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Global Biodiversity Framework, global biodiversity loss and indigenous peoples

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Time: 3 PM Finnish time, 4 PM Kenyan time, 6.30 PM India time, 2 PM CET)

World starts a crucial phase of Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) negotiations on 14 March in Geneva in the context of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) process to set a global agenda on biodiversity up to 2030.

While in order to save the world’s biodiversity states would need to halt the on-going rapid biodiversity loss acceleration by urgent measures, the draft GBF under negotiation, however, rather leaves main global biodiversity loss drivers unregulated even though the CBD obliges states to regulate them.

As in areas where indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have lived around the world, biodiversity has survived averagely better than in areas of other populations, the world would need to secure their rights to continue their sustainable life in their habitats and to learn from them how people can live in sustainable relation to biodiversity. But the proposed GBF agenda may lead in quite an opposite direction.


Simon Counsell, advisor to Survival International, former director of Rainforest Foundation UK:
Will ‘conservation’ save biodiversity? (pdf)

Lucy Mulenkei, director, Indigenous Information Network, Kenya and International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB):
How GBF affects indigenous communities and what are their alternatives? (pdf, IIFB Targets)

Ville-Veikko Hirvelä, convener, Siemenpuu Biocultural rights theme group:
How global biodiversity loss continues to grow under the GBF and how to prevent this? (pdf)

Indu Netam, president, Adiwasi Samta Manch, India:
How rights of Adivasis to habitats of their indigenous life-heritages can protect biocultural diversity?

Siemenpuu Foundation (Biocultural Rights thematic working group), Adivasi ry, New Wind Association, Friends of the Earth Finland (Indigenous peoples and connection to Earth action group)


The proposed Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) would enable the global biodiversity loss to continue to accelerate for the next 10 years and can be used to justify the processes and activities which drive the biodiversity loss in ways which violate the CBD.

The CBD obliges states to regulate such processes and activities like unsustainable production and over-consumption, which may affect biodiversity and to prevent them from having “significant adverse impacts” on world’s biodiversity, such as the on-going global biodiversity loss acceleration driven by them.

But the proposed GBF has no measures to fulfil these CBD obligations to regulate by any binding limits such our over-consumption processes and activities or to prevent the accelerating global biodiversity loss crucially driven by them.

This rich states’ and elites’ over-consumption, which drives the unsustainable production and global biodiversity loss acceleration, is thus allowed to grow with its overall volume of biodiversity undermining global impacts not bound by any limits or any regulation by the GBF – as long as they have money to buy more.

This would be a catastrophe for the diversity of life on Earth as it would leave the Earth for a decade to be used and determined by rights of money to such over-consumption of unsustainable global products, which undermine biodiversity, violating the CBD.

Diversity of Earth’s life can be saved only to the extent to which the rights to decide the use of the Earth and its life’s diversity are not determined by money or business profits, but are secured in each area according to how people can live with Earth’s biodiversity in ways which are best adapted to allow Earth’s biodiversity to regenerate.

Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have lived and guarded the diversity of Earth’s life according to their diverse locally adapted biocultural life-heritages and have produced much less biodiversity loss both inside and outside the areas where they live than people do in the areas where the mainstream society lives.

To halt the loss of all Earth’s ecosystems on all areas we would need to ensure that the IPLC communities who are most adapted to sustainable use and protection of land and biodiversity have secure rights and governance over their lands, livelihoods and cultures as able to plan and execute how their ecosystems can be managed, conserved and restored.

But instead of trying to regulate or restrict unsustainable, over-consuming commercial, industrial or urban ways of life, the GBF will on the contrary continue to displace, restrict and prevent such most sustainable ways of human life which have been best adapted to live with the diversity of Earth’s life in ways which allow it to regenerate.

GBF transfers even more areas, where people have lived more sustainably, to become managed by modern commercial drivers financed by same commercial sources and interests as our over-consumption. Governance of Earth’s life would be taken via globalised spatial planning, protected areas, Nature Based Solutions, etc, further away from the hands of people who have lived more sustainably in to hands of others who have more money and whose life’s global impacts are less sustainable.

The world needs to learn from IPLC communities how the diversity of life on Earth can be understood, used and lived more sustainably than how the states and modern societies are currently doing with their GBF plans.

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