Judicial Colloqium on Biodiversity

13 October 2012

Event Tabs

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity took place from 8-19 October, 2012 in Hyderabad, India. The high-level Ministerial Segment was held from 16-19 October and a number of other events and meetings took place parallel to COP11 including the Communications, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Fair, the Rio Conventions Pavilion, the Cities’ Biodiversity Summit, among others.

Approximately 6000 delegates representing Parties, other governments, NGOs, international organizations, UN agencies, indigenous and local community representatives, academia and the private sector were in attendance. COP11 adopted 33 decisions on a range of issues in the agenda. (Advanced unedited versions are available at: http://www.cbd.int/cop/cop-11/doc/2012-10-24-advanced-unedited-cop-11-decisions-en.pdf)

After the adoption of the “Nagoya Package” back at the very successful COP10 two years ago, COP11 marked a move in the Convention from negotiation to implementation. In many ways, this COP was also an opportunity to correct and fine-tune issues that are found ineffective, insufficient or problematic in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets. Expectations of any big “breakthrough” at COP11 were not high and this was considered as a transitional COP by many.

Issues that were intensively discussed at COP11 include:1) setting targets for the Resource Mobilization Strategy and discussion around the resources needed to fill the financial resources gap for biodiversity conservation especially in developing countries; 2) the work around marine protected areas (MPAs) and conservation of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction and in particular the description of ecologically and biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs); and 3) the way that the Convention deals with so called “new and emerging issues” like geo-engineering and synthetic biology. Undoubtedly, the most salient issue at this COP nonetheless was the development and agreement of targets to assess financial flows from developed to developing countries in order to implement and advance with the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets in the context of current financial constraints and budget cuts. In fact, negotiations around this issue were held from the beginning of COP until the very end and caused the delay until 3 a.m. of Saturday 20 October of the closure of the meeting.

In IUCN’s view the Strategic Plan represents an unparalleled opportunity to galvanise all parts of society to work to tackle thecrisis of ongoing biodiversity loss, on which the life on this planet depends. IUCN (its Members, Commission and Secretariat) played a significant role in the development and adoption of the Strategic Plan. Following its adoption, IUCN mobilized its networks to promote follow-up and implementation of the Plan and Targets and has made it a priority to encourage Parties to the CBD and others to urgently implement the necessary action to achieve the Aichi Targets.IUCN’s Programme 2013-2016 has fully integrated the Strategic Plan and Targets and since the Nagoya COP IUCN nominated a number of “Champions” to follow-up to each of the twenty Targets in a concerted and coordinated way.

For the summary report and daily coverage of COP11 please consult the Earth Negotiations Bulletin at: http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/cop11/

Saturday, 13 October 2012: Morning Session

09:00 – 09:30

Opening and Welcome Session

  • Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat(TBC)
  • Antonio Herman Benjamin, Justice, STJ – The High Court of Brazil, and Chair, WCEL - IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law
  • Kala Mulqueeny, Principal Counsel, Asian Development Bank
  • Jay Pendergrass, Environmental Law Institute - ELI
09:30 – 10:20

Session 1: The Biodiversity Crisis from a Scientific and Legal Perspective


  • Jay PenderGrass, ELI - Environmental Law Institute


  • Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat
  • Bakary Kante, Director, United Nations Environment Program
10:20 – 10:30
10:30 – 10:45
Tea Break
10:45 – 11:45

Session 2: Ethical and Legal Responses to the Biodiversity Crisis​


  • Jane Smart, Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group, IUCN


  • Ben Boer, Professor, University of Sydney School of Law, and Deputy-Chair, WCEL− Panorama of Biodiversity Law
  • Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai, Chair, Center for Environmental Education, India − Biodiversity: Ethical Lessons from the Earth Charter
  • Thomas Greiber, Environmental Law Center, Bonn − The Role of the Judiciary in Biodiversity Governance
11:45 – 12:00
12:00 – 13:00


  • Kala Mulqueeny, Principal Counsel, Asian Development Bank


  • Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, STJ – The High Court of Brazil and Chair, WCEL − Judges and the UNEP Rio+20 Declaration on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability
  • Justice Hima Kohli, High Court of India − Lessons from India
  • Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai, Court of Appeal Hetaunda − Lessons from Nepal
13:00 – 14:30

Lunch Break


Afternoon Session

14:30 – 15:45

Session 4: Judges & Biodiversity


  • IUCN


  • Justice Takdir Rahmadi, Indonesian Supreme Court − Lessons from Indonesia
  • Justice Dato’ Mariana Binti Yahya, Supreme Court of Malaysia − Lessons from Malaysia
  • Justice Md. Shamsul Huda, Apellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh − Lessons from Bangladesh
  • Grethel Aguilar Rojas, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law − Lesson from Mesoamerica
15:45 – 16:00
16:00 – 16:15
Tea Break
16:15 – 17:30

Session 5: Speaker Roundtable: Challenges and Future of National Compliance & Enforcement of Biodiversity Law


  • Kala Mulqueeny, Principal Counsel, Asian Development Bank


  • Justices from Brazil, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Ben Boer, Jay Pendergrass, and other guests
17:30 – 17:50
General Report
17:50 – 18:00

Closing Remarks

  • Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD
  • Bakary Kante, Director, United Nations Environment Program − UNEP