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A 2021 Recap on Biodiversity to Build the National Biodiversity Strategy 3

2021 was a crucial year for the recognition and consideration of biodiversity issues at local, national and global levels. Indeed, the recent publications of scientific reports qualifying the decline of the state of biodiversity on a global scale has enriched the negotiations during major international events (cf. the IPBES (2019) Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the global level, the Efese (2020) First phase of the French assessment of ecosystems and ecosystem services at national level).

COP15, the 15th Conference of Parties at the Convention on Biological Diversity, was divided into two parts, the first of which took place online in early October 2021. The second part was organized in Kunming, China for spring 2022 after the end of negotiations to adopt the Post-2020 Framework addressing the biodiversity crisis. A month after the opening of negotiations on biodiversity, COP26 for the climate was held with stakeholders from around the world in Glasgow, Scotland. These two weeks of discussions allowed the recognition of the fundamental links between the global crises of biodiversity and climate, as well as the role of nature. However, concrete actions still need to be taken on all scales to address the defined objectives. To this end, emphasis was placed on integrating Nature-Based Solutions into national commitments.

Also at the international level, France hosted the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September 2021, which six members of the Young Ambassadors for the Environment attended. Crucial recommendations were adopted there, especially on citizen engagement and that of youth in the conservation of nature. Moreover, during the Congress, the Members' Assembly validated the inclusion of local and regional authorities as members of IUCN, alongside States and government bodies. The membership of local and regional authorities represents a major step forward for the development of local and concrete actions for the preservation, restoration, and conservation of natural environments. The World Conservation Congress was also an important event for action on a national scale in France. Indeed, the French contribution to this Congress consisted of the presentation of the roadmap of the third National Biodiversity Strategy (2021-2030).

What is the National Biodiversity Strategy (NBS)?

The first NBS was established in 2004 in order to concretize French commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity. This strategy was then revised in 2011 in order to strengthen the commitment of stakeholders in all sectors of activity and at all levels on the French territory and to further enhance biodiversity over the next 10 years. The third National Strategy for Biodiversity thus sets the objectives to contribute to the preservation of ecosystems and species, our health and our quality of life for the next decade (2021-2030). A participative approach was at the heart of the construction of this new strategy. Territorial consultations were set up in each region of France during which 278 entities contributed to the formulation of 798 proposals. In addition, a questionnaire was shared with citizens between May and July 2021 made it possible to collect citizens' perceptions and bring out 2,344 proposals. At the same time, consultations with national stakeholders have enriched the understanding of the issues at different levels of scale.

Timeline for the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy 2021-2030 (Ministry of Ecological Transition)

The interventions of these actors made it possible to present 4 structuring axes of the strategy during the World Conservation Congress:

  • The restoration and protection of ecosystems

  • Sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity services and resources

  • Mobilization of society through awareness and training

  • More effective and inclusive governance

The adoption of this 3rd National Strategy for Biodiversity should take place in early 2022.

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