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CBD SBSTTA 14 Adopts Climate-Related Recommendations

21 May 2010: The 14th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened from 10-21 May 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya. SBSTTA 14 adopted 18 recommendations to be considered by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD. Climate-related issues are addressed in the recommendations on: mountain biodiversity; inland waters; marine and coastal biodiversity, including ocean fertilization; protected areas; biodiversity and climate change; biofuels and biodiversity; and forest biodiversity.

In the recommendation on mountain biodiversity, SBSTTA recommends that the COP should encourage parties and others to address climate change adaptation and mitigation issues for mountain biodiversity, inter alia, by in situ and ex situ conservation of species under threat from climate change, reducing deforestation and restoring degraded forest ecosystems, and undertaking environmental and strategic assessment of renewable energy planning, as a part of mitigation strategies. It also recommends that the COP should urge parties to study the effects of climate change, as well as those of adaptation and mitigation measures, on mountain environments and biodiversity, to elaborate sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies.

In the recommendation on the in-depth review of implementation of the programme of work on inland waters biodiversity, SBSTTA recommends that the COP should urge governments to recognize the inter-dependence of the carbon and water cycles in their climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

The recommendation on marine and coastal biodiversity includes bracketed text on collaboration between the CBD and the UNFCCC, laying out three options requesting the CBD to: include the interaction between oceans and climate change in future collaboration between the CBD and the UNFCCC; convene an expert workshop to assess the potential impacts of climate change on ocean biodiversity, ideally involving UNFCCC participation; or invite the UNFCCC Secretariat to jointly convene an expert workshop to promote better understanding of issues of common interest. The recommendation includes sections on the impacts of ocean fertilization and the impacts of ocean acidification. SBSTTA recommends that the COP should request: addressing climate change-related aspects of marine and coastal biodiversity, including the potential adverse impacts of ocean acidification as a direct consequence of the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and ensuring that no ocean fertilization takes place unless in accordance with CBD COP decision IX/16C (on ocean fertilization).

The recommendation on protected areas also includes a section on climate change. SBSTTA recommends that the COP should invite parties to: identify areas that are important for biodiversity conservation, as well as for climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, including carbon sequestration and maintenance of carbon sinks, recognizing that biodiversity conservation remains the primary objective of protected areas; support and finance conservation and management of naturally functioning ecosystems in contributing to carbon sequestration and maintenance of carbon sinks, as well as ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation; and explore how funding opportunities under climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies could contribute to the implementation of the CBD programme of work on protected areas, while enhancing co-benefits for biodiversity, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. SBSTTA also recommends that the COP should remind the UNFCCC COP to pay attention to the impact on and role of protected areas in adaptation and mitigation strategies, and support projects related to adaptation and mitigation strategies in protected areas. In a bracketed portion of the recommendation, SBSTTA recommends that the COP should invite the Executive Secretary to convene a special meeting of the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions in 2011 on the role of protected areas in the implementation of the Rio Conventions' objectives with a view to recommending elements of a joint programme on protected areas, biodiversity, climate change and land degradation.

The recommendation on the in-depth review of the work on biodiversity and climate change includes sections on: assessing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity; ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation; ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation, including the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD); REDD, conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD-plus); reducing biodiversity impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, including from energy production; climate change and biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands; and a proposed joint work programme between the Rio Conventions which remains bracketed in its entirety.

In the recommendation on biofuels and biodiversity, SBSTTA recommends that the COP should invite governments and relevant organizations and stakeholders to examine, and as appropriate further develop, based on scientific assessments on the impacts of biofuel production and use, and with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, voluntary conceptual frameworks for ways and means to minimize or avoid the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of biofuel production and use developed by the three regional workshops. A large part of the recommendation remains bracketed.

In the recommendation on forest biodiversity, SBSTTA recommends, in two alternative bracketed options, that the COP should request the Executive Secretary to collaborate with members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and CBD national focal points on REDD, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, as appropriate, on either: contributing to discussions on and possible development of biodiversity safeguards and mechanisms to monitor impacts on biodiversity and support development of guidance on creating synergies between the implementation of national forest-related actions and programmes; or with effective consultation with parties, to explore opportunities to provide advice, as requested, to discussions on this issue, in order to avoid any possible negative impacts on biodiversity by such activities. [SBSTTA 14 Website] [SBSTTA 14 Recommendations and L Documents (temporary link)][IISD RS Coverage of the Meeting]