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E-Forum on the Post 2010 Strategic Plan of the CBD: An Invitation to Contribute to the Updating and Revision of the Strategic Plan of the Convention

Question 17.1
What are your views about better methods that should be developed to evaluate progress?
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The framework developed in decision VII/30 and refined in VIII/15 is useful and should not be discarded; however it should be reviewed and revised. Through discussions with indigenous peoples and local communities’ organisation that Forest Peoples Programme has been having during the past two years, some gaps in the framework have been identified and some suggestions brought forward:

1. under the Focal Area ‘Promote Sustainable Use’ and Goal 4 ‘Promote sustainable use and consumption’, there are currently 3 targets (4.1, 4.2 and 4.3), but none of these targets refer to two sub-articles of the Convention that are integral part of Article 10 (Sustainable Use of Components of Biological Diversity), namely:
- 10(c) Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements;
- 10(d) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced.

We would therefore like to suggest the development of two additional targets (and associated indicators) under Goal 4 related to Articles 10(c) and 10(d). This would be in line with, and would support Parties in the implementation of, paragraphs A1, A2, A4 of Decision IX.13 (on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions) and would respond to the suggestion by the Executive Secretary (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/4/Add.1 paragraph 44, p.11) that the Multi-year Programme of Work beyond 2010 should include further consideration of sustainable use and incentive measures (Articles 10 and 11) including engagement of local communities (10(c)).

2. under the Focal Area ‘Address threats to biodiversity’, Goal 5 reads ‘Pressures from habitat loss, land use change and degradation, and unsustainable water use, reduced’. Currently, here there is only one target (Target 5.1. Rate of loss and degradation of natural habitats decreased), which is good, but not sufficient. In fact, it has been recognised both in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: Biodiversity Synthesis) (e.g. p.vi) and in the Global Biodiversity Outlook (e.g. pp.33, 62) that unless we successfully squarely address and mitigate/reduce the impacts of direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, biodiversity will continue to be lost. This would translate into a failure to achieve Target 2010. Document UNEP/CBD/COP/9/4/Add.1 also highlights the need to address the drivers of biodiversity loss (see paragraphs 24-27, p.7).
We therefore need to address the drivers of deforestation more directly and decisively. In our experience with indigenous and local communities, biodiversity (and traditional knowledge) is continuously lost due to the operation of extractive industries (mining, logging, oil), infrastructure (roads, dams, ports, etc) and expansion of the industrial agricultural frontier, including forest monoculture and now biofuels (as examples of direct drivers). The indicators that have been developed in relation to Target 5.1 are all about changes in physical nature of biodiversity. We think that now we need to develop a target and associated indicators that directly address the drivers of biodiversity loss, the actual activities that drive biodiversity loss. For example, in one workshop, indigenous representatives from Suriname, relating the CBD framework to their local situation, suggested the addition of the following new target ‘Extractive industries (including commercial fishing) that put pressure on biodiversity, decreased’. This could be expanded to address other drivers of biodiversity loss, but it is an example of squarely addressing drivers of biodiversity loss. This approach would support the Parties in implementing Articles 7(c) and 8(l) of the Convention (identifying threats to biodiversity, and managing or regulating them), two articles that have been recognised as in need of greater attention (see UNEP/CBD/COP/9/4/Add.1, paragraph 26 at p.7 and 42-44 at p.11)

3. under focal area ‘Protect traditional knowledge, innovations and practices’, Target 9.2 reads: ‘Protect the rights of indigenous and local communities over their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, including their rights to benefit sharing.’ In the actual world, traditional knowledge, innovations and practices are not practices in a vacuum, they are practiced through the daily interaction with biodiversity (forests, rivers, land, plants, animals etc) so the most effective means to protect the rights of indigenous and local communities over their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices is to do so in close synergy with the protection of their rights to the lands/territories and resources where they practice their traditional knowledge, innovation and practices. If these rights are not secured, protection of their rights over their traditional knowledge will be very difficult to achieve. We would therefore propose to slightly change Target 9.2 to read: ‘Protect the rights of indigenous and local communities over their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, and associated natural resources, including their rights to benefit sharing.’ This would be in line with the analysis by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: Biodiversity Synthesis) (e.g. pp. 12, 40, 41, 71, 73, 74), the UNEP Global Environment Outlook 4 (e.g. pp. 188, 399, 484) and UNEP Global Environment Outlook 4 Summary for Policy Makers (p.5) that resource rights of local communities need to be addressed, secured and strengthened.

Maurizio and Caroline, Forest Peoples Programme

submitted by Maurizio Ferrari
In order to evaluate progress in biodiversity conservation we believe the Convention should focus on the implementation of indicators able to look at both the State of biodiversity and the Pressure placed by humans on it. Only by looking in a scientifically robust, comprehensive and consistent way at the main drivers of the human pressure on ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as at the way global resources are used, will the Convention be able to improve the level of understanding of the causes behind the challenges biodiversity is facing and the role human societies can play to address these causes.

To this extent, we believe that actions should be taken and efforts made to improve the Ecological Footprint methodology, which is currently used as a Pressure indicator by the Convention. A specific agenda for improving Ecological Footprint accounts has been compiled by Global Footprint Network’s National Accounts Committee, the formal body that oversees, with input from government agencies and other organizations that use the Ecological Footprint, as well as from the general public, the continuing development of the metric. This agenda focuses on improvements to the science behind the accounts, to the calculation methodology, and in the usefulness of the metric for policy makers and other stakeholders.

Methodological improvements aim at providing a more robust indicator, improving the ability of the Ecological Footprint to track human pressure on ecosystems. Some proposed improvements include:

• Refinements in the calculation methodology of selected land types (e.g., cropland and fishing grounds). Improving the calculation of these land types will result in better tracking of the pressure humans place on these ecosystems and of when resources produced and ecological services provided by these ecosystems are being overused, and thus will help reveal threats to the state of biodiversity.

• Refinements in the calculation of carbon uptake land, as it today accounts for almost half of humanity’s Footprint. Currently this is calculated as the area of world average forest (after having adjusted for the uptake by oceans) that would be needed to sequester human-driven CO2 emissions if carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere is to be avoided. Refinements in the current calculation method -- for instance, the inclusion in the calculation of the role of other land types in sequestering carbon--could provide a more comprehensive picture of the stress human activities place on the carbon sink capacity of various ecosystems.

• Improvement in the calculation of the Ecological Footprint embodied in trade. As the Ecological Footprint of consumption evaluates nations’ total or per capita final net consumption, improving the trade calculation and its sensitivity to the place of origin and destination of traded products would provide a better picture of the international flows of resources and services, thus helping to better understand how global trade is contributing to the threats biodiversity is facing.

• Assessments of relationships between the Ecological Footprint and indicators of other fundamental environmental pressures, such as water shortages or toxic releases. This type of analysis could provide a more comprehensive picture of the health of different ecosystems and their ability to serve as habitats for living species.

On the policy side, improvements to link Ecological Footprint accounts more closely to national and international economic accounts have been proposed, and can be implemented if support becomes available. This would allow Footprint calculations to use the best available data as inputs, produce the most consistent and applicable results, and clarify the link between economic activities and environmental outcomes.
In the context of the sustainability challenge we are facing today, information on “economy-environment" interactions provids high value for decision and policy makers. The development of nation-specific Consumption Land-Use Matrixes (CLUMs) that disaggregate demand by final consumption category and land use type represents an important first step in this direction. The use of CLUMs can help stakeholders link specific human demands on ecosystems with their environmental consequences. This knowledge could be used to stimulate debate among policy makers, to highlight key domains of human activity where actions need to be taken, and to select the specific actions needed to reduce human threats to biodiversity.

submitted by Steven Goldfinger
Better methods should be based on information relating to IPBES, TEEB, and indicator processes under other relevant processes.
submitted by Anonymous

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  • United Nations Environment Programme