EU Presidency workshop on commitments, implementation and accountability – Brussels

The Finnish Presidency of the EU Council organized a workshop gathering over 100 participants in Brussels with the support of UNEP-WCMC and the Project “Post2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support”.
This workshop proved useful as it allowed international stakeholders from various backgrounds to freely express their views on the key issues of implementation and reporting of Parties commitments ahead of COP15 (Chatham House Rule). The draft report of the meeting is currently being reviewed, and will be made widely available ahead of SBSTTA-23.

Working in small groups, the representatives and national focal points of the EU Member States, the European Commission and the Project partner countries discussed opportunities relating to the development and implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Those countries included Argentina, Brazil Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Turkey, Uganda, Japan.

The opening speeches of Mrs Marina Von Weissenberg, CBD Focal Point in Finland and Neville Ash, UNEP-WCMC Director, as well as opening remarks from Stephan Leiner, Head of the Unit – Biodiversity at the EU Commission, launched the workshop.

The workshop addressed four topics, with an introductory presentation on each topic:

  • Topic 1: “Commitment: NBSAPs and other national commitments that respond to the Convention and its Protocols, and to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework”, introduced by Balakrishna Pisupati (FLEDGE);
  • Topic 2: “Implementation: National reports as a means for tracking implementation and achievement of commitments made through NBSAPs and other mechanisms”, introduced by Jerry Harrison (UNEP-WCMC);
  • Topic 3: “Learning from review and reporting under other intergovernmental processes, where national efforts to address global commitments are encouraged”, introduced by Daniela Guarás (UNEP-WCMC);
  • Topic 4: “Accountability and transparency – tracking and reporting on delivery of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the global level”, presented by Katia Karousakis (OECD);

The first topic (commitments and NBSAPs) commitments and NBSAPs were addressed by the 10 tables during a first brainstorming session, before sharing their contributions to the full audience.

All the attendees pointed out the lack of monitoring and review of commitments undertaken as part of the process.


The audience was then divided into 3 groups for the 3 remaining topics at hand.

The open discussions between the participants further developed the issues of reviewing and reporting. Reflections followed on the definition of innovative and effective instruments to assess progress in the delivery of post-2020 global biodiversity framework.


Participants stressed the need to set out a smaller number of more precise indicators that could be both clear and easily applicable.


One key insight was also to make sure that non-Parties stakeholder’s contributions – such as NGOs, IPLCs, the private sector and the youth – can also be captured and integrated into the process building up to the COP15 and beyond.

With regards to implementation, strengthening the reporting by identifying an ad hoc structure seemed highly important to the participants, as well as the need for identified leadership to raise momentum.


As for the review mechanisms, the working groups brought up that those instruments had to provide tangible added value for Parties in order to be effective.


Finally on transparency and accountability, the workshop attendees pointed out the need to have “better data” to bridge the gap between national databases and their global implementation. They voiced the challenges faced by countries in accessing data and stressed the need to set up a simpler and more harmonized database.

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