Conference on biodiversity kicks off in Addis Ababa


The Africa, Caribbean and pacific conference on the implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 and Nineteenth Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) kicked off on Tuesday 30 May 2023 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The event is organized by the African Union Commission through its Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE), in partnership with UNECA and other regional institutions, with support from the Swedish Embassy in Ethiopia.

At the opening of the event, Harsen Nyambe, Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE), underscored the role of biodiversity in tourism, medicine, industry, and business in Africa.

Further, participants noted that illegal trade and the impact of climate change are challenges in the protection of biodiversity, and that it is necessary to coordinate the implementation of the outcomes of the CBD COP15, CITES COP19 and UNFCCC COP27.

The Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at UNECA, Jean-Paul Adam, cited the success of Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative and highlighted actions that countries are taking to safeguard the sustainability of biodiversity.

The objectives of the conference are i) To review the outcomes of CITES CoP19, CBD CoP15 and Ocean Treaty and identify cross-cutting strategic issues that emerged among them including those related to issues such as IPLC engagement, livelihoods, sustainable use, zoonotic diseases and one health approach); ii) Identify priority actions that need follow-up from Member States potential gaps and problems in implementation that need to be addressed; iii) Identify support needed for effective implementation and Identify the coordination and collaboration mechanisms necessary to effectively implement the action plan; iv) Develop an action plan that can support and drive the effective implementation of the key commitments and decisions made, including actions to ensure adequate capacity building and resource mobilization from both public and private sectors; and v) Ensure alignment, synergies and complementarity in financing, developing and implementing of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) as the national instruments to implement the GBF.

The event participants include experts from the Secretariats of CBD, CITES, UNECA, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), TRAFFIC, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, Convention on Migratory Species and the World Wildlife Fund.