African Development and Conservation in the context of COP15 & the Global Biodiversity Framework

News | Posted on Friday 4 November 2022

Postdoctoral research associate Tabitha Kabora reflects on the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, the Global Biodiversity Framework and African development and conservation challenges.

The upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) scheduled for December 2022 in Montreal, Canada aims to facilitate the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) which would strengthen the protection of biodiversity and provides a 10-year strategy for conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems. This framework and the strategy developed have the potential to have long term impacts on conservation by giving biodiversity the same levels of international protection as the climate. This is particularly important for African countries which hold a large share of intact biodiversity, as well as 60% of global uncultivated arable land (AfDB and WWF, 2015).

However, in Africa and across the Global South, conservation faces strong trade-offs with development, further exacerbated by climate change impacts. Much of the uncultivated arable land in Africa is undergoing rapid conversion to agriculture, and the development needs that would result in poverty alleviation can fall into conflict with conservation efforts. In addition, conservation has mainly focused on protected areas in intact, high-biodiversity landscapes, however it is estimated that by the mid-21st century climate change will result in approximately 6%–11% of biodiversity in these protected areas pushed out of their current dispersal ranges (Tabor et al. 2018). These challenges as well as the limited global funds available for conservation, makes it imperative that the policies enacted through the GBF integrate sustainable development and conservation needs that are equitable and inclusive in order to meet the vision of the global biodiversity framework of building a future where human life is in harmony with nature (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Theory of change of the Global Biodiversity Framework (UN CBD Secretariat 2021)

The GBF thus presents an opportunity to strengthen protections for biodiversity and cementing recognition of the role of biodiversity in economic development through its four goals and 21 targets. The success of this strategy will require global, coordinated support and buy-in, effective integration of indigenous and local communities in conservation, equity in benefit-sharing, and significant international financing to developing countries to support these efforts.

References

  1. UN CBD Secretariat 2021. FIRST DRAFT OF THE POST-2020 GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FRAMEWORK. Open Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. CBD/WG2020/3/3. https://www.cbd.int/article/draft-1-global-biodiversity-framework.
  2. Obura, D. O., Katerere, Y., Mayet, M., Kaelo, D., Msweli, S., Mather, K., Harris, J., Louis, M., Kramer, R., Teferi, T., Samoilys, M., Lewis, L., Bennie, A., Kumah, F., Isaacs, M. & Nantongo, P. 2021. Integrate biodiversity targets from local to global levels. Science, 373, 746-748. DOI: 10.1126/science.abh2234.
  3. Tabor K., Hewson J., Tien H., González-Roglich M., Hole D., Williams J. W. (2018). Tropical protected areas under increasing threats from climate change and deforestation. Land 7 (3), 90. https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030090.
  4. African Development Bank (AfDB), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (2015). African Ecological futures report (Abidjan, Coˆte d’Ivoire and Nairobi, Kenya: African Development Bank Group and the WWF Regional Office for Africa).
  5. https://www.cbd.int/conferences/2021-2022
  6. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/cop15-biodiversity-nature-ecosystems/

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Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

lcab-enquiries@york.ac.uk

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Find out more about Tabitha Kabora's research

Contact us

Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

lcab-enquiries@york.ac.uk

Related links

Find out more about Tabitha Kabora's research