With the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15) scheduled for December 2022 in Montreal, Canada fast approaching, Zimbabwe has recognized the need to convene national consultations to raise awareness To raise awareness and develop common positions and set the national agenda for this global conference. Government officials, FAO officials, development partners and more than 40 experts in the biodiversity and agrobiodiversity sectors gathered in Harare to develop national positions on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) goals and to prepare the national delegates who will represent Zimbabwe in the future COP-15 meetings are represented.
The national consultations are coordinated by the Department of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality (METCHI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the European Union-funded project. “Capacity building related to multilateral environmental agreements in ACP countries Phase III (ACP MEAs 3).” The project aims to promote environmental sustainability in African, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) countries by strengthening environmental policies, mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural policies and implementing multilateral environmental agreements. Launched in 2021, the project has developed a policy framework for agrobiodiversity through a thematic working group led by the ministries responsible for agriculture and the environment.
“The ACP-MEAs 3 project has created a coordination platform where the agricultural and environmental sectors meet to discuss cross-cutting issues related to biodiversity. This workshop aims to enhance Zimbabwe’s contribution to the ongoing international negotiations and processes towards the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will guide efforts to protect biodiversity for the next decade,” said Louis Muhigirwa, FAO Deputy Representative in Zimbabwe on behalf of Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe.
The Government of Zimbabwe takes note of the increasing number of biodiversity-related targets for food and agriculture that are integrated into the draft global post-2020 biodiversity framework. The ongoing global loss of biodiversity is alarming and it is imperative that countries and regions make the necessary policy changes to ensure these losses are contained.
“This workshop, which aims to question and debate the elements of the new post-2020 global biodiversity framework and to develop national positions on the framework, is crucial and part of the global strategy to halt biodiversity loss. Our task here today is to scrutinize the content of the draft GBF and ensure it is aligned with our national priorities, aspirations and capabilities,” said Honorable Minister NM Ndhlovu in his keynote speech, outlining the government’s commitments in affirmed and confirmed in this consultation process.
The workshop enabled a session to review the country’s progress towards meeting the targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and to gather stakeholder input in the process of developing the new GBF for the post-2020 period and at the same time set the national agenda and position for CBD COP-15. It was recognized that despite significant progress, biodiversity needs to be restored and degraded ecosystems recovered in order to achieve the CBD 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature”. It was agreed that in order to achieve the goals, the country needs financial resources and established mechanisms for resource mobilization, capacity building, awareness raising and robust mainstreaming, as well as improved sharing of experiences and best practices at regional and international levels. At the political level, all critical actors should institutionalize biodiversity in their sectors. Government by METCHI, presented on the country’s GBF post-2020 in the context of Zimbabwe.
As the country prepares for CBD COP-15 and the implementation of biodiversity restoration strategies, the workshop called for mainstreaming biodiversity through inclusive approaches to people. It was agreed that all institutions involved in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol must reconsider current national instruments and laws on the conservation and use of natural resources for the benefit of affected communities. The minister confirmed that the process of reviewing the relevant legislation has already started. Strong media engagement was also called for to translate biodiversity concepts into simplified local languages. A clear roadmap is shared with the ministry and implemented jointly at the provincial and county levels as part of decentralization. The CBD COP-15 agenda will be validated and endorsed at the national level.
Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the FAO Regional Office for Africa.
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