Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (Agenda Item 3)

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1 POSITION PAPER Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (Agenda Item 3) Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Hyderabad, India, 8-19 October, 2012 This paper represents IUCN s position on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity : 3.1 Review of progress in implementation including the establishment of national targets and the updating of national biodiversity strategies and action plans; 3.2 Review of progress in providing capacity building support to Parties, promoting communication, education and public awareness and strengthening of the clearing house mechanism and technology transfer and cooperation; 3.3 Further development of tools and guidance for monitoring implementation, including the use of indicators. Summary of Recommendations Biodiversity loss has breached safe planetary boundaries. Furthermore biodiversity and ecosystem services are expected to continue their serious decline. The adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, represented a major step forward for biodiversity conservation to support life on earth. The sense of urgency which permeated the debate at CBD COP10 in Nagoya needs to be maintained for discussion on indicators to measure progress towards the targets. IUCN recommends that the CBD transitions from a negotiation-focused phase to an implementation-focused phase. Discussion of the various Programmes of Work and cross cutting issues should focus on the actual implementation of the Aichi targets. IUCN recommends that Parties set ambitious targets at the national level and emphasizes that achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will only be possible if the individual country level targets (set within the flexible framework) add up to the equivalent of the targets set for the global level. For more information, please contact : Dr. Jane Smart Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group Head, Species Programme IUCN Headquarters Mrs. Sonia Peña Moreno Senior Policy Officer- Biodiversity Global Policy Unit IUCN Headquarters Mr. Maximilian Mueller Policy Trainee Biodiversity Global Policy Unit IUCN Headquarters IUCN World Headquarters Rue Mauverney Gland Switzerland Tel: Fax: IUCN urges that information on the source data sets used as a basis for indicator development are also included in the framework. This would help facilitate the support for relevant data sets, which would assist Parties with limited resources to determine the most useful datasets for indicators. IUCN reminds Parties of the need to adopt national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) as policy instruments (target 17). This is essential in order to achieve full mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development policies and planning processes, and get to a point where biodiversity is perceived as nature based solutions to help achieve broader societal goals. We realize that this is challenging. Rio + 20: It is essential that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be developed to succeed the MDGs are linked to the Aichi targets. INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE

2 The imperative of achieving the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity Biodiversity loss has breached safe planetary boundaries. Furthermore biodiversity and ecosystem services are expected to continue their serious decline. The adoption of The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, represents a major step forward for biodiversity conservation on which the life of the planet ultimately depends. This Plan and its 20 Aichi targets constitute a great step forward for the Convention on Biological Diversity and the international community as a whole. At COP11, the first COP since the adoption of the Strategic Plan, the sense of urgency which permeated the debate at Nagoya must be maintained. Work to implement the targets should proceed as fast as is feasible. The global community including all sectors - must ensure that effective action at all levels is undertaken to tackle biodiversity loss and that the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are addressed by all relevant fora. The CBD has undergone nearly 20 years of sound and solid discussions and negotiations. For COP11, IUCN recommends that The CBD transitions from a negotiationfocused phase to an implementationfocused phase. Discussion of the various Programmes of Work and cross cutting issues should continually bear in mind the relevant Aichi targets to which they contribute, and focus on issues that concern the actual implementation of these targets whether it be sharing experiences on lessons learned, discussing constraints, or considering opportunities. Many Parties have set, or are in the process of setting targets at the national level. IUCN recommends that ambitious national level targets are needed if the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets are to be achieved. IUCN urges a swift transition from target setting to implementation. IUCN has been highly engaged in the initiation of IPBES, the new intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services. IUCN urges Parties to ensure that IPBES focuses on the need to provide advice on issues pertaining to the urgent need to implement the Aichi targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. IUCN calls attention to the need to ensure that capacity building for the work of IPBES includes support for the use and interpretation of existing knowledge, assessments and information. This includes the need for interpretation of existing knowledge products, which are based on a wealth of information available from countless stakeholders from around the world. IUCN intends to play a full role in the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel to be established for the Platform. With regard to Rio + 20 outcomes IUCN believes The Strategic Plan should link up to the achievement of the MDGs and the framework of development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IUCN recommends strongly that the Sustainable Development Goals to be developed to succeed the MDGs are linked to the achievement of the Aichi targets, and that this is reflected in all relevant debates during COP11.. How IUCN is supporting the achievement of the Strategic Plan: IUCN has considerable knowledge to support implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Targets and is making concerted efforts to support implementation. IUCN s knowledge is made available through its knowledge products and services as well as the globally distributed expert networks of its Commissions, Members and Secretariat. The Aichi targets underpin the entire new IUCN Programme IUCN has identified lead champions for each of the Aichi Targets to help with work to facilitate their achievement by supporting, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Position Paper Page 2

3 communicating and in general explaining their importance. IUCN will support and work with its Members (both Government and NGO) to help achieve the Aichi Targets. In response to a request from the Scientific Authorities of the Biodiversity related Conventions (CSAB), IUCN has mapped the Aichi Targets to these conventions. This should promote greater cohesion between the Conventions as well as a more streamlined approach to achieving the targets. IUCN World Conservation Congress: An information paper has been prepared which maps the Congress workshop (Forum) sessions to the Aichi targets. This is an illustration of how IUCN s Congress has showcased work to support achievement of the targets IUCN signed an agreement with the Secretariat that aims at establishing areas of specific collaboration with the CBD and providing support in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity IUCN has been engaged in several of the NBSAP and capacity development workshops organized by the SCBD since COP10. In several countries, IUCN has been called upon to provide technical advice for the revision of NBSAPs as a whole, or of specific components (e.g. invasive alien species). IUCN looks forward to continuous collaboration with Parties, the Secretariat and others in this ongoing process. IUCN is also working with the business community to support delivery of the Aichi targets. Specifically we are working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on developing a biodiversity impact indicator framework. This aims to provide businesses with a practical and scientifically underpinned framework (key requirements and workable steps) for measuring their impacts on biodiversity (and hence managing them). By integrating data and expertise from IUCN and its constituency, the framework will improve the way businesses measure and manage impacts on biodiversity. In so doing it will also support the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. IUCN is supporting the inclusion of youth in the CBD processes by co-organizing the International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv. This Forum gives young Messengers from five continents the opportunity to send wake-upcalls to the world community on the imperative to conserve biological and associated cultural diversity. Since young people will bear the consequences of today s actions and decisions, their point of view must play an important role in political discussions and decision-making. Invoking the need to implement the Aichi targets, the theme of Go4BioDiv 2012 (for CBD COP11) is Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods. IUCN s positions and the substantial work carried out to support implementation of the Aichi targets is explained in IUCN s position papers for CBC COP11. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIODIVERSITY : 3.1 Review of progress in implementation including the establishment of national targets and the updating of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/12) IUCN commends Parties that have already revised, or initiated the revision and update of their NBSAPs in line with the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Noting that Parties and other Governments were to report on their plans and progress for revising and/or updating their national biodiversity strategy and action plans (NBSAPs), and national targets by 30 June 2012, (so that this information is available to COP11), IUCN draws attention to the utmost urgency of this task. IUCN recommends COP11 to: Continue the process of revision of NBSAPs and the development of national targets without delay. Conscious of the challenges related to lack of sufficient financial and human resources, IUCN emphasizes the need for further establishment of collaborative partnerships to help maximize resources, data and available knowledge. Parties are urged to actively pursue additional collaborative efforts to support the effective implementation of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Position Paper Page 3

4 Strategic Plan as a whole and Target 17 in particular. IUCN urges Parties to ensure that access and benefit sharing is addressed in NBSAPs. IUCN calls on Parties to redouble efforts to bring about the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization. IUCN urges parties to identify quantify and integrate biodiversity or natural capital values into Gross Domestic Product. At the national level, IUCN recommends that targets be specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic and time-bound ( SMART ). Noting that some parties have yet to set national level targets and some parties have stated that they will not be doing so, IUCN emphasizes that achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will only be possible if the individual country level targets (set within the flexible framework) add up to the equivalent of the targets set for the global level. IUCN recommends that all Parties set ambitious targets at the national level, bearing in mind the need to contribute to the full achievement of the Aichi targets at global level. NBSAPs should be action-oriented with clear prioritization of actions that will most effectively lead to the achievement of the targets. IUCN recommends an explicit linking and aligning to the Aichi targets (apparent in few NBSAPs to date) to facilitate the development of appropriate indicators, maintain the link to the Strategic Plan and to facilitate effective reporting. As spelt out in Target 17, it is only by adopting NBSAPs as policy instruments that we will be able to achieve full mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development policies and planning processes, and get to a point where biodiversity is perceived as nature based solutions to help achieve broader societal goals. Noting that few NBSAPS provide concrete information on how mainstreaming will be accomplished, IUCN urges Parties to give further consideration to this fundamental issue, ensuring that information on funding strategies is included. IUCN reminds parties that adoption of NBSAPs as policy instruments is to be completed by IUCN urges parties to involve indigenous and local communities in the development of NBSAPs and both consider and make explicit references to gender issues. IUCN urges the Global Environment Facility Parties to continue to provide swift access to funding to support implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity IUCN also urges developed country donors and donor organizations to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan in developing countries. IUCN recommends caution in accepting the statement Progress towards the fulfillment of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets can be assessed in terms of commitments made by Parties as well as by the amount of progress which has been made in reaching the targets (section IV; paragraph 16). This is because it is relatively easy to make a commitment on paper as opposed to taking the necessary action to achieve implementation. Progress towards specific Aichi targets: Target 11; paragraph 23: Regarding the gaps in the current protected area network, IUCN is actively addressing the need to include especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity in filling protected area system gaps through consolidating the standards for identifying these areas, building from the success of such mechanisms as Important Bird Areas and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, and broadening them to embrace other critical ecosystems and taxonomic groups contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. IUCN stands by to contribute the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Position Paper Page 4

5 results of this extensive consultation process towards national implementation of Target Review of progress in providing capacity building support to Parties, promoting communication, education and public awareness and strengthening of the clearing house mechanism and technology transfer and cooperation (UNEP/CBD/COP/11/13/ADD1) With reference to supporting capacity building and promotion of communication, education and public awareness, IUCN urges Parties to address the following key issues: IUCN recommends that Parties develop specific Communication, Education and Public Awareness strategies for their NBSAP, noting that to date few such strategies have been developed. Such strategies should be developed with engagement from key stakeholders for each of the targets (and any other important groups as appropriate), to ensure holistic implementation of the plan at the appropriate scale. These plans should be regularly updated. Such strategies would provide targeted and comprehensive input to the implementation of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, in particular the outreach components and the achievement of Aichi Target 1. IUCN recommends that technology transfer and cooperation should be coupled with opportunities for sharing of good practice, expertise and capacity building opportunities amongst Parties and other expert networks. 3.3 Further development of tools and guidance for monitoring implementation, including the use of indicators Indicator framework for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets IUCN applauds the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the work carried out at International Expert Workshop held in 2011 in the UK. IUCN also strongly commends the SCBD for the work done in compiling this paper. The fact that measurable targets have been defined for the first time - whose progress in achievement will be reported on - will require a step change in the mode of implementation of the Convention. This important point should be mentioned consistently. The level of ambition of the targets must be maintained to ensure the necessary step change in our investment and action towards achieving the targets we have set. A key objective of the indicator framework is to measure progress which allows us to see the extent of achievement of individual targets. It is important to remember that indicators are designed to allow measurement of progress in achievement of the targets to support decision-makers and action and are not an end in themselves. IUCN recommends that in addition to being measurable, indicators need to be simple and clearly linked to the targets to facilitate their communication through clear and actionable messages. The indicator framework: IUCN agrees that the indicator framework (consisting of a conceptual model, policy questions, headline indicators, indicator sub-topics and prioritized operational indicators) provides a good basis to assess progress in the achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity at various scales. Specifically, IUCN supports communication of biodiversity information around the following policy questions: How is the status of biodiversity changing? (State of biodiversity); Why are we losing biodiversity? (Pressures on biodiversity and their underlying causes); what are the implications? (Benefits from biodiversity); and What do we do about it? (Responses to address biodiversity loss at all levels). IUCN flagship knowledge products are utilized for many of the indicators e.g. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the World Database on Protected Areas (IUCN and UNEP WCMC) as well as the Global Invasive Species Database, Key Biodiversity Areas and the developing IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. For instance, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is relevant to monitoring progress towards at least 13 of the 20 Aichi Targets. IUCN is willing to offer technical assistance and experience though our extensive networks to support the development of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Position Paper Page 5

6 indicators. IUCN is also pleased to be a partner in, and support the work of the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. Noting the request by the Executive Secretary to the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, IUCN and other partners to develop practical information on the indicators, IUCN urges that information on the source data sets used as a basis for indicator development are included in the framework listing indicative indicators proposed by the Ad Hoc Technical Expert group on Indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity This would help facilitate the support for relevant data sets, and would help make clear to Parties with limited resources the kinds of datasets which would be beneficial for indicator development. IUCN agrees strongly with the need to work for continuity in the use of indicators and the need to maintain underlying datasets, many of which already exist, but may need updating and / or expansion to effectively monitor the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Again, it would be helpful to name the dataset each of the operational indicators is drawing from. IUCN encourages Parties to contribute to, update and maintain relevant national data in regional and global data sets as a contribution to optimize the production of indicators. IUCN recommends Parties with limited resources and capacities, a pragmatic approach is to initially establish and apply a few simple and easily applicable indicators for priority issues. IUCN also urges Parties to prioritize the application at the national level of indicators ready for use at the global level, where feasible, on the basis that this could be relatively cost effective. For each of the targets there are critical stakeholder groups who need to be engaged to achieve that target (e.g. the fishing industry for target 6 and the finance sector for target 20). It is the collective engagement of each of these specific stakeholders and others of a more general public, which will be critical to the achievement of not only Target 1: By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably, but all the targets. At the national level indicators need to be developed which focus on specific stakeholders critical to achievement of each of the targets. Harmonization with other indicators: IUCN supports the need for further harmonization of global indicators and their use between the CBD and other conventions, regional agreements as well as the promotion of further collaboration through the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions and the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Conventions. IUCN supports the future incorporation of relevant indicators developed by other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) into the framework IUCN also strongly urges collaboration on biodiversity monitoring and indicators with the forestry, agriculture, fisheries and other sectors at global, regional and national levels. IUCN recommends making links between the indicators and the indicators adopted for the achievement of the MDGs (e.g. The IUCN Red List Index) and including these in the monitoring framework wherever appropriate. IUCN agrees with the need to further develop global indicators with a view to ensuring that each Aichi Biodiversity Target can be monitored by at least one global indicator by IUCN urges Parties to use indicators in updated NBSAPs and in reporting, including for the fifth national report. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): Position Paper Page 6

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