This statement is on behalf of Friends of the Earth International, the Global Forest Coalition, Econexus, Forests of the World, and Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN Argentina ). It addresses how the Convention on Biological Diversity should develop the process to define the new targets and frameworks that will follow the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which should be met by 2020.  

The post-2020 process is key not only for the definition of the objectives, but also for their future implementation. In order for societies to appropriate these objectives as theirs, people need to have been involved in the construction processes. Therefore, it is essential that full participatory processes are set up, not only bringing together country delegates but especially indigenous peoples, local communities, youth, women and civil society in regional settings.

For future commitments to be successful, it is essential that we learn lessons from the past. We need an in-depth analysis of the reasons why the Aichi targets have not been implemented. Then we need to do things differently and rebuild trust.

The post 2020 process MUST lead us to a world that lives within the planetary limits.

Another element to be considered is the rising impact of climate change on ecosystems.

However, we do not want a process similar to the UNFCCC process that led to the Paris Agreement, as its “voluntary pledges” approach has clearly failed to deliver a world that stays well below 2 degrees of warming.

Unlimited economic growth is not compatible with saving the environment. It is the responsibility of this convention to make sure biodiversity is conserved, and it needs to set up the processes to ensure it responds to this challenge.

In order to do so, the role of corporations, in policy debates and through financial instruments, needs to be limited and the corporate takeover of the public sphere halted.

The amount of investment in destructive activities is exponentially larger than the amount of investment in preserving biodiversity. The new targets should include rules on divestment for destructive projects, as well as the reversal of perverse incentives.

Another lesson learned from the climate convention is that offsetting has failed as a response to climate change. Biodiversity offsetting makes even less sense than climate offsetting.

Biodiversity is hugely complex and very distinct in different regions. Coming to one single biodiversity metric – or for that matter, ANY type of biodiversity metric –  reduces the multiple aspects of biodiversity to one aspect, and cuts out important other values. It must therefore be abandoned.

Targets should therefore also have qualitative aspects. Further, targets should take into account the fact that it is proven that the best preservers of biodiversity and ecosystems are indigenous peoples and local communities.