By considering the context and weaknesses of existing mechanisms at the CBD, but also by drawing lessons from procedures established under other conventions, this Study explores different legal and institutional options which could contribute to a reinforced transparency mechanism that will be essential for the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Key Messages

  • The difficulties of implementing the CBD have long been known, even if several advances have been made in recent decades. While the functioning of the current arrangements remains fragile, they can form the basis of a strengthened transparency mechanism. This will however require establishing several types of innovation from COP15 onwards.
  • Five types of key improvements are needed: (i) Strengthening National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) as the main tool for implementing the CBD at the national level; (ii) Strengthening reporting mechanisms; (iii) Improving the individual review-verification; (iv) Setting up a global periodic review; (v) Establishing a compliance mechanism.
  • For some of these innovations, which were not initially present in the 1992 CBD text , the jurisprudence of international law allows to consider that a COP decision would be sufficient to consider them as new obligations for the Parties.
  • Without giving a legally binding value to NBSAPs in international law, a COP decision could Parties to adopt legislative or regulatory texts, with the effect of making the objectives and targets legally binding to all stakeholders, including and primarily to the State.
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