What is a COP Decision? Views 1308 Date 2014.05.29

The biennial meetings of the COP are the only opportunities for affecting the content of the Convention. As circumstances change over time it becomes necessary to add to the existing text, and it is these additions that take the form of COP Decisions. Each is phrased as a non-binding agreement, between the Parties, to consider or work towards certain actions. Decision X/2 (the second Decision of COP 10), for example, is an agreement to follow a new Strategic Plan for the CBD and for all Parties to aim for the same 20 “Aichi Biodiversity Targets ”. Decision IX/28 (the 28th Decision of COP 9) is the first decision in which Parties officially recognize the key role of local and subnational governments. Decision X/22 (the 22nd decision of COP 10) provides an indicative list of actions for (primarily) national governments to consider when working with subnational authorities. Decisions are adopted only with the consensus of all Parties. It is therefore necessary to debate their content thoroughly for the two weeks of each COP, to ensure that all are in agreement. Other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), like the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) function similarly.

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