The Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) summarizes the status of biological diversity at a global scale and analyzes the actions that are taking place to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably. Four editions have been prepared by the Convention on Biological Diversity since the second meeting of the Conference of Parties and the draft of its fifth edition is currently underway.

GBO-5 will be launched during the twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) in May 2020. The draft summary for policy-makers and the complete draft of the GBO-5 were made available for stakeholder review and the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity (AC SNG) provided comments aimed at highlighting the importance of subnational governments in articulating national policies and programs and implementing actions on the ground.

Particularly, the AC SNG recommended reinforcing the role subnational governments play in the materialization of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, by doing so, the framework could provide the 2050 Vision with a more actionable perspective. Additionally, it was suggested that the GBO-5 took a comprehensive approach in the scenarios it proposes, a bigger focus on urban-rural linkages and the importance of the various levels of governments below the national could provide a broader response to the issue of biodiversity loss.

Also, as it was showcased during the 23rd meeting of the SBSTTA, subnational governments have intensely worked on implementing nature-based solutions and have made substantial efforts to document those actions and learn from them, therefore, the AC SNG also suggested the GBO-5 to consider their experience and knowledge in the development of the documents’ conclusions, particularly those related to climate action. Some of those efforts were portrayed in the report “Mainstreaming biodiversity: The Subnational Government Experience”, launched by Regions4 and the AC SNG at SBSTTA-23.

The SBSTTA-24 meeting will be a milestone for subnational governments since it’ll be followed by major events that aim to influence the ongoing process such as Bio-diverse cities and regions beyond 2020 at the UN CBD COP15 and in the next EU strategy (30 January 2020), organized by the AC SNG’s partner the European Committee of the Regions; and the BIO2020: Brazilian perspectives on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (4-6 February 2020), organized by Regions4 and AC SNG member, Sao Paulo state government together with ICLEI and the initiative Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support.