The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) ongoing in Montreal, Canada, from December 7 to 19, 2022, is expected to be the launch pad for crucial environmental conferences to adopt new global targets to fight against the loss of biodiversity.
A statement from the organisation said the coalition will be launched on the last day of the conference.
The ‘Aichi targets’, which defined a strategy for 2010-2020, were not achieved. Therefore, a new roadmap for international action in favour of biodiversity for 2020-2030 must be established to protect all life. The United Nations stressed in 2020 that SDG 15 regarding the conservation of biodiversity will not be achieved with the state of protected areas as is.
Scientific data, particularly from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), warned of biodiversity decline with one million species at risk of extinction in 2019. Protecting the extensive African flora and its iconic species, including elephants, chimpanzees and lions is, therefore, a major concern.
While the development of protected areas is one of the most effective measures for preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, research has also shown that its effectiveness depends on the degree of integration of conservation projects in national and local strategies and their integration in other areas of public policy and action: reforestation policies, water systems, agriculture, and economic development of local populations.
The effect that protected areas have on biodiversity and ecosystem resilience is based on the development of connective networks. These networks help sustain the genetic diversity within species, ensure natural migration and in some cases even help adapt to climate change. Today, however, half of all protected areas are connected. By reducing the fragmentation of natural habitats, ecological corridors contribute to connectivity networks.
Amid a systemic environmental crisis where biodiversity, climate, and desertification – from the three United Nations Conventions on the environment – are linked, the Climate Chance Association, which specializes in networking actors by organizing Summits and multi-stakeholder coalitions, is launching a new international platform to mobilize for the central role that biodiversity corridors play in Africa. The coalition will be co-chaired by three countries: France, Gabon, and Guinea.
In a field where initiatives are multiplying, it will be a tool for coordination, exchanging best practices, and capacity building; it will also feature a continent-wide mapping. The Coalition also aims to mobilize funding to accelerate the renovation of old corridors or develop new ones. The goal is to explore the possible linkages between the actions related to the fight against climate degradation, specifically within the forestry domain.
In January 2023, Climate Chance will deploy the first demonstration project from the new Coalition, in Guinea, a country with growing forest cover that remains at the intersection of multiple ecological connectivities. The Guinean government has committed to a National Strategy and the implementation of a National Biodiversity Conservation Plan (2016-2025) in which the issue of inclusion of the local population and management of biological corridors are emphasized.
The launch event of the International Coalition ‘Biodiversity Corridors in Africa’, under the high patronage of the French Republic, will be held on December 15, as part of the COP15 in Montreal.