– CBD CoP 11- Ministerial Briefing

CBD COP 11-SADC Ministerial Briefing Meeting

1.         Introduction

1.1       The negotiations at the CBD-COP 10 held in Nagoya, Japan in 2010 were centred on three key elements, namely: the adoption of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020; the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resource and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefit arising from their Utilization (Nagoya Protocol on ABS) and the provision of adequate resources to implement the Strategic Plan and the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.

1.2       These three issues were regarded as a linked package of outcomes by the African Group and most of the developing countries. During the negotiation process, these issues were adopted; however a plan on the provision of adequate resources was not adopted.

2.         Key issues for COP 11

2.1       This COP is expected to consider the status and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, the Strategic Plan 2011 to 2020, resource mobilisation and financial mechanism (GEF) and Budget. Other key issues include marine and coastal biodiversity; periodicity of COP and COP-MOP meetings.

2.1.1   Status and Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS

            The Protocol will enter into force after the deposit of the 50th Instrument of Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession. To date only seven countries, namely Gabon, Rwanda, Seychelles, Mexico, Jordan, and Micronesia and Lao (People’s Democratic Republic of), have ratified the Protocol. As such, the first meeting of the Parties (COP-MOP 1) could not take place to discuss further action and implementation of the Protocol following the outcomes of the 1st and 2nd of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protocol (ICNP).

This is a result of the diversity of circumstances of different countries, for example, in relation to their constitutional obligations, some countries require extensive consultation processes before signing and depositing an instrument of ratification which necessitates additional financial, human and technical resources.

Developing countries have raised issues around accessing of resources directed at ratification of the Protocol. As such, the SADC region should request this COP to give clear guidance to the GEF on the financing mechanism for the Protocol and the extension of the Implementation Fund for the Nagoya Protocol.

The SADC member states should therefore be encouraged to expedite the ratification process and also encourage other Parties, particularly those from the African region to fast-track the process of ratifying or acceding to the Protocol and also allocate resources for national implementation. It is in the interest of the African continent and the developing countries, which possess the majority of biodiversity and genetic resources, to ensure that the Protocol enters into force as soon as possible.

The SADC region should support the convening of the proposed third meeting of the ICNP with clear direction, timeframes and funding.

2.1.2   Implementation of the Strategic Plan

Ministers will recall that the CBD COP10 in Nagoya in 2010 adopted the Strategy Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets, and urged Parties to implement it. The COP urged developed country Parties to provide adequate, predictable and timely financial support to developing country Parties to enable the full and effective implementation of the Strategic Plan. The SADC region is encouraged to make efforts to access these funds and also proceed with implementing those activities which are less resource or funding intensive. Ministers should take note that effective implementation of the Strategic Plan will require adequate budgetary allocations.

2.1.3   Resource Mobilization & Guidance to the Financial Mechanism (GEF)

Ministers will recall that at COP 9, a resource mobilization strategy to assist Parties in establishing national targets, goals as well as action for enhancing international financial flows and domestic funding for biological diversity was adopted. COP 10 agreed on a process to establish concrete financing targets for the implementation of the Strategic Plan (2011-2020).

Up to now there has been some resistance by the developed country Parties to establish concrete financing targets. COP 11 discussions have focused mainly on technical aspects such as which year or period of years should be used for calculating ‘robust’ baselines or a need for clear reporting framework targets. On the other hand, the developing countries support international financing targets to fund the implementation of the strategy.

 

Developed countries are pushing to include private and innovative finance mechanisms in the establishment of financing targets as an element of great importance, while signaling for an increase of biodiversity funding through Official Development Assistance (ODA) arrangements.

2.1.4   Budget

Under this item, the Conference of the Parties is invited to adopt a programme budget for the biennium 2013-2014 to meet the core administrative costs of the Conference of the Parties and the meetings of all subsidiary bodies and the Secretariat.

COP 10 requested the secretariat to prepare and provide three alternatives for the core programme budget for the biennium 2013-2014 based on the following options:

• Option 1:  based on the assessed growth of 22.7%.

• Option 2:  based on 7.5% growth

• Option 3:  based on 2011-2012 nominal terms

The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity highlighted that the proposed budget is based on the increased workload that is not fully supported by the current budget allocation. The increased workload is a result of among others: adoption of the ABS protocol and subsequent activities; development of major initiative aimed at local authorities and cities as well as South-South activities based on COP decision; increasing requests for activities and cooperation on agriculture which includes biofuels; new engagements on business; increase in public awareness, and increase work on CHM etc. The afore-mentioned activities have overstretched the Secretariat’s capacity thereby hampering the effective delivery of the Secretariats mandate.

Each budget option was analysed by Parties and implications in terms of staffing, meetings of the subsidiary bodies, the Conference of the Parties and the first meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol.

The issues of concern to the SADC Member States are the following:

  • There is a proposal to reduce the languages that are interpreted during subsidiary body meetings, i.e. only three UN languages to be used. This proposal is not supported by SADC Member States as it would disadvantage other Parties .
  • SADC member states are encouraged to support that the COP/MOP meetings of the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol should be held concurrently. However it should be noted that this will have some cost implications. For this reason it will be important to ensure that the core budget is adequately resourced to accommodate all the meetings of the subsidiary bodies of the Convention.

 

2.1.5   Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

Ministers will recall that the CBD-COP10 requested the Executive Secretary to organize a series of regional workshops to facilitate the description of ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine areas (EBSAs), with a view to include the endorsed workshop reports in a repository. These reports are to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly and particularly its Ad Hoc Open ended Informal Working Group on diversity management in areas beyond national jurisdiction, as well as relevant international organizations, Parties and other Governments. EBSAs can be both inside and or outside areas of national jurisdiction.

During the last meeting of the Scientific and Technical Body of the CBD, it was noted that none of the African sub-regions had participated in EBSA workshops. The Secretariat promised to have such workshops with immediate effect. A workshop on EBSAs was convened and held in July 2012, in Mauritius for the South Indian Ocean Region.

Developing countries should support the recommendation that the outcomes of the workshops should be shared with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) process that is considering the management of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This will ensure that that the UNGA process for improved management of biodiversity in the high seas is supported.

Additionally, the current link between marine and coastal biodiversity and the eradication of poverty and economic development should be emphasized. This concept acknowledges the significance of the of growing resource and economic potential of ocean ecosystems particularly for the developing world.

2.1.6   Periodicity of COP and COP-MOP meetings

Ministers will recall that currently CBD COP meetings are convened every two years with intersessional meetings of other bodies. The developed countries are motivating for the extension of the period between meetings on the grounds of financial constraints. However, developing countries are advocating for the retention of the two year periodicity of meetings. This is because biodiversity issues remain a priority for developing countries. Conceding to the extension will have serious negative implications on the effective implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.

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