Resumed sessions of SBSTTA-24, SBI-3 and WG2020-3: Governments advance negotiations on ambitious global biodiversity framework but require more time
14-29 March 2022, Geneva, Switzerland
- First in-person meetings in two years produces the first negotiated text of goals, targets and supporting mechanisms for an ambitious and transformative post-2020 framework for nature;
- Good progress made towards a solution for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from Digital Sequence Information on the use of Genetic Resources;
- Intersessional work agreed to address resource mobilization and monitoring framework, marine and coastal biodiversity, and other issues;
- Governments to hold fourth meeting of working group in June, before adoption of framework at resumed UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) later this year in Montreal, Canada.
Following 15 days of negotiation in Geneva, world governments have produced a strong basis for a post 2020 global biodiversity framework to safeguard the health of the planet, scheduled for final agreement at UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada, from 7 to 19 December 2022.
“Governments came to Geneva eager to meet in person and make progress on urgent action on the goals, targets and institutions needed to protect nature,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, “They have engaged in intense discussions drawing a variety of positions and shown the power of multilateralism and a willingness to seek common ground.”
The overarching goals of the draft framework — to protect the elements of biodiversity at all levels (genetic, species and ecosystem), sustainability and human well-being in the use of biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of biodiversity — were reaffirmed during the Geneva sessions. Many suggestions added to the text, as well as milestones to assess progress, require additional consideration, with governments differing on the need and pacing.
The 21 draft targets for the framework also took centre stage in discussions, with extensive engagement and suggestions for added elements coming from all Parties and regions. The intense discussions and high level of engagement by delegates led to extensive discussions, meaning that much of the text will require streamlining. However, this shows that world governments hold great importance to the discussions.
Important late-night discussions on 27 March on the relationship between the framework and the issue of digital sequence information, and the equitable sharing of its benefits from its use, produced a strong text that brings together the views of many regions, provider and user groups and countries. The complex and new issue of benefit-sharing resulting from the use of information provided as a result of digital sequence information-related technologies has emerged as a central issue for many Parties to the CBD and its Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing.
The resumed meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 24), the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 3) and the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG2020-3) were also held concurrently 14-29 March 2022, at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG).
The draft framework working group discussions were complemented by important deliberations within the Convention’s subsidiary bodies on science and implementation.
The science body, SBSTTA, had extensive discussions on monitoring progress, examining existing and proposed new indicators, using a “traffic-light” system to judge the readiness of different indicators.
The Subsidiary Body on Implementation, SBI, completed important work on the mobilization of resources for biodiversity, as well as a mechanism to keep the implementation of the new framework under review to allow for course corrections in Convention policy.
On the closing day, governments agreed on ways to advance work in the lead up to the UN Biodiversity Conference later in the year. The UN Biodiversity Conference will take place in the third quarter of 2022; exact dates remain to be determined.
SBSTTA-24 adopted recommendations on marine and coastal biodiversity, activities to promote the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of soil biodiversity; targets and actions related to invasive alien species, including their monitoring and reporting; linkages between health and biodiversity, synthetic biology, risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms, and the programme of work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
SBI-3 agreed on recommendations on assessment of progress, resource mobilization and guidance to the financial mechanism, capacity building and development, options to enhance planning, reporting and review, mainstreaming, a new gender plan of action, communications and cooperation and also recommendations related to implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing.
Notes to the editors
- Closing Press Conference: Tuesday 29 March 2022, 18:45 (CET), CICG, Geneva, Switzerland, with:
- Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity;
- Hesiquio Benitez, Chair of SBSTTA-24
- Charlotta Sörqvist, Chair of SBI-3
- Basile van Havre and Francis Ogwal, Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
- Meeting documents
- Live webcast: https://bit.ly/3qIzlLk
- Recorded webcasts of the plenary, working groups and press events
UN Biodiversity Conference
About the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Opened for signature in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and entering into force in December 1993, the CBD is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties, the CBD has near universal participation among countries.
The CBD seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous peoples and local communities, youth, women, NGOs, sub-national actors and the business community.
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing are supplementary agreements to the CBD. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biodiversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 173 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. Entering into force 12 October 2014, it has been ratified by 136 Parties.