Development of the Edinburgh Process
1. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its fourteenth meeting adopted decision 14/34 on the preparatory process for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and requested the Executive Secretary to facilitate the implementation of the process. The Conference of the Parties also decided that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework should be accompanied by an inspirational and motivating 2030 Mission as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of "Living in harmony with nature". In order to support the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, an open-ended intersessional working group was established. Mr Francis Ogwal (Uganda) and Mr Basile van Havre (Canada) were designated as Co-Chairs of the Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which held its first meeting in Nairobi from 27 to 30 August 2019, with discussions centred on the possible elements of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and recommendations regarding future steps for its preparation.
2. In decision 14/34 (para. 6), the Conference of the Parties urged Parties and invited other Governments and stakeholders to "actively engage and contribute to the process of developing a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework in order to foster strong ownership of the framework to be agreed and strong support for its immediate implementation". Therefore, it was agreed that regional consultations and thematic workshops would serve as a platform for the discussions. At its first meeting, the Open-ended Working Group took note of a preliminary list of meetings, consultations and workshops for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and requested that this be further developed and updated. The Scottish Government took the lead to develop a partner workshop to seek the views of subnational and local governments on the development of the post 2020 framework.
3. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the partner Workshop for Subnational and Local Governments, which was due to be held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on the 1-3 April 2020, was moved online and renamed the Edinburgh Process. The Edinburgh Process was led by the Scottish Government with the support of the following organisations: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Regions4 Sustainable Development, Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS), European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Welsh Government, Government of Quebec, UK Government, UN Environment Programme - WCMC, NatureScot, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
4. The Edinburgh Process was chaired by Professor Sir Ian Boyd of St Andrews University and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
5. The Edinburgh Process had four main aims. Firstly to gather the views of the Subnational and Local Government constituency on the Zero Draft and Monitoring Framework of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) and its suitability for the "whole of government". Secondly to seek input to an updated CBD Plan of Action for Subnational Governments, Local Authorities and Cities (Subnational Plan of Action) to be considered at SBI-3 and COP 15. Thirdly to develop an Edinburgh Declaration outlining the high level political objectives of subnational and local governments in relation to the post-2020 GBF . And finally, to provide a platform for the subnational constituency on the development of the post-2020 GBF up to COP 15.
6. The online format of the process consisted of a mix of interactive information sessions, thematic webinars and traditional consultations. Four regional introductory webinars (Europe/North America; Africa; South America; and, Asia/Pacific) were held to introduce participants to the process and the consultations. Thematic Webinars were held on the following topics: Monitoring and Reporting Tools; Linkages between Climate change and Biodiversity; Nature Based Solutions; and Resource Mobilisation. Three online consultations were held on the Zero Draft of the post-2020 GBF (as presented to the second OEWG in Rome, February 2020), the elements for an updated CBD Subnational Plan of Action and the draft Edinburgh Declaration. These were then followed by a second online discussion session on the consultation results and next steps. The Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, Basile van Havre and Francis Ogwal, participated in the online information and discussion sessions to ensure the linkage and consistency with the overall post-2020 GBF development process.
Engagement of Subnational and Local Governments
7. The move to an online event due to the Covid-19 pandemic allowed the Edinburgh Process to engage with more subnational and local government participants than would have been possible through a physical event, whilst minimising the environmental impact. Over 400 delegates participated in the Edinburgh Process, double the expected participation in the initially proposed physical workshop.
8. Participation was relatively well balanced and most UN regions were represented, however Eastern Europe had a limited representation. Participation is as follows: 50% Western Europe/other, 24% Asia Pacific, 14% Africa, 11% Latin America/Caribbean, 1% Eastern Europe. Gender balance was even with 51/49 female/male split.
9. Edinburgh Process participants represented a range of organisations with the majority representing subnational and local government; 23% City/Local Authority, 18% Subnational Government, 17% Others, 14% National Government, 13% Subnational Networks, 12% Research Institute/University, 2% Think Tanks, 1% Youth.