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CBD COP 9 Cautions against Ocean Fertilization, Adopts Climate Change Related Decisions

Cop9_presidentsigmargabriel

30

May 2008: The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on

Biological Diversity (CBD) was held from 19-30 May 2008, in Bonn, Germany. The

COP addressed a range of issues related to climate change, including ocean

fertilization, biofuels and biodiversity, and forest biodiversity. [Photo: COP 9 President Sigmar Gabriel gaveled the meeting to

a close at 9:00 pm]

 

The

decision on the agenda item on biodiversity and climate change

(UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.36) includes sections on: proposals for the integration of

climate change activities within the programme of work of the CBD; options for

mutually supportive actions addressing climate change within the three Rio

conventions; ocean fertilization; summary of the findings of the global

assessment on peatlands, biodiversity and climate change; and three annexes

relating to ongoing activities in the framework of the Rio conventions, an

indicative list of activities by parties to support synergies, and terms of

reference for an ad hoc technical

expert group (AHTEG) on biodiversity and climate change. The COP decides to

integrate climate change considerations into each programme of work,

considering the assessment of potential impacts of climate change and both the

positive and negative impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation

activities on relevant ecosystems. It urges parties to enhance integration of

climate change considerations related to biodiversity in the implementation of

the CBD, with the full and effective involvement of relevant stakeholders.

Recognizing the distinct mandates of each convention and the need to avoid

duplication and promote cost savings, the COP requests the Executive Secretary

to collaborate with the Secretariats of the other Rio conventions. It welcomes

consideration of REDD in the UNFCCC, and invites the UNFCCC to take full

account of opportunities for its work to provide benefits for biodiversity, and

recognizes the need to provide biodiversity-relevant information to the UNFCCC

processes in a timely manner. The COP establishes an AHTEG on biodiversity and

climate change, including representatives of indigenous and local communities

and small island developing states. The COP requests parties and others, in

accordance with the precautionary approach, to ensure that ocean fertilization

activities do not take place until there is an adequate scientific basis on which

to justify such activities, and urges parties to act in accordance with the

decision of the 1972 London Convention. The COP recognizes the importance of

the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity, particularly

peatlands, in addressing climate change.

Biofuels

were considered as part of the agenda item on agricultural biodiversity.

Despite lengthy debates, there was no agreement on adopting sustainability

criteria for biofuel production. The decision on biofuels and biodiversity

(UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.35) includes sections on policy frameworks, research and

monitoring, collaboration, and tools relevant for sustainable production and

use of biofuels. The COP urges parties and invites other governments, among

other actions, to: promote sustainable production and use of biofuels with a

view to promote benefits and minimize risks to biodiversity; promote the

positive and minimize the negative impacts on biodiversity that would affect

socioeconomic conditions and food and energy security; and develop and apply

sound policy frameworks. The COP recognizes that supportive measures,

consistent with national and regional policies, should promote the positive,

and minimize the negative, impacts of biofuel production and use on

biodiversity. It calls upon parties to investigate and monitor the impacts of

biofuels on biodiversity and related socioeconomic aspects, and urges them to

strengthen development cooperation to promote sustainable production and use of

biofuels through the transfer of technologies and information exchange. The COP

recognizes the CBD's role in biodiversity-related aspects of the sustainable

production and use of biofuels, and encourages parties to share experiences on

the development and application of relevant tools. It encourages parties to

participate in efforts addressing these matters, and encourages the private

sector to improve the social and environmental performance of biofuel

production, in particular through voluntary initiatives. The COP requests the

Executive Secretary to compile submissions from parties on these experiences

and to convene regional workshops, and requests SBSTTA to consider these inputs

and to recommend, for consideration by COP 10, ways and means to promote the

positive and minimize the negative impacts of biofuel production and use.

The

impact of biofuel production and consumption, along with issues related to the

impact of climate change on forest biodiversity, reducing emissions from

deforestation, collaboration with the UNFCCC, and genetically modified trees

(GM trees) were addressed during discussions on forest biodiversity. In the subsequent decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.33), the COP urges

parties to promote scientific research to better understand the impacts of

climate change, including mitigation and adaptation activities, and

environmental degradation on forest biodiversity and on the livelihoods of

indigenous and local communities. On GM trees, the COP urges parties to:

reaffirm the need to take a precautionary approach; authorize the release of GM

trees only after completion of studies in containment, addressing long-term

effects as well as thorough, comprehensive, science-based and transparent risk

assessments; and acknowledge the entitlement of parties, in accordance with

their domestic legislation, to suspend the release of GM trees. The COP also

invites parties to: ensure that possible actions for reducing emissions from

deforestation and forest degradation do not run counter to the Convention's

objectives but support implementation of the work programme and provide

benefits for forest biodiversity and, where possible, to indigenous and local

communities; and address both, direct and indirect, positive and negative

impacts that the production and use of biomass for energy, in particular

large-scale and/or industrial production and use, might have on forest

biodiversity and on indigenous and local communities. The COP requests the CBD

Executive Secretary to collaborate with the other members of the Collaborative

Partnership on Forests in order to support parties' efforts to address reducing

emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries in

the framework of the UNFCCC.

On

other issues, in its decision on financial resources (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.37), the

COP invites the COP/MOP to the Kyoto Protocol to request the Adaptation Fund

Board to consider the co-benefits of biodiversity and its ecosystem services in

its projects.

Under

the decision on Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge) (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/L.25), the

COP invites the UNFCCC COP to take note of the

implications of climate change on biodiversity‑related traditional knowledge,

innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities; and encourages

CBD parties to consider, as far as possible and as appropriate, introducing necessary

measures for ensuring the full and effective participation of indigenous and

local communities in formulating, implementing and monitoring climate change

mitigation and adaptation activities where this could affect biological

diversity and biodiversity-related traditional knowledge. [Earth

Negotiations Bulletin] [CBD]