On the 27th and the 28th of September, the African Civil Society Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA) was privileged to have its members participate in the NGO Parallel Forum, one of several parallel events ahead of the upcoming 1st phase of the CBD’s COP15 from October 11 to 15. This NGO Forum is hosted by the CBD Secretariat and China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology, co-organized by the China’s Civil Society Alliance for Biodiversity Conservation (CSABC).
ACBA was invited to represent the African perspectives on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and African commitments to conservation throughout the continent.
This was a great opportunity for ACBA as our focus is on the Sustainable Use (SU) of natural resources by the people which aligns to goal (b) of the Convention. As ACBA, our mission is to elevate, amplify and create spaces and systems for local voices to participate and influence decision making processes, in the conservation of Africa’s biodiversity for the mutual and equitable benefit of people and the environment. We recognize and respect the rights of all African people to access and utilize natural resources for their livelihood security in a manner that is sustainable and resilient.
The Forum provided an opportunity to reflect on the shared successes achieved through collaboration and partnership we had with CSABC. ACBA was represented by different members such as Maxi Louis from the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Support Organizations (NACSO), Tommy Garnett from Environmental Foundation for Africa, Daniel Kobei from the Ogiek People’s Development Program, Fred Kwame Kumah from the African Wildlife Foundation, Lesley Jansen from Resource Africa, and Ken Kinney from the Development Institute. Additional thanks to ACBA members who contributed to the shaping of the statement of ACBA’s commitment to protect biodiversity, which we have excerpted below.
“ACBA has achieved several milestones. In the wake of COVID-19’s global impact, the Alliance hosted two campaigns on zoonosis. In September 2020, ACBA spoke about Sustainable Use during the CBD’s consultations. To support the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, ACBA held thematic dialogues with African, Chinese and European partners, and recently published a scientific paper positing suggesting a Shared Earth, Shared Ocean Framework should underpin its implementation.”
ACBA made 6 key commitments, articulated by Fred Kwame Kumah on ACBA’s behalf:
1. People-centered, locally-driven sustainable use which connects people with nature.
2. Application of equitable principles that address the rights and needs of IPLCs, smallholder
3. farmers and pastoral communities.
4. Greater resilience of land- and seascapes to climate induced shocks for biodiversity’s and people’s benefit.
6. Support stronger local institutions, notably the bedrock of sustainable efforts by society.
7. Support rights holders’ local and traditional knowledge centering their accumulated
8. experience, as linked to relevant, scaled scientific knowledge.
9. Promote sustainable funding mechanisms for protected and conserved areas, especially
10. those within community ownership and control, with positive impacts to nature and people.