Decision XIII/14 paragraph 3


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Climate-related geoengineering
The Conference of the Parties

paragraph 1

1.Reaffirms paragraph 8, in particular its subparagraph (w), of decision X/33, and decision XI/20;

paragraph 2

2.Recalls paragraph 11 of decision XI/20, in which the Conference of the Parties noted that the application of the precautionary approach as well as customary international law, including the general obligations of States with regard to activities within their jurisdiction or control and with regard to possible consequences of those activities, and requirements with regard to environmental impact assessment, may be relevant for geoengineering activities but would still form an incomplete basis for global regulation;

paragraph 3

3.Recalling paragraph 4 of decision XI/20, in which the Conference of the Parties emphasized that climate change should primarily be addressed by reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources and by increasing removals by sinks of greenhouse gases under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, noting also the relevance of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other instruments, and also recalling paragraphs 8 (j)-(t) of decision X/33, and paragraph 5 of decision XII/20, reaffirms its encouragement to Parties to promote the use of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation;

paragraph 4

4.Notes that very few Parties responded to the invitation to provide information on measures they have undertaken in accordance with decision X/33, paragraph 8(w), and further invites other Parties, where relevant, to provide such information;

paragraph 5

5.Also notes that more transdisciplinary research and sharing of knowledge among appropriate institutions is needed in order to better understand the impacts of climate-related geoengineering on biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, socio-economic, cultural and ethical issues and regulatory options;

paragraph 6

6.Recognizes the importance of taking into account sciences for life and the knowledge, experience and perspectives of indigenous peoples and local communities when addressing climate-related geoengineering and protecting biodiversity.
Conference of the Parties (COP)

Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
4 - 17 December, 2016
Cancun, Mexico


Climate Change and Biodiversity Ecosystem Approach
Related decisions
X/33 para 8
Biodiversity and climate change
8. Invites Parties and other Governments, according to national circumstances and priorities, as well as relevant organizations and processes, to consider the guidance below on ways to conserve, sustainably use and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services while contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation:Assessing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity(a)Identify, monitor and address the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and assess the future risks for biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services using the latest available vulnerability and impact assessment frameworks and guidelines;(b) Assess the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and biodiversity-based livelihoods, particularly with regard to livelihoods within those ecosystems that have been identified as being particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change with a view to identifying adaptation priorities;Reducing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and biodiversity-based livelihoods(c)Reduce the negative impacts from climate change as far as ecologically feasible, through conservation and sustainable management strategies that maintain and restore biodiversity;(d)Implement activities to increase the adaptive capacity of species and the resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change, including, inter alia: (i) Reducing non-climatic stresses, such as pollution, over-exploitation, habitat loss and fragmentation and invasive alien species; (ii) Reducing climate related stresses, where possible, such as through enhanced adaptive and integrated water resource and marine and coastal management;(iii) Strengthening protected area networks including through the use of connectivity measures such as the development of ecological networks and ecological corridors and the restoration of degraded habitats and landscapes in accordance with decision IX/18 on protected areas and the programme of work on protected areas (goal 1.2, activity 1.2.3);(iv) Integrating biodiversity into wider seascape and landscape management;(v) Restoring degraded ecosystems and ecosystem functions; and(vi) Facilitating adaptive management by strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems;(e)Bearing in mind that under climate change, natural adaptation will be difficult and recognizing that in situ conservation actions are more effective, also consider ex situ measures, such as relocation, assisted migration and captive breeding, among others, that could contribute to maintaining the adaptive capacity and securing the survival of species at risk, taking into account the precautionary approach in order to avoid unintended ecological consequences including, for example, the spread of invasive alien species;(f)Develop a strategy for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, including landscape and seascape management in those areas that are becoming accessible to new uses as a consequence of climate change;(g)Take specific measures: (i) For species that are vulnerable to climate change, including migratory species; and(ii) To maintain genetic diversity in the face of climate change taking into account paragraph 2 of Annex I to the Convention;(h) Undertake awareness raising and capacity building strategies on the key role of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use as a mechanism for climate change mitigation and adaptation;(i) Recognize the role of indigenous and local community conserved areas in strengthening ecosystem connectivity and resilience across the sea and landscape thereby maintaining essential ecosystem services and supporting biodiversity–based livelihoods in the face of climate change;Ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation (j) Recognizing that ecosystems can be managed to limit climate change impacts on biodiversity and to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change; implement where appropriate, ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation, that may include sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems, as part of an overall adaptation strategy that takes into account the multiple social, economic and cultural co-benefits for local communities; (k)In accordance with national capacities and circumstances, integrate ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation into relevant strategies, including adaptation strategies and plans, national action plans to combat desertification, national biodiversity strategies and action plans, poverty reduction strategies, disaster risk reduction strategies and sustainable land management strategies;(l)In the planning and implementation of ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation, carefully consider different ecosystem management options and objectivesto assess the different services they provide and the potential trade-offs that may result from them; Ecosystem-based approaches for mitigation (m)Consider the achievement of multiple benefits, including ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits, between ecosystem-based approaches for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities;(n)Implement ecosystem management activities, including the protection of natural forests, natural grasslands and peatlands, the sustainable management of forests consideringthe use of native communities of forest species in reforestation activities, sustainable wetland management, restoration of degraded wetlands and natural grasslands, conservation of mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass beds, sustainable agricultural practices and soil management, amongst others, as a contribution towards achieving and consistent with, the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on Biological Diversity; (o)In forest landscapes subject to harvesting, clearing and/or degradation, implement, as appropriate, improved land management, reforestation and forest restoration prioritizing the use of native communities of species, to improve biodiversity conservation and associated services while sequestering carbon and limiting the degradation and clearing of native primary and secondary forests;(p)When designing, implementing and monitoring afforestation, reforestation and forest restoration activities for climate change mitigation consider conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services through, for example: (i) Converting only land of low biodiversity value or ecosystems largely composed of non-native species, and preferably degraded ones; (ii)Prioritizing, whenever feasible, local and acclimated native tree species when selecting species for planting; (iii)Avoiding invasive alien species; (iv)Preventing net reduction of carbon stocks in all organic carbon pools;(v) Strategically locating afforestation activities within the landscape to enhance connectivity and increase the provision of ecosystem services within forest areas;(q) Enhance the benefits for, and avoid negative impacts on, biodiversity from reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, and other sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation and sustainable-use activities, taking into account the need to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in relevant policy-making and implementation processes, where appropriate; and to consider land ownership and land tenure, in accordance with national legislation;(r) Assess, implement and monitor a range of sustainable activities in the agricultural sector that may result in the maintenance and potential increase of current carbon stocks and, at the same time, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;(s) Where appropriate, promote biodiversity conservation, especially with regard to soil biodiversity, while conserving and restoring organic carbon in soil and biomass, including in peatlands and other wetlands as well as in grasslands, savannahs and drylands;(t) Enhance the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of marine and coastal habitats that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change or which contribute to climate change mitigation, such as mangroves, peatlands, tidal salt-marshes, kelp forests and seagrass beds, as a contribution to achieving the objectives of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on Biological Diversity;Reducing biodiversity impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures (u)Based on national circumstances, increase positive and reduce negative impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures on biodiversity inter alia, based on results from strategic environmental assessments (SEAs)and environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that facilitate the consideration of all available climate-change mitigation and adaptation options; (v)In planning and implementing effective climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, including renewable energies, take into account impacts on biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services and avoid the conversion or degradation of areas important for biodiversity through: (i)Considering traditional knowledge, including the full involvement of indigenous and local communities;(ii)Building on a scientifically credible knowledge base; (iii)Considering components of biodiversity important for its conservation and sustainable use;(iv)Applying the ecosystem approach; and (v)Developing ecosystem and species vulnerability assessments;(w)Ensure, in line and consistent with decision IX/16 C, on ocean fertilization and biodiversity and climate change, in the absence of science based, global, transparent and effective control and regulatory mechanisms for geo-engineering, and in accordance with the precautionary approach and Article 14 of the Convention, that no climate-related geo-engineering activitiesthat may affect biodiversity take place, untilthere is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts, with the exception of small scale scientific research studies that would be conducted in a controlled settingin accordance with Article 3 of the Convention, and only if they are justified by the need to gather specific scientific data and are subject to a thorough prior assessment of the potential impacts on the environment;(x) Make sure that ocean fertilization activities are addressed in accordance with decision IX/16 C, acknowledging the work of the London Convention/London Protocol;Valuation and incentive measures(y)Take into account the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services when planning and undertaking climate change related activities by using a range of valuation techniques; (z)Consider, as appropriate, incentives to facilitate climate change related activities that take into consideration biodiversity and related social and cultural aspects, consistent and in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international obligations;
XI/20 para 4
Climate-related geoengineering
4.Emphasizes that climate change should primarily be addressed by reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources and by increasing removals by sinks of greenhouse gases under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, noting also the relevance of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other instruments;
XII/20 para 5
Biodiversity and climate change and disaster risk reduction
5.Encourages Parties and invites other Governments and relevant organizations to promote and implement ecosystem-based approaches to climate change related activities and disaster risk reduction, in both terrestrial and marine environments, and to integrate these into their policies and programmes, as appropriate, in the context of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015,  endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 60/195, and the revised Framework to be adopted at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction;