CBDA Closing statement

Thank you Mr President,
I am speaking on behalf of the CBD Alliance.

We regret the process by which the package was adopted early this morning. It was unjust and unfair. Decisions in this COP are adopted by consensus and we did not see consensus. Much more effort could have been made to arrive at consensus.

Mr President,
We welcome Targets 22 and 23 of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) on rights, participation and gender, and will closely monitor their implementation. We also welcome language on the clear respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

But we remain concerned that the GBF does not address root causes of biodiversity loss, and worse, systematically incorporates injustices. This could undermine these targets.

The cause of the biodiversity crisis is a system that places corporate profit and power over people and nature and allows corporate interests to influence the outcomes.

Our governments have regrettably ceded their responsibilities to regulate the private business and finance sector, only “encouraging and enabling” business to report and to label products, moving responsibility to consumers. These will not change the actual impact on biodiversity. There are no accountability measures or responsibility for damage done.

The interests of big agribusiness and the biotechnology industry have also permeated the GBF, with ‘innovation’ as a mantra for techno-fix approaches. There are no horizon scanning mechanisms to help ensure future technologies will not be damaging to biodiversity or people. Precaution has been sidelined.

Moreover, governments have invited corporate interests in, allowing developed country Parties to escape from their legally binding obligations to provide new and additional financial resources, by replacing it with private finance, blended finance and innovative financial schemes, including market-based mechanisms such as biodiversity offsets and credits.

The embrace of offsetting approaches, including Nature-Based Solutions, will not halt environmental damage and ecosystem loss. The promise to compensate for biodiversity loss, by protecting similar ecosystems elsewhere justifies continued biodiversity loss and allows business-as-usual, causing human rights violations and other injustices.

Equity is subverted in this framework. The financial amounts on the table are hugely insufficient, and do not acknowledge the ecological debt that the developed world owes to the poor.

The proposed Trust Fund to be established under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) means that all of the current problems will continue and even worsen. Whatever entity is eventually designated as the Global Biodiversity Fund should not allow the private sector and philanthropic foundations to become part of the governance structure, allowing for unfettered influence of unaccountable entities.

This framework will not deliver substantive transformational change, therefore it is not ambitious. We cannot solve the biodiversity crisis using the same system that caused it.

Thank you.