5 March 2018 – The Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Adopted on 15 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, as a supplementary agreement to the Cartagena Protocol, the Supplementary Protocol aims to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by providing international rules and procedures in the field of liability and redress relating to LMOs. A groundbreaking international treaty, the Supplementary Protocol requires that response measures are taken in the event of damage resulting from living modified organisms or where there is sufficient likelihood that damage will result if timely response measures are not taken. “The entry into force of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol represents a milestone in the history of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The entry into force of this important instrument provides a key piece of the international regulatory regime applying to living modified organisms. It provides practical rules to respond to damage resulting from living modified organisms that find their origin in a transboundary movement and gives effect to the polluter pays principle,” said Mr. Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico, and President of the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 8 March 2018International Women’s Day Time is now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. “For this year’s International Women’s Day, I join my voice to the call to action to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and to draw inspiration from the activists working to achieve women’s rights and gender equality. As we know, women environmental leaders come in many different forms – as mayors, company directors, academics, farmers, foresters, and community organizers, they are distinguished in taking strong stands to ensure environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable practices. Rural women disproportionally experience poverty, and face systemic discrimination in accessing land and natural resources. And yet many rural and indigenous women are at the front lines of struggles to defend land and wildlife and secure natural resource rights, facing threats of violence and often death. For these women, the fight for environmental protection, human rights, and gender equality are one and the same. In working to implement the Convention’s 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action, the Secretariat has been active in engaging a range of partners to address gender issues in biodiversity policy and implementation.” – Christina Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary CBD 19 March 2018 – The Twenty-Second Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice Parties and observers of the opportunity to provide inputs to the list of requests for the future work programme of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which will be considered by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its twenty-second meeting, July 2-7 in Montreal, Canada. See the agenda for the meeting here. Parties and observers may wish to take note of the recent decision of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on the “Development of a draft strategic framework up to 2030 and elements of the rolling work programme of the Platform” adopted by the Plenary at its sixth session in Medellin, Colombia on 24 March 2018. The deadline for review comments and other inputs is extended to 15 April 2018. To provide comments on the consultation document, please use the template accessible at the web page noted in the footnote (https://www.cbd.int/sbstta22-sbi2/review.shtml) and return it to the Secretariat by e-mail at [email protected] 21 March 2018 – International Day of Forests Forests and sustainable cities. As populations around the globe become increasingly urbanized, it is important to remember how many functions forests provide us. Even within cities, forests are a crucial part of maintaining healthy people and places. Forest ecosystems provide water and other critical services on which cities depend, such as air and water purifications. Filtering freshwater through forests and wetlands, for example, costs one-tenth of the amount than depurating through a chemical water treatment plant. Forests also help secure against disaster risks. By helping to stabilize slopes, forests help reduce the risk of landslides. Wetlands can help regulate floods, by providing coastal vegetation and natural features such as sand dunes, while mangroves can provide protection from storm surges and strong winds. Forests are also important for our health. Tropical forests, undisturbed or even well-restored, can help moderate the effects of infectious diseases. In deforested or heavily degraded areas in the tropics, for example, the risk of malaria infection has been found to be as much as 300 times higher compared to areas of healthy forest. Climate change is directly affected by forests. Trees capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen. Trees also store huge amounts of carbon, are temperature regulators, and provide resilience to climate change impacts. Achieving sustainable cities starts with maintaining healthy ecosystems! 23 March 2018 – PRESS RELEASE: Scientific assessments by Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirm the need for imperative actions to safeguard life on Earth. Landmark regional scientific reports were issued today in Colombia on the status of biodiversity in the following regions of the world: the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa as well as Europe and Central Asia. They show that pressures on biodiversity and resulting loss of biodiversity continue to increase in all of the regions. The regional assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) show that the main pressures on biodiversity continue to be habitat change, climate change, invasive alien species, pollution and unsustainable use. However, the relative importance of each of these pressures varies between the regions. These declines are of concern also because of the essential role biodiversity plays in providing for people, including, food, fuel and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. These reports confirm the conclusions of work done under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and suggest directions for additional urgent actions to achieve global biodiversity targets. The landmark science reports were approved by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in Medellín, Colombia, at the 6th session of its Plenary on 22 March. The regional assessments and the upcoming global assessment on biodiversity, due for release in 2019, are a key element of the global scientific review of the progress made in the implementation of the global targets and the objectives of the current strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020. Its conclusions will directly feed into the preparation of Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, to be released in 2020.]]>