As the first week of COP15 Biodiversity Conference draws to a close in Montreal, Indigenous groups are warning the 30x30 policy, which aims to preserve 30% of the world’s lands and oceans by 2030, could be the largest land grab in history and endanger the survival of Indigenous People around the globe.
Protecting indigenous lands is vital because they “contain 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity and the world’s healthiest and most resilient forests are on protected Indigenous territory,” Grist reports.
Advocates are most concerned with 30X30 and its impacts on Indigenous peoples, rights and lands. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indigenous Batwa were evicted, killed and group raped during a violent eviction campaign from Kahuzi-Biega National Park under the pretense of protecting the UNESCO World Heritage Site from poachers and deforestation. In Tanzania, nearly 150,000 Indigenous Maasai could be evicted from their homes to create game reserves and protected areas. In Nepal, Indigenous Tharu and others were evicted from their lands to create Chitwan National Park and Bardiya National Park, both of which have been supported by international conservation organizations like the World Wildlife Fund.
Jennifer Corpuz, a representative of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity stressed how important it is for communities to agree to their protected status.
“Out of the 1/3 of the world stewarded by indigenous people, only 40 percent is covered by protected areas. The remaining 60 percent must be conserved as well. Why can’t we allow indigenous people’s territory to be governed by indigenous people and their ways,” she asked.
COP15 is bedeviled by the same bloated negotiating text which typically characterizes the UNFCCC COPs. The Guardian reports that the current text of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) “is littered with more than 1,000 brackets, which will need dealing with over the next two weeks. The text has been described as a “mess”, with many concerned about the amount that still needs to be done.”
COP15 has convened to establish new rules to curtail and reverse damage to nature under the “post-2020 global biodiversity framework” (GBF) – often referred to colloquially as the “Paris Agreement for nature”.
Biodiversity & Climate Change Link
The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework provides an opportunity to address the issues around biodiversity and ensure that tenets of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) remain relevant in face of new threats from climate change.
In 2021, for the first time, UN bodies — Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — came together to highlight the connections between the climate and biodiversity crises and warned that climate change will cause massive loss to biodiversity.
Carbon Brief: Interactive: Tracking progress at the COP15 biodiversity summit and Interactive: Who wants what at the COP15 biodiversity summit
The Guardian: The five ways we’re killing nature and why it has to stop – video explainer and Three ways Cop15 can help save a million species from extinction