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COP15: Biodiversity Conservation in the Face of Growing Economies

Dawn in Lake Malawi. Photo by Ulla Räsänen ( Global Landscapes Forum.
Meanwhile, the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international meeting bringing together governments from around the world, will set out new goals and develop an action plan for nature over the next decade. The conference will be held in Montréal, Quebec, the seat of the UN CBD Secretariat, from December 7 – 19, 2022.

KAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 7 2022 (IPS) - Dating back to the 16th Century, the face of biodiversity conservation has taken several tolls and twists- evolving from an era of preservation to conservation- down to conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

However, the conservation and preservation of biological diversity is not a new concept, but a fast-evolving one. Suitable methodologies and conservation models ought to consider the needs of the present and future generations at any moment in time- not outlooking the needs- of prime models employed in conserving natural resources from the beginning and the socio-economic, socio-cultural facets and needs of communities- with mutually shared benefits for people and nature.

The onset of the 20th Century saw a spark- an exponential rise in the human population from around 2.6 billion- hitting the 8-billion mark as of November 2022. The World’s population is set to escalating at a rate higher than ever recorded in the history of mankind.

Human settlements and agriculture, to cater for the ever-increasing demands of many people around the World, have accelerated the destruction of natural habitats to counteract the economy-dependent high and ever-increasing levels of consumption.

There exist variations in the ranks of consumption owing to the stories of development- with much higher levels of natural resource exploitation in wealthier parts of the World and Vice Versa.

The World Economic Forum’s recent Nature Risk Rising Report highlights that more than half of the World’s GDP ($44 trillion) highly or moderately depends on biodiversity- nature. It is only evident that several economies and businesses, both macro and micro are at risk due to increasing natural loss- even further putting the already vulnerable micro-economies at community grassroots levels at risk.

To enhance resilience and evade the sequence of vulnerability imposed on Indigenous People and Local Communities, it is vital to strengthen instruments for incentivisation and financing of biodiversity conservation endeavours at the grassroot community level.

Local communities are mainly characterised by micro-economies, thriving on small-scale/ subsistence. For such communities, biodiversity financing mechanisms could go as far as; incentivising community-led landscape planning and restoration efforts, small-scale carbon credits, incentivising conservation and restoration endeavours for key species on privately-owned lands, financing eco-conscious small-scale business models at community levels that mainly; address the day-to-day needs of the local community members while ensuring a net gain for biodiversity of any form, provide sustainable utilisation of particular resources within any ecosystem.

It is only paramount that any advances to promote and enhance community-led conservation and biodiversity financing mechanisms are undertaken under their consent- with critical attention to their own perspectives on the most suitable models in their landscape contexts.

Watch Aiita Joshua Apamaku along with other experts in the session Biodiversity finance innovations: How can we maximize impacts for local communities and nature? at the Biodiversity Finance Digital Forum – Investing in People and Nature, hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) on 29 November 2022, under the banner of the Luxembourg–GLF Finance for Nature Platform.

Aiita Joshua Apamaku is Education Taskforce Lead, Youth4Nature; Project Lead, NatureWILD Hub; and Global Landscapes Forum speaker.

IPS UN Bureau


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