All posts by christianschwarzer

GYBN mourns the loss of South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa

GYBN has learned today of the passing of Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister of Environment, who passed away in Pretoria after a short illness.

GYBN would like to express our networks’ deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

Minister Molewa has been a globally recognized authority in the fight to prevent the loss of Biodiversity and was a strong advocate for Environmental Justice. She has been a true champion of youth engagement, not just on Biodiversity conservation but in other environmental fields as well.

It was thanks to Minister Molewa’s political leadership and very generous support that GYBN was able to organize the 2017 Regional Youth Capacity-Building Workshop for Africa in Muldersdrift, near Johannesburg in South Africa. Thanks to Minister Molewa’s support the workshop was the largest in GYBN’s 2017 series of workshops and brought 46 participants from 16 African countries together.

We will never forget how Minister Molewa took extra time out of her schedule on a Saturday to address the participants during the closing event of the workshop. In her motivating speech she said:

“It is you who will be our future experts, and it is you who will be at the cutting edge of biodiversity research and development. It is you who will be finding solutions and bringing innovative ideas to bear to solve some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time such as climate change and biodiversity loss.”

There are few leaders like her who are fearlessly standing up for the weak and poor. Minister Molewa has always been thinking about environmental protection, social justice and economic development not as detrimental poles but as an indivisible circle that cannot function without all elements being considered together.

Her loss is a loss not just to South Africa but to the whole continent and the entire world.

With Minister Molewa the world has lost a staunch advocate for biodiversity conservation that was well respected in both the north and the south and often acted as a bridge builder between developed and developing countries.

We are deeply indebted to her and will keep her memory alive as an inspiring leader who has motivated an entire generation of young conservationist to keep fighting for biodiversity conservation and environmental justice.

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Images of Minister Molewa during the Closing Ceremony of the GYBN Regional Youth Capacity Building for Africa on August 19 2017.

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Call for Applications: 2018 GYBN Regional Youth Capacity Building Workshop for ASIA

Building upon the success of GYBN’s 2017 series of Capacity-Building Workshops and thanks to generous support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the European Commission, the CBD Secretariat, the African Wildlife Foundation, Engajamundo and the Telangana Forest Department, GYBN will organize another three Youth Capacity-Building Workshops for ASIA, AFRICA and LATIN-AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN in 2018/19.

Please apply through this form by August 31 2018 at 23:59: http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018

Download our workshop brochure here

+++This call is ONLY for ASIA+++

If you want to apply for the Africa (http://bit.ly/gybnafricawp2018) please use the respective form.

DATES AND VENUES OF THE ASIA WORKSHOP
The workshop for ASIA will be held in partnership with the Telangana Forest Department in Hyderabad, India in mid-October 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed but likely from October 14 to 20).

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKSHOP
To strengthen the capacity of young leaders to take action in support of National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plan (NBSAPs , https://www.cbd.int/nbsap/search/default.shtml) and to contribute towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/), the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN, http://www.gybn.org) is hosting a series of capacity-building workshops around the world in 2018/19.

Participants will take part in team building, networking and training sessions in international biodiversity conservation policy, mobilization, advocacy, campaign skills and project management to create or enhance existing projects that directly contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the implementation of NBSAPs.

For these workshops, travel, accommodation, and limited food expenses will be funded for successful applicants who are based in the region in which the workshop is held. Visa costs will be covered on a case by case basis. Flights will only be funded for travel within the same region.

GOALS OF THE WORKSHOP
These week-long regional workshops will bring together 15-18 young leaders in each region to:
– Mobilize networks/communities at the regional, national or local levels in order to increase public/youth engagement, general awareness and political will for biodiversity conservation
– Learn about the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, http://www.cbd.int), the CBD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2021 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
– Learn about key aspects of NBSAP and how young people can partner with national and sub-national authorities to support implementation
– Catalyze concrete actions to bring these legally-binding international decisions down to the local, national, and regional level
– Join a global effort to set youth priorities for a future in harmony with nature and push governments, business and citizens to act
– Mobilize young people in order to have their perspectives considered in the CBD post 2020 framework

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS
The deadline for applications is August 31 at 23:59 GMT.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
– Application form (fill it out online) here http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018
– Digital copy of CV
– Digital copy of Passport

Send a pdf copy of your CV and the identification page of your passport to: gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com

obs: the title of your document should be LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_CV.pdf and
LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_PASSPORT.pdf

SELECTION CRITERIA
1. Be a registered GYBN member by the start of the application period
2. Between 18 – 35 years old
3. Commitment to biodiversity conservation with a previous track record showing such engagement
4. Active member or coordinator of a youth organization/network/community that is active on Biodiversity on the local/national or regional level
5. Possess the time and ability to share knowledge gained from the workshop, including implementing workshop outcomes and replicating workshop model at the national/local level
6. The applicant’s biodiversity-related work has to be based in the region in which a workshop is held. However, the applicant need not be a citizen of a country of that region.

ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Due to our donor’s funding requirements, for the workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin-America and the Caribbean financial support is only available for applicants that are citizens of developing countries. Applicants from developed countries (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea etc.) cannot be financially supported. However self-funded participants are welcome to join the workshops!
The workshops in Europe and North-America (yet to be announced) will be open to applicants from developed countries from their respective regions.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to join the workshops, if you are interested to participate as a self-funded participant or if you should have any other questions, please write to gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com and cc it to christian.schwarzer@gmail.com and swetha.stotrabhashyam@gmail.com

We look forward to receiving your applications and seeing you at the workshops!

PLEASE NOTE:
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be submitted in English. Applications submitted in another language will not be considered. Incomplete applications will also not be considered.

Call for Applications: 2018 GYBN Regional Youth Capacity Building Workshop for AFRICA

Building upon the success of GYBN’s 2017 series of Capacity-Building Workshops and thanks to generous support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the European Commission, the CBD Secretariat, the African Wildlife Foundation, Engajamundo and the Telangana Forest Department, GYBN will organize another three Youth Capacity-Building Workshops for ASIA, AFRICA and LATIN-AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN in 2018/19.

Please apply through this form by August 31 2018 at 23:59: http://bit.ly/gybnafricawp2018

Download our workshop brochure here

+++This call is ONLY for AFRICA+++
If you want to apply for the Asia (http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018) Workshop, please use the respective form.

DATES AND VENUES OF THE AFRICA WORKSHOP
The workshop for AFRICA will be held in partnership with the African Widlife Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of October 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed but likely from October 28 to November 3).

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKSHOP
To strengthen the capacity of young leaders to take action in support of National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plan (NBSAPs , https://www.cbd.int/nbsap/search/default.shtml) and to contribute towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/), the Global Youth Biodiversity Network is hosting a series of capacity-building workshops around the world in 2018/19.

Participants will take part in team building, networking and training sessions in international biodiversity conservation policy, mobilization, advocacy, campaign skills and project management to create or enhance existing projects that directly contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the implementation of NBSAPs.

For these workshops, travel, accommodation, and limited food expenses will be funded for successful applicants who are based in the region in which the workshop is held. Visa costs will be covered on a case by case basis. Flights will only be funded for travel within the same region.

GOALS OF THE WORKSHOP
These week-long regional workshops will bring together 15-18 young leaders in each region to:
– Mobilize networks/communities at the regional, national or local levels in order to increase public/youth engagement, general awareness and political will for biodiversity conservation
– Learn about the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, http://www.cbd.int), the CBD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2021 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
– Learn about key aspects of NBSAP and how young people can partner with national and sub-national authorities to support implementation
– Catalyze concrete actions to bring these legally-binding international decisions down to the local, national, and regional level
– Join a global effort to set youth priorities for a future in harmony with nature and push governments, business and citizens to act
– Mobilize young people in order to have their perspectives considered in the CBD post 2020 framework

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION
The deadline for applications is August 31 at 23:59 GMT.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
– Application form (fill it out online) here http://bit.ly/gybnwp2018
– Digital copy of CV
– Digital copy of Passport

Send a pdf copy of your CV and the identification page of your passport to: gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com

obs: the title of your document should be LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_CV.pdf and
LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_PASSPORT.pdf

SELECTION CRITERIA
1. Be a registered GYBN member by the start of the application period
2. Between 18 – 35 years old
3. Commitment to biodiversity conservation with a previous track record showing such engagement
4. Active member or coordinator of a youth organization/network/community that is active on Biodiversity on the local/national or regional level
5. Possess the time and ability to share knowledge gained from the workshop, including implementing workshop outcomes and replicating workshop model at the national/local level
6. The applicant’s biodiversity-related work has to be based in the region in which a workshop is held. However, the applicant need not be a citizen of a country of that region.

ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Due to our donor’s funding requirements, for the workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin-America and the Caribbean financial support is only available for applicants that are citizens of developing countries. Applicants from developed countries (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea etc.) cannot be financially supported. However self-funded participants are welcome to join the workshops!
The workshops in Europe and North-America (yet to be announced) will be open to applicants from developed countries from their respective regions.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to join the workshops, if you are interested to participate as a self-funded participant or if you should have any other questions, please write to gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com and cc it to christian.schwarzer@gmail.com and swetha.stotrabhashyam@gmail.com

We look forward to receiving your applications and seeing you at the workshops!

PLEASE NOTE:
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be submitted in English. Applications submitted in another language will not be considered. Incomplete applications will also not be considered.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity & Marine Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas: Terminology, Treaties, and Timelines

By Charlotte Whitney (Canada), Alejandra Echeverri (Colombia), and Franzi Bäker (Germany)

The overarching theme of of the 13th CBD Conference of the Parties (COP13) is Mainstreaming Biodiversity, which means to consider and incorporate biodiversity for ecological and human wellbeing in all the productive sectors, including agriculture, forests, fisheries, and tourism. The group of up to 10,000 attendees was split into two working groups so as to be more efficient during the two weeks of the COP.

During the first week of COP13 we completed the first reading of the draft decisions on the Convention on Biological Diversity, which are provided beforehand for parties and delegates to consider and propose changes to. In Working Group 2, we worked through 20 Conference Room Papers (CRPs), which are working documents used during the conference. The topics considered included: mainstreaming biodiversity,  the rights of Indigenous peoples and Local Communities, marine management and EBSAs, invasive alien species, scientific and technical issues including synthetic biology, and wildlife management and pollinators.

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Temperate kelp forest, British Columbia, Canada | Photo by Jenn Burt

Charlotte (Canada) a global north delegate for GYBN, was in charge of following Item 15, on  Marine issues and EBSAs (Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas). The main discussion from the parties about this topic was around conservation issues, related to marine debris, underwater noise, and a diversity of protected areas tools.

On December 5th, GYBN made an intervention on marine issues asking that parties accept the current EBSA list, which should lead to more multinational support for this tool, and work towards more effective marine spatial planning. Following the parties negotiations closely allowed us to tailor our negotiation to the debates and support the stated positions of certain parties in our intervention. As members of civil society, we aren’t allowed to suggest specific changes to the text or the ongoing negotiation, so we spend a lot of time thinking about alliances and lobbying for our perspectives around specific items. Unfortunately, the contentious text about EBSAs continues to be a point of conflict throughout the second week.

fisherboat

Small scale fishing boat, Canada | Photo by Lauren Eckert

 

Terminology rules at COP. It’s not uncommon for a discussion around a single line or phrase in the negotiating text to take half an hour or more, or to even come to a standstill. During the marine sessions, a lengthy discussion took place about the inclusion of “pelagic areas” or whether to use the more general phrase “open sea areas”, when referring to marine debris and the associated regulations. After talking to some of the more experienced delegates, we think that this disagreement relates to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and whether some nations are or are not signed on to that agreement. There are so many layers of complexity beyond sometimes simple points of disagreement here! It is important to understand that these discussions over scientific terminology are often referring back to political issues, such as the delimitation of boundaries on national jurisdictions.

 

During the first reading of the negotiating text, parties also discussed Item 10, which refers to mainstreaming and integrating biodiversity within and across sectors. Led by Alejandra Echeverri (Colombia) and Franzi Baeker (Germany), GYBN made an intervention to state that:

1) Mainstreaming biodiversity should be added as a permanent item in the agenda for future COP meetings,

2) Other sectors including extractive industries and energy should be included,

3) When referring to mainstreaming biodiversity on agriculture, sustainable and ecological ‘intensification’ are complex and unnecessary terminology that could be misinterpreted (back to terminology!), and that

4) Youth, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities should be added as relevant groups and stakeholders throughout the process of mainstreaming biodiversity.

This intervention was also in line with the values and perspectives of several parties and other groups, and we’re still continuing the progress of these changes a week later. Happily, we can report that our intervention related to sustainable agriculture (not intensification!) was spot on and is now a relatively ‘hot topic’ within the contact groups. Success! It’s good to feel that we’re on the right track. Unfortunately for the results of the COP, this issue is still unresolved.

7youth_cbd_8887_photo-by-iisd-enb-francis-dejon

GYBN Evening Team Meeting | Photo by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

Treaties among parties are complicated and multifaceted. A main topic that continues to arise relates to inequality and funding disparity among developed and developing nations. For instance, last week some debate arose about subsidies and incentives for ecosystem protection and restoration. The debate was led by Nicaragua, opposed by Zambia, Norway, Switzerland. We have spent a lot of time discussing the integration of mainstreaming biodiversity within the CBD COP with other recent agreements (e.g. Honolulu Declaration, UNFCCC Paris Agreement, World Parks Congress, & CITES).

 

The mainstreaming issue continues… we will let you know how the discussion ends!

 

Hasta la próxima,

The GYBN

What is happening in Cancun should be impossible

by Thomas McAuley-Biasi, Canada
It’s been a week since the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity officially started, and while I could take this time to beautifully sum up everything that’s happened, I’m not going to do that.  This is for two reasons: 1. So I can shamelessly plug our live updates on twitter (@GYBN_CBD), where you can get these types of updates in real time, and 2. Because discussing which brackets were and weren’t removed doesn’t make for the most compelling of blog posts.  What I want to talk about today is more big picture.
cop13-plenary
At this very moment, members of 196 parties have come together from across the globe to talk about biodiversity- a term that, arguably, less than 50% of the world knows and understands.  They are spending tons of time, money, and resources to make sure that the correct policies and plans are made in order to protect, sustain, and mainstream biodiversity across our planet- once again, something most people don’t understand- and that’s incredible.  Furthermore, 196 parties are all coming to agreements.  Think about that for a second.  My family can’t agree on what movie we all want to watch, and that decision will only affect what we do as a family for somewhere between 2 and 3 hours.  These decisions affect close to 7.5 billion people, and will affect them into the foreseeable future.
So yes, a lot of what happens at COP13 deals with brackets around single words, sentences, and paragraphs.  And brackets aren’t engaging as a topic in a blog.  The words within those brackets, and the discussions they produce, however, should be.  Almost 200 countries argued about the inclusion of “for example” over “inter alia”, “in particular”, and “such as” for close to an hour.  That’s two words in a document containing 3,188 words.  And that’s only one document.  There are about 115 documents currently on the site, all which of have passed, or will pass, over everyone’s eyes, and need to be agreed upon.  We might look at those 8 words I previously mentioned and think that they’re all the same (or maybe think, “what the hell does ‘inter alia’ mean”), but they’re not, and their minute differences become much larger when you take into account the varying cultures and languages that these words will affect.
From the meeting happening at all, to the fact 100s of people, representing thousands of people, representing billions of people, can come to any agreements at all, is something truly special.  So even if, from an outsider’s perspective, these discussions, negotiations, and brackets may seem tedious, just remember that this entire process is anything but boring.

Tracking policy negotiations at COP13: A quick rundown

by Mika Tan, Singapore

What does it mean to track biodiversity conservation policy at a UN meeting?

At the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the “negotiating text” (i.e., policy decisions that governments negotiate) is being discussed in two “Working Groups” 1 and 2, each handling about half of the topics, or “Item”s, in the negotiating text. Working Groups (WGs) have their discussions in “plenary” sessions in giant halls that look like this:

blogpost1  Plenary hall where all country delegates, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs (including youth) negotiate the text. Seen here is the plenary hall from the Youth seat (“Jóvenes” is “Youth” in Spanish, since we are hosted by Mexico). Photo Credit: Thiemo Karwinkel

This COP, the negotiations for CBD-associated Protocols are also merged: the Nagoya Protocol (NP) on Access and Benefit-Sharing and the Cartagena Protocol (CP) on Biosafety. It was decided that WG 1 will cover the topics that are more cross-sectoral and relevant to the CBD and the Protocols.

This means that in one plenary session, Items from the CBD, NP, and CP are up for discussion and our team has to be very on top of things to keep up with the negotiations!

blogpost2

Screen shot of an example agenda in each Working Group. Notice that WG 1 includes Items in the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol (and in other days CBD as well), but WG2 only contains CBD Items.

blogpost3

Our amazing dedicated policy team members masterfully tracking negotiations in Working Group 1. Featured here are two social media team members who live tweet main happenings in English and Spanish. From left: Melina Sakiyama (Brasil), Michelle Pazmino (Ecuador), Bharath Kolan Reddy (India), James Kaliisa (Uganda), Amelia Arreguín Prado (Mexico), Miyuki Ando (Japan). Photo Credit: Bharath Reddy

Tracking then means that we listen and note down what country delegates and other organizations are saying about the particular Items. Sometimes these statements they make are more general, highlighting the importance and urgency of, for example, addressing sources of marine litter.

Other times the statements are about specific words and phrases used in the negotiating text, because every word that finally gets agreed upon by all Parties (i.e., countries that have signed the CBD or the Protocols respectively) is legally binding.

blogpost4

In the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, “indigenous peoples” is a recognized, legal term that has been defined and the definition agreed upon by all Parties. Hence, if “indigenous people” without the “s” were included in the negotiating text and agreed by the Parties, it would not hold the same legal obligations as “indigenous peoples” would. Words matter!

Often, if Parties cannot agree on an issue in the plenaries, they move in to “Contact Group” sessions which are smaller informal negotiations. At the CBD, NGOs and non-Parties are usually allowed to enter these Contact Group rooms to observe the progress of negotiations, which can run late into the night.

After the sessions, our hardworking team then prepares a succinct summary for each topic, which we will be sharing in future blog posts. Keep an eye out for them!

Hasta luego,

The GYBN

 

Call for Applications – GYBN Delegation to SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1

Join the GYBN Delegation to SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1 in Montreal from April 23 to May 8!

Launch of Sp4sps

We have some good news to share with you all: After several months of hard work by the GYBN Steering Committee we are very happy to inform you that we have secured some funding for a small group of youth from the Global South to join a GYBN delegation to the upcoming SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1 meeting in Montreal.

Depending on the final costs for travel and accommodations, we expect that four (4) places will be available. The delegation will join the negotiations in Montreal, Canada from April 23 to May 8 2016 in order to form a group of change agents for Biodiversity conservation.

The primary goals of this project is to provide young people from a wide variety of backgrounds that are working on Biodiversity issues and that are between 18 and 30 years old with an opportunity to speak up for their generation at SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1. By enabling them to play an active role in the CBD-process, we are aiming to build capacity among young people so that they can contribute to the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Knowledge and experience gained through this opportunity can then be brought back to their countries, communities and organizations.

Blog 4-1

Candidates must demonstrate outstanding commitment to Biodiversity issues in the past as well as a strong track record of voluntary activities in youth organizations and must possess at least a basic understanding of international negotiations. Experience with the CBD-process as well as relevant expertise and knowledge about the items on the agenda of SBSTTA-20 will be an asset.
Ideally, to ensure a good transfer of experience, the delegation should consist of two experienced members who have been to CBD-meetings before and two first-timers.

To join the delegation, please fill out this form until Sunday, March 20th at 23:59 Montreal-time (EDT/GMT -4).
http://bit.ly/gybn-delegation-sbstta20

Please note that due to our donors funding guidelines this opportunity is restricted to youth from the Global South.

If you are a young person from the Global North and you wish to participate in SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1, we are unfortunately not in a position to support your participation financially. However, GYBN is committed to enabling youth from both the South and the North to take part in CBD-meetings. All interested youth from the Global North are most welcome to get in touch with the GYBN focal points Melina Sakiyama (melina.sakiyama@gmail.com) and Christian Schwarzer (christian.schwarzer@gmail.com) and we can try to find other non-monetary ways to help.

Good luck for your application!

Your GYBN Steering Committee

 

SELECTED BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1

P1540776
I. What is SBSTTA?
The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice is one of the CBD’s two permanent subsidiary bodies and is meeting on an annual basis.
SBSTTA’s mandate is to provide:
•    assessments on the status of biodiversity
•    assessments on the efficiency of measures taken under the CBD
•    advice on any question that the COP may direct at it
•    identify new and emerging issues and decide whether these fall under the scope of the Convention or not.
Although SBSTTA was originally conceived as purely scientific advisory body, with the expanding workload and scope of the CBD it has evolved into a platform for political negotiations that plays a crucial role in the preparation of COP. At the end of each SBSTTA session, delegates agree on so called SBSTTA-recommendation, which are suggestions for decisions to be adopted at COP.
SBSTTA has met 19 times so far and adopted 201 recommendations for the COP. For more detailed information about SBSTTA, its mandate, proceedings and structure please check out: http://www.cbd.int/sbstta/

II. What is SBI?
The creation of the CBD’s second permanent subsidiary body has only been recently agreed by parties at COP12 in Pyeongchang in October 2014. The Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) is the successor of the Ad-Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of the Implementation (WGRI), which existed from 2004 to 2014 and met five times.
SBI’s mandate is:
•    to review the implementation of the convention
•    to provide advice on how the implementation of the CBD can be enhanced
•    to develop recommendations on how obstacles to the CBD’s implementation can be overcome
•    to develop recommendation on how mechanism, that support the CBD’s implementation, can be strengthened
•    to review progress towards the implementation of the CBD’s Strategic Plan 2011-2020
•    to prepare proposals on how the achievement of the Strategic Plan’s targets can be advanced
SBI is also responsible to provide advice on the implementation of the CBD’s protocols, namely the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya-Protocol. For more information about SBI, please visit: https://www.cbd.int/sbi

Evalutation Meeting

III. Why is it important to participate in both SBSTTA and the COP?
If you want to influence the process, it is of crucial importance that you start your advocacy work as early as possible!!
By the time the COP convenes it is quite often already too late: At this point in time almost all decision have already been discussed in great detail, parties have exchanged opinions and text has been drafted on most issues. At this stage it is quite difficult to push for major changes in a negotiating texts and extremely hard if not impossible to introduce new issues or aspects. So the later you start your advocacy activities the smaller your chances that your voice will be heard and your perspective considered!
SBSTTA and SBI are the platforms where all major COP decisions are being prepared by parties and where actual discussion are taking place, so this is really the point where you should be present and lobby for your issues!
Furthermore, now – in the weeks before SBSTTA! – is the time when most parties are preparing their positions for SBSTTA, so if you can – get in touch with your country’s respective
CBD focal point or national delegation, set up a meeting and discuss your issues with her/him!
You can find all contacts to national focal points here: http://www.cbd.int/convention/parties/list/ (just click on the name of country)

IV. Rationale for Youth Participation at SBSTTA and SBI
Civil Society – including youth! – is being recognized as an official major group and important stakeholder of the CBD, so it is your explicit right to make your voice heard!!!
If any party to the CBD should hesitate to take youth serious, please make them aware of Decision XI/8 on “the engagement of other stakeholders and major groups” (http://www.cbd.int/doc/decisions/cop-11/cop-11-dec-08-en.pdf, page 3) which officially recognizes the importance of youth participation in decision making process on all levels.
The paragraph on “children and youth” has been introduced by GYBN youth delegates at COP11 in Hyderabad and was adopted by ALL parties without changes.

V. Logistics and Visa
SBSTTA-20 is scheduled to take place from April 20 to 29 and SBI-1 will be convened between May 2 and 6.
Both meetings will be taking place in Montreal, Canada.
If you need a visa for Canada and if you are accredited for the meeting already, please get in touch with the CBD Secretariat at secretariat@cbd.int to receive a Visa Support Letter.

If you should face any problems during the visa application process or if your visa should get denied, please contact Melina and me and we will check how we can support you!

VI. Coordination of GYBN Youth Delegates
If you are planning to take part in SBSTTA-20 and/or SBI-1 as a youth delegate please fill out this form so that we can connect you with other youth representatives and coordinate our efforts. Thank you!
http://bit.ly/gybnsbstta20

VII. Important Documents

SBSTTA-20
Provisional Agenda:
https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/sbstta/sbstta-20/official/sbstta-20-01-rev1-en.pdf

Annotated Agenda: https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/sbstta/sbstta-20/official/sbstta-20-01-add1-rev1-en.pdf

Official Documents: https://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=sbstta-20

SBI-1
Agenda: https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/sbi/sbi-01/official/sbi-01-01-rev1-en.pdf

Annotated Agenda: https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/sbi/sbi-01/official/sbi-01-01-add1-en.pdf

Official Documents: https://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=SBI-01

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Don’t miss this opportunity! Join the GYBN delegation to SBSTTA-20 and SBI-1 and submit your application until Sunday, March 20th at 23:59 Montreal-time (EDT/GMT -4)!