International Biodiversity Agenda: Nairobi Simply Added Extra to Montreal’s Plate

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A placard on display at activists' demonstration outside the 4th meeting of the CBD Working Group at the UNEP headquarter in Nairobi. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

A placard on show at activists’ demonstration exterior the 4th assembly of the CBD Working Group on the UNEP headquarter in Nairobi. Credit score: Stella Paul/IPS

Nairobi, Jun 27 2022 (IPS) – Because the final working group assembly of the Publish 2020 International Biodiversity Agenda concluded right here on Sunday, the delegates’ job at COP15 Montreal simply obtained more durable as delegates couldn’t finalize the textual content of the agenda. Texts involving finance, price and benefit-sharing, and digital sequencing – described by many as ‘most contentious components of the draft agenda barely made any progress as negotiators failed to achieve any consensus.

Nairobi – the Unattempted ‘Ultimate Push’

The week-long 4th meeting of the Working Group of the Biodiversity Convention occurred from June 21-26, three months after the threerd assembly of the group was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The assembly, attended by a complete of 1634 individuals, together with 950 nation representatives, had the job minimize out for them: Learn the draft Publish 2020 International Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its 21 targets, talk about, and clear up the textual content – goal by goal, sentence by sentence, a minimum of as much as 80%.

However, on Saturday – a day earlier than the assembly was to wrap up, David Ainsworth – head of Communications at CBD, hinted that the progress was far slower than anticipated. Ainsworth talked about that the full cleansing progress made was nearly 8%.

To place it in a clearer context, mentioned Ainsworth, solely two targets now had a clear textual content – Goal 19.2 (strengthening capacity-building and improvement, entry to and switch of expertise) and goal 12 (city biodiversity). Because of this in Montreal, they might be positioned on the desk immediately for the events to resolve on, as an alternative of debating the language. All the opposite targets, the work progress has been from round 50% to none, mentioned Ainsworth.

A complete day later, on Sunday night native time, co-chairs of the WG4 Francis Ogwal and Basile Van Havre confirmed that these had been certainly the one two targets with ‘clear’ texts. In different phrases, no actual work had been executed previously 24 hours.

On June 21, on the opening session of the assembly, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Govt Secretary of the Conference on Organic Range, described the Nairobi assembly as a possibility for a ‘remaining push’ to finalize the GBF. On Sunday, she referred to as on the events to “vigorously have interaction with the textual content, to hear to one another and search consensus, and to arrange the ultimate textual content for adoption at COP 15”.

Answering a query from IPS Information, Mrema additionally confirmed that there can be a 5th assembly of the Working Group earlier than the Montreal COP, indicating the work executed within the Nairobi assembly wasn’t sufficient to provide a draft that was able to be mentioned for adoption.

The ultimate push, it appeared, had not even been tried.

Bottlenecks and Stalemate

Based on a number of observers, as an alternative of cleansing up 80% of the texts over the previous six days, negotiators had left 80% of the textual content in brackets, which indicators disagreement amongst events. Not solely did international locations fail to progress, however in some circumstances, new disagreements threatened to maneuver the method in the wrong way. Probably the most basic points weren’t even addressed this week, together with how a lot funding can be dedicated to conserving biodiversity and what number figures the world ought to attempt to guard, preserve, and restore to handle the extinction disaster.

True to the traditions of the UN, the CBD wouldn’t be important of any get together. Nevertheless, on Sunday night, Francis Ogwal indicated that wealthy nations had been dragging their toes on assembly the dedication of donating to world biodiversity conservation. With out naming anybody, Ogwal reminded the negotiators that the extra time they took, the more durable they’d get the choice.

At current, mentioned Ogwal, 700 billion was wanted to cease and recuperate world biodiversity. “If you happen to preserve giving much less and fewer, the issues amplify. Ten years down the road, this is not going to be sufficient,” he mentioned.

The civil society was extra vocal in criticizing the delegates for shedding one more alternative.

Based on Brian O’Donnell, Director of the Marketing campaign for Nature, the negotiations had been faltering, with some key points being at a stalemate. It’s, subsequently, as much as heads of state and different political and United Nations leaders to behave with urgency. “However time is now operating out, and international locations have to step up, present the management that this second requires, and act urgently to seek out compromise and options,” O’Donnell mentioned in a press release.

The Subsequent Steps

The CBD Secretariat talked about a string of actions that will observe the Nairobi assembly to hurry up the method of constructing a consensus among the many delegates. The actions embrace bilateral conferences with some international locations, regional conferences with others, and a Working Group 5 assembly which can be a pre-COP occasion earlier than COP15.

Lastly, the CBD is taking a glass-half-filled method towards the GBF, which is mirrored within the phrases of Mrema: “These efforts (Nairobi assembly) are appreciable and have produced a textual content that, with further work, would be the foundation for reaching the 2050 imaginative and prescient of the Conference: A life in concord with nature,” she says.

The upcoming UN Biodiversity Convention can be held from 5 to December 17 in Montreal, Canada, underneath the presidency of the Authorities of China. With the majority of the work left incomplete, the chilly December climate of Montreal is undoubtedly all set to be heated with intense debates and negotiations.
IPS UN Bureau Report

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