Following the call by the African Union (AU) to world leaders to establish a Global Biodiversity Fund (GBF) to enhance biodiversity conservation in Africa and other developing nations at the just-concluded conference of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) held in Geneva, Switzerland, the focal point of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) deputy focal point, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Daniel Mukubi, explains why this fund is important and speaks on other issues around biodiversity conservation.
How will the fund help in biodiversity conservation?
The fund available now is the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and it is unable to address all issues and problems of biodiversity conservation. The GBF has the ambition to conserve, that is why developing countries are asking for the possibility of tabling another fund mechanism that will be more accessible, simple and enhance our capabilities to conserve our biodiversity.
You know in Africa and other developing countries indigenous people and local communities find it difficult to conserve with their traditional knowledge and to make efforts to conserve areas that are very important for biodiversity and our well-being. That is why we are recommending that we table another fund mechanism that will include the contributions of developed countries from each Article that is sold in developed countries from biodiversity. That is why we have a percentage that will go into this fund and be channeled back to developing countries so that we can continue to make efforts to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and avoid loss.
How much is the demand for the GBF?
We hope to achieve the GBF by 2030 and we think $700bn should be able to address all issues on biodiversity conservation.
The fund will come from existing mechanisms. We are recommending that the eight reconstitutions of GEF funds may exclusively address GBF and then we will take part from GEF and other contributions from developed countries. For instance, China in the Kunming Declaration, announced that it will put $40million on the table. I think we are now negotiating for other developed countries to have other mechanisms that are simple and operational, to make this fund effective.
How can this fund be made accessible to countries?
You know there is ‘Target 3’ of the GBF that deals with an ambitious coalition. It asks that countries be able to conserve 30 per cent of earth and 30 per cent of seas 30 x 30 by 2030. I think we can put up a mechanism to identify the conservation and biodiversity needs of each country and help indigenous people and local communities form conservation initiatives. We, in turn, will put a committee that will manage these funds and assess the needs of the countries and the mechanisms to be deployed.
Africa is trying to negotiate a post-2020 GBF. What is the continent’s stand for the next 10 years?
Now, Africa is pondering three things; the first is the financial mechanism. The current mechanisms are not allowing us to move forward with the conservation efforts. We want an innovative financial mechanism to help us effectively implement the GBF.
The second is capacity-building. Due to the inequalities between north and south, we are asking for an effective and strategic capacity-building for scientific and technical cooperation and technology transfer. If that is done it will reduce the inequality and enhance Africa’s capacity to address biodiversity matters.
Finally, we are discussing ‘Target 3’, the high ambition coalition and ’30 x 30’, so that we can decide what we will be taking into account concerning this target.
There is also this issue of making innovative technologies available and a part of the GBF. How do you think innovative technologies can help in biodiversity conservation?
Technology is an important thing today, particularly in biodiversity conservation. In our countries, we are unable to put mechanisms in place to help us access our biodiversity. We do not have adequate materials to make geographic information system/digital sequence information (GIS/DSI) or access our fauna, flora or technologically updated research. We are asking for capacity-building, so that we may have drones and others connected to satellites to make mapping and help in the identification of endangered species. This is why we are requesting a technological transfer.