Citing national plans to end deforestation, biodiversity loss, researchers will provide new evidence on governments’ failure to recognize rights and invest in Indigenous, local communities, shown to protect nature, climate and people.
Amid growing evidence of climate impacts and threats to biodiverse forests across the Global South, scientists and Indigenous leaders to reveal dangerous trade offs if COP28 “climate solutions” harm valuable biodiversity and endanger environmental defenders
To be released at a virtual press conference on 16 November 2023, ahead of the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, new research will reveal that preliminary national plans for conserving forests and fighting global biodiversity loss continue to neglect a proven, cost-effective solution for protecting the planet’s most intact ecosystems.
Citing a growing body of scientific evidence that has repeatedly confirmed that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are the most effective stewards of the tropical forests and other biodiverse ecosystems, researchers and Indigenous leaders will present two new analyses that suggest that national decision makers worldwide continue to drag their feet in promoting and implementing proven, rights-based approaches to reducing deforestation and biodiversity loss.
Although the protection of intact forests and reforestation initiatives are central to their commitment to meeting climate goals agreed to in Paris in 2015, tropical forest countries reported that deforestation worsened in 2022 compared to 2021 rates, while a number of the same countries have weakened safeguards that are meant to protect the rights and the role of Indigenous and local communities in the conservation of some of the world’s most biodiverse regions.
Held in the lead up to COP28, the press briefing will feature biodiversity and climate researchers and Indigenous leaders, who will argue that climate solutions must be designed to complement biodiversity goals and must draw on the knowledge and experience of Indigenous peoples and local communities and their deep understanding of the biodiverse and carbon-rich landscapes they manage.
A new report produced by a cohort of civil society organizations and researchers known as the Forest Declaration Assessment Partners, will reveal a significant flaw in the preliminary plans of 27 countries for implementing the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity agreement. The paper, which analyzes proposals for expanding protected areas in tropical forest countries, will reveal a trend that bodes ill for the planet’s most biodiverse territories, including the forests that represent 30 percent of the climate solution agreed to in Paris in 2015.
Preliminary findings of a separate new study, the first by a global alliance of Indigenous and other local communities, will reveal the extent to which governments, philanthropy and other stakeholders have channeled climate financing for protecting nature directly to the communities. This will be presented with accounts of the initial impact of funds that are invested directly in Brazil and Indonesia, two countries whose rainforests are largely managed by Indigenous and local communities.