20.04.2021

Learning from one another: Indo-German Working Group on Biodiversity

Photo: iStock / studiocasper

India is a ‘megadiverse country’, a term that is used to refer to countries that collectively harbour most of the Earth’s species. Within India, there are also ‘biodiversity hotspots’, which are places where this high level of biodiversity (measured in terms of vascular plants) is severely threatened. Conservation of biodiversity is therefore naturally part of the bilateral cooperation between the German and Indian ministries for the environment.

Preparation for CBD COP 15 and the new Global Biodiversity Framework

In February 2021, the Indo-German Working Group on Biodiversity met for its second session, attended by representatives from the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU). Representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) also participated in the event.

The agenda for this session included topics relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity of interest to both parties – both bilaterally and in the context of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15), and the new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Participants focused their attention in particular on views, challenges and issues related to the following topics:

  • Implementation, monitoring, reporting and auditing 
  • All relevant sectors of the national economy
  • Access and benefit-sharing from the use of genetic resources (ABS) and digital sequence information (DSI)
  • Resource mobilisation for implementing the new global framework 

A number of areas of mutual interest were discovered at the session. 

With the ministries also discussing details of the initiatives, aims and challenges faced in both countries in the areas of conservation, biodiversity and the ‘One Health’ approach

The session opened with an overview of the two nations’ bilateral cooperation, including International Climate Initiative (IKI) and the Corona Response Package. The IKI presentation focused on the funding area of biodiversity and its cooperation with partners in India.

This was followed by participants discussing potential topics for their future work together. A roundtable event was proposed for a more in-depth exchange of knowledge/views.

A shared basis for protecting biodiversity

The Indo-German Working Group on Biodiversity forms part of work conducted in the Indo-German environmental forums, which are organised by the BMU together with the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA). 

Both countries aim to use the working group to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in the field of biodiversity. Alongside this group, other working groups also exist for the subjects of waste management and the circular economy, water management and climate.

In the run-up towards CBD COP 15 and the new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, this form of bilateral dialogue plays an important preliminary role in identifying shared points of view and therefore enabling a successful Conference of the Parties to the CBD. 

IKI is also supporting work on the new Global Biodiversity Framework in many different ways.