IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

Special virtual session for SBSTTA-24 and SBI-03 on biodiversity, One Health and COVID-19

A special virtual session for SBSTTA and SBI on the theme of “Biodiversity, One Health and the response to COVID-19”, will be held on 15-16 December 2020 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Montreal time (12:00-14:00 UTC/GMT) on both days. 


15 DecemberTuesday Session - 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Montreal time (13:00-15:00 UTC/GMT) Webcast
16 DecemberWednesday Session  - 7:00 am - 9:00 am, Montreal time (12:00-14:00 UTC/GMT) 



The special session is being convened with a view to maintain momentum towards COP 15 and to facilitate preparations for the twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 24) and the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 3), which have been postponed to 2021.  It will allow Parties and observers to gain further familiarity with the online platform and with the procedures for conducting meetings virtually.


The special session will provide an opportunity for Parties and observers to examine the links between biodiversity and health, including the links between biodiversity loss and the emergence of zoonotic diseases, the One Health approach, and the response to COVID-19. Parties and observers may wish to address, among other things,


(a) How can the Convention on Biological Diversity further contribute to an inclusive, transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to One Health that reflects the full range of biodiversity-health linkages?

(b) How can the Convention on Biological Diversity contribute to ensuring that responses to COVID-19, including both short-term stimulus measures and longer-term approaches to ‘build back better’, contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, bearing in mind that such stimulus and recovery measures are already being designed and implemented?

(c) How should the interlinkages between biodiversity, health and pandemic risk be reflected in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework?


The special session, which will be held from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Montreal time on both days, will also provide opportunities for the presentation of information and for statements by Parties and observers. No decisions or formal recommendations will be made at the special session. Interpretation will be provided in all UN languages.


As per the practice for meetings of the subsidiary bodies, the designation of representatives to participate in the above session should be addressed to the CBD Executive Secretary through an official letter of nomination, to be sent by e-mail to secretariat@cbd.int or by fax at +1 514-288-6588, as soon as possible but no later than 10 December 2020. Early registration is encouraged.