Brian Everingham, President Southern Sydney Branch
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the international legal instrument for “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources” that has been ratified by 196 nations. It hopes to encourage actions that will lead to a sustainable future and considers that on three levels: ecosystems, species and genetic resources. That’s a big ask!
The CBD’s governing body is the Conference of the Parties (COP). These international agreements are usually “governed” by these large, regular meetings of Contracting Parties and they certainly provide delegates with the opportunity to collect “frequent flyer” points when they get together. That occurs in theory every two years. In between times, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), which is based in Montreal, Canada, assists governments in the implementation of the CBD and its programmes of work, organises meetings, drafts documents, and coordinates with other international organizations and collects and spreads information. The Executive Secretary is the head of the Secretariat.1
We near the completion of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (Covid has interrupted the development of the new plan), a plan that introduced us to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.2 Governments report on those targets! Australia last reported in 2018. Its report is available in the footnote below.3 It is revealing how the government attempts to explain away its failures to achieve its own targets. Enjoy the reading.
The Current Conference at Geneva
Originally scheduled to be held in January 2022, the physical meetings of the resumed sessions for Convention on Biological Diversity’s scientific and implementation bodies were held 14-29 March 2022, preceded by the Regional and other Group meetings on 13 March, at the International Conference Centre Geneva in Geneva. The aim is to develop a post-2020 Biodiversity Framework that will be presented to the 15th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-15), originally scheduled for October 2020 but which is now taking place in two parts. The first part of the meetings took place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021. Reconvening in face-to-face meetings in Kunming, China, the second part, originally scheduled from 25 April to 8 May 2022, is likely to be rescheduled to a later date within the year. Keep an eye on it. Don’t worry too much about the day-to-day details, though if you are so inclined you can get daily briefings which even include which countries said what to whom4. But for sure get a copy of the summary and then check it out against what our own national and state governments do about it!
1 For a history of the CBD go to History of the Convention
2 In decision X/2, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period. For a detailed understanding of those targets go to Quick Guides for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
4 For updates on all international meetings relating to biodiversity go to Biodiversity | IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin and if you are really interested you can subscribe to their bulletins and have them arrive in your in-box!