10 Oct 2012

CBD COP11: what BirdLife wants

By Melanie Heath

COP 11, which opens on the 8 October in Hyderabad, India, is the first Conference of Parties since COP 10 in Nagoya in 2010, which marked the adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020).  The Strategic Plan provides a comprehensive global framework for achieving the vision of ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’, including the 20 headline Aichi Targets for 2015 or 2020. These targets include commitments to address the causes of biodiversity loss, reduce pressures on biodiversity, at least halve the rate of loss of natural habitats, establish a conservation target of 17% of terrestrial and 10% of marine and coastal areas, restore at least 15% of degraded areas, and enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services. In Hyderabad, Parties will review implementation of the Plan and progress towards the Aichi Targets, including through the establishment of national targets and development and revision of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.  Mainstreaming biodiversity across sectors and within broader global sustainability goals, as well as sufficiently resourcing actions needed to achieve the targets, remain major challenges that require significant attention at COP 11. BirdLife International’s own Strategy, built around the pillars of species, sites, habitats and people, is directly linked to, and fully supportive of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. Here are BirdLife’s main asks of Parties at COP11: Resource Mobilisation: BirdLife emphasizes the importance and urgency of full implementation of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, including the agreement of funding targets at COP-11, to ensure meaningful progress towards adequately financing the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Parties should scale-up national and international funding sources as well as utilising innovative financing mechanisms. BirdLife’s contribution: An international team of authors led by scientists from BirdLife and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK), has developed a study on the financial costs of meeting two of the Aichi Targets that are most urgent: saving species and protecting sites entitled ‘Financial Costs of Meeting Global Biodiversity Conservation Targets: Current Spending and Unmet Needs.’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) BirdLife recognises NBSAPs as the guiding mechanism to implement the Strategic Plan at national level, and asks Parties to continue to develop and/or revise their NBSAPs to define national conservation targets and indicators to measure progress. We stress the opportunity for mainstreaming biodiversity into sectoral policies to slow biodiversity loss. Parties should set the stage for increased financial support from developed countries to developing countries for implementation of NBSAPs, and value the capacity-building efforts of the CBD Secretariat and partners, including NGOs. BirdLife’s contribution: As the  International Thematic Focal Point for birds for the CBD Clearing House Mechanism, BirdLife makes data widely accessible to help national governments, businesses and others implement and monitor the CBD and its programmes of work. The Country Profiles, recently launched (http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country), are a detailed breakdown of BirdLife’s global datasets for each country and territory. Indicators BirdLife expects that Parties will adopt the list of suggested indicators to assess progress towards the Aichi Targets. BirdLife recognises that financial support is needed to build capacity to collect and compile data against each indicator so that progress can be measured, and calls for donors to provide the resources. BirdLife’s contribution: BirdLife is part of the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, which provides support to the CBD in developing these indicators.BirdLife will launch a new booklet at COP11, Developing and implementing NBSAPs: how to set, meet and track the 2020 Biodiversity Targets. Marine and coastal biodiversity BirdLife expects Parties to endorse the list of ecologically or biologically significant for conservation (EBSAs) and the repository and information-sharing mechanisms that will inform decisions from competent international bodies to manage and protect those areas. BirdLife’s contribution: BirdLife has compiled and submitted all relevant seabird data in the form of a list of marine Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for consideration within the EBSA process. BirdLife will launch an eAtlas of marine IBAs at COP11. Review of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity (PoWIB BirdLife stresses the importance of continued and increased efforts to implement this Programme and the six priority areas of action: management and eradication of invasive alien species (IAS); climate-change adaptation and mitigation; establishment and management of marine protected areas; capacity-building; access to and sharing the benefits of the use of genetic resources; and poverty alleviation. BirdLife’s contribution: BirdLife is a member of the Global Island Partnership, established to help deliver the PoWIB, and BirdLife Partners are involved in the six priority areas of action on many islands. Biodiversity and climate change  BirdLife urges Parties to the CBD to recognize and embrace their essential role, in providing scientific advice on REDD+ safeguards, and on the relevant indicators for monitoring and assessing the contributions of REDD+ to achieving the objectives of the CBD. Strengthened synergies between the CBD and UNFCCC are required at national levels on REDD+ to ensure natural systems benefit and biodiversity is conserved and not impacted negatively through REDD+ activities. BirdLife’s contribution: the BirdLife Partnership monitors the impacts of climate change on bird populations, and assists in implementing ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation in many countries. BirdLife is active in policy and advocacy work at the UNFCCC, and in strengthening synergies between UNFCCC and CBD. Read BirdLife's COP11 Policy briefing Get PDFs of BirdLife publications for CBD  More free BirdLife reports