Montreal, Canada—Negotiators from across the world have adopted a landmark global biodiversity agreement marking the first international agreement to explicitly promote “rights of nature” and “rights of Mother Earth.” The breakthrough came as nearly 200 countries completed their negotiations at COP-15, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference aimed at creating a plan to protect and restore biodiversity through 2030.
The outcome document, called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopts 23 conservation targets as well as guidance for implementation. The framework highlights rights-based protections for Nature in several sections.
- For example, the framework “recognizes and considers … diverse value systems and concepts, including, for those countries that recognize them, rights of nature and rights of Mother Earth, as being an integral part of its successful implementation” (Section C(9), emphasis added).
- Additionally, the framework calls for at least $200 billion by 2030 to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans, including “Mother Earth centric actions” that are defined to include ecocentric and rights based approaches that promote the continuity of all living beings and their communities (Target 19, emphasis added).
Delegates from Bolivia championed the inclusion of Rights of Nature and Rights of Mother Earth (terms that are roughly synonymous) with support from Ecuador and New Zealand, while negotiating with countries who originally opposed the text (Argentina, Japan, the EU, and Australia, among others). Opposition largely derived from countries stating that their legal systems do not have similar laws, but ultimately negotiators reached consensus on the final text.
Read the entire press release here.
Critique of 30×30
Ben Price, Community Organizer, Author, with CELDF, strongly critiques the statement in this press release that “…one of the major outcomes of the framework is support for 30×30, a commitment to preserve 30 percent of all land and seas by the year 2030.”
For a taste of his response:
“The 30 X 30 proposal to protect 30% of Earth’s biodiversity – or is it 30% of the lands and seas, irrespective of the diversity of life there? – by 2030 is not only inadequate; the premises defining the parameters of the proposal are rooted in the very mindset that’s killing entire species at an accelerating rate. What is left of biodiversity is nothing more than an abstract idea kept aspirational by our refusal to quit the behavior that’s causing the sixth great extinction. The “nature forward” proposal seems to have effervesced into the warming air that clearly will not be limited to a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature.”
Read his article here.