The 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 2-7 July 2018, followed by the second meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 2) from 9-13 July 2018. Both meetings represented a unique opportunity for subnational leaders to meet and advance next steps to pave the way towards COP 14. Both meetings negotiated recommendations for the consideration of the Parties that will meet in November 2018 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
nrg4SD, the members of the Regions for Biodiversity Learning Platform (R4BLP) and those of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments (AC SNG) who attended the meetings had the opportunity to engage with the CBD Secretariat, their National Delegations and among themselves with the objective of advancing and strengthening their collaboration to collectively shape the future of biodiversity.
On July 5th, the members of the R4BLP met to launch a report titled “Subnational Governments Achievements Towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 and Sustainable Development Goal 15.8”, a result of their work towards the topic of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) that gathers information on the efforts made in: 6 regions in South America, 4 in North America, 2 in Asia, 6 in Europe, 4 in Africa and 1 in Australia. The 23 participating regions proved that, overall, considerable progress has been achieved towards tackling IAS at a regional level and, ultimately, achieve the targets associated to it. It is noteworthy that SBSTTA 22 highlights on the topic include the adoption of a supplementary voluntary guidance for avoiding unintentional introductions of IAS associated with trade in live species, that includes a reference to the importance of subnational governments in these efforts.
The regions of Aichi, Palawan and Quebec, members of the AC SNG, and nrg4SD –in its Coordinator role- met with CBD Secretariat representatives to share their interest in having a robust contribution to COP 14 and to demonstrate their sound commitment to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that will end in two years and to play an active role in the post 2020 framework.
Additionally, the members of the Group of Leading Subnational Governments (GoLS) let by the Prefecture of Aichi organized a side-event in which nrg4SD and some of its members had the opportunity to dialogue with the Parties to the Convention of Mexico, Egypt, Korea, China and Japan and pass along the message of the relevance of uniting efforts and share a strong participation at the 6th Global Biodiversity Summit of Local and Subnational Governments, that will take place on the sidelines of COP 14, on 23-24 November, 2018.
The results of SBSTTA 22 include the adoption of voluntary guidance on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and lengthy debates on ecologically significant marine areas, digital sequence information (DSI), and synthetic biology, among others. On the other hand, the SBI 2 achievements included adoption of a recommendation on biodiversity mainstreaming, and progress in the integration of processes under the Convention and its Protocols, some discussions, specially those related to securing a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol, will continue to be debated in future meetings.