This article takes stock of the intense negotiations that took place during the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) convened from 6th to 17th October 2014, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. While current progress will not be sufficient to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020 unless further urgent and effective action is taken to reduce the pressures on biodiversity, Parties have reached common positions on governance issues such as the Nagoya Protocol, the recognition of "indigenous peoples" within the CBD, and resource mobilization.
The mid-term review of progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 revealed an insufficient rate of progress towards most of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Out of 53 sub-targets, 15 show no progress at all or even deterioration. This is due to continuing pressures on biodiversity (including the degradation and fragmentation of habitats, pollution from excess nutrients and anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs), as well as to persistent structural causes of biodiversity loss (e.g. biodiversity-harmful subsidies).
While current budget constraints from developed countries could have prevented reaching agreement, commitments at COP 12 confirmed the doubling of total biodiversity- related international financial resource flows to developing countries by 2015 and the maintenance of this level of funding until 2020. However, greater efforts will be required in order to keep the achievement of the targets within reach by 2020. Increased mobilization of financial resources at the international and domestic levels from a variety of sources, including market mechanisms and the private sector, as well as through collective action approaches by indigenous and local communities, and non-market-based approaches, is badly needed.
Governments shall mainstream biodiversity across all sectors by including biodiversity in national priorities and development plans, reform perverse incentives, influence sectorial policies and strategies to better protect biodiversity, and revise their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.
Privately as well as publicly regulating global value chains however remains one of the biggest challenges in a context of internationalization. At this stage, engaging businesses in sustainable production is still limited and left to voluntary initiatives. But this might well actually be the sinews of the war.
- The adoption of the new terminology “Indigenous peoples and local communities” can be regarded as an important step forward towards the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples within the UN System.