ISAAA AfriCenter supported early career scientists to actively participate in 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-25) under Academia and Research. This support not only promotes inclusivity but also ensures that the next generation of scientists actively contributes to shaping global biodiversity policies.

The 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-25) recently concluded in Nairobi, Kenya, leaving in its wake a trail of recommendations that promise to propel Parties toward tangible action following the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) in December 2022. This event holds particular significance as it unfolded against the backdrop of the urgency to achieve the Framework’s targets within the next six years.

Key Highlights of SBSTTA-25

  • Monitoring Mechanism for Progress:

The primary agenda of SBSTTA-25 was to develop a monitoring mechanism for progress, crucial for tracking advancements post the KMGBF adoption. The 15 points finalized during the meeting will be presented at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP16) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  • Intersectionality of Crises:

Acknowledging the interdependence of biodiversity loss, climate change, ocean acidification, desertification, land degradation, invasive alien species, and pollution, SBSTTA-25 emphasized the need for a coherent and balanced approach. This alignment is not only pivotal for the Convention and KMGBF but also for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

  • Informed by Scientific Assessments:

Discussions were enriched by insights from recent assessments, including those by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR6). These findings underscored the role of invasive species in the extinction of plants and animals and emphasized the central role of biodiversity in supporting climate adaptation, resilience, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

  • Global Collaboration:

Experts at SBSTTA-25 stressed the importance of leveraging the work of other multilateral agencies, such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, to enhance scientific and technical advice in KMGBF implementation.

  • Indicators and Monitoring Framework:

While work on indicators continues, the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group will delve further into this, with the full monitoring framework slated for consideration at SBSTTA-26. The meeting acknowledged the necessity for additional efforts to develop a robust monitoring framework at both global and national levels.

  • Looking Ahead to COP16:

The recommendations formulated during SBSTTA-25 will undergo scrutiny and potential agreement at COP16 in 2024. Additionally, a global review of collective progress in KMGBF implementation is scheduled for COP17.

As the SBSTTA-25 recommendations make their way to COP16, the event marks a crucial step toward translating global agreements into actionable strategies. The collaborative efforts and insights shared during this meeting reinforce the urgency and importance of addressing interconnected environmental challenges for a sustainable and biodiverse future.