requeststhe Executive Secretary to report on progress on this activity [in the form of an information note] to a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice prior to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties; ]
7.Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit to the Executive Secretary experiences and results from assessments of biodiversity and of the impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels and requests the Executive Secretary to make such experiences and results available to Parties through the clearing-house mechanism;
8.Recognizes the need to include ways and means to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of biofuel production and use on biodiversity [and indigenous and local communities] in national plans, such as national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) and national development plans, and invites Parties, as appropriate, to report on their experiences in minimizing or avoiding the negative and maximizing the positive impacts of the production and use of biofuels as part of their fifth national reports;
9.Invites Parties to develop and implement policies that promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts on biological diversity, in particular by assessing both direct and indirect effects and impacts on biodiversity of the production and use of biofuels in their full life cycle as compared to that of other types of fuels, and the impacts on biodiversity that would affect related socio economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels;
10.Invites Parties, acknowledging different national conditions, other Governments and relevant organizations:
[(a) To [develop inventories and] undertake as appropriate adequate bio-conservation measures of areas of high biodiversity value [, critical ecosystems,] [and areas important to indigenous and local communities, such as no-go areas], to assist policy-makers in minimizing or avoiding the negative impacts of biofuel production on biodiversity [and to assess [and identify] areas and ecosystems [and low biodiversity value land previously used for agriculture, where agriculture has since declined or ceased and become degraded as a result,] that could be used in a sustainable way in the production of biofuels;]]
(b)To elaborate supportive measures to promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts of the production and use of biofuels on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels, as a contribution to the achievement of the revised Strategic Plan of the Convention beyond 2010;
11.Encourages Parties and other Governments to develop and implement land-use and water [policies] [strategies], acknowledging different national conditions, that promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts on biological diversity, in particular by addressing direct and indirect land-use and water-use changes affecting, amongst others, areas of high value for biodiversity and areas of cultural, religious and heritage interest, as part of their policy frameworks for the sustainable production and use of biofuels [and bearing in mind effects on ecosystem services in a landscape perspective];
[12.Urges donor countries and agencies and relevant organizations to provide technical and financial support to developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, to develop policy frameworks for the sustainable production and use of biofuels including land-use and water policies that promote the positive and minimize or avoid the negative impacts on biological diversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels, and to perform their impacts assessments of biofuel production and use at the national level;]
13.Encourages Parties and other Governments to develop and use environmentally-sound technologies, and support the development of research programmes and undertake impact assessments, which promote the positive and minimise or avoid the negative impacts of biofuel production and use on biodiversity and impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security resulting from the production and use of biofuels [as well as impacts on land security];
[14.Decides to convene an ad-hoc technical expert group on synthetic biotechnologies and other new technologies that are used or projected to be used in the next generation of biofuels to assess their impacts on biodiversity and related livelihoods.] 14
[15.Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to address both direct and indirect impacts that the production and use of biofuels might have on biodiversity, in particular inland waters biodiversity, on the services they provide and on indigenous and local communities;]
[16.Urges Parties and other Governments, in accordance with the precautionary approach, to ensure that living organisms produced by synthetic biology are not released into the environment until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and due consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity, and the associated socio-economic risks, are considered;]
17.Recalling paragraph 3 (c) (i) of decision IX/2 of the Conference of the Parties, reiterates that the precautionary approach should be applied to the production and use of biofuels in accordance with the preamble of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
18.
Option A
[18.Recognizing the threats to biodiversity from the use of invasive alien species in biofuels production and use; urges Parties and other Governments to apply the precautionary approach following the guiding principles on invasive alien species contained in the annex to decision VI/23*;]
Option B
[18.Recognizing the threats to biodiversity if species used in biofuel production become invasive; urges Parties and other Governments to apply the precautionary approach following the guiding principles on invasive alien species contained in the annex to decision VI/23*;]

14 This paragraph is in square brackets due to (i) financial implications, and (ii) a lack of consensus from the meeting on the need for the ad-hoc technical expert group and its mandate.
* One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

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