Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 238-246.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020445

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The review mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity: Status, challenges and prospects

Shuxia Yu1, Liangchun Deng1,2,3,*(), Qiong Wu2, Zhen Wang1   

  1. 1 College of Resources & Environment, Huazhong Agriculture University, Wuhan 430070
    2 World Wide Fund for Nature, Beijing 100037
    3 Center for Environmental Progress, Wuhan 430070
  • Received:2020-11-30 Accepted:2021-02-01 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-02-25
  • Contact: Liangchun Deng


Background: The loss of global biological diversity represents a global common concern and a major challenge, while it is urgently needed to strengthen the global biodiversity governance and the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The review mechanism is a crucial agenda item with wide attention of the international community, and a multi-dimensional system has been preliminarily established to support the review of the implementation of the Convention, its protocols and other legal documents.
Challenges: However, the review mechanism has been confronted by the lack of political wills of participation with enhanced accountability, insufficient national inputs, ineffectiveness of review results to enhance implementation, as well as lack of coordination among a proliferation of review tools, all of which constrain the completeness and effectiveness of the review.
Purpose: This paper recaps the implementation mechanism of the Convention and outlines the major processes and contents of the review mechanism, followed by analysis of key obstacles. The paper further discusses and recommends strategic and technical steps to enhance the review mechanism of the Convention, in order to inform the implementation of the Convention, future development of the Convention and related research works.
Recommendations: Our strategic recommendations include strengthening the review mechanism in the light of a comprehensive and balanced advancement of the entire Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, enabled by high-level political support, as well as by the mobilization of willingness and actions from all stakeholders, meanwhile providing necessary flexibility to developing country parties. On the technical side, it is suggested to further enhance national information reporting to be reviewed and to encourage wide participation of parties in facilitative reviews of implementation, complementing those assessment efforts made by party themselves. Meanwhile, information to be reviewed shall also be comprehensive and balanced, while it is also suggested to consider the global stock-take mechanism to support efforts by parties to close the implementation gaps and to enhance actions and ambitions.

Key words: biodiversity, Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Target, Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, implementation mechanism, review mechanism