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) will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 4 to 17 December 2016.

During CBD COP13, about 10,000 participants, including state representatives and international organizations, will meet 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) is bringing the latest scientific research, insights and experiences to discussions held alongside the negotiations. CIFOR scientists will be attending and presenting important and innovative research regarding landscape restoration, food security, gender in forestry and REDD+.

Watch this space for more information on 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

Panelists :
Margarita Astralaga (IFAD)
tbd (FAO)
tbd (NGO/Farmer’s representative)

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 :
tbd (NGO/Farmer’s representative)
Highlights of MoU and main outputs
Terry Sunderland
Presentation of country case studies and panel discussion
Signing ceremony

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 :


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

Keynote: Forests, Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

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

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

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:


14 December 2016


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

Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Social Inclusion


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

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

18:15 - 19:45

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

Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Social Inclusion


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 :
Gender Dimensions in Sustainable Wildlife Management
Amy Duchelle