COP27: No concrete outcome on biodiversity, Latin-American activists demand climate justice


Sharm-El Sheikh: Delegates at COP27 officially have just 48 hours to finish negotiations, and unfortunately, no concrete outcome emerged for the meeting on Day 10 on the issues of Biodiversity.

Wednesday was the day “officially Biodiversity Day” where the leaders discussed, how to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and restore ecosystems that could contribute to lowering annual greenhouse gas emissions.

‘Biodiversity Day’ at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh comes just two weeks ahead of a high-level gathering of CBD States Parties in Montreal, aimed at reversing biodiversity loss.

Ambassador Wael Aboulgmagd, Special Representative for the COP27 President, sent a message to negotiators, reminding them that although every delegation must consider its national interests, the situation of climate change is dire.

“I hope delegations in the negotiation rooms take this to heart and realize that they need to show progress, not in words but in action and implementation,” he told journalists.

So it was no surprise that the visit of Brazilian President-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, attracted a huge amount of attention after he had announced that his country, which is home to most of the Amazon Forest, is committed to ending deforestation and protecting indigenous rights.

Indigenous activists, who have made a strong showing since the start of COP27, were especially vocal, as they are the guardians of our planet’s biodiversity.

“My community was hit by two cyclones in just one year and our [entire] city was completely destroyed. We don’t want to live like this anymore. We need a safe space; we need a safe planet,” Adriana da Silva Maffioletti, a young activist from Brazil.

She added that she hoped world leaders would listen to the indigenous leadership instead of exploiting them.

The head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, called this commitment “a massive gain for climate, for biodiversity and for the people of the Amazon”.

Biodiversity is affected by extreme weather events and temperatures, especially in developing countries, due to limited resources to protect them. This is worrying, since 15 of the 17 countries with the largest biodiversity are in the global South.

Meanwhile, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Ellie Goulding launched a new initiative at COP27 aimed to protect these colonial animals.

Last week, she led an expedition in the Red Sea, off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“There’s this sheer visual beauty. When you pass through with your mask and witness this brilliant cornucopia of marine life, you feel as if all life is swimming in front of your eyes. And it reminded me that coral covers just a tiny percentage of the sea floor, but it supports a quarter of all known marine species,” she told a panel on Wednesday.

Ms. Goulding reminded participants that even at 1.5C degrees of warming, 70 to 90 pe cent of all reefs will be lost; this number jumps to a worrying 99 percent if our planet warms by 2.0 degrees C.

“This is one of the most climate tolerant reefs in the world, and it just happens to be right here at your feet in Sharm el-Sheikh. And this is no ordinary reef. It’s one of nature’s great survivors and it could be the key to regenerating other reefs in the future,” she explained.

The singer-songwriter said it was “insulting” that less than 0.01 per cent of climate finance is devoted to protecting coral reefs.

Important pledges aimed at protecting forests were made last year at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Some of them are beginning to roll off the belt onto reality. But there’s a reason why Egypt framed this as the ‘implementation COP’; because those pledges and promises have to see real action,” stated UNEP chief Andersen.

Last week, the European Union also announced a new cooperation framework on reversing deforestation in Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia.


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