IUCN World Conservation Congress – Day 5

Accelerating global synergies, launching a worldwide Non-State Actors' call to action and "explosion day" for youth delegation
Day 5 of IUCN World Conservation Congress has been the youth delegation "Explosion Day", while speakers at the P2 Partnership Pavilion exhorted decision makers to further accelerate global synergies between CBD and other multilateral agreements. Earlier in the day, the Non-State Actors' call to action was officially launched by an unprecedented coalition of more than 60 international organizations.

Non-State actors’ Call to Action for Governments to strengthen the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Non-State actors’ coalition launched on September 7th an unprecedented call to action signed by more than 60 organizations including business sector, SNLGs, conservation and development NGOs, the youth, academics

As part of “The Race Is On campaign” the call to action is reflecting on the first draft of the global biodiversity framework and exhorting negotiating parties to step up action and secure bold outcomes at CBD COP15 to secure and equitable, nature-positive and net-zero emission world for all. The launch session was introduced by Inter Andersen (UNDP).

Message to the sectors: you carry the primary role in transforming our relationship with nature. Message to governments : fund biodiversity. Message to civil society: continue to push for improvement and youth be at the foreront.” Inger Andersen, UNEP

Youth in this call to action demands to see formal education and intergenerational concerns mentioned. Biodiversity & health crises have increased awareness & desire for change among the youth.Ahmad Alhendawi, World Scouting

This is the most diverse group ever. This coalition is showing me that the efforts are no longer just about biodiversity but about our lives, our economy our society, our health and well-being. This is truly a cultural revolution.Marco Lambertini, WWF

P2 Partnership Pavilion – Global Synergies

Day 4 focused on synergies and addressed whether the GBF is sufficiently aligned with the Paris Agreement, the SDGs, biodiversity-related conventions, and other new global processes such as the UN Food Systems Summit, the UN Conference and the Decade for Ecological Restoration.

Two other important elements of the synergies conversation included how and where the GBF might be retreating from the AIchi Targets, and the challenge and opportunity of elevating nature-based solutions in the UNFCCC COP-26. There are many important lessons from the Paris Agreement for the GBF negotiations, especially in enabling parties to increase transparency and accountability.

The Evening and Morning Virtuals addressed the challenges and opportunities for strengthening synergies between the GBF and these key global processes.

The Post 2020 Partnership Pavilion day on Global Synergies kicked start assessing how to mainstream all conventions, questioning if it was about bringing all the different ministries to the COP15 beyond the biodiversity conventions to tackle the bigger wider processes under the moderation of Noelle Kumpel, Birdlife International.

Probably the targets addressing the indirect drivers are those addressing the different conventions beyond the biodiversity ones but the Ministry of environment remains the main entry.” Barbara Engels, Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Paneslists stressed that the GBF needs to be aware that there might be other conventions and programs with their own visibility, their own body, fora, etc. but also highlighting that we will not be able to get key economic actors to get interested in the process until all main players are.

The first of the two On-Site sessions invited speakers, including Expertise France’s Sustainable Development Department Director Nicolas Chenet, to share their vision for deeper synergies between the GBF and these global processes and will identify the gaps in the GBF that may hinder the achievement of greater synergies.

“We have already identified so many actions that we can take. Many people know already what to do locally. We shall not wait for the framework to be adopted to take action.Nicolas Chenet, Expertise France

Glasgow has to be the moment where they really get serious and moving the finance needle to the sustainable blue economy to address food security.Peter Thomson Special UN Envoy for Oceans

We need to work with finance on the perverse subisidies. Nature based solutions will play a role but are not the solution for everything for climate, biodiversity and the SDGs.Robert Watson, IPBES

In the second On-Site session speakers explored the range of solutions to address these gaps.

The challenge will be to recognize the GBF targets in it through a UN decision. (…) the three conventions have very little synergies and coordination.Braulio de Souza Dias, CBD

The environmental community has not come with a list of common issues to address with the economic sectors. Ecological connectivity is a helpful roadmap to spatial planning.Amy Fraenkel, Convention on Migratory Species

An exploding day of activities, meetings and speaking engagements: The Closing plenaries put youth leaders on the spotlight!

As the IUCN Members prepare for their Assembly and elections, the Congress’s fifth day keeps the momentum for cross-sector and cross-stakeholder mobilization for biodiversity. At the centre, youth leaders demonstrate once again how they are already acting and mobilizing.

At the final session of the “Breakfast with…”, many fruitful connections were made. Jimena Ojeda (Peru Scouting) and Mirna Fernández (GYBN) separately met with Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. Following up to his call to a bolder, proactive youth movement at IUCN and the CBD alike, both reaffirmed that young people from across the globe were looking forward to having access to the space they deserve in the environmental sector. They also challenged the perceptions of youth activism, and recalled that the main question was not about young people having a voice, but rather about their opinions and positions being taken on board. Mirna raised in particular the question of the upcoming youth position on Nature-based Solutions, prepared by GYBN, Youth 4 Nature and YOUNGO.

Following a conversation between Christian Schwarzer (GYBN) and Carlos Manuel Rodríguez (Global Environment Facility) held the day before at a Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion session, Cristhian Fretes (GYBN) also had a meeting with the GEF CEO. They touched upon Carlos Manuel Rodríguez’s support to bringing more youth inputs into GEF governance, and Cristhian expressed the hope that this would move from promises to reality.

This Tuesday, 7 September was also filled with closing thematic plenaries and the final Forum meeting of this Congress. Many a young representative was included in the various panel discussions, in particular Jimena Ojeda (who provided expert insights on the Finance and Economy nexus), Sarah Hanson (Youth 4 Nature – speaking up on the opportunities, challenges and pitfalls of reaching meaningful participation and ensuring that young leaders have the means to take part) and Nisreen Elsaim (UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change – part of the Forum closing panel).

All also highlighted the urgent need to move from separate youth/cities/business summits to fully include stakeholders and rights-holders in the main programmes of discussions. GYBN also supported a session entitled “10 proposals for a sustainable planet: youth voices for a new deal for nature and people”. Speaking up, Alicia Donellan Barraclough (Man and the Biosphere – MAB), Christian Schwarzer, Melina Sakiyama (GYBN) shared the stage with the UNESCO MAB programme and offered concrete ideas on nature, equity and inclusion.

This step up also brought exciting spaces for the delegation’s visibility. Nisreen Elsaim and Melina Sakiyama were featured in an interview with The Guardian’s Patrick Greenfield, where they issued a compelling call to take action on the ground to work on inequalities, unsustainable production and consumption patterns and control over decision-making by policies and processes that leave youth and grassroots leaders aside. Alexis Cañari (#YouthSpeak Representative) was also interviewed by Geneva Solutions in an article to be published, raising questions on the links between peace, security, Indigenous Peoples and local Communities’ stewardship, and global environmental goals.

Jimena Ojeda also contributed to raising awareness on youth presence throughout the Congress, as she took over the @iucn_congress Instagram account for a day.




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