30 Apr 2012

Experts meet in Montreal to 'talk biodiversity'

By Carolina Hazin

Delegates from 193 countries gathered today in Montreal for the start of two weeks of meetings to prepare recommendations for the next Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP) in October in India. Key issues on the agenda in this first week (to be considered by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice) include marine areas, island biodiversity and climate change. The BirdLife International delegation in Montreal will be advocating on a number of issues, including supporting the description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs). The CBD has committed to facilitate the description EBSAs within and beyond national jurisdiction and has developed a set of scientific criteria to guide this process. BirdLife has contributed to this process through the compilation of seabird data, using these to identify marine Important Bird Areas, which have formed part of the scientific basis for describing EBSAs. So far over 100 IBAs have been used to inform EBSAs agreed at three regional workshops, while many others could be used as the EBSA process continues to develop in these and other regions. Other issues of importance under discussion this week include: biodiversity safeguards and indicators to ensure efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (through REDD+) benefit and do not harm biodiversity; the integration of biodiversity considerations into climate change related activities; and the in-depth review of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity. Discussions next week (at the 4th meeting of the Working Group on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention) will address mobilising resources to implement the Strategic Plan 2012-2020 agreed at COP 10 in Nagoyain 2010 and its associated Aichi Targets. Effective implementation of the CBD continues to be severely hampered by insufficient financial resources and it is therefore essential that more funds are found, if targets are to be met, and the catastrophic rate of biodiversity loss reduced. Full details on BirdLife’s positions for the meeting are found on the following links Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas – Click here Seabird Data for Describing Marine Conservation Areas Click here