UN Biodiversity Conference

4-17 December, Cancun, Mexico

The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13) was held in Cancun, Mexico, from 4 to 17 December 2016.

During CBD COP13, about 10,000 participants, including state representatives and international organizations, met in Cancun to negotiate agreements and commitments for the conservation of biodiversity, and its sustainability into the future.

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) brought the latest scientific research, insights and experiences to discussions held alongside the negotiations. CIFOR scientists presented important and innovative research regarding landscape restoration, food security, gender in forestry and REDD+.

Explore this site to find out more about CIFOR sessions and presentations at CBD COP13.


5 December 2016

13:15 - 14:45

IGOs Group Meeting Room, Sunrise Building, Second Floor

Farmers in Developing Countries – Balancing Zero Hunger with Biodiversity

Climate change is a major challenge for meeting the SDG2. One evident side effect of climate change is loss of biodiversity. This loss has far reaching implications and the smallholders on the frontline of climate change are suffering most. The joint side event concentrates on ongoing and future efforts combining the fight against biodiversity loss, hunger and the fight against climate change, focuses on countries’ experiences and showcases the importance of anticipating, absorbing and reshaping for climate resilience in agriculture sectors, including early warning systems, insurances, social protection and climate risk sensitive finances and investment at scale.


  • Smallholder farmers face daily struggles to feed their families and their communities, maintain their livelihoods, and respond to increased climate risks. In this context, how can they incorporate biodiversity conservation to the challenges they already face?
  • What type of policy and financial instruments are required for smallholder farmers to become agents for conservation of biodiversity, rather than contributors to environmental degradation?
Organizers: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Moderators: Terry Sunderland, Team Leader for Sustainable Landscapes and Food (CIFOR)

Panelists :
Margarita Astralaga, Director of Environment and Climate (IFAD)
Chikelu Mba, Team Leader, Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources, Plant Production and Protection Division of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Alejandro Argumedo, Director of Programmes at Asociacion ANDES

8 December 2016


Contact Group 2 Meeting Room, Universal Building, Main floor

Forest biodiversity and diversified agricultural systems – Activities under the CGIAR-CBD MoU

Forests play a critical role in the implementation of concrete actions to counter impacts from climate change, poverty, and food insecurity. Recognizing the importance of forest biodiversity in agricultural production, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 12 October 2012 between the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF, also known as “World Agroforestry Centre”), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Bioversity International, partners in the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry: Livelihoods, Landscapes and Governance (CRP6 Partner Centers) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity). The MoU aims to facilitate activities concerning the research of CGIAR’s Programme and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The side event will provide an overview of the main activities undertaken and explain how such actions are contributing to the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The event will also highlight opportunities for future CGIAR support to the CBD agenda, and the commitment of this partnership by way of an extension of the MoU for another four years.

Organizers: CGIAR (CIFOR, Bioversity International, ICRAF, CIAT) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Panelists :
Catalina Santamaria, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
Terry Sunderland
view presentation
Presentation of country case studies and panel discussion
Terry Sunderland (CIFOR), Dietmar Stoian (Bioversity International), Phil Dobie (ICRAF)
Signing ceremony
Braulio Dias (SCBD) and Terry Sunderland (CGIAR rep)

9 December 2016

All day

Rio Conventions’ Pavilion, Universal Building – “B” Main floor

Forest and Agriculture Day

Complementing the roles of agriculture and forestry to achieve socio-ecological and sustainable development priorities

Forested lands play an important role in the production of food, fuel, fiber and the provisions of other goods and services critical for human well-being. The quality and quantity of wild crop relatives and other forms of biodiversity, that underpin production systems, also benefit from forests in different ways.

The long-term sustainability of agricultural production and overall food systems profit from the ecological functions of forests and trees as well. Key benefits include soil conservation, water cycling, pollination, pest and diseases regulation, carbon sequestration and storage, nutrient conversion, nitrogen fixation and habitat protection, including for pollinators. For agriculture, the biodiversity in forest ecosystems is a key component to ensure nutritional diversity, as well as a continued flow of yields, with lowered costs. Tackling food security and biodiversity conservation in forests, in the face of climate change, requires a better understanding, as two mutually supportive objectives in managed landscapes.

However, every year large areas of forested land are being lost. The majority of crop and livestock production systems are, unfortunately, still contributing to negative environmental externalities, and agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation.

With population growth expected to exceed nine billion people globally in 2050, and current patterns of consumption and production adding pressure to already scarce natural resources, meeting the world’s demand for food and forest-based products will require innovative, cost-effective and inclusive measures. Climate change presents an additional threat, already affecting agriculture and food systems in many regions. This compounds the challenge to achieve food security, sustainable land management and poverty eradication goals.

While the implications need to be better understood, several countries are already enabling productive sectors to become more resilient and able to adapt to climate change, contributing to the reduction and removal of greenhouse gas emissions, where possible. The Forest and Agriculture Day will bring the perspectives of different stakeholders to describe why, how and who are championing solutions for producers to improve their livelihoods, increase productivity and reduce losses and waste.

Organized by:

With support from:

Panelists :
Braulio Dias (SCBD) and Terry Sunderland (CGIAR rep)


Welcome Address: Biodiversity mainstreaming for climate smart agriculture, food security and sustainable forest management

Highlights from key meetings on mainstreaming biodiversity in productive sectors

Mexican Government representative (TBC)

Hesiquio Benítez, Director General de Cooperación Internacional e Implementación, CONABIO

Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat

Eva Muller, Director, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO

Keynote:  Highlights from the State of the World’s Forests 2016, Eva Muller

Q&A- Facilitated by Catalina Santamaria, CBD Secretariat



Session 1: Forests and trees – an essential element of sustainable agriculture

view presentation

Keynote: Forests, Ecosystem Services and Food Security

Terry Sunderland, Principal Scientist, CIFOR Forests and Livelihoods program and Lead on the Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition Report for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

Panel discussion on the contributions of forests:

  • Terry Sunderland, CIFOR
  • Dietmar Stoian, Bioversity
  • Hein Ngo, IPBES

Q&A – Facilitated by Phil Dobie, ICRAF


Session 2: Land use frameworks that secure conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Keynote: The role of policy and legal frameworks governing land-use change, and securing land-tenure systems

Country perspectives: Vietnam, Gambia (TBC)

Stakeholder perspective: Brandee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary

Q&A Facilitated by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds


Lunchtime session: Ecological intensification and ecosystem services

Keynote: Recognizing the value of agro-forestry systems to global production

Dr. Salman Hussain, UNEP TEEB Coordinator

Discussion Topic: Oliver Page, Regional Climate Change and Environmental Specialist Environment and Climate Division, IFAD

Panel Discussion:

  • Bernardo Strassburg, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainability (IIS)
  • Sarah Nelson, RSPB
  • Mafabi Gumonye Paul, Director of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda

Q&A Facilitator: Oliver Page, Regional Climate Change and Environmental Specialist Environment and Climate Division, IFAD


Session 3: Use of policy instruments for landscape connectivity

Discussion topic: Incentives that promote landscape connectivity to contribute to broader development priorities

  • Laura Plant, Price Waterhouse Cooper

Country perspectives:

  • Felipe Carazo, Executive Director FUNDECOR, Costa Rica
  • Mohamed Ali Ben Temessek, Deputy Director, General Direction of Environment and Quality of Life, Tunisia

Business perspective: Syngenta Representative, Switzerland

Q&A Facilitator: Peter Besseau, Chair of the GPFLR and UNFF12


Session 4: Commitments to zero deforestation and other sustainability standards

Discussion topic: Translating commitments into practice – How to measure impacts on various aspects of sustainability

Dietmar Stoian: Principal Scientist, Bioversity

Stakeholder approaches:

TRASE, a new kind of transparency platform: Sarah Lake, Head of Programme, Drivers of Deforestation, Global Canopy Programme

High Conservation Values Assessments: Planning private sector expansion of agricultural commodities to minimize impact on climate and biodiversity: Paulina Villalpando, Executive Director of the HCV Network

 Q&A Facilitator: Blaise Bodin, CBD Consultant


Session 5: Coordinated policies governing land use and land-use change related to forests, biodiversity, agriculture and energy


Stakeholder perspectives:

Levi Sucre, de la Red de Indígenas Bribri y Cabecar (RIBCA) en Costa Rica

Alianzia Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB) (including video)


  • Nigeria representative
  • Mexico representative
  • Ulrich Apel, Land Degradation and Forest Officer, GEF
  • Eva Muller, Director, FAO
  • Salman Hussain, UNEP TEEB Coordinator

Q&A Facilitator: Paulina Villalpando, Executive Director of the HCV Network

12 December

1.15 pm

Marie Khan Women's Caucus Meeting Room, Sunrise Building, 2nd floor

Improving the evidence base on the effectiveness of forest conservation and rural livelihood initiatives in delivering social and ecological benefits

Flyer:   Invitation to CI IIED side event Dec 12, 2016 – English 1.47Mb


Organizers: Conservation International (CI) and IIED

Panelists :
Evaluating the impacts of REDD+ interventions on forests and people
Amy Duchelle, CIFOR
view presentation
Why do we need to improve the evidence base on the ecological impacts of conservation and sustainable development initiatives?
Celia Harvey, Conservation International
The 'GEF-Satoyama Project' and indicators of resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes
William Dunbar, UNU-IAS
A review of the evidence for the conservation efectiveness of alternative livelihoods project
Dilys Roe, IIED
Can small-scale livelihood projects deliver both conservation and livelihood outcomes? A case study from Madagascar
Tokihenintsoa Andrianjohaninarivo, CI
Understanding the social impacts of protected areas: A community perspective
Phil Franks, IIED

13 December 2016

All day

Rio Conventions’ Pavilion, Universal Building – “B” Main floor

Forest Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Day

Towards ecosystem and climate-smart restoration for sustainable livelihoods, food security and biodiversity conservation: A landscapes perspective to address multiple priorities

Combating the degradation of land, forests, and ecosystems has become an urgent policy priority. In this session, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and several other members of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) promote the concept and practice of forest landscape and ecosystem restoration, striving for enhanced coherence between the various initiatives.

Organized by:


CIFOR’s work on forest landscape restoration is supported by:



Welcome Address

Eva Muller – On behalf of CPF Chair/ FAO

Braulio Dias- Message from the Joint Rio Liaison Group

Korea Forest Service, Republic of Korea

Mexican Government


Session 1: The global restoration movement: Methodologies used and the way forward

Keynote: Jim Hallett (SER)


Methodology Focus: Prioritizing areas for ecosystem restoration (Bernardo Strasburg/IIS)

Lessons learned from ROAM applications: Commonalities, limitations and advantages among countries. Recommendations from ROAM for advancing national commitments. (Mirjam Kuzee, IUCN)


Moderators: Ulrich Apel, GEF


Session 2: Country experiences

Country experts present their implementation approaches, prioritized activities and potential for alignments of their restoration targets. Organizations present analysis, and offer insights on approaches and modalities for achieving targets in a coordinated manner.


  • Carlos Alberto de Mattos Scaramuzza (Brazil)
  • Beatriz Cardona, Instituto Nacional de Bosques (Guatemala)
  • Marcial Amaro, Assistant Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Philippines)
  • Janne S. Kotiaho, Professor of Ecology, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Jyväskylä (Finland)
  • Perspectives from Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana (TBC)


Moderators: Michael Kleine, IUFRO



Session 3: Monitoring the impacts of restoration

Discussion topic: Approaches for monitoring global restoration commitments – Who, what and how?

  • Lars Laestadius, International Consultant

Technical Study: State of the art review on participatory-local monitoring for forest landscape restoration

Perspectives and discussion: Monitoring experts, GPFLR and CPF members



Moderators: Lars Laestadius


Session 4: Partnership support to advance national restoration plans and facilitate implementation measures

Discussion Topic: Ways and means for organizations to use partnership arrangements to leverage actions that contribute to shared restoration goals at the national level.

  • Peter Besseau, Director, International Affairs Division of Natural Resources, Canadian Forest Service

Opportunity for CPF and GPFLR partners, countries and initiatives to highlight how their work is supporting an alignment of national restoration actions to the CBD objectives and Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

CBDS, IUCN,FAO, CIFOR, GEF, ITTO, IUFRO, Bioversity,  SER, others


  • Eva Muller, Director, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO



Moderators: Peter Besseau, co-facilitated by IUCN

14 December 2016

Marie Khan Women’s Caucus Room, Sunrise Building, Second Floor

Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Read the Rio Conventions Pavilion Bulletin Summary here.


Marie Khan Women’s Caucus Room, Sunrise Building, Second Floor

From the ground up: Drawing the links from community-level initiatives to national action to achieve the SDGs


Conservation International (CI), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WorldFish, World Resources Institute (WRI)


Panelists :
Amy Duchelle
view presentation

18:15 - 19:45

Marie Khan Women’s Caucus Room, Sunrise Building, Second Floor

Gender Dimensions in Sustainable Wildlife Management


Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); Collaborative Partnership for Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW); Conservation International (CI); Equidad; Governments of Canada, Mexico and others to be confirmed; Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network (IWBN); United Nations.

Panelists :
Amy Duchelle