A Challenge to Reimagine Conservation in 2022
CEESP News - by Kristen Walker Painemilla, IUCN CEESP Commission Chair
With 2021 coming to a close, we have the opportunity to reflect on the state of the world, take the good with the bad, and look toward the future - to imagine how 2022 might be, and how we want it to be. My sincerest gratitude to IUCN Members for my re-election as Chair of IUCN CEESP. It has been an honor to serve the past five years, and to serve over the next four years. Thanks to the inspiring work and input by Commission members, the impact and influence of the six IUCN Commissions have never been stronger.
Photo: IUCN Commissions
The continued devastating impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the health and well-being of communities and nature worldwide have left us still grabbling with the resulting inequity and injustice around the world.
We have also seen progress this year. The IUCN Congress held in Marseille in September this year was the first major environmental event to be held in a hybrid format, attracting some 6,000 participants. While not perfect, we convened our global community, and the Congress brought significant contributions to:
- Indigenous Peoples, Youth, Local Governments and corporate sector via a number of Summits
- The adoption of 28 resolutions on conservation, sustainable development and other crucial issues added to the 109 resolutions already adopted through an online electronic vote in October 2020.
- The establishment of a Climate Crisis Commission
- The promotion of a One Health Approach
- A moratorium on seabed mining
- Contributions to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
- Greater recognition and support for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in conservation and the protection of environmental defenders.
- The election of Razan Al Mubarak, only the second female President of IUCN and the first President from the Arab world.
Shortly after the IUCN Congress, governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, and local communities convened in Glasgow, Scotland, for the UNFCCC COP26, as a result of which governments agreed on the following:
- Recognition of the emergency: countries reaffirmed the Paris agreement of limiting the increase the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius
- The need to accelerate action: call for governments to present more robust National Action Plans next year, rather than 2025
- Glasgow Climate Pact and the move away from fossil fuels
- Delivery of Climate Finance: Countries reaffirmed the pledge to deliver $100 billion per year for developing countries by 2023, recognizing that they had fallen short
- Adaptation: Establishment of a work programme to define a global goal on adaptation
- Completion of the Paris rulebook
- Greater focus on loss and damage
Additionally, we saw new deals, announcements, and greater political will around:
- Commitments to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by world leaders, by 2030
- Global Methane Pledge: slashing of methane emissions by 30% by 2030
- Greater recognition and commitments to Indigenous Peoples
- Zero-Emission Vehicles
- Greater recognition and incorporation of nature-based solutions
While we have seen movement and more significant political and financial commitments at both the IUCN Congress and at COP26 in Glasgow, the underlying questions are: will commitments be delivered, and how? These questions are especially relevant as we look toward COP15 in China and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, as we will see further agreements and financial commitments.
The pandemic and the climate crisis have forced us and continue to push us to re-think ourselves, our communities, and our planet. Are these commitments just more of the same, with significant lag times that take years and years to deliver? It is time for us to take these commitments and political will, and reimagine conservation... justice... leadership... funding... reimagine the world we need.
As we embark on this next quadrennium at IUCN, CEESP will focus on “Reimagining Conservation” as part of our strategy over the next four years, and as part of a larger partnership that promotes a culture for conservation and care for the planet. It is a movement, people-centered and built from the bottom-up. It starts by challenging the status quo, listening to diverse audiences, and – together - reimagining a new way of caring and protecting the planet and each other. We will listen, discuss, imagine and act!
To kick off 2022, CEESP will focus on three initial priorities around Reimagining Conservation:
- Reimagine Justice - building on our work around environmental defenders and rights-based approaches to conservation
- Reimagine Funding - making funding more inclusive for Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs), youth, and women and breaking down barriers to access to resources
- Reimagine Conservation Dialogue Platform, in conjunction with the IUCN commissions, to provide Commission members, IUCN Members, and partners the opportunity to discuss and debate how they are, and how we need to, reimagine and implement efforts to protect the planet.
We look forward to working with you in the 2021-2025 period.
More than forty percent of 2017-2020 Commission members have already renewed their membership. If you experienced issues in renewing your membership, we hope that you will try again. The Commission System has been ameliorated and should make the renewal process easier. One of the technical glitches was access to the Commission System, mostly due to a broken link which stays in your browser history. Please copy and paste this link into your browser to renew your membership: https://portals.iucn.org/commissions/ . If this doesn’t work, try with another internet browser.
Another issue was IUCN Username and password. To recover your credentials, please add the email you used as a member here: https://portals.iucn.org/commissions/recover-account. The System will send you your username and let you change your password
. The team that supports the Commission System will continue responding to all enquiries as fast as they can – thank you for bearing with them. The renewal period is extended to 31 January 2022. Thank you for your patience with the teething issues in IUCN’s first online system for renewals and new applications.
Finally, we wish you all a happy and healthy new year! I look forward to our journey over the coming years.
Kristen Walker Painemilla