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How to enable a Science-Policy dialogue on biodiversity at the CBD CoP-14 Science forum?

Find here the final report, submitted to the CBD secretariat on the 14th of December.

This request was put to EKLIPSE on its third call for requests (CfR.3/2018) by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation (DG RTD), which is the responsible body for the European Union’s research and innovation policy and coordination of relevant activities. In relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services, DG RTD coordinates a variety of actions towards the sustainable and innovative resource management to achieve international and EU’s targets, especially through the Unit for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. 

 

This request was of different nature than the usual EKLIPSE requests as it was not focused in the need for Knowledge Synthesis, but required the development of a frameworkforfacilitation of a high-level international dialogue regarding our collective priorities for the future of biodiversity. This dialogue took place at the 4th Science-Policy forum, organised in the framework of the UN CBD 14th Convention of Parties, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt during November 2018. The 4th Science-Policy forum was held between the 23rd and 24th of November.

 

Thus, after approval of the request by the EKLIPSE KCB, the following activities have been carried out to further structureit, in collaboration with the organisers, which are the European Commission, the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the CBD secretariat:

  • development and structuring of the focus, objectives and agenda of the Science-Policy forum;
  • identification of appropriate international speakers to target the different thematic sessions of the forum and invitation to participate;
  • development of a facilitation scheme for the forum, to enable optimum science-policy dialogue in the key questions to be addressed during the meeting.

 

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT OF THE CALL

 

CBD-COP-14, which is taking place from 17-29 November 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh was instrumental in investigating what could be the long-term strategic directions to the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, approaches to living in harmony with nature and preparation for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Mainstreaming biodiversity and transformative change have been highlighted as indispensable solutions needed to achieve the objectives of CBD and other multilateral agreements, SDGs, and the Paris Agreement.

The African Union biodiversity summit[1] ahead of COP focused on avoiding land degradation and desertification, the challenge of fast growing urbanisation and on opportunities for restoration. This gives opportunities for tackling both climate change and biodiversity loss by promoting the development and use of Nature-Based Solutions.

Mainstreaming of biodiversity within and across sectors is a matter of good governance, leadership and building a sustainable economy within planetary boundaries based on a solid knowledge base. COP 13 has analysed mainstreaming among sectors directly dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services. COP 14 addressed health and sectors having an impact on biodiversity, such as energy and mining, manufacturing and processing industry, as well as infrastructure. Health and sectors having an impact on biodiversity was the overarching theme of the COP High-Level Segment on 14-15/11.

Nature-based solutions are highly relevant for all the topics mentioned above: they are cross-cutting measures for delivering on biodiversity and ecosystem services, they are innovative elements of transformative change, give positive incentives for mainstreaming nature into business sectors, and deliver opportunities for restoration and mitigating climate change, including in highly dynamic urbanizing areas.

Objectives of the Request

The objective of this request was to provide support to the EC DG RTD in the organization of the 4th Science-Policy Forum, in the framework of the CBD CoP-14. More specifically, the aim of this Science-Policy dialogue would be to bring together and engage scientists and policy makers participating in the CBD CoP-14, in a transparent dialogue, to recommend how to bring the post-2020 process forward, taking up respective work of SBSTTA and SBI[2]. Focus of the event was on recommendations of science for the post-2020 process and agenda, enabling a transition towards the 2050 vision, mainstreaming biodiversity into specific sectors, strengthening restoration of degraded ecosystems. It can open new pathways to accelerate implementation of nature-based solutions for nature, people and the economy across different sectors, and on engaging wider parts of the society.

Aim of the science-policy dialogue was to bring together and engage scientists and policy makers to discuss how science can inform the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The discussions was particularly focused on what scientists could offer to the preparation of the post-2020 agenda, on concepts for transition, the role of scenarios for pathways, as well as scale and scope of actions towards the 2050 vision, framing the post-2020 targets, and on restoration and nature-based solutions as tools to reach biodiversity targets.

 

What is necessary, what are the options and how to ensure action? How to operationalize transitions and transformational change for biodiversity and human wellbeing? Discussions during this Science Forum can open new pathways to accelerate implementation of nature-based solutions for nature, people and the economy across different sectors, and on engaging wider parts of the society.

 

The Forum included panel and round-table discussions, providing a platform for the participants to share knowledge, experiences and solutions for mainstreaming biodiversity and to showcase success stories, good practices and approaches, and lessons learned.

 

The Forum contributed to the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties through a statement to be presented at the Plenary by Dr. Lily Rodriguez from IUBS. Its outputs will also contribute to the further global process on developing the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

 

Specific tasks for EKLIPSE

  • Suggest potential Speakers (i.e., among them participants of the CoP-14 and external to be invited to the CoP);
  • Mobilize the scientific community participating at the CoP-14 to engage to the forum;

 

  • Assist in the dissemination campaign of the event, organised by the requester and the CBD secretariat;
  • Organise and undertake the facilitation of the meeting;
  • Co-ordinate the development of the final deliverables of the 4th Science-Policy forum.

The results of the Science Forum were submitted to the CBD secretariat through the stakeholders’ participation procedure (deadline 15th of December 2018) with possible implications of global scale. The report, available here, provided information on key messages, includes analytical information on the different level of discussions that took place during the forum, as well as provides information on the structure of the forum.

Find here the final report, submitted to the CBD secretariat on the 14th of December.

 

[1]Land and ecosystem degradation and restoration: Priorities for increased resilience in Africa” 13/11

[2] See e.g. SBSTTA/22/INF/31=SBI/2/INF/33, SBSTTA/22/INF/36, SBI/2/INF/26, SBI/REC/2/19, CBD/SBSTTA/21/INF/19.