SBSTTA-25: Delegates move forward on recommendations to implement Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Synergy between climate change & biodiversity recognised; work on indicators to continue till next meeting
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

The 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-25) came to a close on October 19, 2023 with recommendations that would help Parties move from “agreement to action” after the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) last December. The outcome is important considering that only six years remain to ensure that the targets of the Framework are achieved. 

While the major agenda of the meeting was to develop a monitoring mechanism for progress, the delegates also discussed the implication of, among others, the recently completed assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; and the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

The latest IPBES report pointed out the role invasive species play in extinction of plants and animals. The Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature; and the Thematic Assessment Report on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species by IPBES were also discussed. 

Findings from IPCC AR6, which suggested that climate change is the main driver of the loss of biodiversity and that biodiversity provides capacity to ature to support climate adaptation, resilience, mitigation and disaster risk reduction were discussed too.

The group assessed the findings and finalised 15 points to be taken to the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP16) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. These were based on the recognition that biodiversity loss, climate change, ocean acidification, desertification, land degradation, invasive alien species and pollution are interdependent crises that need to be addressed in a coherent and balanced manner. This is important not only to meet the goals of the Convention and Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework but also those of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. 

Experts at SBSTTA-25 also pointed out that work of other multilateral agencies such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization should be used to enrich the scientific and technical advice towards implementation of the KMGBF.

In terms of work on indicators, the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group would continue to work on this and the full monitoring framework would be considered at SBSTTA-26. Overall, it is clear that more work is needed to develop the monitoring framework.

“We have more work to do before and during COP16 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. The Secretariat will now assess the resources required for the work and seek additional resources if necessary. 

The recommendations prepared by SBSTTA-25 at this Nairobi meeting will be sent for agreement at COP16 scheduled to be held in 2024. A global review of collective progress in the implementation of the KMGBF will be conducted at COP17.

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