Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) advanced a global plan at the fourth Open Ended Working Group (OEWG-4) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya from 21-26 June to bend the curve on biodiversity loss. This Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is expected to be adopted at the CBD COP 15 in Montreal, Canada – under the Chinese presidency – in December 2022.
The CBD is the only Rio Convention that has a systematic and comprehensive mechanism for multilevel governance that provides a framework for local and subnational governments to support Parties in reaching global and national biodiversity targets.
What was achieved at OEWG-4
The Local and Subnational Major Group
The Local and Subnational Major Group was represented in-person by ICLEI with Ingrid Coetzee heading the delegation, and the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments for Biodiversity, represented by a delegation from Quebec Province comprising Assistant Deputy Minister Jacob, Martin Malus – head of the delegation – Jean Lemire, and Rachel Levesque. Similar to previous CBD post-2020 meetings, ICLEI coordinated the delegation.
While there are still important elements that require additional work and consultation with the capital to further streamline texts, the Nairobi negotiations represented a good outcome for the local and subnational major group. These outcomes include:
- similar to previous meetings, the meeting was marked by an increase in Parties (Nepal, Iran and the Philippines) calling for the inclusion of local and subnational governments in the GBF;
- some Parties commended the Local and Subnational Major Group on how well coordinated and strategic their interventions were;
- the Local and Subnational Major Group was given the opportunity to make two interventions in the contact groups – both interventions for text amendments to section B.bis (on [Principles and] [Approaches] [Guidance] for the implementation of the Framework) were supported by the Parties. References to local and subnational governments are also found in section B. Purpose, section D. Theory of Change, and section 1. Enabling Conditions; and
- the group was invited to deliver joint statements in the opening and closing plenaries.