The science body under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meets this week to discuss a wide array of biodiversity-related issues critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and tackling climate change.
These discussions, taking place at the twenty-first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-21), being held in Montreal, Canada, from 11 to 14 December 2017, will lay the foundation for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Close to 600 delegates from around the world will address the following issues:
Scenarios for the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity
SBSTTA-21 will consider models and scenarios with implications for the actions needed to reach the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, agreed by governments in 2010. This vision, “Living in harmony with nature”, reflects a global consensus that by the year 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people. Deliberations on these scenarios provide input to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Mainstreaming biodiversity into energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing industry, and health sectors
SBSTTA, for the first time under the CBD, will launch consideration of the nexus between biodiversity and key economic sectors, including energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing industry, as well as health. SBSTTA’s work will help mobilize momentum and build a solid basis for further inter-sessional work and consensus building by the Second meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (July 2018) and the next UN Biodiversity Conference1, to be held November 2018 in Egypt.

Biodiversity and human health
All human health ultimately depends on ecosystem services that are made possible by biodiversity and the products derived from them. Biodiversity and human health are interlinked in various ways and better consideration of health-biodiversity linkages could contribute to improving many aspects of human health. SBSTTA will consider guidance for a “One Health approach to foster integrated approaches across health, environment, agriculture and other sectors with a view to enhancing implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

SBSTTA provides the essential driving force for evidence-based decision-making under the Convention. It has met 20 times to date and provided 216 recommendations. As a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the SBSTTA reports regularly to the COP on all aspects of its work. SBSTTA comprises government representatives competent in multidisciplinary fields of expertise.

Sustainable wildlife management: Guidance for achieving a more sustainable bushmeat sector
Wild meat has long served as a source of nutrition for millions of people in many regions of the world, in both developed and developing countries. In some rural communities in tropical developing countries, wild meat has been found to provide almost all of the protein in the diet. SBSTTA will further elaborate technical guidance for better governance towards a more sustainable bushmeat sector, with actions identified to be taken in the context of the 2050 Vision of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To that end, SBSTTA may provide recommendations to ensure that the supply of bushmeat is sustainably managed at the source, control the excessive demand of wild meat in towns and cities, and, create an enabling environment for the sustainable management of wild meat.

By Marc Philips