A two-day Non-Governmental Organisations’ (NGO) Action Forum with over 400 participants closedon Tuesday, September 28, 2021, in Kunming, China, with 50 voluntary commitments from NGOs and other stakeholders in the context of a joint call for action on biodiversity at its high-level closing ceremony in support of the fifteenth meeting of Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Non-State actors, including eight biodiversity alliances representing dozens of NGOs and private-public organisations, based in China and abroad, publicly announced their individual commitments through the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People, which invites positive action in support of nature in line with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework due to be adopted next year, and signed the joint call for action: “Towards Kunming: My Commitments for Nature”.
The joint call for action, embodies the theme of COP15, “Ecological Civilisation: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth” and commits entities to take concrete actions, including:
- Increase participation of non-State actors in the development and implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
- Support national biodiversity strategies and action plans and implementation of actions at the national level
- Support strategies for biodiversity mainstreaming, with further engagement of indigenous peoples, local communities, women and youth in the process
- Further promote education and public awareness
- Invest in biodiversity practices in China and abroad
- Mobilise non-State actors to catalyse further action in the context of COP15, the post-2020 framework and the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, CBD Executive Secretary, said: “I applaud all participants who made commitments, for leading by example and contributing to the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People, through which their actions can be recognized and showcased in the lead up to and during COP15. It is in everyone’s best interest to act. We encourage you to support and encourage further action across your networks and beyond, to help advance biodiversity goals and objectives.”
Huang Runqiu, Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China, said: “I call on non-state actors to contribute to the success of COP15 and open a new chapter on biodiversity governance.”
Participants attended the Forum in person and viewers tuned in to watch it online. High-level guests and speakers representing non-State actors based in China and abroad participated in five thematic sessions on: nature-based solutions; biodiversity mainstreaming; best practices on biodiversity conservation; individual commitments and the post-2020 framework; and, the role of foundations in biodiversity conservation.
The Forum also hosted a carnival night and a signing ceremony highlighting voluntary non-State actor commitments for biodiversity. The Forum was organised by the China NGO Network for International Exchanges with support from the China Environmental Protection Foundation and other civil society partners, under the authority of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China and in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.