Co-Chairs' updates

December 2019

As the holiday season approaches, and knowing that many will be taking a well-deserved break, we wanted to provide you with an update of what we have been doing, and what we are planning for the new year.  This later part enabling you to better prepare for OEWG2.

In Montreal, between 19 November and 3 December 2019, we presented updates of the progress of Post-2020 process at the Global Dialogue with IPLCs on Post-2020, the Eleventh meeting of the Ad Hoc Open ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Expert Workshop on the Communications Strategy, Informal OEWG Briefing, SBSTTA-23, and the ABCM thematic workshop. 

ABCM Thematic Workshop, 1-3 December 2019, Montreal, Canada
ABCM Thematic Workshop, 1-3 December 2019, Montreal, Canada

We had many opportunities to hold several informal discussion and briefings.  We took advantage and held as many meetings as we could with our colleagues working within the post-2020 process, including the Acting Executive Secretary, UNEP Executive Director, CoP Bureau, SBSTTA and SBI Chairs, COP15 Presidency, the regions, NGOs, students, United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Parties.

At all these meetings and events, we were pleased with the general interest in both the process and content of the post-2020 Framework. We were delighted to hear positive feedback and critical engagement from a broad range of perspectives that we could take back to the drafting of the Framework. 

The Informal OEWG Briefing (November 24th)

Full house at the Informal OEWG Briefing, 24 November 2019, Montreal, Canada

What a great turnout we had to the Informal OEWG Briefing! Not only was the main room full, we also had three overflow rooms, and people still came to listen even though it was standing room only! 

We appreciate your sincere interest and understand that the post-2020 process is a priority for CBD Parties and stakeholders.  We presented a preliminary overview of our proposed preliminary elements of the zero draft of Global Biodiversity Framework, including how we are approaching the new Framework through a theory of change that will result in concrete steps to achieve the 2050 Vision. 

To view the proceedings, please take a look:

For all documents, please visit this link:

OEWG Co-Chairs Presenting at the Informal OEWG Briefing, 24 November 2019, Montreal, Canada
OEWG Co-Chairs Presenting at the Informal OEWG Briefing, 24 November 2019, Montreal, Canada

Onwards to 2020!

13 January 2020

We are happy to announce that we will have the first zero draft Global Biodiversity Framework for you by mid-January in all UN languages.  Should your region or sub-region want a briefing via teleconference or Webex, please let us know and we will try to arrange this.


  1. We are proposing to minimize time in plenary and to maximize time allocated to Contact group(s).
  2. We want to ensure that Contact group work is inclusive and that, at the same time, we are able to cover the entirety of the document.   a. To do this, we are considering replicating the SBSTTA-23 Contact group practice and to develop an agenda identifying what subject will be covered, at what time, and possibly identifying key questions that will be covered.  b. We also suggest to maximize the time allocated to a single Contact group and ensure it covers all issues of general interest.  However, we may have to deal with specific technical issues in two, time-limited, parallel sessions.  
  3. We also understand the need to discuss Digital Sequencing Information.  It will be on the agenda.

Safe and Happy Holidays to all - Next up, it’s the super year for Biodiversity!

Francis Ogwal & Basile van Havre

October 2019

It’s been a busy and exciting couple of months for the Post-2020 Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG)!

We are pleased to share with you that we successfully concluded OEWG’s inaugural meeting (OEWG1), a follow-up Co-Chairs’ planning meeting, and reviewed many written submissions on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

Now we are eager to pursue the next steps with all Parties and stakeholders leading to the development of a new global biodiversity framework expected to be adopted at COP15. We are preparing for the November 24th briefing to provide update since first OEWG meeting in August in Nairobi. We will also provide updates on the preparation for OEWG2 as well as updates on our collaboration and networking with colleagues at SBTTA, WG8J and SBI.


From August 27th to 30th, the first OEWG meeting was held at the United Nations offices in Nairobi, Kenya. 

We heard opening statements made by Mr. Hamdallah Zedan on behalf of the Bureau of the Presidency of the CoP; Ms. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the CBD; Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP; as well as regional groups and NGOs. 

We discussed the future work programme, and the key elements of the structure of a global biodiversity framework. We also convened a discussion group to explore the multiple key elements and to work together towards a broad and common understanding of the vision, mission, goals and targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. We appreciate the dedication of discussion group Co-Chairs, Ms. Charlotta Sorqvist of Sweden and Mr. Dilosharvo Dustov of Tajikistan, who facilitated a dynamic and productive dialogue.

The OEWG also requested that the Co-Chairs invite SBSTTA and WG8J to undertake post-2020 tasks and bring forward any additional recommendations relevant to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

These tasks and recommendations would be emerging from their deliberations prior to COP-15, and with reference to the findings of the IPBES Global Assessment. More specifically, we are inviting SBSTTA to provide elements concerning guidance on specific goals, SMART targets, indicators, baselines, and monitoring frameworks. These elements should relate to the drivers of biodiversity loss, aiming to achieve transformational change, within the scope of the three objectives of the Convention. We are also inviting the WG8J to consider relevant post-2020 aspects in developing its future work programme.

Between plenary sessions, we had direct conversations with regional groups, youth, and the Africa Protected Areas Congress Programme meeting. We also had the opportunity to have several informal meetings with many participants, who shared their views directly with us.  

OEWG Co-Chairs and Youth at OEWG1

To support participants in their discussions and negotiations, lunchtime information sessions were organized, instead of numerous parallel side-events on a wide variety of issues. We tested this new approach at OEWG1 for use at future meetings of the Working Group. We hoped that these sessions would support participants in their discussions and negotiations. We have heard positive reactions from participants and have decided that we will continue to organize them at OEWG2 and OEWG3.

Generally speaking, we are delighted that this first working group meeting set a positive tone to kick-off phase two of the post-2020 process. This is a very exciting time for all of us, and your enthusiasm expressed at OEWG1 came through in all our discussions. We hope your passion continues to grow leading up to CoP15 and beyond.

You can find all OEWG1 documents here. All the statements made by Parties and observers at OEWG1, as well as written submissions on proposals on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework can be found here. If you haven’t had the chance to see our workplan, please visit the post-2020 webpage and scroll to the bottom of the page. See the “Preparation Timeline” where it’s updated regularly to reflect all upcoming meetings relating to the work of the OEWG.

OEWG1 Adjourned!

Informal Co-Chairs’ Planning Meeting

From September 17-19th, we were in Montreal to follow-up on the results of OEWG1 discussions and our next steps in the post-2020 process. We discussed an updated workplan and how we can engage SBSTTA better. We also went over the views expressed by the Parties at plenary, the written submissions, and the results from the Discussion Group. We tried to outline possible options to structure the global biodiversity framework based on our understandings of the views from the Parties. We also started to prepare for our informal briefing of (November 24th 2019 Montreal, Canada) and OEWG2 (February 24-28, 2020 Kunming, China). 

SBSTTA-23 and Informal OEWG Briefing by the Co-Chairs

We will host an Informal Briefing for Parties and Observers on Sunday, 24 November 2019. As requested by OEWG1, this meeting will provide an update on the status of preparations for the second meeting of the Working Group and a preliminary overview of the zero draft text of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

At a special post-2020 session at SBSTTA-23 we plan seeking advice from SBSTTA on key elements of the structure, sharing options of the structure, and discussing indicators and baselines. 

We plan to have the Zero draft of the global biodiversity framework document by mid-January 2020 for discussion at OEWG2. 

Update on Consultations and Thematic Workshops 

For your reference, we are pleased to share with you the concept notes for upcoming thematic workshops:

Onwards and upwards! We look forward to seeing you in Montreal in November. 

Best regards,

Francis Ogwal & Basile van Havre

July 23rd 2019

Please find below an update on our activities.

As we finalize the planning for the  first meeting of the post-2020 open-ended working group (OEWG-1), we have added a new dimension to help contextualize our discussions.  In lieu of side-events, we are adding information sessions that focus on specific topics of direct relevance to our upcoming meeting in Nairobi.

We are planning four information sessions, one for each day of the meeting. They will start daily at 13:45 and will end at 15:00. Although we are still confirming how these sessions will roll out, we anticipate delivering sessions on the following topics (1) strategic planning, (2) linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals, (3) scientific evidence for informing the design of the global biodiversity framework, and (4) global strategic plans in key international multilateral environmental agreements. 

For more details, please visit the CBD post-2020 website

We have also been responding to requests for briefings from regional and NGOs groups on the organization of  OEWG-1 by phone. Those proved useful (hopefully for participants) for us in learning issues and preparing for OEWG-1. In case your region would like to schedule such a teleconference or arrange one in person in Nairobi, please let us know.

The logistic and preparation work for the thematic consultation is progressing well and we are exploring how we can maximize Parties participation.  We are pleased to report that at last count a hundred parties have registered for the Area Based Conservation Measures thematic consultation.

Francis Ogwal & Basile van Havre

Co-Chairs of the Post-2020 OEWG

July 2019

Please find below an update on our activities.

The process for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is progressing well and we are looking forward to presenting it to you at the end of August 2019 in Nairobi during the first meeting of the intersessional Open-ended working group meeting (OEWG).  We hope it meets your needs and we are looking forward to hearing your recommendations and adapting it as needed.

With the conclusion of the workshop at the Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity we have now completed the formal post-2020 consultations phase.

In June, we participated at the Bern Conference on coordination with other conventions. For the first time a number of important non biodiversity conventions (like, the chemical conventions, Climate and Desertification…). This was an important opportunity for us to:

  • learn on the role and functioning of these conventions,
  • know and interact with people involved in the leadership of these conventions, and
  • explore how we can work together to reach our common goals.

At this conference, we were reminded that it is clear that if we want to reach our collective 2050 Vision for biodiversity, we need to work together and find linkages with a broader lens, including conventions for the environment and other sectors.This means not only getting their input for our post-2020 global framework but also looking at what CBD can do to help them achieve their goals. The presentation we made in Bern are accessible here

In July, we participated inthe ninth Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity. This conference was also useful in exploring new ideas that will have critical importance for the post-2020 global framework. These ideas included the importance of nutrition and its related agricultural processes, supply chains, land use, and restoration. Our presentation was well received and participants are looking forward to engaging in different ways. It was a positive experience and we were pleased with the increasing momentum for higher ambition and broad global interest for biodiversity conservation. You can find our presentation on the proposed process, results from the consultations, and the concluding remarks in Session 7 here

The high-level segment of the Trondheim conference engaged a dozen Environment Ministers and resulted in the “The Trondheim Call for Action in the Face of the Extinction Crisis” and a global realization that resource mobilization will be critical to our success to implement the new global biodiversity framework.

We are now focusing on the preparation of documents for the first meeting of the OEWG (OEWG1) this August, and are planning to have them posted in mid-July. During this first meeting we plan to: 

  • update you on the outcome of the consultations,
  • seek your support for the draft workplan, and
  • decide the scope and structure of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

You will see that we are innovating the way we will work.  This new approach is based on experiences of lessons learned from other negotiation processes and with this knowledge, we aim to improve our efficiencies and effectiveness.

The Mechanics of OEWG1:

  • First, in order to ensure all Parties have the opportunity to participate equally to the discussions, we propose to limit interventions to 3 minutes for individuals and 6 minutes for groups.
  • Second, we propose to keep key documents informal throughout the process. This means that the documents will be evergreen and we will reflect changes as they arise, then we will seek final approval at the third meeting of the OEWG.
  • Third, we would like each Thematic working group to be guided by two individuals that would lead this responsibility and help us develop content throughout the process.  We will prepare a draft list of Thematic areas and associated co-leads, and we will seek Bureau advice.

In parallel, we are also preparing the upcoming work for this autumn, including arrangements for thematic work and collaboration with SBSTTA and SBI (meetings scheduled for November 2019 in Montreal). You will see the official notification for this work soon.

In addition to Bern and Trondheim, we were pleased to be able to participate in a number of other events to discuss and present the post-2020 process, including the EU-China Dialogue (by Skype) and the CCICED meeting (in person).

We are looking forward to seeing you in Nairobi.

Francis Ogwal & Basile van Havre


22 May 2019 


1 .)     GRULAC Consultations

Another full house with more than 85 participants and strong engagement by all! This engagement led to on the spot adaptation of the agenda to reflect the group desire; a positive move in our views.   It was also a unique meeting with new perspectives reinforcing the value of regional consultations. We particularly noted the following:

•       The desire for social and economic justice as well as rights of nature and nature-based solutions reflected in the framework

•       A desire to see socio-economic development factored in the framework

•       An insistence by some parties that preeminence be given to Parties views over civil society at this stage of the process.  This is probably linked to a different understanding of what was meant by open an inclusive process for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework contained in Decision 14/34 .

•       That the framework should have a linkage between the vision, Goals, Tragets and indicators

•       Participants noted that the current strategic plan does not adequately address sustainable use and Access and Benefit Sharing objective but rather emphasis is more on the Conservation objective of the CBD. The framework must also address issues on ABS and Biosafety

•       Success stories that can motivate people to associate with the support implementation of the post-2020. A strong communication strategy is needed for the post2020 framework. The functionality of the Clearing House Mechanism also needs to be improved.

•       Perhaps a long-term elaboration of what we are aiming to accomplish is needed. This may go beyond 2030. 

•       A desire for traditional knowledge/IPLCs, gender, youth to be reflected in the post2020 framework 

•       A desire for the framework to reflect issues on biodiversity hot-spots at regional level and regional initiatives/collaborations

•       The targets for the post 2020 framework should be aligned to or developed taking into account the four elements of the Vision 2050. In addition, the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development needs to be incorporated in the post-2020 framework

•       Explore ways to make the post-2020 stronger perhaps through legal mechanism

•       The means of implementation of the post-2020 framework is needed, drawing on the lesson from the current Strategic Plan

•       Guidance is needed on action by Parties on how to align their NBSAPs to the post-2020 framework in the shortest time possible to avoid delay in the start of implementation of the post-2020 framework once adopted at COP15 in October 2020 in Kunming, China. The current strategic plan suffered delay in implementation because most Parties took about five years to review and align their NBSAPs to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020

•       Synergies with other Conventions should be reflected in the post-2020 framework

General discussion on the last day provided a lot of detailed insight on NBSAPs, accountability and voluntary commitments (both in terms of their value and how they could be used).

Finally, we heard a presentation from Uruguay on how the country is integrating at the national level the 3 Rio Conventions which provided food for thought for all of us (see convention integration item bellow).


2.)     EU-China dialogue

We were also able to engage via Skype in the EU-China dialogue.  The discussion was very valuable and got into the details of the process. We are looking forward to the report from this meeting.

From 28-31 May 2019 we are taking a few days with the Secretariat team to reflect on what we heard from the regional consultations, prepare the necessary documents for OEWG1 and review our overall plan for the post-2020 process.

We are looking forward to the Convention integration workshop which is very important and will help to address issues on synergies which has come up strongly from all the regional consultations.  Following this we will have more work at the Trondheim Biodiversity Conference which will, among others, focus on the contribution of science to the development of the post-2020 framework, especially on setting targets.


3.)     Documents to be posted

We will post soon: 

a.)     A short table summarizing the various economic and costing studies that are relevant to the framework.  This has been helpful to us to understand who is doing what and when.  And we felt it would be useful to all of you

b.)    A tracking tool we developed to monitor progress on existing and proposed sub-group (including proposed thematic work).  We developed the tool for the internal use by the post-2020 team but it be also useful to have this document for your information

Finally, we encourage all of you to set aside a couple hours to read the Summary for Policy Makers if the IPBES Global Assessments  which can be downloaded from the IPBES website.  We have been particularly interested in the recommendations for action and would be interested to hear your views on the recommendations (some may be more relevant to national level).

Francis Ogwal and Basile van Havre


3 April 2019

Colleagues and partners,

One more interesting regional consultation session!  This time it was for the Central and Eastern Europe Region.

First many thanks to our host the Serbian government and the UNDP regional office!  The meeting was set in the old parliament building and it was inspiring to work among so many beautiful works of art from the early twentieth century…

Our discussions were intense and we particularly noticed the strong female voice coming from the Russian speaking community! This was welcomed

Key take home messages from the discussion included:

  • The need to have strong valuation of the economic benefit of sound Nature policies and investment
  • The need to better harness existing science capacity and to foster the development of new capacity (including attracting new scientists to Nature issues)
  • The necessity to create effective links between various conventions (Nature, Rio and others)

We are making strong progress and are looking forward to the upcoming inaugural meeting of the Open Ended working group.  Our thinking on the agenda is evolving and we now see the need to further elaborate the agenda item on Structure so that it may accommodate some work on defining what we mean by "living in harmony with Nature". 

We are also looking forward to the work that the CITES CoP will do to contribute to Post2020.  It is encouraging to see the other conventions picking this up

This completes our update and we should have more for you after the last regional consultation for GRULAC in a few weeks

Best Regards,

Francis and Basile


2 April 2019

Colleagues and partners,

Please find bellow:

  1. Some reflections on UNEA4
  2. Report from the Bureau meeting
  3. WEOG regional Consultation session
  4. Africa Regional Consultation Session
  5. Latest news on process forward

1. UNEA4

Francis and I attended UNEA4, which proved to be useful from a Post 2020 perspective.  We particularly noted:

  • Opportunity for better integration with Chemical conventions:  i.e. CBD could provide rational and guidance into their Post 2020 targets (e.g. as it relates to threats like pesticides)
  • The increased realization that Oceans, Climate Change and Biodiversity are linked.
  • UNEA-4 adopted a resolution on biodiversity and recognized the post 2020 process. Details of the resolution can be found on the UNEA website.
  • High political level engagement  for the post 2020 process at the margins of UNEA-4 organized by the COP-14 presidency and attended by ministers and ambassadors

Finally, we have to note the unfathomable loss of so many colleagues who perished in the crash of the Ethiopian airline flight.

2. Bureau Meeting

We presented our proposed process (see presentation).  The Bureau endorsed our process and provided a lot of detailed comments.

3. WEOG Consultation

This was another very well attended meeting with over a hundred participants.  Lots of very engaged discussion on all questions of the discussion paper.  We particularly noted

  • Interest in Structure of the targets
  • Increasing realization that it would be useful to have clear path from 2020 to 2050. This means clear rational explaining how milestones (2030 and others) enable reaching the 2050 vision
  • Consideration that commitment could be global, regional, national or subnational as required by biology
  • Realization that there may be some confusion in the definition of the term mission: is it a milestone or what we collectively do and don’t do
  • Realization that there may be various understanding of the notion of voluntary commitments: are they within the obligation taken by COP or in addition?
  • Targets for the post 2020 could be in organized to implemented in phased approach
  • Reporting, transparency and accountability

4. Africa Region Consultation 

With 52 of the 55 African Union member states present and participation of numerous partners, this was the best attended meeting so far!  There was strong engagement by all and in-depth discussion on a number of topics. We particularly noted:

  • The desire of the African parties to integrate their positions and engage jointly in post 2020 discussion
  • The desire to consider Environmental Assessment explicitly in the future framework
  • The desire for more comprehensive reporting and accountability mechanisms
  • The desire to look more deeply in financial mechanism, resource mobilization and capacity building
  • The need to have a closer look at voluntary commitment and associated verification mechanism should we adopt a climate change like model of voluntary contribution
  • Access and benefit sharing, restoration and addressing drivers of biodiversity loss
  • The need to have a conceptual framework for post 2020
  • The need to include Natural capital accounting in the post-2020 framework

5. Next Steps

We will now focus on the two upcoming consultations: CEE and GRULAC

Then we will gather the regional consultation team and start the drafting our report.  We would like this to be a short (preferably 6 pages) summary.

We will also meet with the Secretariat to review our workplan with a focus on preparation of OEWG1: 

  • Review of consultation outcome
  • Preparing a paper with options for structure
  • Preparing a workplan proposal for thematic work

We are also looking forward to other related meetings that will provide important input, notably

  • The meeting on engagement of other Multilateral process in June: This will be an important opportunity to discuss linkage with Chemical conventions, CMS and Climate change among others
  • The Trondheim conference in July, where will be able to get into the details of our critical science basis.  We will be particularly interested in getting information on the definition of our 2050 vision and the current state of Biodiversity.

We are also aware of other conferences in the early fall (e.g. the UN university proposed conference on land and seascape) and will explore how we can capitalize on those.

We have also provided recorded and live video for meetings we could not attend (recent OECD meeting on Post 2020 (see below) and Gender workshop) and will be happy to continue to do so as needed.

The secretariat will issue formal notification for many of those meetings in the coming days and weeks so stay tuned!

Best Regards,

Francis and Basile


February 26th, 2019

During an OECD Workshop on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework held on 26 February 2018 in Paris, France, the co-chairs of the open ended working group made presentations on the post-2020 process. The presentations are accessible from the links below.

Full document

February 12th, 2019

Colleagues and partners,

Keeping you informed and engaged in the process for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be important for us. To do this we will use a variety of tools including this blog.

The first phase in this process is to hear your views. This will be done first through a round of regional consultation workshops and then through the first meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG). We are glad to inform you that the post-2020 process has begun. The Asia-Pacific regional consultation workshop took place from January 28 to 31 (for 4.5 days) in Nagoya, Japan, the very place where current Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted nearly nine years ago. We were pleased to see about a hundred participants engaged in constructive and deep dialogue about the post 2020 process and content. It was good to see strong engagement from Parties, and representatives of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, Youth, Women groups, NGO and others.

The Asia pacific region is so vast and diverse (5 billion people, a large part of our global economy and a large number of Parties). It has its own way of engaging and some issues that are unique. No doubt each of the other 4 region will also have its own identity; and we are looking forward to discovering those. These workshops also provide opportunity to engage bilaterally with a number of participants and to see how some could help us should they be available to take a leadership role in our process. The Asia-Pacific workshop was also an opportunity for us to fine tune our approach for the post-2020 process.

The next step will be the Western Europe and Other Groups (WEOG) consultation in Bonn, Germany in March 2019. Then, subject to confirmation, this will be followed by regional workshops for Africa, GRULAC and the CEE in April and May 2019. We are glad to see that we will be able to complete regional consultations early, which will be good for the next step, addressing thematic issues that will require some time.

Best Regards,

M. Francis Ogwal
Mr. Francis Ogwal
M. Basile Van Havre
Mr. Basile Van Havre