Ahead of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, the European Parliament is sending a strong message to the Commission and Member States about the links between environmental governance, livelihoods and rights, and the overseas impact of the recently adopted EU Biodiversity Strategy.
On 6 October 2021, the European Parliament adopted a ground-breaking report in favour of strengthening the EU commitment to global biodiversity, and of ensuring the coherence of EU trade, environment and agriculture policies within the context of development. MEPs call for increased investment to protect biodiversity and vulnerable ecosystems, as well as people in the global South.
The own-initiative resolution led by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Michèle Rivasi stresses the key role of development policy in responding to biodiversity loss in vulnerable countries, in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Noting the disproportionate impact of conservation on the global South, and the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in the world’s important biodiversity conservation areas, the report urges the EU to put their rights at the heart of EU policy decisions and to ensure coherence in European development policies.
Fern welcomes this new report, which echoes its call to use the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy for nature and a resilient climate, in order to address the dual biodiversity and climate crises. In the context of forests, EU policies can have far-reaching consequences and lead to forest destruction and violation of community rights. The Rivasi report is an important reminder that the Biodiversity Strategy should therefore be implemented in close cooperation with the people who would be directly affected.
In addition to development policies, the Parliament resolution further notes the opportunity for the upcoming mandatory due diligence law to make companies and financiers ensure that their actions do not result in human rights abuses, such as land-grabs, or in further deforestation and biodiversity loss, while stressing the importance of meaningful consultation of those affected. Indeed, that would make great strides toward eliminating unintended negative consequences of EU consumption.