Last December, we attended COP15, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, together with many other young people of our network. This was not the first summit where youth was represented. However, our voices were never as strong as at COP15, where the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was decided on.
Keyword “policy work”
COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity has set a course for nations to significantly step up their actions to halt the loss of biodiversity. But will the new ‘plan of action’ for nature adopted at COP15 – termed the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – succeed? In this blog, Catherine shares her personal reflections on the conference and the 'reasons to be cheerful', despite the challenges left unresolved.
With large-scale environmental events such as the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) and the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) gaining more attention – particularly among mainstream media – what can environmental funders do to support their grantees and help to ensure their ideas and concerns are heard within these spaces? In this piece, Jim Pettiward explains how Synchronicity Earth championed its partners and helped to promote a broad and diverse range of voices at IUCN WCC this year.
Many of society’s environmental and health goals cannot be met without tackling chemical pollution and there are huge wins to be had right now. Let’s not miss this window of opportunity to create a healthier and more sustainable future.
In December 2020, the UK Government announced an end to its finance for fossil fuels overseas, becoming the first major country in the world to take this step. This landmark announcement followed a multi-year campaign by a coalition of NGOs, which later won the ‘David and Goliath Award’ at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s National Campaign Awards. Adam McGibbon, the coordinator of the campaign, shares some of the key factors in the campaign's success that led to this big – and unexpected – policy win.
From "veggie burgers" to "vegan sausage rolls", Europeans have been enjoying plant-based meat and dairy for decades. But in October 2020, the European Parliament voted on a plan to ban the plant-based sector from naming their products with the everyday language people use to describe these foods. Following a funder-supported campaign from The Good Food Institute Europe in collaboration with other international non-profits, leading businesses and thousands of consumers, MEPs voted to reject this attack on plant-based meat. Richard Parr, Managing Director of GFI Europe, describes how the willingness of their funders to support a collaborative approach enabled their small team to have an outsized influence in defeating the veggie burger ban.
Vicki Hird reflects on several years of hard work to win a better approach to UK farm policy via the brand new Agriculture Act, making the case that flexible funding was key to allowing the Sustain alliance to adapt to a rapidly changing political and policy environment. The Act is now here, but the hard work has only begun.
When coronavirus hit, like many other organisations working in the sector, we were determined not to let it stall the momentum for action on climate change that has been built in the last year. We know there is no silver lining to coronavirus. But we also recognise the pandemic represents an utterly unprecedented global ‘moment of change’, in which the regular patterns of hundreds of millions of people’s lives have been forcefully interrupted, not just as individuals but as part of local and global communities. Capturing this moment provides an opportunity to create a domino effect of climate-positive behaviours in communities across the UK, writes Patrik Ewe from Possible.
How can we communicate about the ocean effectively in a COVID-19 world? It is a question that many members of the Marine CoLABoration, a network of ocean-interested organisations funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, have grappled with since the start of the pandemic. There have been difficult conversations over the need to communicate sensitively, while also protecting the hard-won gains that have been made in recent years and continuing to progress forwards. Natalie Hart from the Marine CoLAB explores how we can push for meaningful change, but do so in a way that does not cause harm.
COVID-19 is a reminder of the strength of communities, the effectiveness of collective action, the power of empathy. Can we harness these positives to begin to change the stories we tell ourselves about our place in the world? Can it be the catalyst for us to begin to address the inequalities in our relationships, both among our own communities, and with the natural world around us? This pandemic may just have given us an unexpected window of opportunity to reconsider the path we are on and the motivation to help us change course, writes Jim Pettiward from Synchronicity Earth.