Framing the Future for Biodiversity: engagement in defining the post-2020 biodiversity agenda: September 2018 blog entry

30th September 2018

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 – and its associated 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets – has been the largest ever intergovernmental plan for saving nature and nature’s benefits on land and sea.

In 2020, it is anticipated that governments will adopt on a new global biodiversity framework to succeed the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Over the next two years, the international community will need to continue focusing on achieving the current Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as contribute to the development of the new framework. This Collaborative Fund project aims to help ensure that the new framework is based on the best available evidence. To achieve this, the project partners identified the analytical work that might be necessary to support the development of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

The following blog is written by Dr Nina Bhola, Programme Officer for the Protected Areas Programme, UNEP-WCMC (Project team member for CCI Collaborative Fund project ‘CCI engagement in defining the post-2020 biodiversity agenda‘). 

CCI international expert meeting

An expert meeting was convened in Cambridge, United Kingdom from 10 to 12 April 2018 by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. The meeting entitled ‘Framing the Future for Biodiversity: Effective use of knowledge in developing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework’ was aimed at advancing understanding of the importance of the need to base the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework on available evidence. The meeting brought together 49 science and policy specialists from 25 different countries all of whom are involved in different aspects of developing and implementing plans and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and in reviewing their implementation. The participants included members of the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and representatives of the CBD Secretariat.

Planning and preparation for the meeting was led by UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International, RSPB, and academics from the University of Cambridge. In addition to the funding support from CCI’s Collaborative Fund for Conservation, funds were also provided by UN Environment, the UK Government (through the CBD Secretariat), the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the RSPB. 

Preparation for the expert meeting

In preparation for this meeting, 16 brief discussion notes of two to four pages were prepared, one for each ‘evidence type’ identified in advance of the meeting. These aimed to identify insofar as possible:

  • why each type of evidence is needed and how it will be used;
  • where the evidence is to be found, including evidence currently in development, and in particular focusing on where evidence is already being used in implementation of the Convention; and
  • any gaps in the evidence available, and/or means for delivering it.

The specific types of evidence included:

  • pathways that will lead us to (or away from) the 2050 Vision already agreed by Governments 
  • scale and possible mixes of policies that are going to get us on these pathways 
  • policy instruments and tools that will be most effective in delivering these policies 
  • the framework (targets) that would motivate such policies and interventions being put in place
  • monitoring, indicators and reporting that would promote implementation and accountability 

The meeting documentation ( was developed in advance of the expert meeting, which included a summary of the meeting, the agenda, the paper on what was expected from participants, and the draft summary discussion notes referred to above. These were deliberately provided as drafts as a basis for generating and supporting discussion during the meeting. 

Project outputs so far

The key project output so far, in the form of an information document, was prepared based on substantive input from discussions during the expert meeting and was intended for the meetings of advisory bodies to the Convention on Biological Diversity. This document can be found here. The information document drew on the meeting discussion and the background document to identify a range of types of evidence that will be of value in informing development of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Effective communication 

Two additional events were held in conjunction with the expert meeting: 

  1. A public lecture and panel discussion, entitled “Setting a new post-2020 biodiversity agenda – the communications challenge” briefly looked back at the expert meeting and explored how to transform the complexity of biodiversity and the need to protect our natural world into effective messages to target and mobilise key audiences such as business, government, economics and the biodiversity conservation community itself. This event was hosted by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and featured Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, other distinguished panellists, and closing remarks by Sir David Attenborough
  2. A communications workshop on 13 April, entitled “Many Voices – One Nature”. This meeting brought together a range of communications experts, journalists and key figures from across various media organisations, NGOs IGOs and the private sector to investigate the elements necessary for a biodiversity communications strategy. This workshop was convened by the CBD Secretariat. 

All of the project outputs will be available from the project page on the CCI website.