ENB on the Side – Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity – Issue #1

Ethical Markets Earth Systems Science

Lessons Learned from Tracking the Current Target, and Next Steps for Post-2010
Presented by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change

The session on lessons learned from tracking the 2010 Biodiversity Target and next steps for post-2010 was chaired by Leon Bennun, Birdlife International, who noted that the key question is how to strengthen the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP).

Damon Stanwell-Smith, UN Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), noted that the BIP is comprised of 40 organizations that report on the 2010 Biodiversity Target. He said collective objectives include generating information that is useful to decision makers and improving available global biodiversity indicators. He highlighted that the outcomes of the BIP include improving capacity development and the launching of two publications that provide guidance on indicator development and the ability to communicate a shared message.

Aggrey Rwetsiba, Uganda Wildlife Authority, noted that UNEP-WCMC is helping eastern and southern Africa to develop biodiversity targets. He lamented that data are often inadequate or inaccessible.

Neville Ash, IUCN, highlighted uncertainties that have not been assessed, such as people’s dependency on the biodiversity system. He stressed that there will be an increasing focus on biodiversity as an ecosystem service. Ash noted that the national level is responsible for implementing, monitoring and assessing biodiversity targets. He outlined future work for the BIP, including: creating a network of the leading global indicator experts; developing regional, sectoral and group indicator suites, such as for small island developing states; and expanding the suite of indicators to include ecosystem services, additional threats and emerging issues.

Robert Höft, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, noted that the strategic plan involves the development of targets and monitoring systems at the national level, and capacity work to support indicator development and use at this level.

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted the necessity of developing new indicators for sectors that have not previously been assessed. Participants also noted that there may not be commitment for the BIP going forward because other agencies and organizations are already doing relevant monitoring. They questioned how these agencies would interface with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

GEF-5 Biodiversity and SFM/REDD+ Strategy
Presented by the Global Environment Facility

Noting that this event outlines key shifts in strategies from the Global Environment Facility’s fourth to fifth replenishments (GEF-4 and GEF-5), Mark Zimsky, GEF, said that these changes resulted from guidance from CBD COP-9.

Zimsky explained that protected areas continue to be a central focus, but that a theoretical shift from site-specific action to systemic approaches has occurred. He noted the increased robustness of the results-based management framework under GEF-5.

He outlined five objectives of the GEF-5 strategy: improving the sustainability of protected area systems; mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes/seascapes and sectors; integrating CBD obligations into national planning processes through enabling activities; building capacity to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; and building capacity on access and benefit-sharing (ABS).

Highlighting that the GEF is the largest financer of forests, providing US$1.5 billion supplemented by over US$4.5 billion in co-financing, Zimsky then introduced the GEF-5 Sustainable Forest Management/reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) Program.

Zimsky said the Program aims to achieve multiple environmental benefits from improved management of all forest types. He explained that the GEF has a funding envelope of US$250 million for the Program and will contribute US$1 for every US$3 that countries provide through the three GEF Focal Areas on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.

Yibin Xiang, CBD Secretariat, highlighted the GEF Secretariat’s willingness to incorporate CBD Secretariat recommendations into the GEF-5 strategy, including the provision of funding to renew and update National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.

Responding to questions, Zimsky explained that the shift from a site to a systems approach does not mean that the GEF will no longer fund site-specific projects if these projects make sense from a systems perspective.

A United Nations Development Programme representative elaborated on their efforts to mainstream private sector involvement in biodiversity-related initiatives.

Participants also discussed: mechanisms under GEF-5 to stimulate multi-country initiatives; funding opportunities for climate change adaptation under GEF-5; the new System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) under GEF-5; and the role of the private sector as a provider of innovative financing.

ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa
Presented by the Development Initiative for Africa

Klemens Riha, BMZ, welcomed participants to the event. Andreas Drews, Coordinator of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa, GTZ, introduced the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa, which is a multi-donor initiative for implementing the ABS principle of the CBD. He noted that the Initiative is helping to raise awareness of ABS’s possible contributions to development and poverty alleviation.

Søren Mark Jensen, Danish Ministry of the Environment, discussed the African Ministerial Conference on ABS, which took place in Windhoek, Namibia, in 2010. He noted that environment ministers and high-level negotiators from 38 African countries met to develop a common position on ABS and said this helped improve the atmosphere of the negotiations.

Moustafa Fouda, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, discussed the fourth Pan-African ABS Workshop, which took place in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009. He emphasized the importance of gathering people from all areas of Africa to better understand ABS, update people about the status of the negotiation process and solidify the African Group’s position.

Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Information Network, Kenya, discussed the outcomes and benefits of two Indigenous and Local Communities Preparatory Meetings on ABS in Africa. She explained that the meetings have helped to train traditional communities in negotiating skills, increase their effective participation with local governments and improve their collaboration with national governments.

Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, International Chamber of Commerce, discussed the ABS Business Dialogues held in Hammanskraal, South Africa and Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009. She noted that these conferences better informed businesses and governments of each others’ perspectives and requirements for implementing ABS and emphasized the need for collaboration between businesses and governments.

Sem Shikongo, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, explained that the idea of the Initiative is to build the African Group’s negotiating capacity, and that various preparatory meetings contributed to Africa’s team building and understanding of the real-life applications of ABS. Of the Initiative, he said Africa is “one big happy family, that speaks with one voice, has one mind and one spirit.”

Olivier Rukundo, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, talked about the ABS and Forest Workshop, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009. He highlighted a study called “Compendium of Selected ABS Laws in Africa,” which provides an experience-sharing platform, using examples from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

Valerie Normand, CBD Secretariat, said the Secretariat has been a partner in the Initiative at a substantive level and that the Initiative has bridged the gap between governments and stakeholders. She emphasized that the next step would be to focus on implementation and countries’ new obligations once the protocol is adopted.

Participants discussed: the challenges of implementing the protocol once adopted, including continued capacity development at the sub-regional level; the need to incorporate the agricultural sector; ways to improve the Initiative; the involvement of science and research in the Initiative; and the need to help businesses on the ground concerning ABS.