Opinion: Climate and Biodiversity Framework

Governments can adopt the Brazilian model which supports the ideas of ecological fiscal transfer, payments for environmental services, tourism and forest concessions

Published Date – 12:30 AM, Tue – 23 May 23

Opinion: Climate and Biodiversity Framework

By Dr T Prabhakar Reddy

We celebrated Earth Day on 22 April 2023 and pledged to protect and preserve our mother Earth from all crises, especially the triple environmental crisis – Climate Change, Air Pollution and Biodiversity Loss. On 22 May, we celebrated ‘Biological Diversity Day’ signifying the importance of the promotion of conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use and management among others.

The origin of the problem emanated from the use of fossil fuels, in the name of industrialisation, that has resulted in pollution in the atmosphere and led to climate change which has been creating havoc in the lives of people. In addition, in the name of development, we are still resorting to deforestation and are unable to maintain the flora and fauna, greenery and sustainable environment that has ultimately resulted in biodiversity loss.

Individual Responsibility

Besides, the El-Nino effect is seen clearly in terms of dry and inadequate monsoons in the summer (drought condition) and mild weather over the Indian subcontinent in the winter which culminated in a critical situation for the farming community. According to a report, it would again adversely affect the kharif crop outputs of farming communities across India in mid-2023 due to poor southwest monsoon as happened in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2018, and it would be followed by a three-year-long LA-Nina.

The Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature by 2050 has led to the 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework which has been signed by all the national governments to take up necessary measures to protect and promote the biodiversity in respective countries. The vision of the framework emphasised that “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and widely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people”.

While it augurs well we should percolate the idea down to the village level so that each and every person will take it as individual responsibility in not only protecting but also promoting the biodiversity.

Hence, there is a need for the design of a ‘biodiversity strategy and action plan’ by all the national governments and provinces/State governments in the implementation of the global biodiversity framework announced in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022, which is known as ‘Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’.

Following the same, 10 State governments in India have so far prepared their own ‘Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan’ (BDSAP). Though Haritha Haram of the Telangana government has been acclaimed as the best initiative in the promotion of green belt in the State, it is lagging behind in preparing BDSAP.

Four Goals

The framework has four long-term goals related to the ‘Vision for Biodiversity’ and 23 action-oriented global targets for urgent action slated for the decade to 2030. Goal A enunciated that the integrity, connectivity and resilience of all ecosystems are maintained, enhanced or restored substantially increasing the area of natural ecosystems while human-induced extinction of known threatened species is halted and resilience levels of native wild species are increased.

Goal B emphasised ensuring sustainable use and management of biodiversity while making sure nature’s contribution to people, including ecosystem functions and services, are valued, maintained and enhanced among others.

Goal C discussed the monetary and non-monetary benefits coming from the utilisation of genetic resources while ensuring traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is aptly protected and contributing to the promotion of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Finally, goal D reiterated that the adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the framework, are secured and equitably accessible to all, especially the developing countries.

The action-oriented and output-based targets broadly include reducing threats to biodiversity, meeting people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit sharing, and ensuring implementation and mainstreaming with its tools and solutions.

Transformative Change

Therefore, the responsibility of the governments is to prepare BDSAP following the Global Biodiversity Framework and implement the same after duly conducting biodiversity expenditure review, financial needs assessment and planning for the future needs of biodiversity on a war footing and ensure necessary budgetary allocations to address the issue of biodiversity loss and environmental pollution.

Added to it, it is essential to emphasise the mobilisation of resources from Central and State governments, the private sector and corporates who are willing to contribute towards the promotion of the conservation of biodiversity. Besides, it is vital to find out new sources of private financing like corporate social responsibility, market-based financing and new forms of public financing, etc. In addition, the governments can adopt the Brazilian model which supported the ideas of ecological fiscal transfer, environmental reserve quotas, payments for environmental services, tourism and forest concessions.

However, designing a framework that would enable access to private finance is essential at this juncture. Further, it is critical to work towards bringing about transformative change in policies, programmes and activities of each and every department so as to contribute to Sustainable Development in all its three dimensions viz, environmental, social and economic.


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