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CBD COP 11 Adopts Decisions on REDD+, Geo-engineering

Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary22 October 2012: The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted 33 decisions on a range of strategic, substantive, administrative, financial and budgetary issues. On climate change-related issues, the meeting adopted decisions on REDD+ and geo-engineering, and addressed strengthening knowledge on linkages between biodiversity and climate change.

On reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and forest conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), the COP took note with appreciation of a list of biodiversity-related safeguards set out in UNFCCC decision 1/CP.16, Appendix I, paragraph 2, and noted that the safeguards may also enhance benefits for biodiversity, as well as for indigenous and local communities. The COP also requested the CBD Secretariat to: compile information from parties on initiatives and experiences regarding paragraph 67 of UNFCCC Decision 2/CP.17 (Durban outcome on long-term cooperative action) with regard to its contribution to the Convention's objectives and submit a progress report prior to COP 12; and develop advice on REDD+ issues, taking into full account the relevant UNFCCC decisions, based on parties' further views, and to report to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) prior to COP 13.

On geo-engineering, the COP reaffirmed paragraph 8, including its subparagraph (w), of Decision X/33, on ensuring that no geo-engineering takes place; noted the lack of science-based, global, transparent and effective control and regulatory mechanisms for climate-related geo-engineering, the need for a precautionary approach, and that such mechanisms may be most necessary for those geo-engineering activities that have a potential to cause significant adverse transboundary effects, and those deployed in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the atmosphere, noting that there is no common understanding on where such mechanisms would be best placed; and noted that the application of the precautionary approach, as well as customary international law, including States' general obligations with regard to activities within their jurisdiction or control and with regard to possible consequences of those activities, and environmental impact assessment requirements, may be relevant for geo-engineering activities but would still form an incomplete basis for global regulation. The COP also requested the Secretariat, at the appropriate time, to prepare, provide for peer review and submit for consideration by a future meeting of SBSTTA: an update on the potential impacts of geo-engineering techniques on biodiversity and on the regulatory framework of climate-related geo-engineering relevant to CBD, drawing upon scientific relevant reports such as the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and an overview of parties' and other stakeholders' views on the potential impacts of geo-engineering on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts.

CBD COP 11 took place from 8-19 October 2012, in Hyderabad, India. The meeting agreed to set an interim target of doubling biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries by 2015, and at least maintaining this level until 2020, coupled with targets aiming to improve the robustness of baseline information as well as a preliminary reporting framework for monitoring resource mobilization. [IISD RS Coverage of CBD COP 11] [Meeting Website]