2015 has been an historical year for the environment – with the conclusion of the Paris Climate Change negotiations. As with any UN negotiation, the final Paris Climate Agreement is a compromise but marks a turning point in the struggle to contain global warming as it sets an objective to ensure global warming stays "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and to "pursue efforts" to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius”.
Many Indigenous peoples were disappointed with the outcomes as indigenous peoples were only mentioned in the preamble but not the operational text. Similar to the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Earth Summit process, there were hopes for significant and radical change.
While UNCED resulted in a long overdue acknowledgement that there is a direct connection between development models and impacts on the environment – now 23 years later the Paris agreement finally acknowledges global warming is real and that significant changes in development patterns are required to not exceed 2C and to work towards below 1.5C. It signals the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and this in itself is a major victory for environmentalists.
As the year comes to an end, this is the final newsletter for CEESP for 2015. Through this newsletter we have published over 100 articles of Commission members. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and I encourage those who have not yet done so to submit articles for future editions.
You will read in this edition that the CEESP Steering Committee met in November and have drafted the new mandate for the Commission 2016-2020. This mandate will be voted on for by the over 1000 members of the IUCN Members’ Assembly next year at the World Conservation Congress. Before the mandate is submitted to the Members assembly it will first be sent to you for your comments and input. Look out for the email and send us your views.
If you are a Commission member and have received confirmation of acceptance of your workshop, knowledge café, poster or conservation campus, please let us know so we can include it in our “CEESP Journey of WCC events”. You can email: [email protected]
Thank you all for your efforts to improve the wellbeing of people and the environment. Wishing you all a peaceful new year.
Aroha Te Pareake Mead
Chair, IUCN CEESP