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SBSTTA-18 Adopts Recommendations on Scientific Issues Related to Aichi Targets Implementation

Chair-Hem-Pande28 June 2014: The 18th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) addressed a series of items related to the scientific base required for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi biodiversity targets, including the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4), marine- and climate-related issues, and invasive alien species (IAS).

Held from 23-28 June 2014, in Montreal, Canada, immediately following the fifth meeting of the Convention's Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI 5), SBSTTA-18 adopted 14 recommendations that will be submitted to the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the CBD, to be held from 6-17 October 2014, in Pyeongchang, the Republic of Korea.

The meeting welcomed the draft GBO-4 and the underlying technical reports. GBO-4 will be launched on the opening day of COP 12 and will provide a mid-term review and assessment of the state of implementation of the Strategic Plan.

On marine biodiversity, building on the work of seven regional expert workshops, the meeting approved a summary report containing scientific and technical evaluation of information describing ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), and recommended that the COP send this information to the UN General Assembly as well as to countries. The meeting also identified priority actions to address the pressures on coral reefs, with a view to enhancing resilience and reducing their vulnerability to ocean acidification and the impacts of climate change.

On IAS, SBSTTA-18 forwarded to the COP, voluntary guidance on devising and implementing measures to address risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food.

Controversial items included synthetic biology, the relationship with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and climate-related issues, including geo-engineering and REDD+. Related recommendations were forwarded to COP 12 with remaining brackets. [IISD RS Coverage of SBSTTA-18][CBD Press Release]