On 28-29 September 2017, the Heads of eight bio-diversity-related Conventions, known as the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions (BLG), met at FAO Headquarters to discuss ways to join forces in support of global biodiversity and sustainable development agendas.

“We all recognize that the loss of biodiversity has clear ramifications for global food security and nutrition,” said René Castro Salazar, FAO Assistant Director-General for Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department who opened the 12th BLG meeting.

The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange information between the different Conventions in particular on their different upcoming statutory meetings. The urgent need to increase awareness and raise the profile of biodiversity was also discussed: Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of CBD said, “We must make biodiversity meaningful on the international agenda and show its positive effects.” The integration of biodiversity conservation in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is an important step in the right direction. At the same time, it seems unlikely that the ambitious Aichi target, set at the 10th Conference of the Parties of CBD in 2010, will be met. There is increasing recognition that more efforts are required to mainstream biodiversity conservation into all economic sectors. The BLG agreed to  work together to build on the momentum of the attention on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Agenda to raise awareness and gather support for biodiversity through the development of a common strategies and workplans.

The BLG discussed practical ways on how to enhance cooperation between the participating Convention secretariats, in particular in the field of communication and capacity building. More cooperation and synergies between the different Ministries and Agencies which are focal points for the different Conventions  at the national level was also considered crucial and  opportunities to promote this were discussed.

Guy Debonnet attended the BLG meeting on behalf of the World Heritage Centre and presented the key points from the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee held in July 2017 in Krakow, Poland, as well as the upcoming General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to be held during 14-15 November 2017 at UNESCO headquarters.

The meeting also provided a good opportunity to discuss increased bilateral cooperation with the other Conventions in particular with CITES and the Ramsar Convention. The meeting of the BLG was held back-to-back with another meeting between the BLG and representatives of the host agencies to discuss ways to strengthen interagency coordination and cooperation in support of biodiversity and sustainable development agendas. The meeting was participated by the representatives of FAO, UNEP, UNIDO and IUCN. These agencies provide substantial programmatic and administrative support to the implementation of the biodiversity-related Conventions.

For more information of the 12th BLG meeting, please visit: http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/news/news-detail/en/c/1044332/. The minutes of the meeting will be made available on the BLG webpage on the website of CBD at https://www.cbd.int/blg/.