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Source: Small Island Developing States

The flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) reports progress on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and examines progress and prospects for interdependent transitions by 2050 related to eight areas: Land and Forests; Freshwater; Fisheries and Oceans; Sustainable Agriculture; Food Systems; Cities and Infrastructure; Climate Action; and One Health.

The CBD Secretariat launched the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5) on 15 September 2020, during the first of four days of ‘Special Virtual Sessions’ taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the eight transition areas, GBO-5 reviews progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which were adopted by the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in October 2010, and were set for the 2011-2020 period. GBO-5 draws on indicators, research studies, and assessments, including the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, as well as national reports submitted to the CBD. 

Conservation actions have reduced the number of extinctions, among other areas of progress reported in GBO-5.

The report highlights ten areas in which progress can be viewed:

  • almost 100 countries have incorporated biodiversity values into national accounting systems;
  • the rate of deforestation has fallen globally by about one-third compared to the previous decade;
  • where good fisheries management policies have been introduced, the abundance of marine fish stocks has been maintained or rebuilt;
  • an increasing number of successful cases of eradication of invasive alien species from islands has been reported;
  • a significant expansion of protected area has been reported;
  • conservation actions have reduced the number of extinctions;
  • the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization has come into force and is fully operational in at least 87 countries and internationally;
  • national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) have been updated in line with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 by 170 countries (85% of CBD Parties);
  • there has been an increase in the available data and information on biodiversity; and
  • financial resources available for biodiversity through international flows have doubled. 

The report suggests pursuing a “portfolio of actions” that draws on efforts related to: enhanced conservation and restoration of ecosystems; climate change mitigation; action on pollution, invasive alien species, and overexploitation; more sustainable production of goods and services; and reduced consumption and waste. 

Also highlighted during the launch event was the second edition of the Local Biodiversity Outlooks (LBO-2). LBO-2 focuses on local biodiversity and stories of resilience among indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs). It proposes six transition areas aligned with GBO-5:

  • Cultural transitions towards diverse ways of knowing and being; 
  • Land transitions towards securing customary land tenure of IPLCs; 
  • Governance transitions towards inclusive decision-making and self-determined development; 
  • Incentives and financial transitions towards rewarding effective culturebased solutions; 
  • Economic transitions towards sustainable use and diverse local economies; and
  • Food transitions towards revitalising indigenous and local food systems.

Joji Carino, Forest Peoples Programme, launched the report as part of the 15 September event. According to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Carino said IPLCs are underrepresented in national strategies and action plans, “despite agreement that putting culture and the rights of IPLCs at the heart of biodiversity strategy can bring about positive outcomes.”

The event also launched a review of progress towards the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2011-2020. [UN News Release]

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