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Side Event #4439


Title How a human rights-based approach can deliver a truly transformative and just post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
Aichi Biodiversity Targets



Building on previous dialogues and publications, this side event will draw attention to how a human rights-based approach can significantly contribute to achieving the targets and goals of the post-2020 GBF in effective and just ways and lead to a world in which people live in harmony with nature. The event will illustrate how a human rights-based approach can be put into practice to achieve the Convention's three objectives. The discussion will highlight concrete examples of a human rights-based approach to area-based conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing and how promising human rights practices from local to national levels can support implementation, monitoring and reporting on the framework.



Human rights and the environment are inextricably linked. In the context of biodiversity, rights over lands and waters and associated traditional knowledge, including collective rights, are particularly critical. In July this year, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a historic resolution declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a universal human right. This decision adds to the already strong international jurisprudence and guidance for a rights-based approach to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and strengthens the verdict that "Addressing the environmental crisis is a humanitarian imperative, a human rights imperative, a peace-building imperative and a development imperative - It is also doable. (Michelle Bachelet, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights). More widely, the latest draft of the GBF commits to applying a rights-based approach to conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing of biodiversity to realise the vision of “living in harmony with nature”.

This rights-based approach is anchored within the post-2020 GBF’s theory of change and is reinforced in the enabling conditions. It is currently contained in the section Bbis and elements are included in relevant goals and targets. Current mentions will need to be maintained and improved, as well as integrated in the monitoring framework, to ensure effective and accountable implementation. Indeed, a rights-based approach should reflect the mutually intertwined relationship between human rights and biodiversity, and the GBF should recognise the roles, needs, identities and wellbeing of the Indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youth and environmental human rights defenders who are the first line of defence and recovery of nature. 



  • Identify effective and coherent ways to strengthen a human rights-based approach in the GBF, including in the principles, structure, goals, targets, monitoring (indicators) and reporting.
  • Showcase existing examples/practices of the applicability of a human rights-based approach in the post-2020 GBF, 
  • Illustrate how the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable development and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. 
  • Ensure all participants understand how a human rights-based approach in the implementation of the GBF can help achieve goals and targets in effective, inclusive and equitable ways for nature and people.



A local to global, semi-structured panel of human rights and biodiversity experts from Parties, Indigenous peoples and local communities and other representatives from civil society, and the UN will present and discuss inspiring examples about how a human rights-based approach to biodiversity protection can contribute to and should be part of the successful and equitable implementation of the post-2020 GBF. 

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Indigenous Peoples, local communities and area-based conservation targets

This briefing seeks to bring greater clarity to the intersection between the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the land and resource rights, collective governance and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, particularly in the context of Target 3. The term ‘other effective area-based measures’ is part of the proposed text for the global biodiversity framework, in draft Target 3, but remains relatively unknown, despite recent attempts to define and systematise its use. The briefing will consider the use of this designation and explore the implications it has for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It concludes with some considerations for how Target 3 could be improved from the perspective of securing and enhancing the rights and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and communities with collective tenure and governance systems.


Policy Brief No. 1 - Human rights-based approaches to conserving biodiversity: equitable, effective and imperative

This Policy Brief builds upon the 2020 report to the General Assembly, titled "Human Rights Depend on a Healthy Biosphere" by David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment. The brief advocates for a more inclusive, just and sustainable approach to safeguarding and restoring biodiversity, and outline the human rights costs and limited efficacy of exclusionary conservation. It presents case studies to illustrate the devastating human rights consequences that may occur when rights-based approaches are not used to protect biodiversity. Moreover, the brief also present case studies to demonstrate the capacity of Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders to conserve ecosystems through the realization of their human, land and tenure rights, where they are full partners in creating and effectively managing protected areas. Essentially, the brief aims to make the case for a human rights-based paradigm shift within conservation, beginning with essential improvements to the draft Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to ensure that: (1) Rights-basedapproachesareobligatoryinallactionstoconserve,restore, and share the benefits of biodiversity, including conservation financing; (2) Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth are acknowledged as key rights holders and partners in protecting and restoring nature, whose human, land and tenure rights, knowledge, and conservation contributions must be recognized, respected, and supported; and (3) Everyone’s right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is acknowledged, and is accompanied by measurable targets towards the recognition and implementation of this right.



Human Rights in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: Options for integrating a human-rights based approach to achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity

This document is offered as a discussion paper to support the integration of human rights into the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In this document, we collate and present key human rights-related language that is being proposed for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework by a wide range of actors. It does not attempt to coalesce around single proposals for Target text, nor for Indicator proposals. Instead, the document seeks to present and display the many ways in which current text under negotiation could be enriched and improved through the integration of human rights concerns.

humanrights Eng.pdf


Applying a human rights-based approach – Guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

A human rights-based approach (HRBA) in the context of biodiversity conservation, means that biodiversity policies, governance and management do not violate human rights. This can be achieved if those implementing such policies actively seek ways to support and promote human rights in their design and implementation. The “Human Rights in Biodiversity Working Group ” established in Chiang Mai, 2020 have collaboratively compiled a human rights analysis brief on ”Draft One of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. The authors urge the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to integrate, maintain and strengthen elements of a human rights-based approach.



Implementing a human rights-based approach to biodiversity conservation

This briefing seeks to provide overarching recommendations and detailed text proposals, including for the monitoring framework, to support the effective implementation of a human rights-based approach. This latest brief is thus far the most hands-on policy brief on the implementation, monitoring and reporting of a human rights-based approach in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.



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