Implementation of the Convention

Thematic Programmes and cross-cutting issues

The Conference of the Parties (COP) has established seven thematic programmes of work which correspond to some of the major biomes on the planet. Each programme establishes a vision for, and basic principles to guide future work. They also set out key issues for consideration, identify potential outputs, and suggest a timetable and means for achieving these. Implementation of the work programmes depends on contributions from Parties, the Secretariat, relevant intergovernmental and other organizations. Periodically, the COP and the SBSTTA review the state of implementation of the work programmes.

The COP has also initiated work on key matters of relevance to all thematic areas. These cross-cutting issues correspond to the issues addressed in the Convention's substantive provisions in Articles 6-20, and provide bridges and links between the thematic programmes. Some cross cutting initiatives directly support work under thematic programmes, for example, the work on indicators provides information on the status and trends of biodiversity for all biomes. Others develop discrete products quite separate from the thematic programmes. The work done for these cross-cutting issues has led to a number of principles, guidelines, and other tools to facilitate the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target.

Ten-year biodiversity programmes

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

In 2010, the Parties to the Convention adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 in Nagoya, with the aim of inspiring far-reaching actions by all countries and stakeholders in support of biodiversity over the decade. Recognizing the urgent need for action, the UNGA also declared 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.

The Strategic Plan includes a shared vision, mission, strategic goals and 20 ambitious but achievable targets, known as the Aichi Targets. The Strategic Plan serves as a flexible framework for the development of national and regional targets and promotes the coherent and effective implementation of the three objectives of the CBD: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. 

The Parties to the Convention agreed to translate the Strategic Plan and its Aichi Targets into revises and updates national strategies and action plans to ensure their implementation at the national and local levels.

However, the 5th Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5) report draws on a series of indicators, case studies, assessments and national reports to find that none of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been fully achieved at the global level. 

The successes and failures of the implementation of the Strategic Plan have enabled states to prepare for COP15 in order to adopt a new Global Biodiversity Framework for the post-2020 period. 

The Global Biodiversity Framework from Kunming to Montreal

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in two phases: the first in Kunming, China, from October 11 to 15, 2021, in a hybrid format, and the second in Montreal, Canada, from November 7 to 19, 2022.

A the end of the Conference, the Kunming-Montreal Agreeement was adopted by 196 States to establish a new "Global Biodiversity Framework" (GBF) with 4 objectives

  1. The reduction of threats to biodiversity;
  2. The sustainable use and management of biodiversity;
  3. The equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources;
  4. The means of implementation of the global framework. 

The GBF also features 23 targets to achieve by 2030, including: 

  • Restoration of 30 per cent of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and marine and coastal ecosystems (target 2);
  • Effective conservation and management of at least 30 per cent of the world’s land, coastal areas and oceans (target 3);
  • Ensuring urgent management actions to halt human induced extinction of known threatened species and for the recovery and conservation of species (target 4);
  • Reducing the rates of introduction and establishment of other known or potential invasive alien species by at least 50 per cent (target 6);
  • Minimize the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity and increase its resilience through mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction actions, including through nature-based solution and/or ecosystem-based approaches (target 8);
  • Substantially and progressively increase the level of financial resources from all sources to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans, by 2030 mobilizing at least 200 billion United States dollars per year (target 19). 

Mechanisms for implementation

Implementation, whether global, regional or national, is based on the principles and guidelines as well as on other tools produced by the work done in the framework of the thematic programs, the multisectoral issues, the strategic plan and the Aichi targets.

The implementation mechanisms are as follows:

  • National Biodiversity Strategies an Action Plans: NBSAPs are national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity that integrate, as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies;
  • National ReportsArticle 26 of the Convention states that the objective of national reporting is to provide information on measures taken for the implementation of the Convention and the effectiveness of these measures. Parties shall provide national reports on a quadrennial basis to the Secretariat and shall respond as appropriate to the implementation needs of the notifications sent by the Convention Secretariat to the national focal points;
  • Cooperation and Partnerships: Achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the 2010 target, requires cooperation and coordination with a wide range of other conventions, institutions and processes;
  • Financial Resources and Mechanism: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral fund dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and strains on land and ocean health. Its grants, blended financing, and policy support helps developing countries address their biggest environmental priorities and adhere to international environmental conventions;
  • Clearing-House Mechanism: The CHM seeks to support the Convention's thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work by promoting cooperation, exchanging information and developing a network of partners;
  • Biosafety Clearing House: The BCH is an information exchange mechanism that provides open and easy access to key information about Living Modified Organisms, in accordance with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.