Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) |14 October 2021
Minister Joubert takes part in virtual high-level segment of COP 15
The Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Flavien Joubert, is taking part in a virtual high-level segment of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is for the first time running in two phases – the first part being undertaken virtually between October 11-15, 2021 while phase two will be an in-person meeting in Kunming, from April 25 to May 8, 2022.
This 15th edition of the COP is being held under the theme ‘Ecological Civilization –Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth’.
The main objective of COP 15 will see the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next two decades.
The COP, which was meant to have happened in China since October 2020, has been postponed multiple times, but given the urgency to finalise the framework and to upscale actions to stop biodiversity loss, the approach to a two-phased COP has been adopted to maintain momentum and to garner additional high-level commitment.
The most important segment of Phase 1 includes a two-day high-level segment held between October 12-13 that were attended by heads of state and ministers from around the world.
Minister Flavien Joubert along with a delegation from the Environment department followed the sessions.
On Tuesday October 12, 2021, Minister Joubert took part in a high-level roundtable entitled ‘Closing the financing gap and ensuring the means of implementation’. This session was co-chaired by the deputy secretary general for National Development and Reform Commission of China, Guo Lanfeng, and the Minister for Ecological Transition of France, Barbara Pompili, in the presence of various ministers for environment from many Party countries.
In his statement, Minister Joubert highlighted that the value of biodiversity is indisputable, as the threats they are facing have elucidated the need for urgent actions on all fronts and by everyone. Therefore, to curb the loss of biodiversity, a large amount of funds is required. However these are not within our reach.
“It is for this reason that Seychelles has stepped up its efforts in the last decade to find more innovative ways to finance biodiversity conservation and forge a more sustainable development of its economy. Through the debt for nature swap and by launching the world’s first Sovereign Blue Bond, Seychelles has been able to transition into Blue Economy where we have pushed for sustainable fisheries and for the protection of the marine ecosystem while at the same time creating the enabling environment to encourage private investors in fisheries management and ocean protection. These two mechanisms have successfully allowed the establishment of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, and a Blue Grants Fund that provide financial aid for small to medium sized local projects for civil society, community based organisations and burgeoning entrepreneurs,” said Minister Joubert.
The minister mentioned that in 2019, Seychelles reached its peak economic growth and started to implement its Biodiversity Finance Plan. However, this was short lived. He declared that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge negative impact on Seychelles, given that tourism is our main economic pillar, and as any other small island developing state, Seychelles suffered tremendously and as a result, programmes had to be put on hold or cancelled altogether.
“As we look to build back better and move forward, we need to put biodiversity at the forefront of economic recovery and development. We see this as a true opportunity, in light of the role that this COP can play in the level of ambition and financing that can be put together for the implementation of the upcoming post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.”
To conclude, the minister made a call for support from donors, partners, private sector, governments, and all those who can contribute to put in the funds to support the level of ambition that is truly required to transform our world.
He assured the global community that Seychelles will remain committed to do its level best to continue to mobilise resources to meet our local and the global biodiversity objectives.
Other members of the delegation, who include the principal secretary for Environment, other senior officials from the Biodiversity Conservation and Management Division, will be following the sessions throughout the rest of this week.
The CBD COP is the most important biodiversity related convention that the Seychelles follows and as a country, we are looking forward to start implementation of the new Global Biodiversity Framework.
In the margins of the CBD COP 15, President Wavel Ramkalawan also gave an interview to the CGTN media from China on the importance of biodiversity conservation and management for the Seychelles and some of the actions and ongoing initiatives that the country is undertaking.
Press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment