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It was agreed that reporting should be directed to the following audience: The group agreed that monitoring and assessment should be ongoing, but that national analysis and reporting should be conducted every two years and that an analysis of global trends should be done every four years.
On reporting incentives, the group recommended using early warning systems to address unsustainable development trends and their economic impacts.
To ensure compliance, the group suggested allocating funding contingent on regular reporting. Capacity building for national monitoring and assessment was highlighted as an important reporting component, including the capacity to evaluate ecosystem goods and services. On Wednesday afternoon, Working Group B, co-chaired by Max Kitchell Australia and Setijati Sastrapradja Indonesia , discussed the issue of understanding and measuring biodiversity loss from the international perspective.
They continued the discussion on Thursday morning, followed by an afternoon session on biodiversity loss reporting at the international level.
Co-chair Kitchell opened the discussion by asking participants to define biodiversity and biodiversity loss and what aspects of biodiversity need to be measured internationally. Noting that biodiversity can mean different things to different people, participants agreed to work with CBD definitions and terminology. However, participants continued to refine the terms "biodiversity" and "biodiversity loss" throughout the working group sessions.
Participants also agreed that it was important to take a pragmatic approach when measuring biodiversity loss by using existing data and approaches to improve indicators and by coming up with a scientifically sound baseline. Many also stressed the need to produce new data. There were several calls to pay careful attention to data quality control, while others noted the need to take into consideration information gaps and research needs.
There were also several calls to make use of existing networks conducting measurements. One participant stressed the need for standard protocols for interpreting satellite imaging to enable comparability, particularly at the ecosystem and habitat level.
There was general agreement on the need to monitor at the species level for those species that are well known, but to recognize gaps and improve technical aspects like taxonomy. Several participants noted the need for more concrete indicators for politicians to take action on the issue.
It was suggested that no more than 10 indicators would be appropriate to reach the key audience. Despite the lack of internationally defined indicators, participants agreed that it was important to focus on the target using existing data and to continue to strengthen efforts to come to a common understanding on monitoring and methodology programmes.
Participants agreed that aggregated indices should be used if available, but that a mechanism to test their effectiveness needs to be developed. Others stressed the need to focus on how to develop aggregated indices, but ruled out attempting this by Rather, several participants said it was important to look at criteria for identifying and selecting indicators. One participant suggested conducting a comprehensive study of existing relevant indicators at the international level, while some felt this would be a duplication of CBD work.
Many participants said that a universal baseline is not attainable, but should be based on the rate of change in the decade of the s. The group then listed several global data sets, such as the IUCN Red List and the Living Planet Index, as a means of indicating where measuring information is already available. It was suggested that a comprehensive study is needed to identify relevant existing data and informational gaps within those existing sets.
Using the CBD definition of biodiversity, the working group went on to define biodiversity loss as the long-term reduction of abundance and distribution of species, ecosystems and genes and the services they provide. They agreed that the baseline rate of biodiversity loss should be based on the rate for the s.
On indicators, the group recommended a pragmatic approach towards achieving the target by working with existing data, initiatives and programmes. There was agreement that SBSTTA should commission a study on the sufficiency of data sets and identify gaps in order to improve future designs. The group recognized the value of existing aggregated indicators as a useful communication tool for policy makers, but that a single biodiversity index is not achievable. He then asked participants to make recommendations on how to report, who should do the reporting, to whom should the report be sent, and on the frequency of reporting.
One participant noted that the CBD has the mandate to look at issues addressed by the target and that the CBD could take a lead role in reporting. On identifying ways of reporting, the group recommended that the report be prepared by an independent group and that it be prepared in collaboration with a partnership of conventions, governments and NGOs. The independent group would draw on, but not be confined to, national reports. On costs, the group recommended that the Global Environment Facility GEF become involved, particularly to facilitate developing country involvement, and that the reporting process should be viewed as a capacity-building exercise.
It was suggested that reporting intervals be years. This working group, co-chaired by Asghar Fazel Iran and John Hough UNDP , met on Wednesday afternoon, 21 May, to consider the inter-relationship between the target and other multiple biodiversity-related targets, and in two sessions on Thursday, 22 May, to consider key initiatives to address biodiversity loss and agree on a set of outcomes and recommendations.
The working group focused on national and local perspectives. After discussing how to approach the linkage between the target and other targets, participants considered a number of approaches and frameworks including: One participant underlined the opportunity to focus on the root causes of biodiversity loss by addressing the linkages with economic and social causes. Others questioned the viability of national reviews of all biodiversity-related targets and their linkages with the target.
A number of participants discussed the risks of re-opening existing environmental legislation. On Thursday, 22 May, the working group revisited a number of issues regarding the relationship between the target and other targets. They were assisted by a matrix framework ranking the relative strength of linkages to aid consideration of synergies between biodiversity and development targets and the target.
Participants discussed adding national institutions and strategies and external funding to the matrix. A number of participants focused on the core task and goal of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by addressing development-related processes behind biodiversity loss.
Key Initiatives in Addressing Biodiversity Loss: Chair Hough introduced discussion on key initiatives in addressing biodiversity loss. On mainstreaming, participants considered how the biodiversity community could take advantage of the emerging international initiatives to address biodiversity and insert biodiversity considerations into the negotiation of, for example, World Bank support for country-level poverty reduction strategies. The GSPC was cited as a key instrument for mainstreaming.
A number of country representatives described institutional arrangements for and obstacles to cross-sectoral policy formulation. A UK representative described a process for developing a coastal management strategy, which involved sector-by-sector mapping of activities such as tourism, energy and fisheries. A representative from Kenya described a conservation policy initiative linked to tourism in order to draw in new stakeholder participation.
On reporting and indicators, one participant underlined the need for interim indicators to monitor ecosystem services, such as measuring levels of community involvement. Other issues raised included: On compliance reporting, one participant called for the development of a reporting mechanism on a number of international instruments to enable governments, for example, to check for compliance across conventions when dealing with biodiversity.
A number of contributors cautioned that new targets and reporting requirements should fit with existing demands on governments. Chair Hough summarized the discussion themes, including: At a final session on national initiatives, participants identified a number of obstacles to making the linkage between biodiversity and development at the national level, including the need to: A number of participants argued that biodiversity had "had its day" as a priority in its own right and called for alternative ways of putting biodiversity at the top of government agendas.
One participant cited a proposal for aspects of biodiversity to be integrated into national health strategies. A representative from an international financial institution suggested that funding was now available from a number of sources supporting development work, citing incremental funding from the World Bank for a medicinal plant project in Ethiopia. There was some agreement that communicating the relevance of biodiversity for other target areas is a key challenge.
On the priority of articulating the inter-dependence between biodiversity and development targets, the working group recognized that the task of the biodiversity community is to make biodiversity relevant to politicians and the development agenda, notably the priority area of poverty alleviation. Participants called for a process in every country to articulate the role of biodiversity in achieving the MDGs, identified cross-sectoral linkages within governments as central, and proposed that the MDG target of ensuring environmental sustainability become a guiding principle for achieving all the MDGs.
The group recommended that the CBD Secretariat send reports of the two London meetings to all CBD focal points and that they develop with other government agencies a joint action plan for the inclusion of the biodiversity component in meeting the MDGs. On implementing international targets, appropriately adapted to national and regional levels, the group identified a need to agree on a process of adapting international targets to national situations and to examine how national targets relate to international targets.
They set out some possible stages for this process, e. The ecosystem approach was identified as a way to address the implementation of international targets at national and regional levels. The group recommended that all CBD focal points discuss the reports from the London meetings with other government departments and stakeholders, with the aim of starting a process for the implementation of the biodiversity target.
The working group agreed that a small set of indicators covering multiple targets - relating to biodiversity and development - would be useful. Such indicators would have to measure the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss, as well as activities undertaken.
On national reporting on international targets, the working group identified a need to report on the impacts on biodiversity loss, including the immediate and underlying causes, together with actions undertaken to achieve the target. Participants also suggested that an independent body report on measuring the impact of country activities to meet biodiversity targets. The group recommended that: This working group, co-chaired by David Brackett Canada and Diann Black-Layne Antigua and Barbuda , addressed the question of how the targets relate to targets from other MEAs and international initiatives.
They reviewed various internationally agreed biodiversity-related targets and strategies: Chair Brackett acknowledged that the MDGs focus on human development, but underlined the relevance of the biodiversity target and the impact of international trade-related instruments. Many stressed the need to ensure that trade agreements take account of and value biodiversity by, for example, promoting an internalization of costs and the use of positive economic incentives.
In a discussion on environmental services, some expressed reservations about the drive towards commercialization and mainstreaming and stressed the fundamental value of biodiversity. There were calls for more flexible funding mechanisms and approaches. Participation from the private sector was welcomed. Some criticized delays in making traditional sources of funding available, such as development cooperation, while some development cooperation specialists stressed that recipient countries must specifically request funds for biodiversity issues.
There was agreement that effective demonstration of the linkages between the biodiversity and prominent MDGs could, in itself, assist in attracting additional funds and political engagement. Participants also proposed mapping biodiversity-related targets and developing sub-targets to facilitate implementation. In his summary, Co-chair Brackett noted that many participants wished to see biodiversity become a yardstick for measuring progress toward all other goals.
Co-chair Black-Layne stressed mainstreaming biodiversity issues and the need to adopt alternative approaches that would help engage new actors, including countries that have not made biodiversity a top priority. Participants discussed species and habitat protection, with some viewing the latter as more easily measurable and key to supporting ecosystem services. Others considered species protection as having more appeal to the public and useful in highlighting related problems.
Agreeing that different approaches work for different countries and that species protection appeals more to biodiversity-rich countries, some called for increased involvement from mega-diverse countries. Participants then discussed framing their discussion using a matrix - relating species, ecosystems and intrinsic factors e. Many saw the matrix, building on the World Bank approach towards poverty alleviation, as a useful step towards mainstreaming biodiversity and attracting additional funding.
Food security was added as an additional dimension to the matrix. Delegates also discussed expanding the application of outcome-oriented targets that are measurable, realistic and time-bound and linking these to thematic areas. Participants recognized the need to ensure national implementation of global targets, by getting political commitment or by creating binding sub-targets in protocols.
On mainstreaming biodiversity, they recommended: On resource issues, the group made a number of recommendations on increasing the amount, efficiency and effectiveness of funding for actions to achieve the biodiversity-related targets. They called for a reduction in perverse incentives, and for the creation of conditions that encourage the use of market forces in support of biodiversity targets. The group underscored the failure of the biodiversity community to effectively make the case for and explain the relationship to development processes and the economy.
They proposed drawing from the experience of IPCC reporting and called for a greater emphasis on user values and ecosystem services in communications. On mobilizing data, the group called for greater access and availability and enhanced use of the Internet.
Again they cited the example of the climate change regime and its use of data to build predictive models. Mitchell withdrew the scheduled vote later that day. Congress recessed between August 26 and September As Congress reconvened, the Environmental Conservation Organization mailed letters to Mayors, urging them to oppose the Treaty. Mitchell announced on September 27, that the Treaty would be rescheduled for a vote, but did not specify when. Michael Coffman again issued another fax alert through the Alliance for America network.
Once again, Senate switchboards and fax machines were overwhelmed. September 29, Mitchell announced that the vote on the Treaty would occur at 4: A front-page article by Jon Margolis denied the existence of the very document that was delivered to key Senators the same day the article appeared. Senate staff enlarged the maps into 4-foot by 6-foot posters, along with enlargements of selected text from the GBA. The Treaty was withdrawn from the Senate calendar and has not yet been rescheduled for a vote.
It is not dead. It can be rescheduled whenever the Senate Majority Leader wishes to reschedule it. Perhaps this account of activities will help prepare others for the next appearance of the Convention on Biological Diversity. How much does the US pay for the UN each year? You do the math. Our outreach arm, The Citizen Review Online , has been researching and reporting on Agenda 21, the Wildlands Project, and other issues affecting our form of government and way of life for 20 years.
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