Int’l leaders discuss urgency to scale up biodiversity conservation efforts
International leaders who are spearheading global efforts to save the world’s biodiversity are set to convene to gather information and form strategies ahead of the the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties at its Fourteenth Meeting (COP 14) and other meetings.
To prepare recommendations for consideration by COP 14, and by other upcoming global conferences on biodiversity, the 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22) of the CBD was held last week and will be followed by the second meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 2) from 9 to 13 July 2018.
SBSTTA 22 will highlight various biodiversity concerns such as: digital sequence information on genetic resources; risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms (LMOs); synthetic biology; updated scientific assessments of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in particular targets on which the least progress has been made; protected areas and other measures for enhanced conservation and management; and marine and coastal biodiversity, to name a few.
SBSTTA is an advisory body to the Convention on Biological Diversity, providing recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the convention and/or the Meeting of the Parties to the protocols.
To date, the Convention has two protocols—the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
Discussions in the SBSTTA revolve around topics along the two protocols coupled with emerging and pressing issues on biodiversity conservation.
The CBD has approximately 200 member countries, wherein all ASEAN Member States are parties to the Convention.
During the opening plenary, CBD Executive Secretary Cristiana Pașca Palmer stressed the importance of accelerating efforts in implementing biodiversity conservation commitments at the national level since parties to the Convention can still do more in two years to move closer to the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Palmer emphasized the need to “build a strong case for biodiversity” by calling on scientists and practitioners to join hands in fostering “transformational approaches to address the root causes of ecosystem degradation.”
For her part, SBSTTA Chair and Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Theresa Mundita S. Lim highlighted the importance of taking effective and urgent action to conserve biodiversity during the opening session of the 22nd Meeting of SBSTTA held on 2 July 2018.
Lim, a Filipino, was elected Chair of SBSTTA in December 2016 during the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico and has chaired SBSTTA 21.