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BIODIVERSITY LAW AND GOVERNANCE: CONTRIBUTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND GOVERNANCE TO MAINSTREAMING BIODIVERSITY OVERVIEW
The fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) concluded that there has been significant progress towards meeting some components of the majority of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. However, in most cases this progress will not be sufficient to achieve the targets set for 2020, and additional action is required to keep the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 on course. The importance of increased actions related to mainstreaming of biodiversity both within sectors and across sectors has been recognized by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, including through a decision by the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to include mainstreaming as an area of focus at its thirteenth meeting (decision XII/31). One area where such actions are particularly needed is with respect to laws and governance. The need for a strong legal framework for governance was one of the main conclusions of an international expert workshop on biodiversity mainstreaming, hosted by Mexico from 17–19 November 2015. This finding was also echoed at the first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) in recommendation 1/4, which calls on Parties to review, in line with the milestones for implementing Aichi Biodiversity Target 3, national policy and legislation in order to encourage the identification of provisions that have positive implications and those that have adverse implications for implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and to consider amending provisions that have adverse implications, including with respect to the transparency of decision-making and access to information. It also calls on Parties to review the implementation of cross-sectoral mainstreaming measures undertaken at the national level, including national institutional mechanisms to support the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, and to identify gaps, if any, and to strengthen such measures, as needed. As Parties seek to revise and implement their national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs), the role of law and effective governance will also be critically important. Building an understanding of law and governance good practices is important to support Parties in their efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020. The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will provide an opportunity for dialogue, sharing effective practices and lessons learned, and developing new partnerships. Over 5,000 delegates are expected to gather in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico from 4–17 December 2016. The CISDL, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), and a network of academic and expert partners propose to bring Parties, UN bodies, intergovernmental organizations, academia and civil society together for the Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day.
Partners are invited to contribute $50,000 USD to support the convening of the event as a whole, $10,000 USD to partner in supporting key themes, and $3,000 USD to partner in supporting roundtable discussions. The overall cost of the event is estimated to be $200,000 USD. Partners will be members of the steering committee for the day, and make the final decisions on themes and workshops based on submissions made by the biodiversity law and governance community of practice in response to an open call for participation.
FOCUS OF BIODIVERSITY LAW AND GOVERNANCE DAY
This day-long parallel event will bring together governmental representatives academia, practitioners, experts, and stakeholders from civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities, and the private sector, to discuss how law and governance mechanisms can best be used to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and to share national experiences on mainstreaming biodiversity into the legislation governing primary economic sectors and legislation for mainstreaming measures which cut across all sectors, such as economic valuation tools and environmental assessments which evaluate potential impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as clean air and water, carbon storage, and pollination. A special emphasis will be placed on substantive links with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030), and the 2015 Paris Agreement on the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day will:
1. Increase awareness of law and governance mechanisms relating to mainstreaming biodiversity, 2. Generate new law and governance knowledge and approaches by stimulating exchange between delegates, legal practitioners and legal academics on the contribution of law and governance to mainstreaming of biodiversity for conservation, sustainable use, and fair and equitable benefitsharing, and 3. Strengthen capacity, collaboration and a law and governance community of practice to implement the Cancun COP13 outcomes.
Components of Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day:
1. Keynote speakers and contributors from convenor organizations and partners, 2. Briefings on the diverse contributions of organizations working on biodiversity law and governance matters, and their plans for technical cooperation on the mainstreaming of biodiversity into sectoral and cross-sectoral laws, 3. Substantive roundtable knowledge café sessions on key international law trends and governance practices on mainstreaming biodiversity, how different legal instruments can assist in integrating biodiversity into the rules governing different sectors and rules spanning across sectors, and how to build synergies in implementation between the international, regional, national, sub-national and local levels, and 4. Identifying the future legal research agenda on mainstreaming biodiversity, identifying specific capacity needs, and opportunities for partners to engage in capacity building and technical cooperation.
Themes at Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day:
1. Best practices in advances and trends in legal or policy frameworks in particular sectors and the coherence of policies across sectors and corresponding government ministries, 2. Mainstreaming in the primary economic sectors that rely on biodiversity, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and tourism, 3. Mainstreaming in other sectors with significant impacts, such as construction, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, utilities, and transportation,
4. Mainstreaming in cross-sectoral measures, such as those on access to information, access to justice, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management, environmental assessment, finance, land use planning, poverty reduction, public participation, sustainable development, and trade, and 5. Effective institutional approaches and mechanisms, including for public participation, transparency of information and access to information.
Activities leading up to and associated with Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day:
1. A call for partners on themes and workshops over Biodiversity-L, engaging the broader biodiversity community in identifying areas of mutual interest for the discussions taking place during the day, 2. A series of legal briefs prepared by partners as background material for discussions on the current and potential role of international law and governance in mainstreaming biodiversity into national sectoral and cross-sectoral laws, regulations and administrative measures, 3. A full day on-site parallel event at COP13 on December 10 on the contributions of international law and governance to mainstreaming biodiversity, and 4. A follow-up side-event is held during the second week of COP13 to disseminate the outcomes of the event and provide information on future capacity building projects, research, and initiatives on the law and governance aspects of mainstreaming biodiversity.
ABOUT THE SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was established under Article 24 to support the goals of the Convention and is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme. It provides secretariat services to the Parties to the Convention and its Protocols, and supports them in their implementation efforts. The secretariat also has the mandate to support efforts towards the achievement of the objectives of the Convention. Its principal functions are to prepare for, and service, meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) and the meetings of the Parties to the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols (COP-MOPs), other subsidiary bodies of the Convention, and perform functions as determined by the COP and the COP-MOPs, and to coordinate with other relevant international bodies.
ABOUT THE CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LAW
The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) is a charitable international research centre with offices in Montreal, Canada; Cambridge, UK; Santiago, Chile; and Nairobi, Kenya. CISDL seeks to integrate environment, human rights and economy by leading international legal research and scholarship on international sustainable development law, and legal empowerment by organizing and contributing to courses, conferences, lectures, roundtables, seminars, symposia and workshops to promote new ideas, dialogue and collaboration on law for sustainable development. CISDL also supports the increased understanding, development and implementation of law for sustainable development through capacitybuilding, capacity development and technical cooperation in all regions of the globe.
Examples of Work and Projects
Convenors of Paris Climate Law and Governance Day, a parallel event to COP21 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015 held at the Sorbonne with partners Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Governance, Environment and Markets (GEM) Initiative at Yale University, the Centre for Climate Resilience Research (CR2) at the University of Chile, the Lauterpacht Centre for
International Law (LCIL) at the University of Cambridge, and other partners. Marrakesh Climate Law and Governance Day 2016 is being prepared with partners for UNFCCC COP22.
Convenors of “Biodiversity, Sustainable Development and the Law”, an Expert Seminar and International Symposium at St John’s College Divinity School, Cambridge, UK from 20–22 February 2015, which featured keynotes by the Executive Secretaries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Partners in developing the Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets initiative in 2011 led by the International Development Law Organization and Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, and funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund. Co-hosted a parallel event in October 2012 at CBD COP 11 in Hyderabad, India, in order to share experiences and develop new knowledge on legal approaches for achieving the Aichi Targets, and launch the Global Partnership on Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Partners in creating the Gonthier Endowment Fund to support a new series of biennial Lectures in memory of the Honourable Judge Charles D. Gonthier, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada who strongly supported research, education and practical activities to promote sustainable development, in its economic, environmental and social dimensions. The inaugural Lecture in May 2015 brought His Excellency Judge James Crawford AC of the International Court of Justice to speak at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Hosts of a parallel event to the 1st Subsidiary Body on Implementation of the CBD in May 2016 — “International Law on Biodiversity: 20 Years of Extraordinary Evolution”—celebrating the 20 th anniversary of the Secretariat in Montreal, and the signing of a new memorandum of understanding between the CISDL and SCBD on biodiversity law research.
Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger Senior Director CISDL Tel. +39 345 917 4983 Email: [email protected] Prof. Jorge Cabrera Medaglia Mr. Frédéric Perron-Welch Lead Counsel and Programme Manager, Biodiversity and Biosafety Law CISDL Tel. + 1 514 316 9276 Email: [email protected]
Ms. Amy Ann Fraenkel Director, Mainstreaming, Cooperation, and Outreach Support Division SCBD Tel. +1 514 288 2220 Email: [email protected]