Delivered by Muhtari Aminu-Kano, BirdLife International
Dear Parties to the CBD,
The 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook report clearly shows that despite progress in some areas, the Parties to the CBD have failed to achieve the 2010 target.
Biodiversity continues to be lost at an alarming rate, ecosystem functions and services are being severely diminished and neither the benefits of natural resources nor the costs of their loss are being shared equitably.
We have failed because we have not addressed the underlying causes of biodiversity loss. Current economic and governance systems and policies promote the over consumption of natural resources by some countries and segments of society. This is driving the destruction of habitats and undermining the rights and livelihoods of millions of people who depend on them.
The capacity of the planet to support an increasing human population at high levels of production and consumption is finite. The sustainability of life on earth is being severely undermined.
We are at a turning point. Fundamental change is urgently required. Society needs a new vision that links socio-economic and environmental policy.
The good news is, we can still do it. We can learn from existing successes and develop intelligent and equitable approaches for the future.
The Parties to the CBD are now challenged to lead the way.
However, environmental sector cannot do it alone. All other relevant sectors responsible for issues such as finance, trade, climate change and energy, disaster reduction, health, agriculture, forestry, fisheries need to act at both national and international level.
These sectors have much to gain: biodiversity and functioning ecosystems provide a range of services that support their goals and underpin the global economy as a whole.
It is in their national interest for governments to recognise the value and benefits of biodiversity for relevant sectors, as well as the cost they will bear from its loss.
While there are some examples where sectors have integrated biodiversity into their portfolios, political leadership is required to ensure integration at a much broader scale.
Governments must act at the highest level. Heads of state must commit to mobilize resources and action by all relevant sectors.
The current draft of the CBD Strategic Plan does not fully address this challenge.
While we welcome the work of the CBD Secretariat, the proposed overall mission is not ambitious enough – biodiversity loss must be halted by 2020.
Achieving many of the proposed targets would make a positive contribution to halting biodiversity loss but they need to be reformulated significantly in order to address the scale of the challenge we face.
We therefore recommend:
- Reformulation of the Mission as follows:
“By 2020, biodiversity loss is halted, ecosystems are restored and the values and benefits of biodiversity and ecosystems are shared equitably and fully integrated into all aspects of development. And all Parties have the means to do so”
- Reformulation of the targets to ensure the following issues are adequately addressed:
- The engagement of government at the highest level to integrate biodiversity into relevant portfolios through the establishment of cross-sectoral cabinet committees led by heads of state.
- The identification of concrete steps, mechanisms and timelines to integrate biodiversity processes, benefits and values into economic policy design and national accounting for the health and benefit of society as a whole, giving full consideration for governance and the social and cultural dimensions of biodiversity.
- The urgent prevention of habitat loss across all ecosystem types through effective spatial planning, management, sustainable use and good governance with the full respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
- The integration of CBD objectives into relevant multi-lateral agreements. In particular decisions under the UNFCCC on climate change mitigation and adaptation should include ecosystem-based approaches that: maintain and/or enhance biodiversity; contribute to livelihoods; recognize and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities; and mobilize adequate resources in an equitable and transparent manner.
We urge CBD Parties to announce national commitments to advance these four issues before CBD COP 10 in Nagoya.
We are at a crossroads. As the Global Biodiversity Outlook warned, without “swift, radical and creative action” we will fast-track destruction of life on earth. Our organisations urge you to use this opportunity to take concrete actions that will make the above a reality. We look forward to working together during what will surely be the UN Decade of Biodiversity to ensure that we put the planet back on a truly sustainable path.
- Birdlife International
- BGCI -- Botanic Gardens Conservation International
- Conservation International
- Forest People’s Programme
- Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina
- Global Forest Coalition
- Global Invasive Species Programme
- Japan Civil Network for Convention on Biological Diversity (approximately 80 member organisations)
- Plantlife International
- The Gaia Foundation
- The Timberwatch Coalition, South Africa
- VAS – Green Environment Society (federation of 50 organisations in Italy)
- Wetlands International