The New Global Agenda for Biodiversity
26 enero, 2023
2022 concluded with various international environmental meetings, notably the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international agreement with 194 member countries (with only the Holy See and the United States remaining outside). Its main objectives include the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including ecosystems, species, and genetic resources, as well as the equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.
Currently, it is recognized that, alongside the climate change crisis, biodiversity loss is one of the most pressing global challenges. According to data from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), around 1 million species are at risk of extinction, and ecosystem degradation, i.e., habitat degradation, continues despite insufficient preservation efforts.
In this context, COP15 was a highly anticipated meeting as it aimed to adopt a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) post-2020, a goal originally expected to be achieved in 2020.
Our Participation in COP15
Forests are among the ecosystems with the greatest biodiversity richness. Therefore, at Reforestamos, our participation and monitoring in the development of the GBF have been crucial. In coordination with other civil society organizations (CSOs), we joined efforts to ensure that the new targets represented the level of ambition and action necessary to halt biodiversity loss. This included organizing webinars and consultations among CSOs, as well as submitting proposals collected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the negotiating text to formulate a national position.
Ernesto Herrera, our General Director and current President of the Mesoamerican Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), participated in the event “Advancing Conservation and Effective Territorial Management with a Rights-Based Approach and Regional Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples.” During this event, he highlighted the challenges faced in the region for nature conservation in relation to
environmental defenders. He emphasized that several goals of the new GBF outline the necessary course of action to ensure that indigenous peoples and local communities effectively exercise their rights to participation, access to information, and environmental justice. These rights are being promoted in the Latin America and Caribbean region with the Escazú Agreement.
He also participated in the event “Speaking Up for Nature – better communications for the CBD/IUCN communities,” where he shared that among the proposals for communication and contribution to the implementation of the GBF, the IUCN and meetings driven by its members can play a key role in continuing conversations and translating commitments into concrete actions.
The New Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
The “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” was built on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the unfortunate results of falling short of achieving them. However, it now includes a monitoring framework for tracking progress, with indicators at various levels. It is considered a comprehensive vision where implementation must take place with a human rights and gender perspective, as well as a stronger emphasis on recognizing indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs).
In a historic development, there was extensive private sector participation in setting a target to engage companies and financial institutions, considering their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity for the production and supply of goods and services.
The new global goals include the conservation and restoration of ecosystems, aiming to have at least 30% of degraded terrestrial and coastal-marine ecosystems restored by 2030, and at least 30% of important areas effectively conserved and managed.
Topics such as climate change, pollution, and the importance of green spaces and biodiversity in cities gained prominence on the biodiversity agenda, in addition to ensuring that policies of economic and developmental sectors integrate aspects related to biodiversity.
All of this is reflected in 23 global targets that must be achieved by 2030 as a milestone towards the vision of “living in harmony with nature” by 2050.
What’s in It for Forests in the New Global Biodiversity Goals?
For Mexican forests, it will be crucial to expedite the processes of restoring degraded ecosystems, promote sustainable forest management, and focus efforts on ensuring that existing protected natural areas achieve sustainable management. This requires the effective participation of ejidos and communities living in and off the forests, ensuring access to information and participation in decision-making, free, prior, and informed consent, and
the protection of environmental defenders.
Finally, achieving many more actions than are already happening will require not only public budgets in various government areas but also other sources of resources, considering that forests are also productive and generate sustainable livelihoods for people.
Of the originally intended 10 years of action covered by the global biodiversity goals, seven remain. We are running late given the current situation! The achievements in 2022 at the international level will spur action from the multitude of actors and sectors linked to biodiversity.
The Kunming-Montreal Framework is available at https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/e6d3/cd1d/daf663719a03902a9b116c34/cop-15-l-25-en.pdf.