Key Environment Body Meets in Bonn

Bonn, 24 August 2016 – the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions (BLG), the body that brings together the executives of the global biodiversity conventions dealing with the conservation of the planet’s fauna and flora, held its eleventh regular meeting in the UN Premises in Bonn yesterday.

The meeting had a full agenda as 2016 is a particularly busy year in the international environment calendar, with the World Conservation Congress organized by the IUCN taking place in early September in Hawaii, followed by the Meetings of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Johannesburg later that same month and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP in Cancún, Mexico in December. 

As well as discussing the preparation of these meetings and their possible outcomes, the BLG also took stock of the second meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA2), which was held in Nairobi in May.  As the principal forum at which the secretariats’ chief officers meet to discuss collaboration, the BLG plays an important role in fulfilling governments’ desire to maximize synergies among the organizations involved.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Bradnee Chambers, the Executive Secretary of CMS, which hosted the meeting.

“The BLG remains a most effective mechanism for coordinating global efforts to protect biodiversity and contributes to key initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals.  It was a pleasure to host the BLG here in Bonn.  We had a most productive meeting in the run-up to the World Conservation Congress, the CITES and CBD COPs this year and the CMS COP next year,” said Chambers.

The seven participating Conventions in the BLG are: CBD, CITES, the Ramsar Convention, the World Heritage Convention, the International Plant Protection Convention, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and CMS.

"Each of our Conventions has its own agenda, but there is a lot of overlap. The BLG is a unique mechanism that brings together the different Conventions and we have seen over the years that it has really helped to enhance the cooperation and integration among these Conventions. That is the real merit of the BLG." said Braulio F. de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of CBD.

During the meeting in Bonn, BLG participants explored a number of areas for future cooperation, ranging from joint outreach opportunities, national reporting, to potential joint work programmes between the Conventions and how the biodiversity conventions will collective contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Among the key areas of common interest was a forthcoming proposal for consideration at the upcoming CBD COP in Cancun focusing on the question of how environmental projects funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will better incorporate the interest of all the biodiversity Conventions in future.

"IPPC is the newest member of the BLG and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to be present at this meeting. This meeting has given me three overall impressions. First, it has been very well organized by CMS, with excellent logistical arrangements for the meeting. Secondly, it has seen active participation of the biodiversity Conventions, with all participants openly sharing their views and experiences. And the third element which has been good is that it is becoming more and more clear as to how the synergies and cooperation can work in tangible ways between the Conventions and how they can collectively contribute to the SDGs." said Jingyuan Xia, Secretary of the IPPC.

Also attending the meeting were Simon Brockington of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and Anne Larigauderie of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), who explained their organizations’ roles in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and their potential for collaborating with the BLG on issues of common interest.  With the meeting being held in Bonn, representatives of other members of the CMS Family - AEWA, ASCOBANS and EUROBATS - took the opportunity of particpating in the meeting.

Last updated on 25 November 2016