The Ecojustice team is riding high after remarks yesterday from Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, who has publicly signaled his willingness to enshrine Canada’s nature targets in legislation. Such a law would be a powerful tool for ensuring Canada follows through on any commitments it makes under the Global Biodiversity Framework currently being negotiated here in Montreal.
Those negotiations continue today and have added political weight now that 100+ environment ministers from around the world have joined the final stretch of talks.
Halting and reversing nature loss will require us to make different decisions. How we make those decisions and what shapes them is the topic of Re-defining Value for a Net Zero, Nature Positive, and Equitable Canadian Economy, hosted by Capital Hubs Canada.
All sectors have an important role to play in protecting nature, and we look forward to hearing perspectives from the business world to see where our perspectives overlap and where they diverge.
Environment ministers try to get talks at COP15 biodiversity conference back on track in final days, reports the Canadian Press.
Incoming Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has added his voice the chorus of nations calling on wealthy countries to put more cash on the table to protect nature.
Meanwhile, Vox asks, what does ‘conservation’ even mean? — are different understandings of that key word at the root of fundamental disagreements we’re observing at COP15?
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Host country Canada has rolled out a steady stream of good news announcements since the start of COP15 — here’s hoping that trend continues in the conference’s final days.
Meanwhile the term “nature positive” keeps popping up in conversation at COP15, and the environmental community seems split on the usefulness of that phrase. Proponents argue that it communicates a clear high level goal to work toward while detractors say it is fuzzy language that reinforces the same economic model (capitalism) that created the problem “nature positive” aims to solve. What do you think?
Nature Canada is hosting a pair of panel discussions (An Action Plan to Halt and Reverse Nature Loss in Canada: What is required across the country?), which promise to highlight opportunities for federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments to work together in protecting nature and defending the climate.
Minister Guilbeault is expected to participate in tomorrow morning’s session, and we’ll be on site and looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
Tension is mounting inside the room where negotiators are trying to hammer out a “peace pact with nature”. A key sticking point? Money, reports The Guardian: Walkouts and tensions as row over finance threatens to derail COP15 talks.
Happening now at #COP15: Land and water defenders from across Turtle Island and Abya Yala (Latin America) call 🐂💩on governments, who on the one hand claim to protect nature and displace Indigenous Peoples on the other. pic.twitter.com/Xcp750ocPe
— Ecojustice (@ecojustice_ca) December 14, 2022
Environment ministers from around the world have started to arrive here in Montreal for the final stretch of negotiations many hope will lead to nature’s big “Paris” moment — a reference to 2015’s landmark agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C. But fears are growing that this conference may end in a sputter, reminiscent of the 2009 COP in Copenhagen.
But there is also reason for optimism.
Calls for Land Back and the recognition of Indigenous rights and sovereignty grow louder each day. In panel after panel, conversation after conversation, the message is clear: Indigenous Peoples have always been the most effective guardians of nature, and their leadership must be at the heart of efforts to halt and reverse nature loss.
Indigenous Climate Action will be holding a press conference, Biodiversity can only exist with ‘Land Back’, which will feature — among other prominent Indigenous leaders — Vanessa Gray, with whom the Ecojustice team has worked for many years.
This event will highlight the important work of land and water defenders within so-called Canada and beyond who are protecting biodiversity and call out false solutions and the lack of political will within colonial spaces like the UN Conference on Biodiversity.
Catch the livestream, starting at 2 pm ET here: https://www.cbd.int/live/
Today we’re sharing op-eds written by friends of Ecojustice who are on the ground here at COP15. We’re also proud to share a new piece, authored by Ecojustice law reform specialist Victoria Watson.
COP15 must be a turning point for nature and wildlife — and for us, writes Lagi Toribau of Greenpeace. Meanwhile, Jay Ritchlin of the David Suzuki Foundation reminds Canada’s political leaders, “At COP15, nature is counting on us”.
And, crucially, any agreements that come out of COP15 must be co-developed with Indigenous leadership and respect Indigenous rights and sovereignty, writes Ecojustice’s specialist Victoria Watson (@VCheyWatson).
As Canada shapes a plan on biodiversity protection, we can reimagine the role of Indigenous sovereignty alongside Canada’s laws, writes @VCheyWatson @ecojustice_ca #COP15 #IndigenousRights #Ecojustice #EnvironmentalLaw #Nature #NatureCOP #Biodiversity https://t.co/TNrI9ivk7Q
— David McKie (@mckiedavid) December 13, 2022
Sessions the Ecojustice dropped into yesterday included a round table discussion on Indigenous-led nature-based solutions and a packed Q&A with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment Dr. David Boyd. Check out our full Twitter thread by clicking below:
Now at #COP15 we’re joining UN special rapporteur and former @ecojustice_ca executive director @SREnvironment speaking at a special event on women, girls & the right to a clean, healthy & sustainable environment! pic.twitter.com/NWNjTGXyK6
— Ecojustice (@ecojustice_ca) December 13, 2022
The rest of Ecojustice’s COP15 delegation has landed in Montreal, and is getting ready to take in the final stretch of negotiations and celebrate the power of nature and Indigenous leadership, which has been on proud display here in la belle province.
Reversing and halting biodiversity will require us to shift away from business as usual, a conversation that will continue at the Business and Biodiversity Forum.
It will also require governments at all levels to join in the effort. The 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities continues today and gives representatives from subnational governments the chance to share and amplify their biodiversity success stories.
This panel will feature the perspectives of guardians on the frontlines of the fight to defend biodiversity and discuss a legal tool they consider necessary for the protection and care of Nature, ancestral territories and biodiversity: the inclusion of the crime of ecocide in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Some snaps to give you a sense of what the Ecojustice team observed at COP yesterday. From left to right: Flags, so many flags on at the main COP venue. Jacqueline Lee-Tam of the Climate Justice Organizing HUB, Hannah Dean of Nature Canada, and Montana Burgess of Neighbours United sharing lessons learned and success stories from lending institutional power to grassroots organizations and investing in deep canvassing. And finally, a peek at what our team saw inside the 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities.
Humans depend on the well-being of the natural world to support our cultures, health, and economy. Caring for nature also means caring for our own wellbeing. An event hosted today by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment will dive into the interconnectedness of nature and human health.
An exhibit hosted by Coopérative de Polliflora at the Canada Pavilion, explores the most common species of pollinators and wild plants, their irreplaceable role in ecosystems, and solutions to protect them.
Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) initiatives have the potential to transform nature protection in Canada. PFPs support integrated approaches to nature conservation, ecosystem health, community well-being and economic sustainability. An event hosted today by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, Enduring Earth, and multiple Indigenous partners will explore the possible contributions of PFPs to closing Canada’s gap to protect 30 per cent of ecosystems by 2030.
The Government of Canada is presenting a film screening of Sovereign Soil. The film, set in the wilds surrounding the northern community of Dawson City, Yukon, celebrates this remote, ferocious land and the wisdom of the people who have chosen to make it their home.
Check out the trailer for the film:
The Indigenous Village at COP15, presented by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative wrapped up yesterday after three incredible days of dialogue, cultural displays, Indigenous arts, and traditional food demonstrations. Check out some photos taken by the Ecojustice team on the ground who had the privilege of attending some of the events hosted throughout the weekend: