St. Kitts and Nevis Participates in the Preparation of a Landmark New UN Biodiversity Framework

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(2nd March 2020) — Over 1000 delegates from more than 140 countries engaged in negotiations at the Headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the zero draft of a landmark post-2020 global biodiversity framework and targets for nature to 2030.

The new global biodiversity framework will be considered by the 196 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) later this year for adoption. The global framework under negotiations seeks to bend the curve on biodiversity loss by 2030, with the goal of building a future of life in harmony with nature by the year 2050.

Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, national participant for St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Eavin Parry, Environmental Scientist in the Department of Environment, indicated that “the new global biodiversity framework that is been negotiated is complementary to and supportive of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. He emphasized that the proposed framework recognizes that action globally, regionally and nationally is required to transform economic, social and financial systems in order to reduce biodiversity loss and put the state of biodiversity on a path to recovery”,

According to Mr. Parry, delegates from the Caribbean region attending the meeting worked in close collaboration particularly with counterparts from other small island developing states (SIDS) to ensure that the unique vulnerabilities of SIDS are highlighted and the necessary capacity building, resource mobilization and technology transfer required to protect island biodiversity that is characterized by high endemism are duly considered and reflected in the global biodiversity framework.

“I urge you to continue to pursue a “whole of government” approach and consult widely within your national ministries, within your regional organizations, and with the broadest engagement of all stakeholders. We need a wide consensus as we make our way down the road to Kunming in October” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“We are seeking nothing less than enabling the world to take the steps needed to bend the curve on biodiversity loss. In the face of such a task, we will need, as the saying goes, all the help we can get” she said.

Almost ten years ago, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) held in Nagoya, Japan, 2010, adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, with the Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature by 2050”. Many elements of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are reflected in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030).

“Governments and societies need to recognize the cost of inaction, determine priorities, internalize the value of nature and allocate financial and other resources commensurate with the challenge at hand. Only then can we achieve the shared vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050,” agreed by world governments 10 years ago” said Basile van Havre, designated Co-Chair of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework process.

At the 1st meeting of the Working Group in Nairobi in August 2019, the co-chairs were mandated to prepare a “zero draft” text of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. This initial “zero” draft is based on extensive consultations, advice from governments, scientists, indigenous peoples, NGOs and others, gathered through dozens of meetings and hundreds of written submissions. It was also developed in response to the 2019 global assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)which warned of 1 million plant and animal species threatened by extinction.

The results of this week’s negotiations will be taken up by the third meeting of the Working Group scheduled for Cali, Colombia, in July, the last intergovernmental meeting before this year’s highly anticipated UN’s global biodiversity conference or COP-15.

St. Kitts and Nevis has been party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) since 1993 and has made significant progress towards conserving the island’s rich biodiversity, particularly through the implementation of the multi-sectoral National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation.

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