News | 01 Feb, 2023

CEC insights about COP15

The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) adopted by the Parties at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) celebrated in Montreal, Canada in December 2022, acknowledges the importance of developing a communication and outreach strategy to implement the GBF. The IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), through leaders and members, participated in a series of sessions to highlight the Commissions' work and the importance of raising awareness for behavior change and youth engagement.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was conceived to be the major international framework to address the loss of biodiversity through its three interlinked objectives of ensuring “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding”. A comprehensive analysis with reflections about the CBD COP and the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is presented in the IUCN publication Enabling a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework fit for purpose: Perspectives and reflections for the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties.

The 2022 edition of the Fair on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) took place on the margins of the COP. The CEPA Fair invited many  experts to share their expertise in those areas under the topic “Methods for awareness raising and behavior change for communication and education.” For example, Sean Southey, CEC Chair, and Diogo Verissimo, CEC Member, spoke to the important of "Measuring changes in understanding, awareness and appreciation of biodiversity at national and global scales". This conversation provided highlights about the effort to increase understanding, awareness and appreciation of biodiversity over the few decades.

Global Biodiversity Communication Forum at the CEPA Fair

On December 10, WWF and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity jointly organized the 5th Global Biodiversity Communications Forum. Communication experts were invited to discuss methods for awareness raising and behaviour change for communication and education. Sean Southey, CEC Chair, and Cheryl Charles, CEC #NatureForAll Co-Chair, presented #NatureForAll Updates and Trends focusing on how the #NatureForAll campaign has grown, highlighting the behaviour and social change strategy embedded in the program, and presented next steps in growing the movement. They also developed a case study presentation on #NatureForAll based on the Greening School Grounds and Outdoor Learning project.

Youth engagement at COP 15

Organized by the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and partners, the first-ever Global Youth Summit was developed at the COP focused on youth engagement. This event provided the space to reach groups of different ages and to present a Youth Global Panel. Sean Southey and Cheryl Charles presented the pathway of #NatureForAll to Youth Summit and Transforming Education at the Children and Youth Pavilion. On December 8, the Youth Day at COP 15 was celebrated, bringing together youth worldwide. Further, an intergenerational dialogue was developed where Sean Southey presented the IUCN Youth Strategy. Following the COP 15 Youth Summit, global youth delivered a creative call to action to decision-makers, urging them to embrace youth priorities in the new global biodiversity framework. The overall youth movement in Montreal was impressive and powerful!

Nature-Culture Summit

Sean also participated in the 2-day Nature-Culture Summit for a COP, co-hosted by IUCN, UNESCO and the CBD. This important meeting helped establish the clear and critical relationship between cultural diversity and biological diversity. Towards Flourishing Diversity  - the outcome statement of the Summit is an important read for those interested in this critical intersection. Learn about the Nature-Culture Summit here.

Insights about COP 15

In section K of the GBF establishes that “enhancing communication, and awareness on biodiversity and the uptake of this framework by all actors is essential to achieve its effective implementation and behavioral change, promote sustainable lifestyles and biodiversity values”. This section provides a series of tactics aligned with the current CEC work, adding more value to CEC’s vision, mission and priorities.

The Global Biodiversity Framework also reflects some considerations for the implementation of the framework, where recognizing and considering different values systems, a human rights-based approach, inter-generational equity, formal and informal education, and biodiversity and health -among others- are in the spotlight. These considerations are the core of CEC work and motivate the Commission to move forward in their vision. Join us!