How the Global Biodiversity Framework helps our efforts to stop tropical deforestation

Norway’s negotiating team, led by Minister of Climate and Environment Mr. Espen Barth Eide (left), celebrates as the Montreal agreement is passed.

As much as 40% of the world’s land has been degraded, and wildlife population have shrunk dramatically since 1970. With the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, we have a common goal of not just stopping loss of nature, but to restore degraded ecosystems, enhance connectivity and increase the area of natural ecosystems.

The 15th UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15, delivered a framework that has a clear direction. It addresses the main drivers for nature loss, and requires action and cooperation by all levels of government and by all actors of society.

It gives a strong policy signal for the transformation we need. The Framework is set up with four overall goals to be achieved by 2050 and 23 action targets for 2030. The action targets should catalyse policy changes at international and national level, in what is a critical decade for both climate and nature. Nature and climate change are two sides of the same coin.

Action targets points to solutions

The Global Biodiversity Framework comes at a critical point in time for tropical forests. Global forest loss is still stubbornly high, while the value of intact forests and their biological diversity becomes more and more apparent. The clear action targets for 2030 address the main sectors that drive deforestation. Moreover, it points to the solutions.

A key element of the framework is the acknowledgement of the rights, roles and contributions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLC) in the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural ecosystems. NICFI looks forward to increased efforts to secure the critical guardianship provided by Indigenous Peoples and local communities in protecting tropical forests.

Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Espen Barth Eide and his colleague from Chile, Maisa Rojas.

Land use change is key

The main driver for nature loss and species extinction is land use change, with tropical deforestation at the core. A recurring element in the global framework is the call for sustainable land management, through inclusive land use planning. Full integration of biodiversity into policies, regulation, planning and development processes fits hand in glove with NICFI’s overall goal: The reduction and reversal of tropical forest loss to enable a stable climate, preserved biodiversity and sustainable development.

More specifically, the 2030 action targets will underpin our work in crucial areas. The targets of 30% protection of ecosystems by 2030 and 30% restoration of degraded areas by 2030 gives ambition and direction to the work we do together with partners. Reducing deforestation is the highest priority for NICFI, and the global goal of increased protection is crucial. However, as a consequence of deforestation and other ecosystem degradation over an extended period of time, there is an increased need for ecosystem restoration. Restoration efforts can also give important local environmental and economic benefits, as part of an overall sustainable land use strategy.

Not all areas will be under protection, other area-based conservation measures or restoration. Ensuring that all areas are subject to sustainable management and participatory, integrated biodiversity inclusive spatial planning processes, as stated in the first global target, is necessary to fill the gap. We also welcome targets that address drivers of deforestation directly, such as ensuring that agricultural areas and forestry are managed sustainably and minimizing the impact of climate change on biodiversity.

Forests at heart of the climate and nature crisis

The Global Biodiversity Framework contributes to strengthening the links between action to combat climate change, and action to protect and restore nature. Climate change is one of the main drivers of nature loss and species extinction. We need to not only minimize impacts of climate change, but also to ensure that the climate action that we take, foster positive impacts on biodiversity and minimizes negative impacts. Halting and reversing tropical deforestation meets both of these criteria.

It is clear that more resources must be mobilised to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. Fundamentally, this is about directing investments and financial flows away from nature degradation and towards nature-positive economies. NICFI appreciates the broad approach to resource mobilisation in the framework, including increased international public finance, domestic resources, leveraging private finance, and stimulating innovative finance schemes. Optimising co-benefits and synergies between finance targeting the biodiversity and climate crises is crucial to ensure that we get an overall good outcome.

NICFI looks forward to working with donor and forest countries, indigenous peoples, NGOs, research and knowledge communities, on implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework as part of our overall strategy for halting and reversing tropical deforestation.