Action Agenda Newsletter on Biodiversity Commitments: Issue 2, 2021

Reversing Biodiversity Loss and Promoting Positive Gains to 2030

The Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People is an initiative spearheaded by the governments of China and Egypt, with support of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The purpose is to build engagement with non-state actors to inform, inspire and showcase voluntary commitments for biodiversity. The Action Agenda works with non-state actors to raise awareness on the urgency, ambition and concrete actions, across different sectors, that can reduce the drivers of biodiversity loss and enable the needed shifts toward nature positive outcomes, aligned to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The Action Agenda showcases actions to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by sub-national and non-state actors (e.g. local and sub-national authorities and youth, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, business, academia as well as indigenous peoples and local communities). The structure of the Action Agenda encompasses all types of biodiversity benefits and engages actors at all levels and scales to complement a whole-of-society approach that catalyzes upward cycles of ambition to stimulate and instigate transformational change within key sectors, in society and the economy.

As of 10 November 2021, the Action Agenda features 293 commitments. More commitments will be added before the end of the year as a result of announcements from part one of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China and additional pledges announced before and after the Conference. The commitments on the Action Agenda are championing a collective global response for biodiversity in the lead up to COP-15, where Parties will set the course to 2030 with the adoption of a new global biodiversity framework.

The post-2020 global biodiversity framework will guide actions worldwide to 2030 to conserve and restore our natural ecosystems, to which our economies and societies depend. Through partnership engagement, outreach, and mainstreaming, the Action Agenda will continue to encourage greater commitments, building further momentum for the implementation of the post-2020 framework and proving that sub-national and non-state actors can contribute to the policy process with meaningful actions and active engagement.

As non-state actors continue to send a strong signal of commitment to work collectively, and alongside countries, to support the necessary transitions to bend the curve of biodiversity loss and put biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, the Action Agenda will serve as the mechanism to recognize commitments, build engagement and champion non-state actions in the post-2020 process.

Table of Contents

  Featured Commitments:
Useful Information (Updates)
Statistics
Events (Recent and upcoming events)
Other News

Statements:

- Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

  “Pledges to the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People represent a global shift towards safeguarding and sustainably using biodiversity. Engagement and collaboration on Action Agenda commitments is key for all sectors of society to be part of the post 2020 conversation and reverse the loss of biodiversity in line with what science tells us is needed.
The growing number of commitments from non-state actors signals a strong determination and ambition to take action and enable the steps needed to transition towards a nature positive future.”

Biodiversity Commitments:

Organization: CropLife International
Scale: Global
Action Category: Biosafety and Food systems and Health and Stewardship
Main contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 17 - Establish, strengthen capacity for, and implement measures in all countries to prevent, manage or control potential adverse impacts of biotechnology on biodiversity and human health, reducing the risk of these impacts.

  Croplife International, a global federation representing the plant science industry, commits to provide stewardship programs for farmers to protect crops through risk assessment guidance of living modified organisms. By 2025, their targets are to: 1) train 20 million farmers to effectively use crops, 2) increase sustainability, including sharing knowledge with policy makers, trainers and information providers, and 3) continue with partnerships to leverage the scale of training and awareness raising.

Organization: WildAid Marine
Scale: North America/Asia
Action Category: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Species, Freshwater, Coastal, and Ocean Ecosystems, Stewardship
Main contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 1- Ensure that all land and sea areas globally are under integrated biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning addressing land- and sea-use change, retaining existing intact and wilderness areas.
Relevance to other draft targets of the framework: Draft Target 4 - Ensure active management actions to enable the recovery and conservation of species and the genetic diversity of wild and domesticated species, including through ex situ conservation, and effectively manage human-wildlife interactions to avoid or reduce human-wildlife conflict; Draft Target 3 - Ensure that at least 30 per cent globally of land areas and of sea areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.

  WildAid, an American non-governmental organization working with Asian and Western celebrities and business leaders, commits: 1) to start a campaign to motivate Asian consumers to adopt sustainable diets, low emission mobility, and sustainable consumption habits; 2) to work on advocacy to reduce the demand for wildlife products (e.g. ivory, rhino horn, pangolin meat and scales, tiger parts, and sea turtle carapace); 3) to encourage 250 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2025, which includes six steps tailored for local partners to stop illegal fishing, enforce regulations, allow wildlife recovery, and encourage positive economic opportunities for communities. The commitments include actions to support the design of strategies that address five key elements to discourage illegal activities and ensure meaningful protection for MPAs (e.g. through surveillance and enforcement, policies, funding, training and community engagement).

Organization: Votorantim S.A.
Scale: Latin America
Action Category: Conservation and Restoration of Land Ecosystems and Sustainable Use of Species
Main contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 4- Ensure active management actions to enable the recovery and conservation of species and the genetic diversity of wild and domesticated species, including through ex situ conservation, and effectively manage human-wildlife interactions to avoid or reduce human-wildlife conflict.

  Votorantim S.A., a private sector company managing Legado das Águas the largest private Atlantic Forest reserve in Brazil, committed to develop a new business model to conserve 31,000 hectares of land to address; 1) scarcity of water and water quality for the population in the area; 2) to reduce deforestation and the rate of extinction of species and fauna and flora; and 3) to propose sustainable solutions for land management. The commitment also contributes to the conservation of local natural reserves in the Vale do Ribeira region, with the promotion of local production chains to develop the territory through structural programs in municipalities.

Organization: Bioversity International
Scale: Africa/ Europe
Action Category: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Food Systems and Health and Climate Change
Main contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 10 -Ensure all areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, in particular through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, increasing the productivity and resilience of these production systems.

  Bioversity International, with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), committed to strengthen their efforts in Genomic characterization and phenotypic evaluation of banana to ensure the long-term conservation of the important species of crop wild relatives, and facilitate their use in breeding new, improved crops. Commitment includes participation in the unique, global initiative “Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives” in collaboration with the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium).

Organization: Union for Ethical BioTrade
Scale: Global
Action Category: Stewardship, Sustainable and Consumption and Production and Food Systems and Health
Contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 14- Fully integrate biodiversity values into policies, regulations, planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies, accounts, and assessments of environmental impacts at all levels of government and across all sectors of the economy, ensuring that all activities and financial flows are aligned with biodiversity values.
Relevance to other draft targets of the framework: Draft Target 15 - All businesses (public and private, large, medium and small) assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, from local to global, and progressively reduce negative impacts, by at least half and increase positive impacts, reducing biodiversity-related risks to businesses and moving towards the full sustainability of extraction and production practices, sourcing and supply chains, and use and disposal.

  Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a non-profit association, coordinated 56 companies from different sectors and industries, iincluding Guerlain Paris, Christian Dior Parfums, Yves Rocher and Martin Bauer Group, to commit to cultivate, collect and procure ingredients from biodiversity sustainably. The pledge sets time-bound targets and takes measures towards gradually improving company policies and practices concerning biodiversity - from on-the-ground action in farms and wild plant collection sites, to processing, research and development, manufacturing and procurement practices. A highlight of its commitment is the monitoring plan developed by UEBT to keep track of the commitment and provide progress reports.

Organization: Bioparc Genève
Scale: Europe and Africa
Action Category: Stewardship, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Species
Contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 4 - Ensure active management actions to enable the recovery and conservation of species and the genetic diversity of wild and domesticated species, including through ex situ conservation, and effectively manage human-wildlife interactions to avoid or reduce human-wildlife conflict.

  Bioparc Genève, an ecological zoo in Geneva, has two pledges in line with the conservation of local species based on the biodiversity strategy of Geneva by 2030 and the nexus between human civilization, culture and wilderness. Commitments include a study to analyze 1,692 hedgehogs, mapping their location in Europe, impacts, and identifying areas where more hedgehogs need to be rescued. The second pledge, in collaboration with zoological institutions and museums in Europe, addresses species conservation efforts to genetically identify, through morphological diagnoses, differences between two types of African crocodiles. This includes establishing a scientific base for the creation of a European Study book and an update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identification guide.

Organization: Tealeaves
Scale: North America
Action Category: Sustainable Consumption and Production and Stewardship
Contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 15 - All businesses (public and private, large, medium and small) assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, from local to global, and progressively reduce negative impacts, by at least half and increase positive impacts, reducing biodiversity-related risks to businesses and moving towards the full sustainability of extraction and production practices, sourcing and supply chains, and use and disposal.
Relevance to other draft targets of the framework: Draft Target 7 - Reduce pollution from all sources to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and human health, including by reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste; Draft Target 16 =-Ensure that people are encouraged and enabled to make responsible choices and have access to relevant information and alternatives, taking into account cultural preferences, to reduce by at least half the waste and, where relevant the overconsumption, of food and other materials.

  Tealaves, a private company, is committed to eliminating all plastic packaging, and is currently working towards a zero-waste supply chain. They commit to not only improve their own business practices but also to inspire others in the global movement towards repairing biodiversity. As part of their commitment, Tealeaves launched the Nature X Design to generate awareness of the immense value of biodiversity, and the need for its protection. Tealeaves seeks to leverage talented designers, writers, editors and producers to create engaging and informative content to broaden the narrative around biodiversity objectives.

Organization: Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge
Scale: Asia
Action Category: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation and Conservation and Restoration of Land Ecosystems
Main contribution to the draft targets under the global biodiversity framework: Draft Target 20 - Ensure that relevant knowledge, including the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities with their free, prior, and informed consent, guides decision-making for the effective management of biodiversity, enabling monitoring, and by promoting awareness, education and research.
Relevance to other draft targets of the framework: Draft Target 8 - Minimize the impact of climate change on biodiversity, contribute to mitigation and adaptation through ecosystem-based approaches, contributing at least 10 GtCO2e per year to global mitigation efforts, and ensure that all mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity.

  Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge, a non-governmental organization, has pledged to develop a community-based biodiversity conservation plan based on science and traditional ecological knowledge in the Eastern Tibetan Himalayas of North-West Yunnan Province, China, to respond to the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Actions will promote ‘the best’ scientific analyses, relevant approaches with ‘bottom-up’ traditional ecological knowledge research to integrate traditional ecological knowledge into mainstream social sciences.

Organization: The Global Fund for Coral Reefs
Scale: Global
Action Category: Ecosystem Approach and Restoration, Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Contribution to the Global Biodiversity Framework target: Draft Target 19 - Increase financial resources from all sources including new, additional and effective international financial flows to developing countries, leveraging private finance, and increasing domestic resource mobilization, taking into account national biodiversity finance planning, and strengthen capacity-building and technology transfer and scientific cooperation, to meet the needs for implementation, commensurate with the ambition of the goals and targets of the framework.

  The Global Fund for Coral Reefs, launched in 2020, mobilizes public and private resources to support developing countries meet their commitments under the new post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Global Fund offers critical risk equity capital and grant funding to deliver on exciting projects that offer solutions to climate change related to coral reefs. The Fund aims to protect coral reefs and people who rely on them for food, livelihoods and coastal protection. The target is to mobilize at least $500 million by 2030. In 2021, the Green Climate Fund invested $125 million v in The Global Fund for Coral Reefs.

New flyers on commitments:



Useful Information

The useful information section has information on recent updates related to the Action Agenda.

Launch of the new web-portal

New promotional video

New infographics explaining the 11 Action Agenda categories

Social Media flyers


The Action Agenda Network (GITHUB) with open source components/widgets to make available the Action Agenda in any platform
Instructional video to insert open source components


Interview with Mr. Pedro Rocha, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, on commitments towards the Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a supplementary agreement of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to ensure the safe handling, transfer and use of living modified organisms

Statistics

The statistics section has information on the recent number of commitments and other relevant statistics based on the commitment categories.

293 commitments
(As of 10 November 2021)

Statistics on stakeholders and regions
(Some commitments address multiple stakeholders, categories and regions)
(As of the end of September 2021)

Stakeholders

Categories

Additional analysis on regional coverage, themes addressed and tools
Regions

Events

The events section has information on recent and upcoming events related to the Action Agenda.

Recent Events

  Webinar: UN Biodiversity Convention’s Voluntary Commitments and the Barents Region. The webinar aimed to explore the role of voluntary commitments in linking regional and local activities with the global work on biodiversity. The webinar also showcased projects and activities that have participated in the Barents Biodiversity Initiative and provided technical training on the use of the Voluntary Commitments database.

  Online discussions on non-state actors’ engagement in the Action Agenda for Nature and People, 27 September – 24 October 2021. Some 130 inputs were made and over 600 participants participated in the online discussions. These discussions promoted and inspired action towards issues related to biosafety and the protection of biodiversity. The outcomes of the discussions are intended to contribute to the implementation of the draft Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol for the coming 10 years.

  Webinar: The race is on: a business voices event ahead of COP-15, 5 October 2021. The webinar highlighted different companies, representing a variety of sectors and industries, joint commitment from the Union for Ethical BioTrade to cultivate, collect or procure ingredients sustainably, and to address biodiversity loss as their contribution to the Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People.

  Webinar on biosafety commitments to the Action Agenda for Nature and People, 27 September 2021. The webinar: 1) provided an initial discussion on the importance and features of the Action Agenda for Nature and People to mobilize biosafety commitments from non-state actors; and 2) strengthen familiarity with the importance of, and guidance to, making a commitment to theAction Agenda.

  NGO Action Forum convened ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference mobilized greater ambition around the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and hundreds of commitments on biodiversity, 27 – 28 September 2021. The NGO Action Forum issued a joint non-state actor call to action and mobilized hundreds of commitments to help advance biodiversity goals and objectives, including the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with 10 pledges mobilizing $390 million invested into biodiversity conservation; and providing nine key suggestions to the draft framework.

Biodiversity Newsletter Special Issue of CBD COP-15, by the Global Environment Institute of China, is available at www.cbd.int/action-agenda/EN_Special Issue of COP15-1.pdf

Upcoming Events

  • Subsidiary Body on Implementation Side Event, January 2022 (Tentative)
  • Twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, 12 - 28 January 2022, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation, 12 - 28 January 2022, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Third meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, 12 - 28 January 2022, Geneva, Switzerland
  • UNEA 5 Side Event, March 2022 (Tentative)
  • UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15, COP-MOP 10 and COP-MOP4), part two, 25 Apr - 8 May 2022, Action Day and CEPA Fair event for biosafety (tentative)

Other news

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Editors:
Ulrika Nilsson
Catalina Santamaria
Nywani Albert-Howe
Sunil Thapa
Yixuan Wang

Contact information: action.agenda@cbd.int

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Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the two secretariats, nor does citing of trade names or commercial processes constitute endorsement.