CO-OP4CBD hosts Second international workshop for CBD National Focal Points

14 Feb 2024

On 8 February 2024, the CO-OP4CBD project hosted the Second international workshop for CBD National Focal Points.

The online workshop was organised by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), and it gathered National Focal Points (NFPs) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTTA), Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Theme, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and Biosafety Clearing-House Mechanism, from the EU and associated countries.

The workshop provided essential insight on a number of topics which were covered by key experts in the field.

The event was opened by Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki (Syke), who provided an introduction to the workshop and working etiquette. Maja Vasilijević (NINA) outlined the main goal of the CO-OP4CBD project and the work done so far by the First international workshop, which was previously held.

Afterwards, Han de Koeijer of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) presented a review and update on the progress of the monitoring framework of the Global Biodiversity Framework, and the SBSTTA-26.

The topic of synthetic biology, its effect on biodiversity and society, as well as the governance recommendations, was presented by Felix Moronta-Barrios from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).

Elina Virtanen (Syke) presented the advancements on the 30 x 30 goal for ocean protection, focusing on the use of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) and the development of small-scale EBSAs in Finland.

Prof. Richard Kock of IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group (IUCN WHSG) and IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) focused the discussion on the linkages between biodiversity and health, with a focus on emerging infectious diseases.

The discussions in geographically determined working groups delved into the participants' knowledge needs related to the topics presented in the plenary session, formats for expert support before and during negotiations, and capacity development needs. A plethora of knowledge gaps was highlighted, including better understanding of the monitoring indicators’ methodology, scale of biotechnology application, connectivity in marine environments, and availability of targeted information on health and biodiversity for various sectors. In terms of the capacity needs, development of skills on CBD negotiations, mechanisms and processes were noted as some of the key needs.

The process of support of technical and scientific cooperation on CBD processes continues its development within CO-OP4CBD, with more initiatives for NFPs and experts planned in 2024.

Training materials used at the Second international workshop for NFPs are available on the CO-OP4CBD Training corner here.