Virtual meeting for new global pact on biodiversity

A virtual meeting was held to support Pacific Island countries in the development and submission of comments to the Convention on Biological Diversity (C.B.D.) this week. 

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) announced the virtual meeting in a statement. 

According to their statement, the meeting was held by S.P.R.E.P. was an opportunity for members to discuss the Global Framework on Biodiversity’s proposed targets and indicators, and whether or not they encompass the right priorities for the Pacific region.

Representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu were present at the virtual meeting.  

“The intergovernmental process led by the C.B.D. to develop a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is in motion and is engaging the global community to reach a new global pact for biodiversity,” the statement said, 

It also said the meeting was also to support Pacific Island countries in the development and submission of comments to the C.B.D. on the latest text of the framework received for peer review by parties to the convention.

S.P.R.E.P. Biodiversity Adviser, Amanda Wheatley, said that Samoa needed to ensure that priorities for the Pacific were adequately captured and include key issues relating to islands, marine and coastal environments, and that threats including invasive species, plastic pollution, and protection of species are addressed.

During the meeting, participants discussed whether the draft text would meet the needs of the Pacific region, and the need for a strong push from countries for more ambitious targets including ensuring greater clarity around marine, coastal and terrestrial goals.

Earlier this year, two separate workshops were held at the regional and international level where the draft text of the Global Framework was released for review by C.B.D. Parties.

The first workshop was held in Samoa in January this year, and the second was held the following month in Italy.

Since these meetings at the beginning of the year and the World Health Organisation declaring a global pandemic in March, the post-2020 strategy drafting process has been delayed, with all C.B.D. meetings cancelled or postponed.

This was the first virtual meeting of Pacific C.B.D. Parties organised by S.P.R.E.P.

It aimed to support the discussion and championing of Pacific concerns, as countries prepare to submit their comments to the C.B.D. this month to ensure preparations continue towards the development of the Global Framework.

The C.B.D. is an agreement between countries based on natural and biological resources. The C.B.D. has three main goals: to protect biodiversity; to use biodiversity without destroying it; and, to share any benefits from genetic diversity equally.

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