Accelerating implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework - Supporting countries’ early actions

UNEA-6 side event | 29th February 2024

"Fire is under us!" stated Mr. Francis Sabino Ogwal, CBD focal point for Uganda, regarding the alarming biodiversity loss and the urgency of addressing this global crisis with local implications. He made this remark during his participation in the UNEA-6 side event "Accelerating Implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework – Supporting Countries' Early Actions," where countries convened to exchange experiences, lessons learned, and best practices on aligning national targets and policies with the GBF. Country representatives emphasized a whole-of-society approach to ensure participatory and inclusive impacts. The event facilitated discussions among countries, UN agencies, donors, and other stakeholders on the progress of NBSAPs, ahead of their presentation at COP16 in October 2024.

Different moments during the side event at UNEA-6

 

According to a recent Rapid Capacity Needs Assessment (RCNA) conducted by the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership, up to 70% of surveyed countries have initiated a national alignment process with the GBF. However, the assessment revealed limited participation from women and youth groups, as well as low interaction among intergovernmental agencies. The event provided a great platform for discussing and exchanging knowledge on how countries are progressing with this alignment process, showcasing their advancements, and identifying gaps, needs, and barriers for effective implementation.

The event had the participation of H.E. Andreas Bjelland Eriksen, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, who recognized the support of Germany and Colombia for the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership and stressed the importance of enhancing ambition within national biodiversity strategies and action plans. Dr. David Cooper, CBD Acting Executive Secretary, echoed his words, highlighting the significance of adopting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to achieve the objectives of the GBF.

A panel discussion enabled countries to share their progress in setting targets and aligning NBSAPs with the GBF. Participants discussed crucial topics such as data requirements, benchmarking, and the associated challenges, including issues of ownership and securing buy-in. Discussions also centered on the positivity and negativity surrounding target achievement. There was a particular point on identifying strategies to avoid repeating the experiences of the Aichi targets.

The roundtable discussions offered valuable space and opportunities for country representatives and partners to delve deeper into stakeholder engagement in the NBSAP revision process.

Dr. Lucy Ng’ang’a, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry of Kenya, provided insights into the ongoing rapid baseline assessments being carried out in Kenya to address the absence of baselines after customizing the GBF's 23 targets to fit national circumstances and priorities. Dr. Ng’ang’a showed that Target 14, focusing on mainstreaming, is pivotal in facilitating effective and collaborative efforts across agencies and sectors to tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss at the national level, thereby benefiting both nature and people.

Other reflections, approaches and visions discussed by country representatives encompassed:

  • Lucy Mulenkei, Co-Chair of the Indigenous Women Biodiversity Network, drew attention to the importance of stakeholder involvement, collaboration, and co-creation in the target-setting process and highlighted the necessity for governments to collaborate with indigenous peoples and local communities to exchange knowledge and find solutions for challenges like data collection in remote areas or small island developing states (SIDS).
  • Sikeade Oluwakemi Egbuwalo, CBD Focal Point for Nigeria, stressed that achieving the ambition of the GBF requires genuine, active, and consistent engagement with multiple stakeholders throughout the entire NBSAP process, rather than just during certain stages or preliminary consultations.
  • Alue Dohong, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, explained the significant role of the private sector, particularly businesses and industries with direct or indirect impacts on nature, in achieving biodiversity goals.
  • Henry Ndengejeho from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Namibia made a point of the importance of governments raising awareness and garnering interest from such partners to become more involved in national biodiversity agendas.

Participants also brought up the concept of buy-in regarding stakeholder involvement, emphasizing the importance of offering various incentives to attract their willingness to actively engage in biodiversity action.

Closing the event, Dr. Susan Gardner, Ecosystems Division Director at UNEP, stated that NBSAPs are a powerful tool to a better future as long as they are implemented. To do so, countries must learn from each other on their successes and challenges - as during such events. The GBF is a landmark commitment for nature and the planet but it requires political will to ensure there are adequate resources for implementation - both financial and technical - as well as coordinated actions across sectors and societies, which includes all voices, knowledge and perspectives to solutions.

Following the side event, the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership hosted a reception to announce the first cohort of 12 countries and regions selected to receive technical funding through a facilitator for a duration of three years. As a representative of the leadership by Germany and Colombia, Ms. Inka Gnittke, Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV) of Germany, emphasized the significance of this milestone. She pointed out that the facilitation program offers countries expertise and organizational support by identifying their needs and priorities in biodiversity conservation. These are then translated into request packages to be submitted to the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership’s matchmaking service—a digital platform designed to facilitate access to technical and financial support.

The selected countries includes Colombia, DRC, Ecuador, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mozambique, Panama, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, and the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

 

Representatives of selected countries for NBSAP Acceleration Partnership’s Facilitation Program received a certification of recognition. © BMUV/Sascha Hilgers

Ms. Gnittke concluded by inviting donors, institutions, non-governmental stakeholders, and countries to join the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership in providing technical and financial assistance to countries, boosting national capacities for biodiversity conservation, and having a greater impact.


 

Contact information:

Katherine Madden - NBSAP Accelerator Partnership coordinator

katherine.madden@un.org

Christina Supples - Early Action Support

christina.supples@undp.org

Tanya McGregor - Early Action Support

tanya.mcgregor@un.org