Wildlife & Biodiversity

Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework presents false solutions, says youth group

‘No clear component in framework to regulate actors causing destruction of biodiversity, ecosystems’

By Shuchita Jha
Published: Monday 19 December 2022
Derrick Mugisha (L) of GYBN Uganda, Mirna Fernandez (second from left) and Cyril Hermann (R) at the press meet. Photo: @CBD_COP15 / Twitter
Derrick Mugisha (L) of GYBN Uganda, Mirna Fernandez and Cyril Hermann (R) at the press meet. Photo: @CBD_COP15 / Twitter Derrick Mugisha (L) of GYBN Uganda, Mirna Fernandez and Cyril Hermann (R) at the press meet. Photo: @CBD_COP15 / Twitter

The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) has presented false solutions without safeguard guidelines, Global Youth Biodiversity Network told the media a few hours before the adoption of the framework. 

The youth network said the GBF talks about rights of indigenous people, local communities and gender, but it still lacks strong language. 

The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) December 19, 2022. The framework has 23 targets that the world needs to achieve by 2030.

Read more: Weasels, not pandas, should be the poster animal for biodiversity loss

Finance is going to actors that are not implementing the right solutions, according to the group. There is no clear component in the GBF to regulate actors that cause the destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems, it added. 

The world does not have 10 more years for bad implementation and there was no time to wait for the Post-2020 GBF to see a change in direction, the youth group said.

The youth network had raised three demands — intergenerational equity and youth participation, transformative education and lastly, a rights-based approach for people and nature, said Cyril Hermann, delegate for the GYBN, on behalf of more than 600 youth organizations from 172 countries.

“We can see that the framework still lacks strong language and promotes false solutions for biodiversity, including nature-based solutions without clear safeguards. They have been defined in two targets, but there are no guidelines for implementation,” said Mirna Fernandez of the network. 

The GBF talks about biodiversity offsets and credits as innovative schemes, but these have been implemented since the 1970s and have never worked for biodiversity or the communities that depend upon these ecosystem services, Fernandez added. 

The GBF has a commitment of $200 billion per year. Some 20 to 30 billion of this will come from developed countries and economies in transition. But most of them will open doors to private financing without any safeguards, Fernandez further said. 

Lack of these safeguards on resource mobilisation will open the door for perverse schemes of offsetting biodiversity and trying to replace ecosystems that we lose, she said. “This will lead to promoting land grabbing and displacement of indigenous people and local communities and overall injustice,” she added.

Read more: Humans treating nature like a toilet, UN chief says in Montreal

“While women, girls and indigenous people and local communities have been conserving biodiversity and restoration for years with no funding, without support and our rights being threatened, we see no change in this framework and fear that this will bring another decade of the same.”

The elements in the GBF reflect transformative changes, but real transformative changes the GYBN needed were not included, said Derrick Mugisha from Uganda.

“Even though we are disappointed, we need to move forward with the implementation and we need to remember that young people are here and are going to be implementers. We will be on the ground as the first ones to take action like we already have been doing in our communities,” he said. 

“We are very worried that this is not going to bring the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment that has been promised to us and the future generations,” said Fernandez. 

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