UN Biodiversity Meeting Kicks Off in Nairobi with Over 1,400 Delegates

The 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advisors (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) is underway in Nairobi, Kenya, where over 1,400 delegates from around the world are discussing key issues related to biodiversity conservation, including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, synthetic biology, and the interlinkages between biodiversity and health. The meeting aims to provide scientific and technical advice to inform policy decisions and actions to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, with significant implications for addressing the global biodiversity crisis and promoting sustainable development." This description focuses on the primary topic of the article (the SBSTTA meeting), the main entities involved (UNCBD, delegates, and experts), the context (Nairobi, Kenya), and the significant actions and implications (discussions on biodiversity conservation and policy decisions). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting, the number of delegates, and the topics being discussed.

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UN Biodiversity Meeting Kicks Off in Nairobi with Over 1,400 Delegates

UN Biodiversity Meeting Kicks Off in Nairobi with Over 1,400 Delegates

The 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advisors (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) commenced on May 14, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting has brought together over 1,400 delegates from around the world to discuss key issues related to biodiversity conservation.

Why this matters: The decisions made at this meeting will have a significant impact on the global effort to address the biodiversity crisis, which has far-reaching consequences for the health of the planet and human well-being. As the world faces the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, the outcomes of this meeting will influence the trajectory of international cooperation and policy-making on these critical issues.

The delegates will focus on three main topics during the meeting: the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to address the global biodiversity crisis and promote sustainable development; synthetic biology, a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to impact biodiversity and ecosystem services; and the interlinkages between biodiversity and health, including the role of biodiversity in maintaining human health and well-being.

In his opening address, Mr. David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, emphasized the need for a whole of government, whole of society approach to make the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework a success. He highlighted three areas where there are gaps and challenges, or opportunities for the SBSTTA to act on: increasing accountability and capacity, advancing the Global Action Plan on biodiversity and health, and using the global oceans agenda to elevate marine and coastal work.

The meeting aims to provide scientific and technical advice to the UNCBD Conference of the Parties (COP) on these critical issues, informing policy decisions and actions to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. Delegates adopted the provisional agenda and organization of work, with Brazil expressing concern about the multiplication of intersessional activities, noting the disproportionate burden on developing countries.

Many delegates welcomed the work of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on indicators and supported updating the monitoring framework with a view to adopting it at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16). They discussed various aspects of the monitoring framework, including access and benefit-sharing indicators, developing new indicators, gaps in the framework, and the need for a gender plan of action indicator.

SBSTTA Chair Senka Barudanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) urged delegates to "translate the ambitious goals and targets of the GBF into action by building on available knowledge and experiences." UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen called for "increasing accountability and transparency, advancing the global action plan on biodiversity and health, and multilateral and institutional collaboration, including on biodiversity within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction."

A new study by researchers from the Leibniz Institute DSMZ in Germany was also presented at the meeting, proposing two new headline indicators to measure shared monetary and non-monetary benefits from access and benefit sharing agreements. The study, funded by the UK and German governments, is an important step in the global effort to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and provide empirical data to the policy process.

The six-day meeting in Nairobi aims to forge agreement among delegates from 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity on issues pertaining to the implementation of the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. With the world facing the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, the discussions and decisions made at SBSTTA-26 will be crucial in shaping global efforts to halt and reverse the ongoing biodiversity crisis and ensure a sustainable future for all.

Key Takeaways

  • The 26th meeting of SBSTTA commenced on May 14, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya, with 1,400 delegates.
  • Decisions made will impact global efforts to address biodiversity crisis, climate change, and pollution.
  • Delegates will focus on Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, synthetic biology, and biodiversity-health interlinkages.
  • Meeting aims to provide scientific and technical advice to UNCBD Conference of the Parties (COP) on critical issues.
  • Outcomes will influence international cooperation and policy-making on biodiversity, climate change, and pollution.