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TARGET 4 - Technical Rationale extended (provided in document COP/10/INF/12/Rev.1)

Quick Guide (Target 4)

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Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society

Target 4: By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.

Technical rationale: Most Parties indicated in their fourth national reports that the unsustainable use or overexploitation of resources was a threat to biodiversity. Bringing the use of natural resources within safe ecological limits is an integral part of the Vision of the Strategic Plan, thus steps towards this must be taken by 2020. Reducing total demand and increasing efficiency contribute to the target and can be pursued through government regulations and/or incentives, education, and social and corporate responsibility. This target will build upon, and contribute to, the achievement of the target established in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (para. 26) to develop integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans by 2005.

Implementation: Currently, many individuals, businesses and countries are making efforts to substantially reduce their use of fossil fuels, with a view to mitigating climate change. Similar efforts are needed to ensure that the use of other natural resources are within sustainable limits. Early action would involve each production- and consumption-related sector developing and implementing plans for this purpose. The target will be achieved through dialogue among sectors and stakeholders, supported by planning tools such as strategic environmental impact assessment and economic tools such as incentive measures that integrate biodiversity issues. The creation of inter-ministerial committees, nationally developed guidelines, sectoral guidelines and the promotion of ecosystem management in city districts and other local authorities could be used to help reach this target. The programme of work on the sustainable use of biodiversity, the business and biodiversity initiative as well as the work on impact assessment would be particularly relevant to this target. The Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity could also help to achieve progress towards this target. Support to indigenous and local communities for the development and implementation of community-based sustainable management plans would also contribute to the achievement of the target.

Indicators and baseline information: Initially, process indicators, such as the establishment of plans with clear and measurable targets, would be the main indicators. Other process indicators include the presence of strategic environmental impact assessment or similar assessment tools, and their application at multiple levels of government. One relevant outcome indicator is the Ecological Footprint (and related concepts) for which baseline data is available. Other possible indicators could include the total demand for natural resources, the proportion of products derived from sustainable sources and the number of community-based sustainable management plans.

Milestones:

Possible milestones for this target include:
  • By 2014, Governments and major private-sector actors, at sector or company level, have developed assessments of their ecological footprint, and have developed sustainability plans to reduce it;
  • By 2018, Governments and major private-sector actors can demonstrate progress towards sustainability.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme