15 billion RMB Kunming Biodiversity Fund: Chinese NGOs are acting
2021/10/15 10:37:00 本站

President Xi said that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. 

This summer, Asian elephants made a trip north and back, showing China's biodiversity conservation. The unswerving implementation of the new development concept of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing has become the foundation of China's biodiversity conservation. 

On October 12, President Xi Jinping announced at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) that China would take the lead in contributing 1.5 billion RMB to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support biodiversity conservation in developing countries, and China welcomed all parties to contribute to the fund.

During the conference, several social organizations actively followed up, and the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (hereinafter referred to as CBCGDF) donated 1 million RMB to support the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and started the follow-up donation matching. The China Environmental Protection Association (CEPA) released the “Consensus on Environmental Civil Society Organizations’Action to Help Mainstream Biodiversity”.

Social organizations and NGOs have become an important force in strengthening ecological protection and promoting green and low-carbon sustainable development.

Recently, the China Philanthropy Times visited several social organizations to listen to their voices of the $1.5 billion biodiversity fund.

Benefiting developing countries

An important topic of COP15 is the policy of financial support for biodiversity conservation, which has led to positive progress in biodiversity conservation.

Financial support has become the consensus of all parties in COP15, and developed countries contributing money to support developing countries is considered as a social responsibility that must be fulfilled.

According to Zhou Jinfeng, Vice President and Secretary General of CBCGD, climate warming, development and conservation conflicts have become huge challenges for biodiversity. First, global warming poses a challenge to biodiversity. Overuse of natural resources in developing countries, excessive demand and cutting down of trees make the importance of biodiversity conservation self-evident. Second, development and conservation are often in conflict. New construction projects also pose challenges to biodiversity, and it makes practical sense to support biodiversity conservation in developing countries through funding.

In an interview with China Philanthropy Times, Xu Jiayi, head of the biodiversity program at the Greenovation Hub, said that from the perspective of the global environment, the degrading ecological and resource dynamics are urgent, and China's proposed support for developing countries is a signal to the inherent development model. The positive statement by China on biodiversity will spread the signal to other countries in the supply and value chain.

In terms of economic development, many developing countries are not only highly dependent on the environment and resources for their economic development, but also have increased debt due to the new epidemic, which is not conducive to balancing economic development and ecological conservation.

The establishment of the fund can guide these countries on the road to green recovery after the epidemic. Xu Jiayi said, “It is important to affirm the significance of this fund in terms of international governance, environment, and economic development, which is China’s role as a large developing country and the wisdom to propose new Chinese solutions. 

Chinese NGOs in action

In recent years, the Tengri Desert pollution case, the Muli coal mine case in the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve, the Qilin Mountain ecological damage case, and the Shenzhen Bay dredging project case, these cases had great social impact. Public participation in ecological and environmental governance plays an important role.

In 2019, CBCGDF sent a letter to the United Nations suggesting that the theme of the COP15 use ecological civilization, hoping that from COP15 onwards not only endangered species should be protected, but that all people should participate in the both in and out of protected areas.

Zhou Jinfeng introduced, as an NGO, CBCGDF has sent members to actively participate in the IUCN meetings, and served on a number of committees, participated in the WCC seventh nature conservation conference with six motions promoted. Voting for IUCN (World Conservation Union) regulations, and actively participated in the election of new people in international institutions to express their positions.

Data show that at this stage, China has established 170 Chinese conservation areas (CCAfas) and is actively spreading the idea of Biodiversity Conservation in Our Neighborhood to the international community and providing Human-based Solutions(HbS), which has led to a significant increase in public awareness of biodiversity conservation.

Ni Yao, Deputy Director of the International Department of the All-China Environment Federation, proposed three suggestions on the involvement of social organizations in biodiversity conservation.

Firstly, social organizations should adopt a diversified format around the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to disseminate knowledge on biodiversity conservation to raise public awareness.

Secondly, Chinese NGOs can also actively carry out international exchange and cooperation through private channels with their own accumulated biodiversity conservation tools and methods, and promote the exchange of biodiversity conservation experiences between countries.

Finally, social supervision should be given full play to promote enterprises and financial institutions to avoid biodiversity risks when conducting business and minimize the possibility of further deterioration of the ecological environment.

On September 28, the UN CBD NGO Parallel Forum was held, and All-China Environment Federation released the Consensus on Environmental Protection Civil Society Organizations’Action to publicize biodiversity, advocating that environmental protection NGOs take action to widely disseminate the concept of biodiversity conservation and systemic solutions, focus on the impact of energy infrastructure on ecosystems, and reduce the impact of various types of infrastructure on biodiversity. The consensus is to encourage environmental civil society organizations to take action to widely disseminate the concept of biodiversity conservation and systemic solutions, pay attention to the impact of energy infrastructure on ecosystems, reduce the entry of various pollutants into natural ecosystems, and implement nature-based climate solutions. 

Currently, the CBCGDF has launched the People's Participation in Kunming Biodiversity Fund to build a public fundraising platform to call for fundraising of society. So that people’s participation can become a driving force to help China and the world’s biodiversity conservation efforts.

Not the first time setting International Affairs Fund

Currently, China is taking the lead in establishing a 1.5 billion rmb Kunming Biodiversity Fund. The target of China’s call for parties to join is understood not only COP15, but also biodiversity conservation as a whole.

According to Zhou Jinfeng, the Kunming Biodiversity Fund is not a public welfare fund, but an international fund targeting biodiversity conservation, which will form an independent public welfare fund coordinated by COP15 in the future to jointly serve a human action for biodiversity conservation.

“At present, one of the biggest possibilities is that China will be deeply involved as the first funding country, and COP15 will set up an independent coordinating, deliberating and managing body.” Zhou Jinfeng said.

Xu Jiayi expressed the same view that more than 80 percent of global biodiversity funding comes from public funds, dominated by government fiscal expenditures and bilateral and multilateral development assistance funds. China’s newly established Kunming Biodiversity Fund should also be dominated by public funds in the initial stage. However, the drive for social capital can be considerable. Inviting all parties to build together refers to other developed and developing countries, and can also refer to the injection of other stakeholders, especially the private sector and philanthropic funds.

According to Zhou Jinfeng, at present, the conservation of biodiversity in developing countries faces two major types of risks. First, the natural deterioration of biodiversity ecosystems in existing habitats is related to human activities. The environmental damage caused by over-cultivation due to population starvation, and the fund will help reduce environmental damage in production and life. Secondly, developing countries inevitably trade environment for development..

According to data, the global biodiversity conservation funding need $630-$890 billion. The existing GEF(Global Environment Fund) is unable to meet its original commitment, so the establishment of a new fund is an injection of new resources.

Xu Jiayi said the fund would addressing the issue of justice in biodiversity and development. China’s main recipients of the fund are other developing countries, especially those in need of more funds to improve their economic development. It will have a positive effect on mitigating the conflict between development and conservation, such as the slow delivery of financial commitments by developed countries and the controversial issues of international cooperation and foreign investment and trade.

This is not the first time that a special fund for international affairs has been established, but China’s contribution of 1.5 billion has an innovative approach, advocating more new parties to join. Existing management agencies to negotiate and form agreements to improve the management system in order to achieve the maximum effectiveness of biodiversity conservation and realize the purpose of helping developing countries to carry out biodiversity conservation.

At the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) in Nagoya in 2010, Japan established the Japan Biodiversity Fund. In 2015, China announced the establishment of a RMB 20 billion South-South Cooperation Fund under the climate change issue.

Industrial civilization is the greatest challenge

COVID-19 and climate change pose challenges to the ecosystem of human habitat, which is inseparable from the development of industrial civilization. The use of pesticides and forest clearing are the main reasons for the loss of biodiversity.

Zhou Jinfeng said that the sixth biological extinction distinguishes itself from the previous five is because of the development of human industrial civilization, which has undoubtedly become the biggest challenge. Now it seems that only protecting endangered species and protected areas are no longer enough.

He cited the example of five protected areas in Germany for a period of 20 years of insect monitoring. In 20 years, five protected areas in Kunming lost 70% of its biodiversity, not because of poor protection, but for human production and lifestyle inherited from the industrial civilization.

Xu Jiayi said that from a global perspective, the ecological environment, like climate change concerns all human beings. But the lack of clarity and lofty goals, and the lack of precise implementation mechanisms and measures are all major problems. 

“In terms of many domestic challenges, the balance between economic development and biodiversity conservation remains the main issue. The “two mountain theory” proposed by President Xi is a good approach to mainstreaming biodiversity issues, but for companies and many financial institutions, there is still not enough awareness of the investment risks and damage to ecosystems that biodiversity can bring, and there is a need to strengthen awareness of biodiversity conservation issues as soon as possible so that they can actively adjust their strategies to international and domestic trends in environmental protection. ”



Source:China Philanthropy Times

Original Chinese Article: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/2n9Au4zjGtXE17be0ti-JA

Translator: Daisy