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Tue. Jun 28th, 2022

Experts Underline Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity Ahead of Nairobi Biodiversity Negotiations

  • It’s the financial commitments that turn all those aspirations into results, and that’s why we feel that the financial component is one that needs more attention, more political priority and ideal some major progress here in Nairobi.
  • Experts suggest that wealthy nations need to increase support for developing countries to the tune of at least $60 billion for biodiversity preferably in form of grants in order not to burden them with more debts.

By George Kalisa

Biodiversity Experts have reiterated need for global political commitment as basis to achieve the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) goal of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030.

Based on the lessons learned during the implementation of the prior biodiversity framework, the experts drawn from all biodiversity components underscored the centrality of political commitment around policy and finance ambitions, adding that finance reassuring was a prerequisite to achieving success in addressing nature crisis.

They blamed failure of the last Global Biodiversity Framework on lack of global financial commitment, saying that a significant gap in the finance needed to address the nature crisis still lingers on, and cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes.

Experts from the Campaign for Nature, Scientists and indigenous leaders divulged the details of the science-backed proposal during a presser held on June22 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on the sidelines of critical negations centred on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) underway.    

“We know that policy ambition is important in addressing the biodiversity crisis, but equally is the finance for commitment for driving the policy ambition. We can’t see any of these policy ambitions…cannot succeed without ambitious finance,” (redacted) said Brian O’Donnell, Director, Campaign for Nature.

“Targets and goals in the framework are really the intentions and aspirations of the 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It’s the financial commitments that turn all those aspiration into results and that’s why we feel that the financial component is one that needs more attention, more political priority and ideally some major progress here in Nairobi,” added O’Donnell.

O’Donnell said that biodiversity is declining at a rate unprecedented in human history and the situation has created consequences for all life, and scientists recommend transformational change.

In effect, experts think a “global commitment’” that is beyond policy is needed, and propose a global contribution of at least 1% of GDP to address the biodiversity crisis before 2030.

Experts suggest that wealthy nations need to increase support for developing countries to the tune of at least $60 billion for biodiversity preferably in form of grants in order not to burden them with more debts.

They, also, think investing in nature will avoid future massive costs that are caused by degradation of nature such as natural disaster including floods, disease and pandemics.

On the component indigenous people, Jennifer Corpuz, International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, illustrated the need to recognize their rights as a way of protecting and enhancing conservation of the areas they live on being invaluable and unparalleled stewards making a reference to the 700 Masai people recently evicted from a 1,500sq.km land –  displaced and made victims of untold suffering.

“We need to do more, to do better. There must be stronger recognition of rights,” said Corpuz.

She noted that investing in indigenous people by promoting direct access to designated funds would enhance the quality of protected areas and expand the areas that “are nurtured by them, adding that the rights are a pathway towards good partnership with them”.

“The best way to make sure that the money goes to conservation and sustainable use is to invest in indigenous people,” said Corpuz.

She said that Scientific studies identify full partnership with indigenous as an opportunity that can lead to sustainable conservation.   

There is urgent need to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities – the best stewards of nature, said experts.  

Experts noted that the GBF to save nature will only be effective if rights and contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities are fully recognized. 

All discussants emphasized the connection between climate change and biodiversity.

Other experts that discussed at today’s presser are Dr Stephen Woodley, Vice Chair for Science and Biodiversity, World Commission on Protected Areas, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Mr. Stanislas Stephen Mouba, Director General for Environment and Nature Protection and Head of Delegation for CBD Negotiations, Gabon.

 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, civil society, Indigenous Peoples are gathered in Nairobi for the final meeting of the UN’s working group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework – the last opportunity before world leaders meet to secure an agreement on nature in December this year.

Notably, a Human Rights approach – including respect and recognition to the land, territories, traditional knowledge, and the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities – is key for the [Global Biodiversity] Framework to succeed.  

With the support of many in the scientific community – including some experts advising UN decision-makers – Indigenous leaders urge Parties to ensure that the final plan for protecting the world’s remaining biodiversity must also protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and their unmatched ability to conserve nature that are vital to preventing climate change, biodiversity loss and pandemic risk.  

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