Timeline to 2020:
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Entered into force on 29 December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is dedicated to promoting sustainable development, with three main objectives: (a) the conservation of biological diversity (all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources); (b) the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity; and (c) the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, notably those destined for commercial use. There are 196 States parties to the Convention and several advisory bodies have also been established. It stands as a landmark in international law, recognizing for the first time the conservation of biological diversity as an integral part of the development process (on one hand acknowledging that ecosystems, species and genes must be used for the benefit of humans, but simultaneously maintaining that conservation brings significant environmental, economic, and social benefits in return).
During the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), held in 2010 in Japan, State parties adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period. This plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity, not only for the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development. The fifteenth COP in 2020 is expected to update the Convention’s strategic plan and adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, as a follow-up for the next decade.
Key Decision Points (2016 – 2020)
The 2020 Conference (to be held in Beijing) will provide an opportunity to develop an integrated framework that applies to the Convention and both Protocols and that can serve as a framework for other biodiversity-related Conventions and processes. It was mandated at the thirteenth COP (2016), which requested the Executive Secretary to prepare, in consultation with the Bureau and for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation, a proposal for a preparatory process and timetable for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
A general view expressed in the draft proposals of the 2020 Conference is that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework should be more ambitious than the current strategic plan. To this end, several activities are scheduled across 2018 and 2019 to consider and make recommendations toward the proposed preparatory process for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (namely within SBI-2, COP-14, and COPMOP-9). Additionally, a leaders’ summit meeting is to be held on the margins of the opening of UNGA 75 (September 2020) to give political direction and momentum to the development of the post-2020 framework. In October 2020, COP-15 will consider the final draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework with a view to adoption.
Additional Links & Resources:
[Core Document] Convention on Biological Diversity (text)
Following a peer review process, the document was revised and then considered by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation during its second meeting (SBI-2) in July 2018. A comprehensive schedule of preparatory meetings can be found on page 16 of the document.
Key COP Decisions:
- Decision XII/31 (Annex), COP 12, “Multi-year programme of work of the Conference of the Parties up to 2020”, 17 October 2014
Cites the assessment/follow-up of the Convention’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets as key strategic issues for COP-15 (2020)
- Decision XIII/1 (para 34), COP 13, “Progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity” Targets, 12 December 2016
Requests proposals for a comprehensive and participatory preparatory process and timetable for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020