Wildlife & Biodiversity

Zero draft of post-2020 biodiversity framework flags rapid decline

People's participation to preserve biodiversity, says UNEP chief at Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals CoP

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Tuesday 18 February 2020

The declining state of the world's biodiversity and the need to preserve it, as stressed by the zero draft of the recent post-2020 global biodiversity framework, came up at the ongoing 13th Conference of Parties (CoP) to United Nation Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). 

The draft, released January 2020, followed the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report on biodiversity, released on May 6, 2019 in Paris.  

According to the zero draft:

Past and ongoing rapid declines in biodiversity, ecosystem functions and many of nature’s contributions to people mean that most international societal and environmental goals, such as those embodied in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will not be achieved on the basis of current trajectories.

The new framework, the draft states, will be based on a “theory of change” with elements of:

  • Resource mobilisation
  • Mainstreaming
  • Digital sequence information
  • Sustainable use Capacity-building
  • National planning
  • Reporting processes
  • Issues associated with responsibility and transparency
  • Indicators

It will be implemented using a rights-based approach and recognising the principle of intergenerational equity.

While the details of the framework will be finalised during the course of the year, the aim is to implement it between 2020 and 2030. The course of action is aimed at achieving 2050 Vision for Biodiversity — living in harmony with nature.

The decline in biodiversity has been projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios. According to the draft: “The framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.”

On people’s participation in achieving biodiversity goals, the draft states:

The theory of change for the framework acknowledges the need for appropriate recognition of gender equality, women’s empowerment, youth, gender-responsive approaches and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the implementation of this framework.

“The working group which created the zero draft has made it a point to include people’s participation in the draft. If people’s participation is not reflected properly in the draft, then it’ll be worked on,” UNEP deputy executive director Joyce Msuya said at the CMS CoP in Gandhinagar on February 16.

Although the details — marked X in the framework — will be included over the course of the year, it has five long-term goals for 2050 related to the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. Each of these goals has an associated outcome for 2030.

Paul Todd of  US-based environmental organization, Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “We missed most of our biodiversity targets in 2011-2010, including Aichi Targets. What is more worrying is that currently, even the best possible pathways estimates that we are not on track to stop the decline in biodiversity.”

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