Selling Nature or Protecting Rights? A Right to Food Perspective on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted a year ago to stop the rapid decline of biodiversity but a new FIAN policy paper questions its ability to deliver.

Ecosystem destruction and the rapid loss of biodiversity are undermining the sustainable production of healthy and culturally appropriate food and thus the realization of the Right to Food and Nutrition (RtFN).

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75% of plant genetic diversity has been lost since the beginning of the 20th century, as farmers worldwide have abandoned their local seeds for genetically uniform varieties. Today, out of 6,000 plant species cultivated for food, just nine account for 66% of total crop production. In addition, 90% of cattle reared in the global north originate in only six breeds and 20% of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) was adopted by the states parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 18 December 2022 as a global plan to protect biodiversity. However, this new policy paper shows that its underlying premises give rise to concern that it enables business as usual, allowing more destruction and violation of communities’ rights.

As our analysis shows, the framework fails to establish a path away from highly destructive industrial agriculture and other extractive activities and towards agroecology.

The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is only possible by respecting and protecting the rights of those people and communities who act as the stewards of much of biodiversity – peasants, Indigenous Peoples, pastoralists, forest people, small-scale fishers etc.

Despite its significant shortcomings, the KMGBF and the increased attention to biodiversity that it has generated should be used in a tactical and pragmatic manner to advance agroecology and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, peasants and other rural people.

Download the policy paper


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