Compilations of Materials Aim to Enhance National-level Synergies Among Biodiversity-related Conventions

Elsa Tsioumani, Ph.D.

Three compendia of material aim to increase access to existing guidance developed to support national efforts to strengthen synergies among biodiversity-related conventions. The compendia compile available guidance and tools on: synergies among biodiversity-related conventions at the national level; capturing, managing and using biodiversity-related data and information; and key global databases related to the biodiversity-related conventions.
The compendia were developed as part of a joint project of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with support from the EU and the Governments of Finland and Switzerland.
The ‘Compendium of Guidance on Synergies Among Biodiversity-related Conventions at the National Level’ aims to help increase access to existing material and provide a basis for identifying gaps. The document acknowledges that the need for policy to be coherent is not only a challenge for biodiversity policy, but sustainable development in general, as is also recognized in SDG target 17.14 (“Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development”). The scope of the document is to outline existing guidance on synergies among the seven global biodiversity-related conventions: the CBD; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS); the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; the World Heritage Convention; the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA); and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The report also identifies guidance on synergies relating to biodiversity-related aspects among the three Rio Conventions – the CBD, the UNFCCC and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) – where relevant. The guidance material has been grouped around: decisions and resolutions of the governing bodies of biodiversity-related conventions; and guidance developed by secretariats of biodiversity-related conventions and other organizations. [Publication: Compendium of Guidance on Achieving Synergies Among Biodiversity-related Conventions at the National Level]
The ‘Compendium of Guidance for Capturing, Managing and Using Biodiversity-related Data and Information’ aims, in particular, to support efforts towards improving the coordination of data and information systems to help governments maximize cost effectiveness when reporting on different biodiversity-related conventions. [Publication: Compendium of Guidance for Capturing, Managing and Using Biodiversity-related Data and Information]
The ‘Compendium of Guidance on Key Global Databases Related to Biodiversity-related Conventions’ provides details on global-level databases relevant to the implementation of the biodiversity-related conventions mentioned above, as well as the International Whaling Convention (IWC). It does not cover regional databases, although some examples of regional databases are provided. It divides databases into categories, and includes only basic information. For each database, the annex to the compendium lists the conventions and targets, including SDG targets, to which it may be relevant. [Publication: Compendium of Guidance on Key Global Databases Related to Biodiversity-related Conventions]
The aim of the documents is to increase access to existing guidance material on these topics by national focal points, management authorities and other stakeholders responsible for implementation of biodiversity-related conventions at the national level. The compendia were launched at the margins of the second meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Implementation (July 2018) and were subsequently presented at side events held during the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (October 2018) and CBD COP 14 (November 2018). UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has recently launched a review process to inform any future strengthening of the existing guidance or development of a new one, which will be open until 12 April 2019.

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