1 min read

UN Sec Gen Appoints Astrid Schomaker as Next UN Biodiversity Chief

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed the Director for Global Sustainable Development, European Commission Astrid Schomaker as the next Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In the official announcement, the Secretary-General extended his appreciation and gratitude to David Cooper of the United Kingdom, who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Secretary until Ms. Schomaker assumes her functions.

Mr. Cooper, who has led the CBD Secretariat since February 2023 congratulated Ms. Schomaker on her appointment. “We are excited for the future and welcome her in her new role in this crucial moment of implementing the Biodiversity Plan,” he wrote.

Schomaker, a German, brings extensive experience in international relations and negotiations, deep knowledge of the global sustainable development agenda and multilateral environment agreements, and policymaking on global environmental issues.

At the helm of the Secretariat of the world’s foremost Multilateral Environmental Agreement on biodiversity, the newly appointed Executive Secretary will work with the Parties to the CBD to translate the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (the Biodiversity Plan), adopted in December 2022, into action at all levels.

Protect and restore, prosper with nature, share benefits fairly and invest and collaborate—the four goals of the Biodiversity Plan—will shape the new UN Biodiversity chief’s priorities.
Awaiting the freshly appointed Executive Secretary is the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 16), which will take place from 21 October- 1 November 2024 in Cali, Colombia.

By the time they meet in Cali, Parties to the Convention are expected to submit revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) that are aligned with the Biodiversity Plan.

As part of her high-level advocacy role, the next Executive Secretary will bring impetus to ongoing efforts to forge agreement among the Parties on a robust monitoring and reporting framework and on securing the means of implementation of the Biodiversity Plan.

In the lead-up to COP 16, Parties are expected to move towards closing the biodiversity finance gap, with the first milestone of increasing total biodiversity-related international financial resources from developed countries to at least US$ 20 billion per year by 2025.

Since Parties have only a few years to achieve the targets of the Biodiversity Plan (due in 2030), additional and adequate financial resources are needed in addition to those already mobilized through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), including the recently established Global Biodiversity Framework Fund.

Ms. Schomaker will also lead the CBD Secretariat’s work, and facilitate the Parties’ negotiations, on Access and benefit sharing (ABS), a crucial issue that lies at the core of the Biodiversity Plan.

At COP 16, Parties are expected to agree on operationalizing the multilateral mechanism for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from Digital Sequence Information on genetic resources, including a global fund. Negotiations in preparation for this will be held in Montreal in August of this year.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

EU Launches €9m Energy Projects to Propel Nigeria’s Sustainable Development

Next Story

Azerbaijan Steps Up for Climate Action: A Look at COP29 and Beyond