New global biodiversity framework talks in Geneva from March 14

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Three meetings critical to developing an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework necessary to accelerate the transformations needed to safeguard the health of the planet will be held in Geneva between March 14-29.

The meetings are: Resumed sessions of the physical meetings of the twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 24); third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 3); and the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG2020-3).

What’s being discussed?

SBSTTA-24: Meeting reconvenes to further consider and develop the monitoring approach to the post-2020 framework.

The meeting also focuses on synthetic biology, risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms, the programme of work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and is expected to adopt draft recommendations for these issues prepared at the first part of COP-15.

Issues to be discussed and considered for eventual adoption include marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and agriculture, biodiversity and health, and invasive alien species.

The agenda for SBI-3 is the resumed meeting that seeks to complete its work on key inputs to the post-2020 framework and lay a firm foundation for its adoption at part two of COP-15.

Agenda items include ensuring the framework can mobilise and scale-up finance for biodiversity, better align investments with the needs of nature and people and facilitate the disclosure of risks and impacts for nature.

The meeting to further advance its work on the mechanisms needed to monitor, report, and review implementation. Delegates will also refine plans to build countries capacity to manage and conserve their biodiversity resources, benefit from ecosystem services, and achieve the framework’s targets.

They will also advance plans to enhance outreach and public awareness to support biodiversity action, and to ensure the new framework fully supports gender equality and equal access for women to leadership, participation and decision-making.

SBI-3 also continues its work on the implementation of the Convention’s other instruments, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, and the Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions related to traditional knowledge.

During WG2020-3, discussions to centre on agreeing action needed to reach the 2050 Vision of living in harmony with nature, defining how performance will be tracked and reported, and ultimately determining how success will be defined.

This includes addressing the five drivers of biodiversity loss, which include land sea use change, unsustainable exploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species, as well as addressing relevant indirect drivers such as unsustainable production and consumption.

Just ahead of onset of the global biodiversity framework negotiations, led by former US Senator Russ Feingold and comprised of eight former heads of state, two former Prime Ministers, six former ministers, and four environmental and indigenous and local experts, the Campaign for Nature’s Global Steering Committee has said the success of an upcoming global biodiversity agreement hinges on the adoption of the global, science-backed 30×30 target.

In a statement to IANS on Thursday, they urged governments that have not yet endorsed the global 30×30 goal to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC), a group of countries championing the target on a global scale.

Many GSC members hail from countries that have not yet signed on in support of the HAC, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, and Iceland.

Currently, the HAC members include over 85 countries in Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and beyond.

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