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Zimbabwe Set For The Fifteenth Session Of The Conference Of The Parties (COP 15) On The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity


HARARE, Zimbabwe, October 18, 2022/ — With the Fifteenth Conference of Parties on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15) scheduled for December 2022 in Montreal, Canada now fast approaching, Zimbabwe has identified the need to convene national consultations to sensitize, raise awareness, build common positions and set the national agenda for this global conference. Government officials, FAO representatives, development partners and more than 40 experts in the biodiversity and agrobiodiversity sector gathered in Harare to craft national positions on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) targets and prepare the national delegates who will represent Zimbabwe in the upcoming COP-15 meetings.

The national consultations are coordinated through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (METCHI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the European Union-funded project, “Capacity Building Related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in ACP Countries Phase III (ACP MEAs 3).” The project aims to promote environmental sustainability in African, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) countries by strengthening environmental governance, mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural policies and implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Launched in 2021, the project has developed an agrobiodiversity policy framework through a thematic working group that is co-led by the ministries responsible for Agriculture and Environment sectors. 

“The ACP-MEAs 3 project has created a coordination platform, where the agriculture and environment sectors meet to discuss cross cutting issues related to biodiversity. This workshop seeks to improve the contribution of Zimbabwe to the ongoing international negotiations and processes for the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework which will guide biodiversity conservation efforts for the next decade,” said Louis Muhigirwa, Deputy FAO Representative to Zimbabwe speaking on behalf of Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative to Zimbabwe.

The Government of Zimbabwe takes note of the increasing number of targets related to biodiversity for food and agriculture that are integrated into the draft post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The continued loss of biodiversity globally is alarming and it is imperative that countries and regions make the necessary policy shifts to ensure that these losses are abated.

“This workshop whose objective is to interrogate and deliberate on the elements of the new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and develop national positions on the framework, is critically important and part of the global strategy towards arresting biodiversity loss. Our job here today is to interrogate the contents of the draft GBF and ensure that it is aligned to our national priorities, aspirations and capabilities,” said Honourable Minister N.M Ndhlovu in his keynote address asserting and confirming Government’s commitments in this consultative process.

The workshop facilitated a session to review the country’s progress towards meeting the targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011 -2020) and to seek stakeholder input into the process developing the new post-2020 GBF while concurrently setting the national agenda and position for CBD COP-15. There was appreciation that although significant strides have been made, there is need to restore biodiversity and reclaim degraded ecosystems and be able to achieve the 2050 CBD vision of “living in harmony with nature.” It was agreed that in order to meet the targets, the country requires financial resources and established mechanisms for resource mobilization, capacity building, awareness raising and robust mainstreaming and improved sharing of experiences and best practices regionally and internationally. At policy level, all critical stakeholders should institutionalize biodiversity in their sectors. Government through METCHI, presented on the country’s post-2020 GBF in the context of Zimbabwe.

Going forward as the country prepares for CBD COP-15 and implementation of strategies to restore biodiversity, the workshop called for mainstreaming biodiversity to the people through inclusive approaches. It was agreed that for the affected communities to benefit, all institutions involved in implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, there is need to relook at the current national instruments and legislation on conservation and utilization of natural resources. The Minister confirmed that the process of reviewing the relevant legislation has already started. There was also a call for strong media engagement in order to come up with translation of biodiversity concepts into simplified local languages.  A clear roadmap will be shared with the Ministry and in the context of devolution, it will be co-implemented at provincial and district levels. The agenda for CBD COP-15 will be validated and endorsed at national level.  

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