Bringing a business voice to the biodiversity negotiations

IUCN and WBCSD brought together several businesses to input into and strengthen the IUCN position papers going into the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which will take place in Nagoya, Japan this October.

CBD COP10, October 2010, Nagoya Photo: CBD

On the 9th of June, 13 representatives from different sectors including oil & gas, mining, building materials, food, agriculture, and telecommunications came to IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland for a workshop about the CBD COP 10.

This interactive working session had the objectives of:

  • enhancing business understanding of the IUCN process towards and after COP 10;
  • making the business case for business involvement in the CBD, and;
  • strengthening the IUCN position papers going into COP 10 with business know-how and expertise

Throughout the day, participants had the opportunity to learn more about and give feedback on the IUCN position papers for COP 10. The workshop was designed in such a way that participants contributed as much as possible to different themes including the post-2010 biodiversity targets, the programme of work on incentive measures, the resource mobilization strategy, biofuels and agriculture.

During the day’s discussions, it was agreed that business needs to play a more prominent role in both the negotiations and the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition, participants felt that business support to the Parties goes well beyond financial assistance, to include transfer of technologies and capacity building for developing countries and biodiversity monitoring information at the site level. However, this needs to be facilitated both by the CBD and Parties to the Convention. Another important discussion focused on the need to link to and learn from the different Multilateral Environmental Agreements (including UNFCCC, RAMSAR and UNCCD).

The key outcome of this one-day event will be an information paper on business and the CBD, which will feature in the IUCN package to be distributed to the national delegations going to the negotiations in Nagoya. IUCN and WBCSD will work with the businesses present to produce and disseminate this and this paper.

This workshop took place soon after the CBD meetings in Nairobi in May. The Nairobi meetings initiated the CBD negotiations both on the technical and implementation fronts. Some highlights include the incentive measures and resource mobilization debates where the role of business was acknowledged more firmly. There was also a session that focused exclusively on business engagement in the CBD.

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