From Awareness to Action: SBSTTA#25

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10 months after the KMGBF adoption, the international biodiversity community met in Nairobi to discuss how to facilitate its implementation. The 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice – SBSTTA – took place in Kenya from October 15th to 19th, 2023.

Following UNGA78 and the BBNJ Treaty ratification by 67 countries, this meeting timely gathered experts and country representatives to provide further guidance on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) implementation.

During one week, from October 15th to October 19th, SBSTTA25 brought together delegates from around the world to consider the following agenda items:

  • Findings from the assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their implications for the work undertaken under the CBD Convention
  • Invasive alien species
  • Sustainable wildlife management
  • Biodiversity and climate change
  • General items in regards to facilitating the implementation of the KMGBF
© SBSTTA-25 Nairobi Meetings

This five-day gathering, chaired by Mr. Hesiquio Benitez Diaz, and in presence of Mr. David Cooper as Acting Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the CBD, featured a rich and comprehensive program including technical sessions and side events on a variety of topics related to several KMGBF targets and their implementation.

As for previous occasions, our project organized or supported a number of events to showcase our partners’ transformative actions. They aimed at helping facilitate constructive dialogues among stakeholders and partners countries and at triggering de-siloed debates to accelerate the KMGBF implementation at both international and national levels.

On the 17th and 18th of October, 3 key side events were organized by our key partners with the project’s support:

– Tuesday 17th of October, Empowering African Youth : closing the gap of technical and scientific needs for transformative actions

This side event organized by GYBN Africa presented the outcomes of the 2nd Annual African Youth Summit on Biodiversity (AYSB2023) highlighting African Youth needs for enhanced Youth participation in monitoring and reporting on the KMGBF implementation of the framework, and for increasing Youth participation in African biodiversity conservation & related decision-making processes.

– Wednesday 18th of October, Facing the biodiversity and climate crises together: Urban planning for sustainable territorial prosperity in Africa

This side event presented trends on the integration of nature and people into urban development and climate action in Africa, provided a practical example based on the update of Kampala’s climate change action plan, reported on relevant commitments and communities of practice, and showcased experiences from UN-Habitat and ICLEI.

– Wednesday 18th of October, Earth Restored: Joining hands with faith-based organizations to implement the KMGBF

This side event, organized by Faith for Biodiversity Coalition brought together various speakers, including representatives from Faith-based organizations (FBOs), from organisations working with FBOs and local communities, and party delegates to explore the potential of faith and religious groups as implementation partners. They discussed their alignment and how to engage as active partners to contribute to the overall KMGBF Goals & Targets.

This event was also the best opportunity to launch a newly published eponymous knowledge product co-written by Mr. Gopal D. Patel
Co-convenor of Faiths for Biodiversity Coalition & Co-chair of the Advisory Board of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, Ms. Lauren Van Ham, Climate Action Coordinator at the United Religions Initiative and Ms. Alexandra M. Goossens-Ishii, Environment, Climate & Biodiversity Coordinator at Soka Gakkai International  and co-convenor of the Faiths for Biodiversity Coalition. 

Many other interesting side-events took place during this intense week, including a GEF side-event presenting the current GEF Progress Report after the recent GBFF adoption in Vancouver; a side-event of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC N&P) focusing on Accelerating Global Conservation Efforts to Achieve 30×30: Tools for Technical and Financial Assistance and one showing Experiences of Latin American Countries in Reviewing and Aligning their NBSAPs, hosted by the HAC and taking stock on action and results of our project partner countries Colombia and Costa Rica.

Our project also will took part in the panel discussion, co-organised by European Biodiversity Partnership Biodiversa+ : a discussion focusing on how regional and global initiatives can support the implementation of the KMGBF and complement each other across scales and portfolio of activities.

 SBSTTA is a prefect opportunity to exchange on concrete approaches and actions to facilitate implementation, by parties to the CBD, but equally by all stakeholders. The needs in terms of technical capacity and knowledge, but also stronger coordination and synergies between them will be key for the success of the KMGBF”, shared Hugo Rivera Mendoza, Team Leader, Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support.

SBSTTA 25 represented a significant milestone for tangible realization and noticeable progress towards achievement of the KMGBF goals. These meetings provided an excellent opportunity to ensure that the protection of biodiversity and the halting of its loss are mainstreamed into the member States’ national policies. This event was eagerly expected to revitalize ambition and action towards the transformative implementation of the KMGBF.

Delegates to UN Biodiversity Convention concluded meeting and provided strong scientific basis to support the implementation of the KMGBF

SBSTTA25 came to a close on Thursday, 19 October 2023, with an agreement to conduct further work that will develop the monitoring framework agreed in decision 15/5. Governments asked the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group dealing with the indicators to continue its work and provide results to the 26th meeting of SBSTTA, scheduled for next year.

“I am glad to see all the advancements that we have made so far, particularly at this meeting, where significant progress was made in terms of providing scientific, technical and technological tools to guide Parties on the implementation of the Framework.” Hesiquio Benitez, Chair of SBSTTA-25

“The work of delegates this week has helped ensure that we can move from agreement to action as we implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, agreed on at COP 15. We have more work to do before and during COP 16 and SBSTTA-26, including to ensure the robust monitoring of progress at global and national levels.” David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

A large part of the discussions was also dedicated to the work of IPBES, focusing on topics such as invasive alien species assessments, the multiple values of biodiversity, sustainable wildlife management and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

At the end of the week, new SBSTTA & SBI Chairs were elected:

  • Ms. Senka Barudanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Central and Eastern Europe, as SBSTTA Chair
  • Mr. Chirra Achalender Reddy (India), the Asia-Pacific region elected as Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) Chair
The recommendations prepared by SBSTTA-25 at this Nairobi meeting will be sent for agreement at COP 16, scheduled to be held in 2024.Documents for the meetings, including the final recommendations can be found here.

Delegates to UN Biodiversity Convention moved from agreement to action by concluding COP 15 in Nairobi

Moreover, right after SBSTTA25, delegates to UN Biodiversity Convention moved from agreement to action by concluding COP 15 in Nairobi.

With the election of chairpersons for its subsidiary bodies and the Bureau, the closing gavel marked the end of the resumed session of COP 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the COP-MOPs of its Cartagena and Nagoya protocols.

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