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For Immediate Release

Contact

Hellen Kahoso Dena, Greenpeace Africa, (hellen.dena@greenpeace.org

Tal Harris, Greenpeace Africa, (tal.harris@greenpeace.org

August Rick, Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing, (august.rick@greenpeace.org)

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 20 718 2470 (24 hours)

Press Release

Montreal-Bound Biodiversity COP Must Recognise the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Protecting Nature

Nairobi, Kenya -

Now that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 has confirmed the final talks will be held in December in Montreal, Canada, negotiators must take advantage of this week’s Nairobi intersessional meetings to focus on the key policy issue: recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and their key roles in protecting biodiversity.

Greenpeace East Asia senior policy advisor Li Shuo said:

“Governments have finally made a decision on where and when the COP will be held. This should now focus everyone’s minds on the quality of the deal. That means ambitious targets to ensure appropriate levels of protection both on land and at sea with solid guarantees for respect of the rights and roles of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and a strong implementation package.”

Greenpeace International Congo Basin forest project leader Irene Wabiwa said: 

We come to Nairobi with a shared objective of protecting biodiversity tangibly and effectively. Yet we insist this must also be done ethically. The CBD COP15 needs to recognise the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities by creating a “third category” for Indigenous land as conservation land, and put them at the center of decision-making and funding.”

Greenpeace Africa Food For Life campaigner Claire Nasike said:

Indigenous farming communities are the custodians of indigenous seeds, which are critical to the conservation of agrobiodiversity. In Kenya, punitive seed laws seek to criminalize farmers for sharing and selling their own indigenous seeds. The CBD COP15 needs to amplify local voices and the rights of these communities and safeguard them from exploitation, dispossession, and corporate control of seed cultures. These all lead to loss of biodiversity.”

Greenpeace International senior biodiversity campaign strategist An Lambrechts said:

“Parties should make clear choices in Nairobi about the new Global Biodiversity Framework they want to see. Next to the urgent need to put Indigenous rights front and centre in relevant sections, that means taking a good and honest look at the actual quality of protected areas in terms of effective biodiversity and habitat protection. There is a fundamental choice to be made between perpetuating the flaws of existing conservation models and truly accepting that quality is as important as quantity.”

###

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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