Enhancement of the understanding and the engagement and mobilization of Youth Leaders and civil society towards the CBD COP

The 2010- 2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity sets 20 global biodiversity targets or Aichi Targets to be attained in the efforts to reduce biodiversity loss and ensure its contribution to human wellbeing in the move towards the global 2050 vision to live in harmony with nature.  African Countries in compliance with their commitment to this global undertaking, alongside several member states worldwide, internalized the Strategic plan through the adoption of national biodiversity strategic frameworks that defined priorities and provided orientation for interventions. Several national Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans adopted in Africa within this dynamic equally demands an early reflection towards the identification of adapted national biodiversity priorities beyond 2020 and the extent to which this reflection can influence and contribute to the process of developing a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The COP 14 decision has therefore set-in motion the process for a new global framework for biodiversity to be adopted during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) of the CBD, to be held in 2020 in Italy.

The comprehensive consultative approach defined for this process includes the following: global inter-sessional discussions on the components for the new global framework and the production of a draft document, as well as regional, national and thematic dialogues to ensure harmonized approaches that feed into the global discussions. Within this approach, member states to the CBD and other biodiversity stakeholders are all called upon to contribute to the development of this global framework by effectively engaging in the global and regional dialogues to be carried out.

Africa constitutes a critical party in this process. The rich biological and genetic diversity with diverse valuable ecosystems (in several ecological basin as Congo Basin) with services that offer enormous opportunities for the continent’s social and economic development, provide global benefits as carbon sinks, constitute a main attraction in the global markets etc. The extent to which Africa’s biodiversity interests can be taken into consideration in the development of the new global framework.

Consultations have effectively commenced in the African region under the coordination of the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the Secretariat of the CBD and other development partners. The outcomes of the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity in 2018 in Egypt, the Africa Regional Consultation on the post-2020 that held in Addis Ababa in April 2019 and other Regional informal consultations aimed at ensuring coherence and harmony in presenting regional priorities, provide opportunities for countries to better articulate messages on national priorities for the identified regional thematic areas.  The COVID19 outbreak has highlighted the need for governments and the international community to focus on the interlinkage biodiversity, health and security. This has been well stated in the African Youth and civil society declaration against COVID19 and Pandemics elaborated drafted on May 31, 2020 under the lead of African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development (ANYL4PSD). This declaration shed a light on major challenges that call for a continental response by all stakeholders including the youths.

African Youth are vital exponents to achieve these goals leading to the creation of a conglomerate of youth chapters across Africa to contribute to the development of a framework that demonstrates the political and economic relevance of nature, while setting ambitious targets to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity. However, in spite of the increasing engagement of youth in actions against climate change and nature conservation, the level of youth awareness on this global process and the understanding on the stakes the outcomes of a new global strategic plan on biodiversity will present for Africa’s development pathway, is very low. An early setting of the stage for a continental youth reflection will enable Africa to capitalize on several opportunities within the on-going global and regional preparatory processes. The engagement of youth stakeholders in the post-2020 framework development process provides an institutional landscape for building a broad partnership in this process.

Objectives of the intervention

The overall objective of the project is to enhance the understanding and the engagement and mobilization of Youth Leaders and civil society towards the CBD COP.

Increase national and continental awareness and ambition for youth engagement and advocacy in the post-2020 biodiversity framework preparatory process by the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as build continental momentum for appropriation and strengthened implementation of the post-2020 global framework.

Specific objectives

  • Create awareness campaign across Africa on the status and trend of loss and value of nature for people development and climate change reaching at least 50 000 people;
  • Build understanding of African youth leaders on the process towards the development of a global post-2020 biodiversity framework and the need for youth involvement and engagement in the process;
  • develop and formally initiate a regional consultative and participatory process, including a roadmap for Africa’s engagement towards the COP 15 in Italy;
  • Secure nature-based commitments through a position paper from youths of state and non-state actors to taking actions contributing to halting and reversing biodiversity loss.

NEW DEAL FOR NATURE AND PEOPLE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN

Context:

Global trade and economic growth over the last half century have driven huge improvements in health and living standards but also undermined the stability of the Earth’s natural systems and exacerbated global inequality. The 2020 Living Planet Index shows that global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average 68% decline in less than half a century (from 1970 to 2016). The main cause of this dramatic decline is habitat loss and degradation, including deforestation, driven by how we as humanity produce food. Nature powers industry and enterprise but we are using up ‘natural capital’ and degrading natural systems faster than nature can replenish and restore them, exceeding Earth’s overall bio capacity by 58% according to Ecological Foot printing.

According to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020, the top five most pressing challenges facing Africa and the world over the next decade are, for the first time, all related to the environment, and include biodiversity loss and climate change. Failure to tackle nature’s decline will increase nature-related risks, further disrupt supply chains, threaten global food security, and cost the global economy at least $479 billion a year – amounting to $10 trillion by 2050. Our economies are embedded within nature but economics do not recognize that human health, wealth and security depend on safeguarding environmental health, according to the forthcoming Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity. The 2030 Agenda is rooted in the idea that human development and well-being cannot be achieved without simultaneously safeguarding and investing in nature and managing disaster risk in a systemic manner – otherwise development gains will be short-lived and unevenly distributed.

Despite its challenges, the year 2020 represented a turning point that must be understood by the youth and civil society as an opportunity to speak out on three fronts and act for the changes they wish to see in the system.  The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and recently, its variances represent the latest in an unfortunately growing list of disasters confronting humanity. The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and the world is not only a challenge for global health systems, but also a test of our human spirit. Its social and economic impacts have been creating a global crisis unparalleled in the history of the United Nations—and one which requires a whole-of-society response to match its sheer scale and complexity.

In 2020, under the leadership of African network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development which has set the New Deal for Nature and People Coalition, African youths and civil society organizations have drafted and started the implementation of two regional position papers on COVID19 and pandemics and towards a strong post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework for a green growth resumption in Africa and in the world. Among key recommandations formulated by youths and civil society, we can highlight:

  1. the necessity of the iinvolvement and engagement of Governments in a New Deal for Nature and People as a globally binding agreement to halve our footprint on nature; stop the loss of natural habitats and to top the extinction of living species;
  1. the mainstreaming of young people-championed elements from a gender perspective in the Post-2020 Framework focusing on intergenerational equity, human rights and the rights of nature, transformative education and the promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament;
  1. the importance of strengthened multilateralism: Develop a whole -of-society coordinated approach and accelerate implementation of the “New Way of Working” mobilizing all the stakeholders and taking into account all the layers and sectors in the implementation of innovative measures at different levels;
  1. the imperative of more synergies and alignment between the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework with other biodiversity-related multilateral agreements, processes and instruments (UNCCD, UNFCC; Ramsar; Future BBNJ, CITES etc.) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so as to enable the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework systematically cross-maps its goals and targets and seeks to reinforce synergies in implementation and enabling conditions;
  1. The urgency to greening the financial sector (economics of biodiversity) – integrating environmental issues to support the post 2020 implementation framework and enabling conditions for resilience and transformative change;
  1. High level leadership and a whole-of-government approach mobilizing all the layers of the society including private sector and civil society towards a Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework based on transparency, accountability monitoring and reporting.

African youths are disproportionately affected by environmental issues plaguing the continent: Desertification, pollution, erosion, overexploitation of natural resources such as forest and water, among others hampers prosperity and economic development. Addressing the aforementioned challenges requires the involvement of youths who are key players for the implementation of the recommendations (embedded in the regional position papers) they have drafted as part of the New Deal for Nature and People Coalition. Youth and Civil Society have a role in transiting from unwitting perpetrators of environmental degradation to custodians of natural capital. Such a changeover will potentially result in sustainability benefits like green jobs and contribute to ensure the future of Next generations. To this effect, the New Deal for Nature and People Coalition led by African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development launches the New Deal for Nature and People campaign

New Deal for Nature and People Campaign

The New Deal for Nature and People Campaign is an advocacy digital campaign implemented by the New Deal for Nature and People Coalition (constituted of children, youth, women coming from several sectors as civil society, media, local elected, business, indigenous people, refugees, IDPs and startups) led by African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development as part of the implementation of the (1) African youth and civil society declaration Against COVI19 and pandemics for a green growth resumption in Africa and in the world and the (2) African Youth and Civil Society Position paper on the Post 2020 biodiversity framework.

Youths and civil society will be leveraging on several community (online) platforms (Zoom, YouTube, twitter, Facebook[1], WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram….) and disseminating advocacy messages and contents (through various tools and materials) aiming at raising awareness on the Nature Positive vision focusing on key recommendations of the position papers they have elaborated. This campaign will be implemented all through the year 2021.

Kindly join the campaign using the following Hashtags*

#PlanetaryEmergency

#NewDealForNature

#ForNature & #climate

#VoicesForNature

#4Nature4Us

#NaturePositive

#Post2020

#NewDealForNatureAndPeopleCoalition

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