Sun shining through the trees in the Water Forest

Biodiversity Negotiations 2016

Cancun, Mexico, December 4–17, 2016

© Jessica Scranton



The conservation of biodiversity is inextricably linked to the goals of sustainable development, addressing climate change and combating desertification.

In 2010, Parties to the CBD adopted the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, a comprehensive set of goals to protect biodiversity by 2020. Negotiations at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13) will focus on mainstreaming biodiversity into other sectors as a way of ensuring full achievement of the Aichi Targets. Additionally, with the recent formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda (including the Sustainable Development Goals) and the Paris Climate Agreement, these negotiations will focus on how common aims can help achieve these goals across sectors.

Our Approach

Man throws fishing net from a canoe in Mexico
© Jessica Scranton

The conservation of biodiversity is inextricably linked to the goals of sustainable development, addressing climate change and combating desertification. The conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems are essential for achieving development goals as they are often cost-effective, sustainable and integrally linked with improving human well-being. The important work being done on mainstreaming biodiversity into other sectors and the aligning the work toward achieving the Aichi Targets with the goals of other Conventions and fora, including through funding mechanisms, is critical for the achievement of the Aichi Targets.

​​Read our official analysis

Our policy stance at COP 13

Conservation International calls on countries to:

  • Take prompt and ambitious action in meeting the Aichi Targets, especially through mainstreaming efforts.

    Recent milestones in sustainable development — including the Paris Agreement and the Post-2015 Development Agenda — demonstrate political will for increased action, and it is crucial that the CBD align and integrate its work with these processes to strengthen considerations of the role of nature in all sectors.

  • Maintain and restore ecological infrastructure to combat climate change

    Ecosystems provide significant contributions to climat​e mitigation and adaptation, including disaster risk reduction. Maintaining ecological infrastructure such as as wetlands systems, riverine buffers and coastal defenses (such as mangroves and dunes) provide natural defenses against climate change and support the resilience of communities and livelihood development in the process.

  • Invest in protected areas planning and management

    The window for establishing new protected areas is coming to a close throughout the tropical world due to accelerating habitat conversion. This closing window affects the ability to conserve all biodiversity, to protect biodiversity in the face of climate change, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through REDD+. Investment in protected areas planning and management is needed to counter the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on existing protected areas.

  • Take concrete action on funding commitments and verification systems

    Sufficient, sustainable and accessible flows of finance are crucial for developing, implementing and maintaining strategic conservation activities, including activities that yield important co-benefits for human well-being. In particular, processes for sharing national methodological guidance are necessary to improve transparency and enable replicability for biodiversity finance.

  • Align biodiversity action with other international efforts through mainstreaming

    Mainstreaming is necessary to ensure that the value of biodiversity is integrated and internalized across economic sectors, from agriculture and fisheries to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Mainstreaming must support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which recognize the close connections between environment and development by bringing environmental, social and economic objectives together in an agreed and integrated global framework.

Man tends to crops in Chiapas, Mexico
© CI/photo by Miguel Ángel de la Cueva

Did you know that small-scale farmers manage most of the agricultural sector in Mexico? By improving the sustainability of these farms, we can protect the forests, fresh water and biodiversity that are vital to human well-being. Learn more about Conservation International’s work in Mexico, including our programs to improve livelihoods in Chiapas, produce native cacao, and protect water sources.