Acting Minister Mr. Derek Hanekom leads the South African delegation at the 14th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Egypt

13 November 2018


The South African delegation led by Acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr. Derek Hanekom has arrived in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, to participate at the fourteenth Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This Convention, with membership of 196 countries, promotes conservation, sustainable use, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of natural resources.

Minister Hanekom is supported by the Minister of Public Works, Mr Thulas Nxesi, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Barbara Thomson, and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Environmental Affairs, Mr Philemon Mapulane as well as senior officials from government, government entities, provincial conservation authorities and biodiversity sector.

Minister Hanekom will participate at the Africa Biodiversity Summit happening today, Tuesday, 13 November 2018 and the Ministerial High Level Segment which starts on Wednesday 14 November 2018 and ends on Thursday, 15 November 2018, prior to the start of the Fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 14).

The theme of the Summit is “Land and Ecosystem Degradation and Restoration: Priorities for Increased Resilience in Africa”, while that of the High Level Segment is “Investing in Biodiversity for People and the Planet”. The Africa Biodiversity Summit will provide policy and strategic guidance on African biodiversity priorities for inclusion in the future work programmes of the Convention and its Protocols. The High Level Segment on the other hand, will consider the mainstreaming of biodiversity in the sectors of energy and mining; infrastructure; manufacturing and processing; and health within the broader context of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This 14th meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held every two years, is running parallel to the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Cartagena Protocol (COP/MOP 9) and the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (Nagoya Protocol COP/MOP 3).

Negotiations in these meetings are expected to take place during the duration of the 17-29 November 2018, to address a series of issues related to implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.

In addition to the main negotiations that will be taking place, there are a number of parallel meetings and events that will be taking place such as the meetings of the Ministers of Environment from the Like Minded Megadiverse countries (LMMCs), High Level Event on Plant Conservation for Human Wellbeing and Nature, Wildlife Day, Access and Benefits Sharing, to name but a few.

Minister Hanekom emphasized that South Africa will advance the perspective that biodiversity is an integral part of our development agenda, and will advance positions aligned to the National Development Plan and South Africa’s commitment to meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes the advancement of the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystems in addressing the historical and seemingly inherent challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. 

“We will participate in the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) discussions with the view to ensure more effective Nagoya Protocol implementation. South Africa and other developing country parties are of the view that the misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, without real benefits accruing to local communities who have conserved the genetic resources and are the holders of traditional knowledge is a matter that requires urgent attention,” said Minister Hanekom.  

Regarding the interface between biodiversity and climate change, South Africa will advance positions that enhance synergies among different Conventions, policies and implementation strategies while engaging broadly with civil society organizations, the private sector and other key actors.

In this regard, South Africa will seek to foster a coherent, integrated and co-beneficial implementation of the actions under the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, other relevant international frameworks, and the CBD, including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the future post-2020 global biodiversity framework; and to integrate ecosystem-based approaches when updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The Minister will advance South Africa’s long held assertion that the continent’s rich biodiversity, while benefiting the global community, is an essential component of the regions’ development trajectory, tourism and rural development.

For media enquiries and interviews:

Albi Modise
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Peter Mbelengwa
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