Implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan and Progress Towards the 2010

Implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan and Progress Towards the 2010


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/ / CBD
/ Distr.
31 July 2010


Tenth meeting

Nagoya, Japan, 18–29 October 2010



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Item 4.1 of the provisional agenda

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION AND THE STRATEGIC PLAN and progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target

Note by the Executive Secretary


1.In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of Article 23 and the multi-year programme of work established in decision VII/31, the Conference of the Parties will consider progress in the implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan, including progress towards the achievement of the2010 Biodiversity Target. This review will be conducted on the basis of the fourth national reports, the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, and relevant recommendations from the fourteenth meeting of SBSTTA and the third meeting of the Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention.

2.The present note presents a summary of progress towards the four goals of the Strategic Plan (section II) and an overall assessment of progress (section III). Further information is provided in document UNEP/CBD/COP/10/INF/2 containing a preliminary analysis of information contained in the fourth national reports,[1]and in the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.[2].

3.This document is an abridgedand updated version of document UNEP/CBD/WGRI/3/2. The analyses have been updated to cover all 113 national reports received by 31 March 2010 – that is one year after the official deadline.[3]. Further updates will be provided in the information document.Additional sources of information for this review are the various subregional capacity development workshops on national biodiversity strategies and action plans and the mainstreaming of biodiversity (

4.This review does not cover those objectives of the Strategic Plan relating to the Biosafety Protocol (strategic objectives 1.4, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2, 4.2).


Goal 1: The Convention is fulfilling its leadership role in international biodiversity issues.

5.The 2006 review considered by the Conference of the Parties at its eighth meeting summarized progress towards this goal as follows: “Progress is being made towards this goal and many of the objectives could be reached by 2010 through current or planned activities. For future progress, focused attention is needed to integrate biodiversity concerns into global and regional instruments and processes that relate to major economic sectors (such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and trade), and in improving coherence at the national level.” Progress since then is briefly reviewed in the following paragraphs.

Objective 1.1.The Convention is setting the global biodiversity agenda.

6.There has been substantial progress in this objective since the last review in 2006. Since then, the 2010 Biodiversity Targethas been incorporated as a new target into the Millennium Development Goals, and progress is being monitored alongside the other targets with a final review anticipated in 2015. The Biodiversity Targethas also been supported by successive meetings of the G8 (Heiligendamm 2007; HokkaidoToyako 2008; Syracuse 2009).

7.The 2010 Biodiversity Targethas been recognized and supported by the other biodiversity-related conventions, notably the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitat and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The implementation of the Convention is being supported by a large number of organizations, agencies and other partners with tangible progress linked to time-bound targets set through, for example, the Convention’s programme of work on protected areas, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and several sub-targets of the 2010 Biodiversity Target framework.

8.The 2010 International Year of Biodiversity is being used as a major opportunity to influence the global biodiversity agenda. A significant number of partners are implementing activities in support of the biodiversity agenda, and a highlevel meeting on biodiversity will be held during the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Objective1.2.The Convention is promoting cooperation between all relevant international instruments and processes to enhance policy coherence.

9.The Convention on Biological Diversity collaborates with a wide range of partners.However,given the broad scope of biodiversity-related issues, and the large number ofrelevant instruments and processes, this inevitably remains incomplete. Differences in membership and mandates among instruments and processes, each with their separate governing bodies relating to different ministries, provide additional constraints.These could be addressed in part through better coordination of national agencies and coherent national positions within different forums.

10.Examples of collaboration include:

(a)With the biodiversity-related conventions, including through the liaison group of biodiversity-related conventions and meetings of the chairs of biodiversity-related conventions, as well as joint implementation of programmes of work (e.g., partnership with the Ramsar Convention on inland watersand coastal ecosystems);

(b)With the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including through the development of guidance on adaptation and mitigation through the Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change;

(c)With the International Plant Protection Convention and other instruments related to invasive species;

(d)With the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) on forest biodiversity issues, especially the links between biodiversity conservation and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

11.Less progress has been achieved in promoting collaboration and policy coherence with the economic sectors (agriculture, fisheries, trade).

Objective 1.3. Other international processes are actively supporting implementation of the Convention, in a manner consistent with their respective frameworks.

12.Several biodiversity-related and some other processes are actively supporting implementation of the Convention, at least in part, including voluntary initiatives, but many are not, especially in broadereconomic sectors. Obstacles include specific and limited agendas of other bodies and limited funding and human resources. An analysis on how the United Nations system can enhance its support and contribution to the implementation of the post-2010 agenda of the Convention is being carried out under the Environmental Management Group. Examples of support to implementation of the Convention by other partners include:

(a)Support from a number of international non-governmental organizations for the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas (“Friends of PoWPA”);

(b)The Global Invasive Species Programme;

(c)The Global Partnership for Plant Conservation;

(d)The 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.

Objective 1.5. Biodiversity concerns are being integrated into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies at the regional and global levels.

13.Increasingly, biodiversity is being integrated in relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies at the regional level. Examples include:

(a)Integration into the forestry programmes of the Commission of Forestry in Central Africa (COMIFAC);

(b)Integration into the development cooperation policies of the European Union.

14.However, there remains a large potential, so far mostly unrealized, to integrate biodiversity into the main regional economic policies, including through the regional economic commissions of the United Nations. “The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystems” (TEEB) programme is expected to provide an enhanced rationale and give momentum to the integration of biodiversity into decision-making processes at all levels.

15.At the global level, as noted above, biodiversity is integrated into many objectives (including the Millennium Development Goals) but this is rarely translated into changes in practice.

Objective 1.6. Parties are collaborating at the regional and subregional levels to implement the Convention.

16.Many regions or subregions have developed regional biodiversity strategies or action plans: these include:

(a)EU Biodiversity Action Plan (European Union);

(b)Central American Biodiversity Strategy (Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD));

(c)Cooperative Strategy for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Arctic region (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF));

(d)Southern Africa Biodiversity Strategy (Southern Africa Development Community (SADC));

(e)Andean Biodiversity Strategy (Andean Community); and

(f)Regional Action Plan for Amazonian Biodiversity (Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization).

17.A number of regional mechanisms such as the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the European Union, the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), Commission of Forestry in Central Africa (COMIFAC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Committee of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment of the League of Arab States, among others, play an important role in supporting implementation of the Convention.

Overall assessment of progress towards goal 1.

18.There has been substantial progress towards goal 1 with a number of significant achievements since 2006. The declaration by the United Nations General Assembly of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity is testimony to the higher profile accorded to biodiversity and to the Convention. Nonetheless, the main conclusions noted in the 2006 review largely remain relevant with the greatest challenges being those related to the integration of biodiversity in the economic sectors. The increased attention given to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the role of biodiversity in this regard and its contribution to a potential “green economy”, offer major opportunities to advance this agenda.

Goal 2: Parties have improved financial, human, scientific, technical, and technological capacity to implement the Convention.

19.The 2006 review considered by the Conference of the Parties and its eighth meeting summarized progress towards this goal as follows: “The current lack of significant progress towards this goal remains a major problem for the Convention, since lack of financial, human, scientific, technical, and technological capacity constitutes a major obstacle to implementation. There is a need for increased resources to be provided from both domestic and international sources. However, these are becoming increasingly linked as more development aid is provided through general budget support to developing countries. The underlying obstacles are lack of awareness of biodiversity and its importance among donors, other key actors and society at large, and lack of political will and support.” Progress since then is briefly reviewed in the following paragraphs.

Objective 2.1.All Parties have adequate capacity for implementation of priority actions in national biodiversity strategy and action plans.

20.Most Parties (87% of 113 reports reviewed), including both developed and developing countries,continue to report that limited capacity, including financial, human and technical issues, is a major obstacle to the implementation of one or more of the three goals of the Convention.

21.At the same time, Parties report important improvements in capacity. In Pakistan, a biodiversity secretariat was established in 2005 to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the national biodiversity action plan. In South Africa, significant progress has been made in providing ease of access to biodiversity information that contributes to policy, decision-making and awarenessraising, with much of this information being made available through the Internet. Some recently developed national biodiversity strategies and action plans (e.g., Thailand, Indonesia) place a greater emphasis on capacitybuilding and institutional arrangements than do earlier strategies.

22.Globally-recognized institutions, such as the Smithsonian Institute, the RoyalBotanic Gardens, Kew, and the French National Museum of Natural History provide capacity development programmes.

23.Countries also report that they benefit from the capacity-development workshops that have been held to assist countries in implementing the Convention, including the workshops on the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, and the workshops on national biodiversity strategies and action plansand biodiversity mainstreaming.

Objective 2.2. Developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and the small island developing States amongst them, and other Parties with economies in transition, have sufficient resources available to implement the three objectives of the Convention.

24.Capacity limitations remain particularly acute in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially the least developed countries, other small and medium-sized, lowincome countries, and small island developing States.

25.The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has provided substantial resources for the implementation of the Convention. Nearly all developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition have increased the number of national staff dedicated to biodiversity financed through national budgets. Much of this set of core staff has been financially enabled to undertake biodiversity programmes, projects and activities, in particular with respect to policy development and awarenessraising. Some countries have been able to finance biodiversity projects identified in their national biodiversity strategies and action plans. However, overall, national biodiversity staff members lack necessary skills to mobilize and manage financial resources and have no financial capability to leverage possible changes in other sectors that have impacts on biodiversity objectives. There is a general lack of awareness on the strategy for resource mobilization at the national level, and no country has started to develop a country-specific strategy for resource mobilization in support of the achievement of the Convention’s objectives at the national level, as envisaged in decision IX/11.

26.As the institutional structure operating the financial mechanism of the Convention, the GEF has been expected to provide essential resources to support the implementation of the Convention. Implementation of many provisions of the Convention and its Protocol on Biosafety has been made possible with financial resources from GEF. Documents prepared for the fifth replenishment negotiations of the GEF Trust Fund indicated that there was no increase in real terms in the past third and fourth replenishments, and argued for a higher level of replenishment for the fifth phase of GEF. The operational environments of the financial mechanism have also evolved rapidly during the past few years, with the introduction of resource allocation frameworks and reforms to project cycles. Some 27 per cent of GEF-4 resources, nearly US$850 million, will be carried over to GEF-5. Meanwhile, the guidance from the Conference of the Parties to the financial mechanism has become more outcome-oriented, by adopting a four-year framework of programme priorities related to utilization of GEF resources for biodiversity for the period 2010-2014. As a new strategic plan will be adopted for the next decade and beyond, it is important that the financial mechanism also develop a longer-term perspective on how it will catalyse adequate, predictable and timely financial support, coinciding with the new strategic plan of the Convention.

27.A Rio Marker for biodiversity has been introduced in the Creditor Reporting System of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and this has enabled bilateral and multilateral donors to report their financial support to biodiversity objectives in a comparative and consistent manner. The marked aid to biodiversity in nominal terms has increased from around US$ 1 billion in 2000 to over US$ 3 billion in 2009. Much of the increase in marked aid to biodiversity has been driven by the overall increase in official development assistance during the same period. However, many donors have discontinued their funding programmes specifically designed for supporting biodiversity projects, and readjusted their overall funding priorities without adequate consideration of biodiversity objectives. The lack of longer-term perspectives by bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies in supporting biodiversity objectives will pose a major challenge to the ultimate realization of the biodiversity targets to be set out in the Convention’s new Strategic Plan.

28.While trends in overseas development assistance devoted to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use have shown an increase in recent years, it is clearly not sufficient to meet the needs or expectations of developing countries.

Objective 2.5. Technical and scientific cooperation is making a significant contribution to building capacity.

29.The absence of, or difficulties in, accessing scientific information as well as limited awareness of biodiversity issues, are identified by most (89 per cent of 113 reports reviewed) Parties as being an obstacle to the protection of biodiversity.

30.In some cases, relevant information about a country’s biodiversity and means to protect it exist, but are not practically accessible to those who need to use it.

31.While some countries have a national clearing-house mechanism (e.g.,Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Thailand), nationalclearinghouse mechanism nodes are generally poorly developed. The role of the clearing-house mechanism in facilitating communication among stakeholders and supporting mainstreaming is particularly limited.

32.Some countries have well developed institutions that collate, analyse and make available information, often acting as “knowledge brokers”. Examples include the Mexico National Commission for Biodiversity Knowledge and Use (CONABIO) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). Other countries may be able to benefit from the experience of these in developing capacity to collect and use biodiversity-related knowledge.

Overall assessment of progress towards goal 2

33.Most (87 per cent) Parties continue to report that limited capacity, including financial, human and technical issues, is a major obstacle to the implementation of one or more of the three goals of the Convention. Both developed and developing countries have indicated that limited capacity is an issue. Overall it seems that, while there have been some important programmes for capacity development and institutional strengthening, progress towards this goal remains generally poor. There remains a major need to increase support for capacity development and knowledge management, especially for the least developed countries, other small and medium-sized low-income countries, and small island developing states.

Goal 3: National biodiversity strategies and action plans and the integration of biodiversity concerns into relevant sectors serve as an effective framework for the implementation of the objectives of the Convention