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Guide to the negotiations on Biological Diversity – COP11

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The Institut de l’énergie et de l’environnement de la Francophonie (IEPF – Energy and Environment Institute of the French-speaking Countries), a subsidiary body of the International Organisation of the Francophonie, has been producing Guides to the Negotiations prior to each Conference of the Parties on the three Rio Conventions (climate change, biodiversity and combating desertification) since 2006. The Guide to the Negotiations for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is published with the scientific support of the Institut Hydro-Québec en environnement, développement et société (IHQEDS – Hydro-Quebec Institute for environment, development and society) at Université Laval.

Summary Guides for Policymakers have been a welcome addition to this Collection of Guides to the Negotiations since 2009.

This fourth Guide to the Negotiations of the CBD, with contributions from several experts, is addressed to the delegates to the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) of the CBD as well as to observers following the multilateral negotiations on the environment who wish to keep up with the

discussions at Hyderabad, the capital of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, on 8-19 October 2012. This Guide is therefore not a manual for the perfect diplomat, more a source of information on the topics addressed.

The introduction (Section 1) identifies the major themes of the Hyderabad Conference and offers clarification to the delegates faced by a particularly busy agenda. For those less familiar with the CBD, Section 2 gives an overview of its history, operation and provisions. Section 3 puts the COP11 themes into perspective and goes through the items on which the delegates will focus one by one, placing them in their historical context, setting out the tensions likely to divide the Parties and presenting the decisions that could be made.

To round out this picture, Sections 4 to 10 offer more advanced analyses of some of the issues of the Hyderabad Conference. Section 4 is mainly interested in the issues surrounding the operationalisation of the Nagoya Protocol, with some provisions requiring clarification. The next sections cover the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and the establishment of indicators to make it easier to monitor its implementation (Section 5), the review of existing mechanisms to take account of the creation of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (Section 6), the cooperation with the other international conventions, organisations and initiatives (Section 7), the identification of ecologically and biologically significant marine areas (Section 8), the impacts of climate change mitigation measures on the biodiversity (Section 9) and the building up of South-South cooperation (Section 10).

Section 11 is an exhaustive summary of the last COP held in Nagoya in 2010 which resulted in the adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Nagoya Protocol. This is a good starting point for understanding the discussions to be held in Hyderabad. As the work of the CBD calls on a large number of multilateral agreements and international organisations that can sometimes be difficult to disentangle, Annex I contains eleven technical sheets on the biodiversity-related conventions, including the CBD and its protocols. These sheets give concise information on their objectives and provisions, their operation and their ratification status. Lastly, Annex 2 contains terminology sheets, including a glossary of useful terms and two lists of abbreviations and acronyms (French and English).

UNEP Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (UNEP-DELC) contributed to the translation of this Guideline from French into English.

 

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