Cooperation among the Rio Conventions may occur at various levels—among the respective convention bodies, among the convention secretariats, and at the national or local levels. Activities that promote synergy at the national and local levels are accorded particular importance, as this is the level at which conventions are implemented and tangible benefits achieved.

A number of options for collaboration have been jointly identified by the Rio Convention bodies. To date, collaborative activities have included the development of joint programmes of work, preparation of technical reports and involvement in outreach activities:

Climate Change and Biodiversity
The CBD has developed a cross-cutting initiative on climate change and biodiversity that links closely to the UNFCCC.

The CBD COP established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change, including scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process and experts from the UNFCCC process and its secretariat. The expert group completed a report on inter-linkages between biological diversity and climate change to promote integration of biodiversity considerations into the implementation of the FCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. Meetings are held regularly.

In addition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at the request of the CBD, prepared IPPC Technical Paper V: Climate Change and Biodiversity

Dry and Sub-Humid Lands
The CBD and UNCCD have developed a Joint work programme on Biodiversity of Dry and Sub-Humid Lands (Phase 1: 2001-2005), welcomed in decision VII/2 by the CBD COP. In response to identified needs, the programme of work was developed into two programme elements: part A - Assessments and part B – “Targeted Actions”, to be implemented in parallel.

The CBD, in collaboration with the secretariats of the UNCCD, the UNFCCC and the Global Environment Facility organized a ‘Regional Workshop for Africa on synergy among the Rio Conventions and other Biodiversity-related conventions in implementing the programmes of work on dry and sub-humid lands and agricultural biodiversity’, Gaborone, Botswana, 13-17 September 2004. (10 documents)

The ecosystem types under consideration included dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems, which are vulnerable to the combined effects of biodiversity loss, desertification and climate change. These areas are usually dominated by agricultural activities and, therefore, there are significant linkages to the CBD programme of work on agro-biodiversity.

The secretariats of the UNCCD and CBD, with the cooperation of the UNFCCC, organized a ‘Workshop on Forests and Forest Ecosystems: Promoting Synergy in the Implementation of the Three Rio Conventions’, Viterbo, Italy, 5-7 April 2004. The focus on forests and forest ecosystems provided a theme around which to discuss the best ways and means for planning and implementing plans and programmes addressing the provisions of all three Conventions. The output of the workshop is expected to be applicable to other biomes and issues relating to desertification, biodiversity and climate change. The final report is available here.

Other meetings
Workshops on synergies and cooperation with other international conventions, Espoo, Finland, 2-4 July 2003
Organized by the UNFCCC secretariat, in cooperation with secretariats of the other conventions, the workshop made a number of recommendations for cooperation in the areas of exchange of information, in areas such as technology transfer, education and outreach, research and systematic observation, capacity-building, reporting, and impacts and adaptation. The workshop also examined the inter-linkages between biodiversity and climate change and highlighted the use of the ecosystem approach as a framework for activities contributing to the objectives of the three Rio conventions. The final report is available here.

Outreach activities
The three secretariats are collaborating on a number of outreach activities, including the development of common web-based tools to facilitate access to national reports and communications, and to information for national focal points.