SBSTTA23: An apex goal for the Post- 2020 biodiversity framework: Proposals from science – Montreal

Exploring the best approaches for implementable and SMART overarching goal(s) for the post 2020 biodiversity framework

Held on November 26th during Montreal SBSTTA23, this side event explored the relevance of setting a unique apex target for the Post-2020 biodiversity framework, or a small number of overarching targets, with a view of translating the post 2020 biodiversity framework into action. Inspired by the approach developed within the framework of the UNFCCC, the biodiversity scientific community proposes different ways of simplifying, making more visible and more measurable the objectives of the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The side event showcased several of these approaches and the metrics that they will be able to propose as part of a Measurement, Reporting and Verification system.

November 26, 2019 Apex, Canada, Expertise.

The event gave the floor to several scientists to present their perspective on the relevance of having an overarching target for the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework or a set of them, and define what it should be.

The panelists concurred that it was more important to agree on the very idea that the target has to be conductive to the outcome that we want to achieve than to define whether to have one or a set of targets.

Recommendations included to have target(s) in line with the 2050 vision, communicable, result oriented, measurable, scalable nationally and immune from perverse outcomes, reflecting the three objectives of the Convention.

“Science community shouldn’t give up on trying to provide a goal. The communicators need the input by scientists, even if it is difficult. People won’t mind if something is clumsy if there is movement in the right direction.” Jane Smart, IUCN

The event brought forward three scientists’ proposals for overarching target(s) for the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework:

– A mission statement by 2030 with indicators to avoid damaging loss of biodiversity for people and for nature: “the diversity of life on earth is conserved/restored within a timeframe and at a sufficient level to maintain ecosystem functioning and a balanced supply of ecosystem services, for the health and well-being of all people” (Piero Visconti, IIASA);

– A target enclosed in a sentence communicable to the public at large quantifying the historical damaged caused by human negative accumulated impact on nature and aiming to halt it by 2030 and reverse it by 2050 (Bernardo Strassburg, IIS);

– A set of targets focusing on the rate of habitat loss and the intensity of land use change, completed with their equivalent for oceans (Aleksandar Rankovic, IDDRI)

“The tension between having a biodiversity overarching target(s) that is being both operational and feasible could be overcome by framing that we need to put the world on a pathway of recovery.” Piero Visconti, IIASA

The panelists expressed their will to further engage in formally bringing their proposals for a set of overarching targets to the CBD process, and participate in workshops and other activities mobilizing science to inform decision makers.

The event’s discussions will be summarized and translated into a formal document to be submitted to negotiators before the 2nd open-ended working group (OEWG2), in coordination with the CBD Secretariat.






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