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Increasing cooperation amongst biodiversity-related Conventions to meet global nature targets

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 at 10:00
access_time 2 min read

The Bern III Conference convened from 23-25 January 2024 in Bern, Switzerland, bringing together representatives of parties and secretariats of 16 Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), including the 7 biodiversity-related Conventions, as well as stakeholders, organizations, and experts, to develop ideas for increased collaboration among MEAs at global, regional, and national levels in putting into operation the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The biodiversity-related conventions and other MEAs make an important contribution to meet the goals and targets set out in the GBF which is designed as a global roadmap to guide efforts to halt the rapid human-induced loss of biodiversity and to improve ecosystem health. The framework sets specific targets such as designating 30% of the Earth’s land surface a protected area and restoring 30% of the planet’s degraded terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystems by 2030.

Read more on the contribution of the World Heritage Convention to biodiversity conservation in this study.

Reflecting on existing guidance and on good collaborative practices, conference participants considered a range of actions that could be taken, such as: enhanced cooperation among relevant MEA secretariats and national focal points; global review of collective progress; outreach on the benefits of cooperation; and cross-mapping of MEAs against the GBF targets.

During the conference, the Secretariats of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the World Heritage Convention presented a case study on efforts to protect the vaquita, a critically endangered porpoise endemic to the World Heritage-designated Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Mexico).

The conference was a follow up to earlier meetings held in June 2019 (Bern I, in person in Bern) and January 2021 (Bern II, online) which discussed the inputs of MEAs including the World Heritage Convention in the preparation of the global biodiversity framework. Following the adoption of the framework at COP 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022, focus has now shifted on its implementation.

The World Heritage Convention was represented at the Bern III conference by experts from South Africa, India, Belgium, Mexico and Saudi Arabia as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

The highlights of the meeting are available at Briefing Note for UNEA-6: Bern III Conference – Preliminary Highlights to be presented at the UNEA-6 MEA high-level side event on 29 February 2024 at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 at 10:00
access_time 2 min read
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