Between March 14 and 29, the Biodiversity Pre-Conference of the Parties was held in Geneva, Switzerland, PreCOP. In this meeting, representatives from around 200 countries met with the aim of advancing the negotiations of a biodiversity protection agreement after 2020. Below, we present some of the most relevant conclusions of these negotiations for the conservation of the Amazon and we emphasize others that still have limitations or have not been sufficiently developed, and are of equal relevance to the Amazon, so we hope that they will be addressed in-depth in the next meetings.
During this PreCOP, support for Goal 3, also known as Goal 30x30, which proposes that at least 30% of the planet's land and oceans be under some form of protection, increased. Around 90 countries support the scientific study that postulates that this percentage is the ambitious minimum amount of conservation necessary to stop the global loss of biodiversity. In addition, in this same pre-conference, some countries highlighted the importance of defining specific goals for key regions for the protection of biodiversity, as stated in the 2.0 pronouncement of the North Amazonian Alliance (ANA). For regions such as the Amazon, proposing a specific goal that is relevant to it, and that is included in the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans of the Amazonian countries can be a key input to avoiding the acceleration of biodiversity loss.
Regarding the 30x30 Goal, the importance of considering the inclusion of language that recognizes the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in achieving this goal was also highlighted. Thus, in response to requests from indigenous leaders, terms such as “Equitably Governed” and phrases such as “Realizing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities” were added. These inclusions should result in strengthened commitments with respect to guaranteeing the effective participation of these communities in the implementation of this goal.
Now, despite these advances, it is necessary to recognize the limitations that exist regarding the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples. As mentioned in the ANA Pronouncement 2.0, it is essential that there is an explicit recognition of prior consultation and free, prior and informed consent standards in relation to the territories and rights of Indigenous Peoples, in addition to the implementation of own ordering instruments. Although during the PreCOP, some countries supported the recognition of languages and the role of Indigenous Territories in the protection of Biological diversity, this is an issue that needs more support; above all, when it comes to the development of specific goals in terms of participation, since there are conflicting positions among the countries in this regard.
It is also important to consider that during the negotiations of the Post 2020 Framework, issues such as climate and global warming have been mentioned. Although it is relevant to recognize the link between the global agendas of climate change and biodiversity, the countries of the North have also taken advantage of this argument to reduce their commitment to mobilizing resources toward the biodiversity agenda. They ensure that the resources invested in climate cover the needs in terms of funds for the biodiversity agenda, limiting their political commitment to these points and leaving aside other important issues regarding biological diversity. This is worrying, especially in the current scenario where the planet faces the worst loss of life since the time of the dinosaurs, as postulated by the scientific report of the IPBES (Intergovernmental Scientific-normative Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services).
Finally, although the role of agroecology and the dynamic management of the soil developed by Indigenous Peoples and local producers should be a pertinent issue for this Global Agreement on Biodiversity -for its contribution to strengthening agrobiodiversity, especially because these historical practices are keys for the restoration, maintenance, and development of soil biodiversity - the approach to this topic is still limited.
From the NorAmazonian Alliance, we consider it urgent and a priority to address this issue, since these territorial management systems have proven to be a fairly effective method of preventing deforestation, even above the use of figures such as Protected Areas, as is the case of Colombia, where Indigenous Peoples and their territories have the best indicators in preventing deforestation. According to the second Collection of the MapBiomas Amazon Platform, in the last three decades, the Indigenous Territories lost only 2.0% of their forest cover.
Finally, despite the advances that favor the route towards environmental conservation and the role of indigenous peoples in this process, there are still several issues to be specified that are fundamental for the protection of the Amazon biome. Due to the high percentage of drafting sections of the goals still in brackets -pending-, the CBD has convened a 4th PreCOP (OEWG4) in-person to be held in Nairobi, Africa in June this year. It is hoped that this new negotiation will be a scenario that promotes commitments regarding the participation of Indigenous Peoples, the recognition of their agroecological activities, and management and management of the territory as efficient and effective systems to protect biodiversity.