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Claudia Ramos, member of Otros Mundos Chiapas – Friends of the Earth Mexico talked with Real World Radio about the scope of the Convention and the disputed rationales to enforce the Aichi Targets.
This May 22nd marks the International Day of Biological Diversity declared by the United Nations (UN).
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was one of the main agreements reached during the Earth Summit that took place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992, which entered into force in December 1993. The CBD establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable distribution of benefits over the use of genetic resources.
In 2011, the UN proposed to “take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet´s variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication”, reminded the Mexican activist.
Among the visible results so far, the UN highlights “the development of scientific guidance for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for biomes around the world, the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and the creation and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans. After adopting the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, Parties have made significant headway in the achievement of a number of its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Approximately 20 targets “that are too ambitious given the time limits”, said Ramos.
The Convention “deals with extremely delicate issues, from traditional knowledge associated to the use and management of biodiversity, to the regulation of genetically modified organisms”, said the member of FoE Mexico.
The defender of territories condemned that “the decision-making processes for the design and implementation of targets “are being captured by countries with certain agendas to obtain certain benefits”. In order to reverse these non-participatory processes, “the work of organizations such as Friends of the Earth and its allies becomes extremely important. They push to avoid that these discussions become limited to high spheres of discussion and in favor of taking into account the role and voices of communities”.
An example of the disputes about how to come up with plans and laws to protect biodiversity can be seen in Mexico, “where a biodiversity law was passed that authorizes extractive activities in reserved areas and that violates the rights of indigenous communities”, added Claudia Ramos. “The mechanisms created as a proposal to care for collective rights are enforced in contexts with little political will, questionable changes and legal reforms in terms of security, energy, education; in addition to their implementation in vulnerable contexts such as indigenous communities, which would be further affected”.
For this reason she warned: “We need to be extremely careful with short term goals in this type of agreements, with goals that don´t take into account the causes of climate change. Many solutions are related with the so-called “renewable energies”, that cause detrimental effects on the territories and imply the forced displacement of communities, as well as false solutions such as climate smart agriculture, payment for environmental services or environmental projects, REDD projects”.
“We face a short-term rationale that aims to develop goals quite rapidly, compared to another rationale that wants to implement solutions based on the people and the territories”, she added.
In the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Otros Mundos Chiapas states that “it is necessary to continue promoting solutions from and for the peoples. This is the position of Friends of the Earth in order to have a more comprehensive view of life. And we hope that this type of spaces (generated through international conventions) can continue working like this”.
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