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Table of Content
    Volume 29 Issue 2
    20 February 2021

    Through the establishment of national parks, nature reserves, natural parks and protected areas for agricultural germplasm resources, China has set up about 12,000 protected areas of various types, accounting for more than 18% of the country’s territory, effectively protecting more than 90 percent of ecosystem types and key species under state protection. For example, the IUCN has downgraded the giant panda from endangered to vulnerable, and the populations of many rare and endangered species, such as Asian elephant, Siberian tiger, Chinese alligator, golden monkey, Tibetan wild donkey, and crested ibis, have increased significantly. The wild population of David’s deer was reconstructed by naturalization of artificial population in the wild. Also through the protection of crop germplasm resources, so that a large number of good varieties such as Xianghe glutinous rice can be preserved and developed. The pictures of several species mentioned above. (The pictures are provided by: Jiade Bai, Yuantong Hou, Yunfeng Huang, Zhigang Jiang, Xinhai Li, Haining Qin, Wei Wang, Huihui Xi, Dayuan Xue, Yathin S Krishnappa, and Jun Zhang)

    China’s implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity has entered a new era
    Dayuan Xue
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  131-132.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021053
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    In-situ conservation of biodiversity in China: Advances and prospects
    Wei Wang, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  133-149.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020070
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    Summary: In-situ conservation of biodiversity refers to the establishment and management of protected areas, combined with other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). The goals of in-situ conservation are the protection and restoration of species populations and their habitats, and the improvement of ecosystem services. In-situ conservation is one of the best measures for achieving the 2020 global biodiversity conservation target. Here, we summarize relevant reports in the past decade that highlights issues such as the number and area of protected areas, and the representativeness and effectiveness of protected areas, and OECMs (e.g., ecological conservation red lines, mini natural reserves, sacred mountains, and civil protected areas).
    Advances: Overall, China has made significant progress by implementing an in-situ conservation and management system and various protection and restoration measures. The total area and number of areas protected by China has increased (covering 18 percent of land area), which has been relatively effective for conserving several ecosystems and key protected wild animals and plants. Ten national parks pilots aimed at improving the connectivity of some key wild animals were developed. Nature reserves, with relatively good management effectiveness, had represented more than 90% species of mammals and 97% of Orchidaceae. Additionally, the other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) made non-governmental contributions to in-situ conservation of China’s biodiversity.
    Weak points: Furthermore, we propose some weak points in China’s current in-situ conservation plan based on the major requirements in “Strengthening in-situ conservation of biodiversity” from the “China National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2030)”. The weak points in China’s current in-situ conservation include: (1) the need for improvement in overall conservation efficiency of protected areas; (2) conservation gaps in some biodiversity conservation priority areas; (3) the need for improvement in management quality of nature reserves, and the lack of public consultation; (4) the initial phase of OECMs.
    Prospects: We then suggest that the government and researchers need to: (1) identify more specific and measurable conservation targets; (2) enhance efforts to reduce species threats (especially those with least concern); (3) promote the systematics and integrity of OECMs with the goal of ensuring and improving ecosystem services; (4) develop more OECMs to facilitate an effective in-situ conservation network; (5) improve the long-term monitoring system and keep providing scientific data to sustain periodic assessment of the conservation effectiveness. We hope these suggestions can help with the formulation and implementation of in-situ conservation goals beyond 2020.

    Progress and analysis on the management effectiveness evaluation of protected area based on Aichi Biodiversity Target 11th in China
    Bin Feng, Diqiang Li, Yuguang Zhang, Yadong Xue
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  150-159.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020061
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    Aims: Effective management in protected areas is an important prerequisite for achieving the goal of protected areas. One of the key indicators for achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 was for the Convention on Biological Diversity party to accomplish 60% and higher area of protected area before 2015. However, according to the Fifth National Report on China’s Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2014, there “lacked sufficient data” indicating progress of management effectiveness for protected areas as determined by Aichi Biodiversity Target 11. Discussing the performance of China’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets on the eve of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be beneficial to showcase China’s biodiversity conservation achievements and provide a basis for scientific decision-making on the development of this protected area.
    Methods: Based on the data from relevant Chinese government departments, international organizations, research institutions and literature on the effective management of protected areas in China, this study summarized and analyzed the progress of management effectiveness of protected areas as determined by Aichi Biodiversity Target 11.
    Results: The results show, as indicated by Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 that management effectiveness evaluation of 60% and higher of China’s protected areas before 2015 was achieved. Currently, the protected areas under management effectiveness evaluation has reached 1.3619 million km2, accounting for 72.99% of China’s protected areas (1.8660 million km2). Management effectiveness of China’s protected areas attracted attention from multi-groups. The data of this study are quite different from the data from the World Database on Protected Areas and the Global Database on Protected Area Management Effectiveness. There are various tools to evaluate the management effectiveness of protected areas in China. There are significant differences in the amount of progress made in management effectiveness depending on the protected area. Standardization and persistency of management effectiveness in protected areas need to be improved.
    Conclusions and Suggestions: Based on our results, we propose the the following management practices: (1) strengthening connectivity and integrity of protected areas; (2) referring to the evaluation framework of World Commission of Protected Areas and the Green List Standard of Protected Areas of International Union for Conservation of Nature when making decisions; (3) to institutionalize the classified criterion of management effectiveness evaluations according to different types of protected area (such as national park, nature reserve and natural park), to facilitate the standardized and scientific construction, and to establish incentive mechanisms within China’s protected areas by effectively using of the results from the management effectiveness evaluation.

    The 35th anniversary of the reintroduction of Milu deer to China: History, population status, achievements and challenges
    Jiade Bai, Yuanyuan Zhang, Zhenyu Zhong, Zhibin Cheng, Ming Cao, Yuping Meng
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  160-166.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021018
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    Background & Aims: Ex-situ conservation is an important part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the objectives of the “Aichi Biodiversity Targets” and a strategic task and priority action of the China Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011‒2030). Milu (Père David’s deer) (Elaphurus davidianus) is listed as Class I National Key Protected Species of China. Before the wild population of Milu deer became extinct in China, captive populations were established overseas, which formed the basis for a reintroduction to China in 1985. Since reintroduction, the native population has become established and has expanded. The starting point for the reintroduction process was Beijing Milu Park, where 38 deer were reintroduced in 1985. After successful expansion of the population, the Beijing Milu Park began to send deer to other parts of the country. This article reviews the history and achievements of the reintroduction of Milu deer to China, examines the status of population development, and identifies challenges for the conservation of this species.
    Results: Over the last 35 years, a total of 546 deer have been sent to other locations and, as at January 2021, Beijing Milu Park retains 183 deer in total. Dafeng Nature Reserve in Jiangsu Province is the second pillar of Milu deer’s reintroduction. After 39 deer were reintroduced to Dafeng in 1986, the population expanded to 78 in 1990, and to 5, 016 by the end of 2019, a 129-fold increase in the population since reintroduction. In 1995, Dafeng also began to send Milu deer to other sites across the country and, by the end of 2020, 164 had been sent to other locations. The distribution of Milu deer has expanded from just two sites in 1985‒1986 to 81 in 2020, covering all previous habitats before its extinction. Among these sites, six support wild populations, amounting to 2,855 individuals.
    Perspectives & Suggestions: The restoration of the Milu deer population in China is a successful example of ex-situ conservation. However, the conservation of Milu deer faces challenges. There is no master plan for Milu deer conservation at the national level, so a coordinated monitoring platform and guidelines are lacking. Additionally, the Milu deer population lacks genetic diversity and is therefore vulnerable to multiple risks. The distribution of the wild population is limited and the number is small, thus hindering population stability. There is also a growing tension between population development and habitat carrying capacity, which hinders the sustainable growth of the population. In addition, the lack of an international cooperation mechanism hampers international collaboration and communication on Milu deer’s research. For all these reasons and others, the conservation of Milu deer is not secure. This article suggests strengthening ecological monitoring of the Milu deer population and developing a shared database and germplasm databank in order to improve genetic diversity. There is a need to expand the wild population in order to improve population stability, so as to secure the long-term conservation of this once extinct species.

    Progress of agricultural biodiversity conservation in China
    Xiaoming Zheng, Qingwen Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  167-176.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020077
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    Aim: Agricultural biodiversity has a significant influence on agricultural production and plays an important role in sustainable development. The Chinese government has emphasized agricultural biodiversity conservation since the early 1950s and achieved many progresses. Here, we summarize China’s main progress toward establishing a supporting system of legislation, policies, research, and capacity building in agricultural biodiversity conservation over the past 70 years, and provide suggestions for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity in the future.
    Progresses: China has formulated laws and regulations related to agricultural biodiversity, established management mechanisms, mapped out related programs, and implemented research and capacity building projects. It has also taken conservation actions at the levels of ecosystems, species, and genes. More recently, China established a primary conservation system with both in-situ and ex-situ approaches. We also highlight important gaps in the areas of agricultural biodiversity conservation compared to international and national development strategies, describe the requirements associated with enhancing the conservation system in China, and underscore the need to build capacity.
    Prospects: We propose that agricultural biodiversity conservation in China should align with international regulations, such as the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), promote ecosystem services, create a streamlined process across government sectors, and increase public capacity.

    Recent progress of agro-biodiversity conservation and implications for agricultural development in China
    Lei Gao, Lei Wang, Feilong Hu, Lirong Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  177-183.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020478
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    Background: Agro-biodiversity is one of the most important issues under the Convention on Biological Diversity (hereinafter as the Convention), and it is of practical significance to global food security, sustainable development of agriculture and realization of carbon neutrality. However, research has shown that due to the continuous population growth and fundamental changes in dietary structure, continued expansion of agriculture has become one of the principal drivers of biodiversity loss.
    Content: This paper systematically reviews the development and processes of the main negotiating topics of agro-biodiversity through a comprehensive analysis of the provisions of the Convention, the decisions and recommendations of previous Conferences of Parties (from COP2 to COP14), the assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO-5) published by the United Nations Environment Programme and Convention on Biological Diversity, the consultation on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and the progress of convention performing on agro-biodiversity. In light of this review, we provide an analysis of the global challenges of agro-biodiversity and recommendations to meet those challenges.
    Achievements: This paper describes a comprehensive overview of the decisions and recommendations from COP2 to COP14, and assesses the qualitative and quantitative indicators related to Goal 9 of the “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. The topic of agricultural biodiversity is thoroughly analyzed across scales, from broad goals to concrete examples. These span the initial “genetic resources” to “protection and sustainable utilization”, and involve multi-dimensional topics, such as soil, pollination, trade, energy, nutrition and health. On the premise of ensuring national food security, this paper shows that China has actively participated in the implementation of agricultural biodiversity and achieved positive results.
    Recommendation: In light of continued challenges in agro-biodiversity, the following reasonable suggestions are developed for the improvement of agricultural biodiversity in China. (1) Studying the agro-biodiversity indicators in more depth, taking into account the reality of global development and promoting the implementation required and optional solutions. (2) Taking advantage of nature-based solutions (NbS) to solve the problems of agro-biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in a coordinated way. (3) Keeping in step with the international performance trend, and building multilateral partnerships to achieve the green and sustainable agricultural development. (4) Encouraging the integration of agro-biodiversity protection into enterprise development plans to promote the participation of all stakeholders. These findings and suggestions will contribute to the maintenance of agricultural stability and food security, and lay a foundation for the success and outcome of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Convention (COP15).

    Investigation and evaluation of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity: A case study in Lancang and Kangding ethnic counties
    Dongmei Liu, Guo Li, Junsheng Li, Jingbiao Yang, Nengwen Xiao
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  184-192.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020492
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    Aims: Traditional knowledge (TK) associated with biodiversity is one of the important topics outline in the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol. This study reports the characteristics, main threat factors and protection gaps of TK associated with biodiversity in Lancang County of Yunnan Province and Kangding City of Sichuan Province. The study will provide a scientific basis for promoting the protection of TK, the implementation of TK access and benefit-sharing (ABS) systems in ethnic minority areas, and the adoption of international conventions.
    Methods: From 2016 to 2018, we investigated and evaluated TK associated with biodiversity in Lancang County and Kangding City, using the “Technical guidelines for investigation and assessment of TK associated with biological diversity at county level”. We used the snowball sampling method to sample the target groups, determined the holders of TK, and then interviewed key people.
    Results: In Lancang County, 145 examples of TK associated with biodiversity were recorded, and 98 examples were recorded in Kangding City. These TK had obvious regional climate and natural environment characteristics, production and life practice characteristics, traditional cultural characteristics and socio-economic characteristics. Relevant government departments made positive efforts in the protection and management of TK, and local community actions, including traditional culture (customary law, rituals, etc.) and religious beliefs (sacrifice, sacred mountain, sacred forest, etc.) also played an important role in the protection and inheritance of TK. TK, innovation and practices associated with biodiversity were widely used in poverty alleviation and industrial development of local communities in Lancang County and Kangding City. The main threats to TK included the imperfect legislation of TK protection, extinction and endangerment, the low awareness of protections and the reduction of biological resources associated with TK.
    Conclusion: There is rich TK associated with biodiversity in both examined counties, and local communities effectively participate in the protection and sustainable use of TK. In the future, the relevant departments should establish a national system for TK access and benefit sharing; strengthen publicity and education to enhance the awareness of protection and inheritance; protect TK according to local conditions; and promote the protection and sustainable utilization of biological resources associated with TK.

    Applicability and evaluation index system of the term “indigenous and local communities” of the Convention on Biological Diversity in China
    Baoping Li, Dayuan Xue
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  193-199.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020477
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    Background: The term “indigenous and local communities” is introduced in Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity and is used in many important provisions of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources, particularly traditional knowledge. However, neither of the two legal instruments has defined the term, and the international community has not reached a consensus on the scope of application of the term. The Parties can only infer and interpret the term according to the connotation of the text of the Convention and the specific national conditions of each country. The current general understanding is that the “narrow sense of indigenous and local communities” with colonial characteristics and the “broad sense of indigenous and local communities” with indigenous characteristics only. For China, it is of great significance to clarify whether “indigenous and local communities” are conceptually equivalent to or different from Chinese ethnic minorities and their communities for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the formation of the Nagoya Protocol.
    Aims: This article, through the analysis of the origin, the qualitative and quantitative theory and empirical research, selects the important indices for evaluation “indigenous and local communities”, and constructs the assessment indicator system of “characteristics of indigenous and local communities” for Chinese ethnic minorities based on the unit evaluation of specific local community. Then, by use of the system, the actual evaluation is made to the local communities of some ethnic minorities in Southwest China.
    Results & Conclusions: The results show that some local ethnic minority communities that still maintain traditional production and life style and retain traditional culture have obvious “indigenous and local community” characteristics, which are applicable to the relevant provisions of international conventions. This article provides the ideas for understanding the international “indigenous and local communities” and domestic “ethnic minorities” in China. Also it provides technical support for China's implementation of the “indigenous and local communities” provisions of the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and furtherly provides a theoretical basis for safeguarding the rights and interests of local ethnic minority communities in the access to and equitable benefit sharing of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.

    Progress, achievements and prospects of biodiversity protection in Yunnan Province
    Chunhui Liu, Jingbiao Yang, Lun Yin
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  200-211.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020082
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    Background & Aim: The 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will take place in Kunming, Yunnan Province in 2021. The conference will assess the implementation and progress of the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity 2011-2020. Once review is complete, the conference participants will produce the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will become a contemporary document to guide the global conservation of biological diversity after 2020. This conference represents a milestone in the international process of biodiversity conservation and provides an important opportunity for Yunnan to demonstrate its practice and achievements in recent years.
    Review Results: Yunnan is the most biodiverse province in China, and it is therefore a key area of global biodiversity significance. Yunnan has also put great effort into biodiversity conservation, including the following achievements: the provincial Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2012-2030) was one of the first issued in the country; became the first province to enact local legislation on biodiversity conservation; took the lead in the construction of national parks; carried out the evaluation of inventory of county-level biodiversity; and established the first national wildlife germplasm resource bank. Additional significant achievements have been made in in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, and major ecological protection projects.
    Perspectives: To provide basic information for biodiversity conservation in Yunnan, and local implementation examples for COP15, we will assess the progress of biodiversity conservation of Yunnan, evaluate the conservation effects, consider future development directions, and explore the significance of biodiversity in Yunnan. What’s more, we point out that the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity in Yunnan, the demonstration role of cross-border biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction, and the coordinated development of biodiversity conservation and traditional knowledge protection of ethnic minorities are important directions for the future development of biodiversity conservation in Yunnan Province.

    The achievements and experiences of UNDP-GEF biodiversity projects in China
    Chaode Ma, Xinhua Zhao, Cheng Zheng, Fei Leng
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  212-219.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020128
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    Background: The Global Environment Facility (GEF), an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), has experienced seven replenishment phases globally. Some common challenges encountered during the implementation include: sustainability of outcomes, complex programme design and management, and limited engagement with the private sector. In China, stability of project staff is, among all, the largest obstacle.
    Actions: As a GEF International Implementing Agency (IA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) collaborated with the Chinese government at various levels in optimizing the project design and implementation. Comprehensive actions have been taken against challenges and several goals have been obtained in biodiversity conservation. UNDP-GEF projects undertook several adaptive methods and risk management actions to meet those challenges and overcome obstacles. The highlights in the project implementation include: (1) Biodiversity mainstreaming. During the design and implementation of GEF biodiversity projects, great attention has been paid to mainstream biodiversity into all levels of the Chinese governments. (2) Successful cases of market transformation. The project played a bridging role, as enterprises agreed to pay attention to the changes of land use in the upstream, realizing a win-win situation of basin protection, economic and social development. (3) Optimization of the project design. Under China context, several umbrella programmes with their child projects in parallel under a national framework have been designed through programmatic approaches. Meanwhile, setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives shaped up project effectiveness for individual projects. (4) Comprehensive stakeholder consultation. Consultation with stakeholders during full project cycles from designing to implementation is also a necessity. Stakeholders actively participated in projects implementation and the income of local residents increased thanks to projects. Projects proactively coordinated multiple stakeholders including enterprises and non-profit organizations, and adopted participatory management or community co-management to benefit local people and ultimately reduced the threats to biodiversity. Other actions include: (5) enabling financial sustainability; (6) enhancement of capacity and management effectiveness; (7) gender mainstreaming.
    Achievements: With jointly efforts by Chinese governments, UNDP and multi-stakeholders, the following achievements have been made: (1) 5-10 times of co-financing from the Chinese government for biodiversity-related work has been leveraged; (2) biodiversity mainstreamed into governments agenda; (3) the newly protected areas increased; (4) management effectiveness of most nature reserves and protected areas enhanced; and (5) the local residents of the project sites benefitted from the projects.
    Conclusion: This paper combines the practices of the GEF biodiversity projects jointly implemented by UNDP, along with relevant ministries, provinces and other governmental institutes in China, and narrates the strategies and achievements serving as successful examples and best practices contributing to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Hence, this paper provides references for designs and implementations of relevant international projects. These references can be used for the formulation and implementation of related projects globally in the future and contribute to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, to achieve the vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050”.

    China’s practice of promoting biodiversity conservation in transboundary areas
    Tianbao Qin, Xin Yuan
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  220-230.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020104
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    Background: As one of the key components of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Aichi Biodiversity Targets the protection of transboundary biodiversity areas has become a prominent issue in international environmental governance. To respond to ecological needs, fulfil the obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and adhere to the concept of a community with a shared future for humankind, China seeks to enhance transboundary protection of regional biodiversity. This includes establishing an international rule system in this field, forming a multi-level cooperation governance organization structure, and producing special cooperation mechanisms for joint law enforcement, information exchange, and cooperative management. These actions have achieved practical outcomes in certain instances.
    Problems: There is still a need to form a regional consensus and a global resolution for transboundary biodiversity conservation in China. First, progress has been delayed due to external constraints, such as some nations’ unwillingness or insufficient capacity to cooperate. Second, internal operational deficiencies, such as the lack of a legal basis, the lack of a linkage to a cooperation structure, and the narrow scope of coordination, has also delayed progress.
    Recommendations: To promote further development of China’s practice of transboundary biodiversity protection, there should be understood the foundation of multiple parties’ interests and aiding other nations to improve their capacity to overcome external obstacles, increased focus on supplementing the legal and regulatory system, formulating an overall national strategic plan, and expanding the scope of cooperative protection to optimize the existing plan.

    Correlations among stakeholders and their respective obligations in implementing the Nagoya Protocol
    Yuanyuan Zhang, Zhenyu Zhong, Zhibin Cheng, Fengchun Lü, Xuan Cai, Jiade Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  231-237.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021002
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    Background: The process of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) mainly concerns three stakeholders, namely, providers, users and administrators. It is important to understand in-depth relevant provisions regarding these three groups and administrators of the Nagoya Protocol (NP) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the correlations among three stakeholders and their respective responsibilities in implementing the NP in China.
    Aim: This article examines the correlations among providers, users and administrators during the process of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), to understand their respective obligations in implementing the NP on ABS, so as to provide technical support in realization of benefit sharing in a fair and equitable manner.
    Perspectives & Suggestions: Providers are obliged to identify the source or origin of biological genetic resources, and put in efforts to protect such resources; identify the original holders (or local communities) of genetic resources and the holders of associated traditional knowledge: develop a databank of local biological genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, by survey, registration and catalogue; analyze the origins of genetic resources, development and history of utilization; improve the capabilities of handling ABS issues, especially the ability of negotiating with users on ABS agreements, through ABS training. Users are obliged to follow the principles of “Prior Informed Consent (PIC)” and “Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT)” required by the CBD and the NP. After obtaining PIC and MAT from Indigenous and Local Communities (ILCs), they shall sign ABS agreements with them, which reflect fairness and equity; Users shall respect the contributions of ILCs in conserving and providing biological genetic resources, develop guiding rules in practicing ABS, fulfilling social responsibility. They also need to disclose the source and provenance of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge (ATK) in applying for patent. Administrators, in the process of establishing ABS, are responsible for developing a sound ABS policy and legal system; developing an ABS clearing house system and releasing relevant information; issuing standards of ABS applications and providing a model “ABS agreement”; reviewing and approving “ABS agreements”, and issuing “Certificate of legally sourced genetic resources (GRs)”; the administrators also need to supervise and monitor the implementation of those ABS agreements.

    The review mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity: Status, challenges and prospects
    Shuxia Yu, Liangchun Deng, Qiong Wu, Zhen Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  238-246.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020445
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    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.

    The role, status quo and China’s action of international development assistance for biodiversity: Based on the implementation of CBD
    Xi Chen, Luo Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  247-258.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020392
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    Background and Important Implications: Biodiversity aid is the main way to achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also an important policy tool for China to export and practice Xi Jinping’s ecological civilization, participate in international environmental governance, safeguard China’s overseas development interests and build a good international image.
    Current Financing Level: From the perspective of global biological diversity Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing level, the total funds has reached more than 130 billion US dollars by 2018. In recent years, the annual global biological diversity ODA have shown a trend of weak growth of multilateral financing and fluctuating growth of bilateral financing.
    Current Policy Level: From the perspective of biodiversity assistance policy, the Executive Secretariat of CBD leads the global biodiversity strategy, IUCN focuses on in-depth assessment of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans(NBSAP)implementation, and the United States, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan have also formulated clear biodiversity assistance policies.
    Recommendations: As one of the richest biodiversity resources countries in the world, China is performing its biodiversity protection more effectively, and at the same time, it could also undertake a wider range of international biodiversity protection obligations through foreign aid, including raising the level of biodiversity foreign aid funds, formulating a systematic biodiversity foreign aid plan and strengthening its implementation.

    Toward developing a new funding mechanism to support post-2020 biodiversity conservation
    Wei Wei, Xiaoli Shen, Yinan Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (2):  259-268.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020415
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    Background: The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will review the achievement and delivery of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and consider adopting the final draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework with potential amendments. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will be an important milestone toward the realization of the 2050 vision “living in harmony with nature” and achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
    Progress: It is agreed that the financial mechanism for supporting biodiversity conservation is and will continue to be the key to implementing the global biodiversity action plan. However, the current funding gap for biodiversity conservation and restoration to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 is estimated to be at least 50 billion US dollars per year, with an even larger financial gap of more than half a trillion US dollars per year expected in the coming decade. According to the data submitted to the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) of the CBD, parties’ direct investment for domestic biodiversity conservation only accounts for a very small fraction of their total gross domestic product (GDP). In 2015, China spent 0.255% of its total GDP in biodiversity conservation, and this percentage was relatively high compared to other countries. As a developing country, China has significantly increased its biodiversity investment in recent years, and in 2019 this amount reached approximately 0.6% of its GDP. The existing biodiversity funding channel is relatively low on diversity, which will make fulfilling biodiversity conservation goals quite challenging. Thus, there is an urgent need to establish a new funding mechanism to assist in the achievement of the post-2020 mission and goals by 2030. It has been suggested that the Convention on Biological Diversity can learn from the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (e.g. green climate fund), and synergize with other relevant environmental conventions, in particular, through nature-based solutions.
    Perspective: As the host country of COP15, China has the responsibility and ability to facilitate the negotiation for a new funding mechanism at the conference in order to promote the implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This new biodiversity funding mechanism shall be independent of the existing financial mechanisms with much diverse investment channels, introduce achievement grading mechanisms and link funding to concrete mission, goal and responsibility aiming to improve the efficiency of fund use, and support biodiversity activities in developing countries.

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