In the margin of CBD COP15 part one,“High Level Policy Forum and Dialogue - Collaboration and Cooperation: The Role of Communities, Science and NGOs in Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization” was successfully held in Kunming City, Yunnan Province of China on 12-13 October 2021. Themed by “Sowing Diversity, Harvesting Security, Multilateral Cooperation, and Innovative Adaption”, this two-day event aimed to build a diversified, cross-sector platform for exchange and cooperation between governments, scientists, NGOs, communities, and enterprises,, share knowledge and practices in biodiversity conversation and utilization, and promote South-South cooperation. More than 150 policy makers, researchers and practitioners participated in the event both online and offline, as well as 5,000 online viewers. Participants were from UN agencies, international organizations, 7 countries including Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, and Zimbabwe, and more than 20 Chinese academic institutions, universities, NGOs, and government departments, as well as farmers from 16 rural communities across 7 provinces in China.
This event was co-organized by United Nations Environment Programme - International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP- IEMP), Alliance of Biodiversity International (BI) and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and implemented by Farmer’s Seed Network (China), Xishuangbanna Tropical Botabical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan Agricultural University, and Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge. It was also supported by Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy, China Agricultural University, International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative Oxfam Hong Kong, and Partnership for Community Development .
The event started with an ancient song of Jinsha River and a cheerful Naxi folk dance. Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, moderated the opening ceremony. Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and Mr. Ning Liu, Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Executive Committee of CBD COP15, were present and delivered opening speeches. Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema highlighted the important role of multilateral cooperation and universal participation in developing and implementing the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Mr. Liu underlined the efforts and outcomes of Chinese biodiversity conservation with the participation of multiple stakeholders. Both of them expected highly that researchers, NGOs, community residents, and other partners can continue to join hands in contributing to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
Others who delivered opening remarks including Mr. Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of Alliance of BI and CIAT, Ms. Kerstin Stendahl, Head of the Ecosystem Integration Branch of UNEP, Ms. Shinobu Yamaguchi, Director of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Mr. Jun Sheng, President of Yunnan Agricultural University, Mr. Liang Chen, General Director of Department of Ecology and Environment, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Ms. Yanjie Luo, Division Director of International Cooperation of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Mr. Jian Liu, Director of Science Division of UNEP, made a keynote presentation to share key results of UNEP’s recent report “Making Peace with the Nature”. Mr. Shenggen Fan, Dean of Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy, China Agricultural University, Mr. Carlo Fadda, Lever Director of Alliance of BI and CIAT, Mr. Yongping Yang, Director General of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences made keynote presentations on the topics of food system transforming, sustainable production system on nature-positive solutions, and ecological culture system and biodiversity conservation and utilization in mountain communities, respectively.
The participants had in-depth discussions focusing on four topics, that is, policy exploration and progress on biodiversity conservation and utilization, experience sharing of biodiversity conservation and utilization at home and abroad, community-based conservation and utilization of biodiversity and traditional knowledge, and benefits sharing of biodiversity. Additionally, in the “World Café” form, local communities were organized to share diversified, practical experience from in-situ conservation of biodiversity and exchanged views with scientists present, which reflected the significance of cooperation among communities, science, and NGOs and enriched the outcome of this event. Communities are the foundation for conservation and utilization of biodiversity and traditional ecological knowledge. About 70 farmers from nine ethnic groups, including Naxi, Hani, Dai, Jinuo, Bai, Tibetan, Dong, Zhuang, and Han actively participated in the dialogues. Photo exhibitions, ethnic artistic performances, seed exchange, and other activities related to communities and farmers’ seed conservation and breeding were organized and added a strong local flavor to the event. It also demonstrated a strong foundation for biodiversity conservation efforts made by communities and ethnic groups.
This event provides a comprehensive and in-depth reference for the development and implementation of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, by presenting a landscape of community practice, scientific research and policy progress in biodiversity conservation and utilization, and exploring feasible mechanisms and paths for collaborative innovation between communities, science and governments. On the occasion of the CBD COP15, multi-stakeholder and cross-sector dialogue and cooperation can play a key role in promoting the conservation, utilization, benefit sharing of biodiversity, enhancing adaption to climate change, and jointly advancing the vision of making peace with nature towards building a shared future for all life on earth.
Picture 1 Group photo of on-site participants
Picture 2 Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema delivering opening remarks
Picture 3 Mr. Ning Liu delivering opening remarks
Picture 4 Mr. Juan Lucas Restrepo delivering online opening remarks
Picture 5 Ms. Kerstin Stendahl delivering online opening remarks
Picture 6 Mr. Jian Liu made a keynote presentation
Picture 7 Ms. Linxiu Zhang moderating the opening ceremony
Picture 8 Naxi artistic performance
Picture 9 Exhibition of farmer’s traditional seeds
Picture 10 Exchange of farmer’s traditional seeds