1. What is Convention on Biological Diversity?
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a legally binding multilateral environmental agreement that has 196 contracting Parties (Countries) as its members.The CBD entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives:
i. The conservation of biological diversity
ii. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
iii. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources
Bhutan became party to and ratified the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1995 by the 73rd session of the National Assembly.
2. Explain the existing institutional arrangement under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Bhutan?
At the national level, National Environment Commission Secretariat is the focal agency for CBD and the Biodiversity and Land Use Division (BLD) under Secretariat is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the biodiversity actions in fulfilling the various obligations under the convention in close collaboration with implementing agencies.
Under the CBD, Bhutan signed two Protocols. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was signed in 2003 to ensure safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on biodiversity and Bhutan Agriculture Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) was designated as the National Competent Authority by the National Environment Commission. Bhutan also ratified the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) in 2013. The 44th Commission meeting of the National Environment Commission in 2016 designated the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) as the focal point for the Nagoya Protocol.
The NECS as the overall coordinating agency has the mandate to facilitate, monitor, regulate and harmonizing issues on environment including the biodiversity and land use. Thus, NECS had a mandate to govern policy issues and coordinate and facilitate issues and discussions at the policy level while other implementing agencies have the scientific and technical role at the ground level contributing towards implementation and information generation.
3. What is Clearing-House Mechanism under CBD?
The Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) is an information exchange platform contributes to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity by promoting and facilitating scientific and technical cooperation, knowledge sharing and information exchange, and by establishing a fully operational network of Parties and partners. The national CHM of Bhutan is housed at NECS and can be accessible at Bhutan CHM
4. What is the Bhutan Biodiversity User List?
Bhutan Biodiversity User List bring together all the available information on the country’s important biodiversity to raise awareness and to enhance service delivery by providing the regulating agencies a concerted list for monitoring and evaluation purposes. The list was focused on the following information;
i. Species protected by Forest and Nature Conservation Act and Regulation, International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and Species listed in Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) Appendices.
ii. Invasive Species recorded from Bhutan.
iii. National list of notified/released kinds or varieties of agricultural crops and fodders.
iv. Permitted ornamental plants in Bhutan.
v. Native Livestock and Poultry Breeds of Bhutan.
The list is also available online at Biodiversity User List gearing towards the reforms of digitalization and to reach a wider audience to add on to the concerted efforts in achieving the common objective of conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. Further the online system can be updated as and when new information becomes available.
5. Explain the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets?
In decision X/2, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period. This Plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity, not only for the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development.
6. What is National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)?
Guided by the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets, NBSAPs are national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity that integrate, as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies. At the national level, it is a guiding document for biodiversity management and a principal instrument to implement the CBD. Bhutan as a party to CBD developed first Biodiversity Action Plan in 1997, two years after it became signatory to the CBD. Subsequently, Bhutan revised it in 2002, 2009 and the latest one in 2014.
7. Explain the ongoing discussion of the post-2020 biodiversity framework?
The post-2020 global biodiversity framework builds on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society's relationship with biodiversity. During the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October this year, it will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of "Living in harmony with nature".
Updates on the implementation of the process for developing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be made available at CBD Website