CBD COP 12 Kicks Off in Republic of Korea

Governments meet in Republic of Korea to assess progress in implementing global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity
“Pyeongchang Road Map” expected to include further steps to protect biodiversity in support of sustainable development

CBD_COP12_1Pyeongchang/Montreal 6 October 2014 –Under the theme, “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,”  thousands of representatives of governments, NGOs, indigenous peoples, scientists and the private sector gathered in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea for the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity(COP 12).

Between 6 and 17 October 2014, Parties will agree on steps to accelerate the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity

Targets, which are to be achieved by the end of this, the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.  The results of Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, the flagship assessment report of the CBD will inform the discussions.

The collection of decisions to be taken at COP 12 is already being referred to as the “Pyeongchang Road Map” and is expected to include a resource mobilization strategy expected to substantially increase the resources available for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

The discussions by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity also take place in the context of negotiations of proposed Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda, currently underway at the United Nations.

The ground-breaking agreement on access to and use of genetic resources, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization will enter into force during the meeting, and governments will hold its first Meeting of the Parties (COP-MOP 1), from 13 -17 October 2013.  The Nagoya Protocol aims to create new incentives to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development.

CBD_cop12_2_IISDAt today’s opening Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, United Nations Assistant-SecretaryGeneral and Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said “the decisions forming the Pyeongchang Roadmap are expected to provide for further tools and guidance, where necessary, to assist the further implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and achievement of its Aichi Biodiversity Targets as well as for further capacitybuilding, enhancement of technical and scientific cooperation and other initiatives and measures regarding resource mobilization and the financial mechanism.”

Yoon Seong-kyu, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea said: “Korea will propose and pursue ‘Bio Bridge Initiative’ to promote scientific and technological cooperation as a main method to smoothly draw and put forward the PyeongChang Roadmap.  The Bio Bridge Initiative will serve as a platform to link developing countries’ demand for science and technology to developed countries’ excellent scientific technology, enhancing cooperation in the international community for the achievement of the CBD targets.”

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said, ” There has been increased financial investment and policy action to protect biodiversity, yet, studies show that it will be difficult to reach the full set of the Aichi targets if we remain within the current trajectory, due to accumulated and increased pressures on the natural world.”

“COP 12 provides a critical opportunity to inject renewed impetus into our commitment to the Aichi Targets – which remain within reach – and to shape the Sustainable Development Goals by revisiting national strategies and plans. With the progress made so far, it is clear that plausible pathways exist to build momentum, strengthen political will and take decisive measures to stay on track. We need to do more – and do it fast – to protect the very fabric of the natural world.”

Hem Pande, representing the Government of India which holds the COP 11 presidency, said “This Conference is significant in the context of adopting final targets for mobilizing resources for implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 following the roadmap agreed to in Hyderabad as well as for the mid-term review of implementation of this Plan. It is gratifying to note that the strategic plan is being considered as an important basis of action and implementation for the post-2015 development agenda, and proposed Sustainable

Development Goals. Delaying action on adopting final targets for resource mobilisation would not only limit our choices for cost-effective action, but also jeopardize timely achievement of the Aichi Targets, thereby adversely impacting sustainable development.”

Governments will take their decisions at COP 12 on the basis of the results of the global assessment on biodiversity entitled Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 (GBO-4). Released today,

GBO4 provides an assessment report on progress towards meeting the Aichi Biodiversity

Targets, and suggests additional actions required to implement the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.  GBO4 says that while the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are still within our reach, substantially greater efforts are required.  Success will contribute to the global sustainable development agenda including addressing food and water security, climate change, land degradation and others.

COP 12 will identify ways to mobilize financial and human resources necessary to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.  The COP will consider adopting final targets for resource mobilization following-up on the preliminary targets agreed at COP 11, including the possible addition of a target for related to domestic resource mobilization. These discussions will be based on the report of the high-level panel on global resource assessment and a global monitoring report prepared by the CBD Secretariat. The COP will also discuss the extension of the strategy for resource mobilization beyond 2015, including the adoption of concrete and effective actions, including biodiversity financing mechanisms and possible safeguards, and the establishment of a robust financial reporting framework.

The two week-long meeting of the COP will also see substantial discussions on issues related to the biodiversity of the oceans of the world.  This will include:

  • Results of seven regional workshops to facilitate the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs);
  •  A new set of priority actions to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 10 for coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems, which provides guidance to Parties in taking actions to minimize pressures on coral reefs and associated vulnerable ecosystems;
  • A new CBD Technical Series report presenting a major global synthesis of knowledge on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity;
  •  Results of an expert workshop on underwater noise, which provides guidance to Parties in implementing measures to minimize the significant adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine biodiversity;
  • Capacity building, including activities conducted in the framework of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) which will be further highlighted at a high-level meeting to be held during COP 12;

COP 12 will consider new global guidance to address the issue of invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, noting that their escapes are a major cause of spread of invasive alien species. The COP will also consider the future work of Parties and the Secretariat and how to make progress on policy development and national and regional implementation to address invasive alien species in the future.

Parties will consider decisions relating to Traditional Knowledge and customary practices, in the context of Article 8(j) of the Convention, including on indicators relevant to traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use; a draft global plan of action on customary sustainable use of biological diversity, and mechanisms to promote the effective participation of indigenous and local communities in the work of the Convention.

Other topics for which decisions are expected include climate change and biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and restoration, synthetic biology, the Clearinghouse Mechanism (CHM) and others.

COP 12 will also see the historical entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization on 12 October 2014, following its ratification by 50 States, plus the European Union, and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP 1), beginning on 13 October 2014.

COP-MOP 1 will discuss a number of issues related to the entry into force of the Protocol including: the access and benefit-sharing clearing-house (ABS-CH); model contractual clauses; voluntary codes of conduct; awareness-raising;  the need for and modalities of a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism; cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms to promote compliance and to address cases of non-compliance; guidance on resource mobilization for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol; and guidance to the financial mechanism.

Linked to the theme of biodiversity for sustainable development, the meeting will consider a decision on the ways that biodiversity can contribute to poverty eradication and sustainable development.  The decision draws upon the outcomes of the second meeting of the Expert Group on Biodiversity for Poverty Eradication and Development, which took place in Chennai, India, from 4 to 6 December 2013.

These discussions on biodiversity for sustainable development will reflect and be reflected in the high level segment which will take place on 15 and 16 October 2014.  Over 100 ministers and high level representatives will hold panel discussions on integrating biodiversity into the sustainable development agenda at national and international levels; integrating NBSAPs into national and local development and poverty eradication strategies and planning processes; nature based solutions for global challenges; and Biodiversity, Climate change and the creative economy.

Special sessions on Peace and Biodiversity and the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) will also be held, along with an innovative series of press panels where ministers will comment on their initiatives in support of sustainable development

In addition to the negotiations, COP 12 will also include an extensive programme of parallel events which will mobilise and engage partners and stakeholders for implementation of the CBD such as:

  • A three-day series of business engagement events including a High-Level Segment, a business and biodiversity workshop, a meeting of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity, and several media/launch events including a meeting on biotrade, coconvened with UNCTAD, and discussions on tourism, commodities and the Global Partnership.
  • A Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments, convened in parallel with the COP, for the fourth time, from 12 to 14 October. It is expected to attract about 500 participants, including mayors and governors, from around the world. The Summit’s focus is on cooperative governance for biodiversity, and the various panels featured over the two days of the meeting will also include representatives of national government, organizations and academia.
  •  An extensive programme of side events organised by the Secretariat and Parties, other organizations and civil society, which deal with issues in implementation for the Convention: http://www.cbd.int/register/sideevents/list.aspx?mtg=COP12
  • A fair of best practices in Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA fair), that will discuss the Implementation of Target 1, and the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity http://www.cbd.int/cepa/fair/2014/
  • The Rio Conventions Pavilion, an outreach activity to communicate the benefits of coordinated implementation of the UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD, will also be held during the meeting. www.riopavilion.org 

What and When:

  • Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 12) 6 to 17 October 2014
  • First meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (COP-MOP 1) 13 to 17 October 2014

Where:  Alpensia Convention Centre, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea

Meeting documents:   http://www.cbd.int/cop2014/

Press briefs: Press briefs on pertinent issues being discussed available at: http://www.cbd.int/cop12/media/

Press conferences and Press Briefings:  CBD Secretariat will hold daily press briefings on issues to be covered COP 12 in the Alpensia Convention Centre at 9 a.m. every day. The Schedule of Press Conferences can be found at:http://www.cbd.int/cop12/media/

Earth Negotiations Bulletin: Event coverage is available at  http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/cop12/

Webcasting: http://www.liveto.com/cop12/floor/02.html  

Pictures: Tshering Phuntsho (RSPN) and www.iisd.ca