Convention on Biological Diversity
National Focal Points
Subject: Reminder on Inclusive Participation in the Revides or Updated NBSAP Development
Dear CBD National Focal Points,
The CBD-Alliance, a coalition of civil society organizations active in the CBD, bringing the voices from grassroots organizations around the world, write to you to remind and emphasize the importance of inclusive and effective participation and engagement in the development of revised or updated NationalBiodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).
We believe it is crucial to uphold the commitment made in the COP decision 15/6 on NBSAPs, which underlines in article 23(c) the need for strategies to, be built in an inclusive way by actively involving women, Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, youth, and civil society.
Inclusive participation is fundamental to ensuring that NBSAPs are robust, effective, and truly representative of the needs, aspirations, and traditional knowledge of IPLCs and civil society. As custodians of nature, IPLCs possess invaluable traditional knowledge and insights crucial in shaping sustainable strategies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
Civil society organizations are there to ensure environmental coherence, as well as connect with the people and areas where the strategy is intended to be executed. NGOs foster transparency, accountability, and the integration of diverse perspectives, leading to more comprehensive and holistic outcomes.
We also feel it is necessary to draw your attention to a concerning trend we have observed, which is the reliance on foreign consultants in the development of NBSAPs, which has resulted in several challenges. Firstly, the use of external consultants tends to be prohibitively expensive, straining already limited financial resources allocated for biodiversity conservation. Furthermore, processes led by external consultants often lack a deep understanding of the national and local realities, cultures, and contexts. This risk excludes key actors who possess critical knowledge and lived experiences of the local ecosystems, leading to the development of strategies that fail to address the unique challenges of each territory.
We urge you to ensure the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women, youth, and civil society in the development of NBSAPs, through inclusive and enabling processes at all stages, from planning to implementation and monitoring. By doing so, you will foster a sense of ownership and shared responsibility and ensure that the outcomes of the NBSAPs reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of all involved. We believe that this will lead to more effective strategies that address the complex challenges of biodiversity protection and promote social equity.
Association For Promotion of Sustainable Development