Decision VIII/24 of the Eight Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Implementation of the programme of work for the period 2004-2006 was assessed at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-8), held in Curitiba, Brazil from 20 to 31 March 2006. The outcome of COP-8 on protected areas is included in decision VIII/24. Regarding review of implementation, the COP recognized that limited availability of relevant information, including the insufficient number of reports submitted, was a major shortcoming in the review of the programme of work on protected areas for the period 2004-2006.

In addition, the COP, recognizing the need for the systematic collection of relevant information for evaluating progress in the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, encouraged Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to provide timely and quality information on the implementation of the programme of work. In paragraph 5 of this decision, the COP agreed that reporting should concentrate mostly on outputs as well as processes, using tools such as the matrix in annex II of recommendation 1/4 of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (document UNEP/CBD/COP/8/8) and other relevant information, to provide for a strategic assessment of progress made, challenges/obstacles, and capacity-building needs.

Further, recognizing lack of implementation and capacity-building constraints for developing countries, especially in the areas of conducting gap analysis, country-level sustainable financing strategies, and protected area management effectiveness, the COP urged Parties to address these constraints as a priority and encouraged Parties and relevant organizations to support and implement capacity-building activities (paragraph 10).

The COP decided to convene the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas prior to its ninth meeting, to evaluate progress and elaborate recommendations to the COP for improved implementation of the programme of work on protected areas and invited Parties, other Governments, relevant organizations and other stakeholders to report on progress made towards the targets, challenges/obstacles and capacity-building needs in time for consideration by the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas.

Regarding options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work, the COP, welcoming the Montecatini financial considerations for protected areas, invited Parties to elaborate financial plans, incorporating a diversity of national, regional and international sources, to meet the costs to effectively and sustainably implement and manage national and regional protected area systems, through consideration of a variety of options. The COP invited the Global Environment Facility to support early action activities of the programme of work as well as national and regional systems of protected areas, taking into account the targets and timetables of the programme of work. The COP urged donor countries to provide enhanced support to conservation endowment funds and other long-term financing mechanisms that have proven to be particularly successful in supporting recurrent protected area management costs.

Regarding options for cooperation for the establishment of marine protected areas in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, the COP recognized the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) central role in addressing this issue and invited UNGA to decide, at its sixty-first session, to establish a timely follow-up process for the enhanced conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The COP recognized that the CBD has a key role in supporting the work of the General Assembly by focussing on provision of scientific and, as appropriate, technical information and advice relating to marine biological diversity, the application of the ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach, and in delivering the 2010 biodiversity target.