AWF Calls for an Integrated Approach at Ongoing Biodiversity Negotiations in Geneva

AWF Calls for an Integrated Approach at Ongoing Biodiversity Negotiations in Geneva

Press Release

AWF Calls for an Integrated Approach at Ongoing Biodiversity Negotiations in Geneva

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(MARCH 15, 2022) For the coming weeks, the world’s experts are gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to set the biodiversity agenda for the next decade. The stage is being set for the main Conference of the Parties due to take place in Kunming, China in November 2022. Governments, NGOs, CSOs, Youth, Indigenous Peoples, and Local Communities are part of this vital stage of deliberations and are expected to develop an effective and practical post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) alongside other members of the African CSOs Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA) and a number of the African Protected Area Directors (APAD) are engaging to ensure that the goals, milestones, and targets of the GBF reflect African priorities on the ground, and that implementation support mechanisms are suited to the needs of Africans.

The delegation aims to ensure that the African voice and priorities are well factored in - especially as different perspectives emerge on spatial protection targets, which need the inclusion of strong principles of equity and tenure rights of IPLCs. Acknowledging the power of locally-driven approaches in the implementation of the framework is the first step towards ensuring that it is practical and the targets are attainable.

AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya, says, “As negotiations continue, we at AWF believe that these targets are interdependent and should be treated as such with equal attention given across the board. Working in silos and prioritizing one target over another will not only work against the process but will also increase the rate at which we are losing our biodiversity.”

Noting the increased interest from global businesses to attend and participate in the negotiations, AWF advocates for the development of mandatory requirements for businesses to assess and report on their dependencies and impact on biodiversity. The Business for Nature coalition, which AWF is a part of, is also supporting the creation of business platforms across Africa that help businesses take proactive approaches to address biodiversity risks and opportunities in their operations.

Also present at the negotiations are some representatives from the African Protected Area Directors who AWF has been working closely with to map out creative and sustainable solutions for Africa’s 8,609 protected and conserved areas. In addition to advocating for an African-led sustainable financing mechanism, they are keen to share their on-the-ground experiences with policy negotiators to collaboratively solve the impending issues using the bottom-up approach as suggested in the recently published scientific paper by ACBA experts — A shared earth and ocean approach linking biodiversity and people – for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The study builds on a wide scientific literature both on conservation and meeting peoples’ needs and mirrors the structure of the new Global Biodiversity Framework and its foundations in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Following this vital engagement, it is our hope that Africa’s contribution towards the solutions will be prominently represented and will heavily inform the sustainable solutions that we are seeking at the continent-focused congress, the Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on July 18- 23, 2022.