Between 14-29 March 2022, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) reconvened in person in Geneva for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. State Parties and stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), continued to negotiate the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which aims at providing a clear mission, goals and actionable targets towards 2030 and 2050 to halt biodiversity loss and live in harmony with nature.
Alexandra M Goossens-Ishii of SGI followed the negotiations and supported the call from the IPLCs, Women Caucus, Youth constituency, faith groups, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), other stakeholders and several State Parties, to: recognize the interconnectedness of human rights and the environment; and for the post-2020 GBF to be grounded in a human rights-based approach with a strong implementation and monitoring mechanism. SGI, together with other partners, advocated for the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, which has been recognized by the UN Human Rights Council in October 2021, to be included in various parts of the GBF. More information on the key advocacy calls from a human rights perspective can be found in a briefing paper drafted by the members of the Human Rights in Biodiversity Working Group, as well as in the OHCHR and UN Environment Programme’s Key Messages on Human Rights and Biodiversity.
At the closing of the Geneva meetings, the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity (IIFB) expressed concern with the slow progress in the negotiations, noting that barely 1% of the funds available for climate and environment goes to IPLCs. The Women’s Caucus called for support for a stand-alone target on gender in the GBF and for the adoption of the Gender Plan of Action at COP15. The Global Youth Biodiversity Network urged Parties to adopt a strong Target 21 ensuring the full, equitable, effective, and gender-responsive participation in decision making by IPLCs, women and girls, and youth: “This target should be a strong call to make the invisible visible” said Josefa Cariño Tauli, one of GYBN’s co-coordinators. She also urged for action to bring everyone onto the path of transformative change, leaving no one behind. The CBD Alliance called on Parties to address marine and coastal biodiversity issues, and to deliver on a GBF that adequately considers the level of the biodiversity crisis. Birdlife International, the WWF and other NGOs stressed the need for measurable commitments and for outcomes to be reached on difficult issues including resource mobilization.
During the negotiations, representatives of the Faith and Biodiversity UN Coordination group took the opportunity to introduce the multi-faith response to the GBF with State Parties and other stakeholders. Goossens-Ishii represented the faith voice during the Handover of the Non-State Actors’ Nature Positive Call to Action to Governments Negotiating the GBF.
The next steps include another intersessional meeting to be held 21-26 June in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by COP15 to be held at the end of August in Kunming, China.