13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD
At the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, Mexico, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) begin two weeks of discussions in the shadow of data and reports showing that around two-thirds of the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets are currently not on track to be met by the 2020 deadline, with serious consequences for human well-being, unless enhanced efforts are made in the last four years of the decade.
The Aichi Targets specify actions to protect and sustainably use the entire variety of life on our planet. The targets address issues ranging from the loss of natural habitats, sustainable agriculture and declining fish stocks, to access and sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources, indigenous knowledge and awareness of the values of biodiversity. Achievement of the Aichi Targets will be critical for achieving the three other historic global agendas agreed last year:
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- The Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction
- The Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Ahead of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD more than 120 ministers of environment, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism will discuss the mainstreaming of biodiversity into their activities by ensuring the alignment of wider Government policies, programmes and plans consistent with the need to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity.
The UN Biodiversity Conference taking place from 2 to 17 December will review the progress that has been made towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, the achievement of the Aichi Targets, as well as related means of implementation. It will also identify actions needed to meet the Targets at the national level. One of the major challenges countries still face is aligning national plans with the generally more ambitious global targets. For example, progress is being made towards achieving Aichi Target 11 with protected areas increasingly being designated. However, only half of the countries have set national targets that are at least as ambitious as the Aichi Targets.
Main points at stake:
- Governments need to ramp-up efforts to stop biodiversity decline in light of pessimistic reports.
- Time running out on global efforts to meet biodiversity targets with 2/3 still offtrack.
- Countries to focus on the value of biodiversity to engage other economic sectors as means of halting degradation.
- Ability to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Agreement is at stake.