IIFB High Level Statement

Thank you, honorable Minister. It is my pleasure to share with you all the The Yunnan – Tiohti:áke Nature Culture Summit Declaration:

Participants, including indigenous peoples and local communities from all over the world, have come together at the Nature and Culture Summit, held from 11 and 12 December 2022, in Tiohti:áke, today known as Montreal,

We, the participants in the Nature and Culture Summit;

Respectfully acknowledging traditional custodians, Mohawk who call themselves the Kanien'kehà:ka, People of the Flint, who are part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy which includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora Nations;

Celebrating the adoption, on 10 December 2022 by COP15, of the Joint Programme of Work on the Links between Biological and Cultural Diversity (the Joint Programme);

We, the participants, therefore, commit to work together, and in a holistic manner to:

  1. Promote the recognition of the contributions and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including free, prior and informed consent, land and territorial rights, their distinct knowledge innovations and practices in conservation, sustainable use, and fair and equitable benefit-sharing arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and its implementation and monitoring, including through the Joint Programme, to ensure the flourishing of both cultural and biological diversity;
  2. Recognize the diverse values of nature, including those values held by peoples who are living from, living with, living in and living as nature, as part of wider healing relationships with the environment, based on mutuality, accountability, and reciprocity, respecting the linkages between Mother Earth and biocultural resilience, and the diverse and deep relationships of people to place and space;
  3. Further recognize that nature and culture are inextricably linked through traditional knowledge, which in turn is expressed through language, governance, holistic world views, cultural values, ceremonies, stories, songs, and prayers;
  4. Prioritise language revitalization and restoration, with sufficient and focused funding, and promote long-term commitments to increase the number of fluent speakers and, in particular, connect youth to land and culture through language, seeking innovative synergies with the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.
  5. Support the review and updating of the traditional knowledge indicators, particularly linguistic diversity, land-use change and land tenure, traditional occupations and livelihoods;
  6. Mobilise adequate and innovative financial resources and promote direct self-administered funding for indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure continuity of their biocultural diversity and support the implementation of the activities of the Joint Programme.

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities look forward to contributing to the implementation of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.


Women's High Level Segment Statement

As we await the adoption of the Post-2020 GBF, including Target 22 on Gender Equality and Gender Plan of Action, I take this opportunity to thank all of you, Parties and allies who have supported our relentless effort in integrating gender into the Convention's body of work, and in particular into the Psot 2020 GBF. This marks a groundbreaking moment in our years of advocacy, lobbying, discourses, and consultations around the importance of recognizing rights of all women and girls at the heart of the Convention.

Oganised by the Ministry of Environment of Finlands, in collaboration with the CBD Friends of Gender Equality group, Women’s Caucus, Co-Chaired by the Ministry of Natural Resouces and Climate Change of Malawi, and Environment and Climate Change Canada - Ministrial  Breakfast yesterday addressed “Accelaerting the update of a gender responsiveness post-2020 global biodiversity framework”.

We are at a critical juncture of negotiations to enable an agreement for a transformative, inclusive and human rights-based framework that effectively and equitably addresses the  drivers of biodiversity loss with rights-based actions and a whole-of-society approach. Women for the first time are being recognized in their rights and roles as key biodiversity custodians, their knowledge and practices of conservation, sustainable use and fair and equitable benefit-sharing.

If we fail here now to identify and acknowledge gender differences and exclude communities and specifically women in those communities to engage in and benefit from sustained conservation efforts then, we, will be key contributors of inequality, increased poverty, and biodiversity degradation at large. We must ensure inclusive and “whole of society” approach in the implementation of the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

These are our shared and key recommendations:

  • Make it happen: a fully gender-responsive GBF with a gender equality target
  • Adoption of the Post-2020 Gender Plan of Action that will further help in guiding the monitoring and reporting of the GBF
  • Adequate resources to fully operationalize the whole of the GBF.
  • Full protection of women environmental human rights defenders
  • Legally binding social and environmental safeguards applied to new approaches such as Nature based Solutions to ensure gender responsive and rights-based implementation
  • Gender responsive headline indicators in the monitoring framework
  • Pursuant to the Kunming Declaration, “respect, protect and promote human rights obligations when taking actions to protect biodiversity.”

We call to action for a human rights based Post2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Any decision at COP15 should not perpetuate gender inequalities, including gender-based violence linked to the environment.

We count on you, all Parties to secure the way at this COP to ensure gender equality as part of the solution and pursue the tranformative vision of living in harmony with nature.

Gender equality is a human rights and human rights are non-negotiable.