Multi-sectoral Dialogue: Exploring biodiversity challenges & opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Group of Peruvian farmers ©Saraí Carrasco on Pexels
From November 13th to 16th 2023, scientific and technical experts from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Chile to explore challenges and opportunities to mainstream biodiversity in sustainable development, agriculture and climate change.

Last July, a series of virtual dialogues were held online, featuring representatives of governments, as well as stakeholders from civil society and the private sector to to reflect on challenges and opportunities in development planning and sustainable agriculture in the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). These dialogues represented an important first step, laying the foundations for the major event scheduled for this November.

A key element of these dialogues focused on the role of development planning, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity mainstreaming and coherent incentives on implementing the 23 targets of the KM-GBF. Participants emphasized how accelerating transition in the agricultural sector towards sustainability, supporting sustainable planning and related public policies, broadly addressing climate change and the 2030 Agenda, and an inclusive approach considering social, private and governmental actors are key levers for implementation of the framework. The discussions also aimed to identify the governance mechanisms with the highest potential to make progress to the targets.

During the dialogues, the participants highlighted targets 1, 8, 10, 14, and 18  as those with the highest potential to drive the required structural changes to move forward on the three dimensions of sustainable development.

The importance of these topics in LAC is evident, as the region hosts one of the world’s richest biocultural heritages, but also faces significant climate vulnerabilities and biodiversity threats. In addition, the region is marked by global disparities, social exclusion, and inequality

Considering these conclusions, a face-to-face expert dialogue in partnership with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was organized from November 13th to 16th. This three-day event featured several plenary presentations, Q&A sessions and group-discussions gathering 35 to 40 experts from various countries and organizations, including academia, the private sector, civil society, local governments, United Nations agencies, and the public sector.

An expected pivotal dialogue for biodiversity preservation in the region

The main objective of this meeting consisted in identifying key elements for the early implementation of the KM-GBF, considering a multidimensional approach. It also explored the links and synergies between biodiversity policies and processes with sustainable development planning, climate change, agricultural sustainability, gender, human rights, and local communities.

The participants also reflected on how the KMGBF can catalyze progress within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, while fostering dialogue and enhanced cooperation among governmental institutions responsible for planning, agriculture, climate change, national statistics, biodiversity, and other key actors like indigenous peoples & local communities.

At the opening of the dialogue, experts from various fields provided their insights, including:

Our project is convinced that it is of vital importance to break the silos between biodiversity, climate, sectoral, economic and social policies for the implementation of the KMGBF. The LAC region needs to plan, implement and monitor policies that help us achieve the 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature involving all sectors of government and all relevant non-state actors. ECLAC has been a key partner to make progress in mainstreaming biodiversity in the LAC region”, recognized Hugo Rivera-Mendoza, Team Leader of the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework EU-Support.

The meeting allowed to identify good practices and challenges during its discussions. The outputs of the dialogue include the release of a set of recommendations on capacity building for biodiversity mainstreaming, transformative governance and monitoring with a regional perspective.

Watch our videos:

Read our relevant 4 pagers:

Expertise on #4 – perspectives from latin america and the caribbean on post-2020 global biodiversity governance
Transformative actions #40 – Biodiversity mainstreaming & innovative governance: key learnings from latin america
Expertise on #35 – Mainstreaming biodiversity in practice and at all scales

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