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COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference – High-Level Segment

Statement by the Director-General, Ms Jan Beagle

2020 UN Biodiversity Conference
High Level Segment
15-17 December 2022
Montreal, Canada

Excellencies, It is a pleasure to address this Conference on behalf of the International Development Law Organization.

As the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development, IDLO agrees with the Secretary-General that we must make peace with nature.

The biodiversity crisis is fundamentally a human rights crisis.

And at its heart is a matter of grave injustice, as those who are the most disproportionately affected are those who have done the least to contribute to its causes.

A healthy ecosystem is the foundation on which the rule of law, human rights and sustainable development depend.

It is in this spirit that we welcome the imminent adoption of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and call upon all States to put justice, fairness and equity front and centre in the negotiations.

Allow me to share three reasons why a rule of law approach can be a catalyst for the implementation of the Framework.

First, empowering people to claim their rights to land and natural resources gives greater agency to the communities who depend on the environment the most.

Indigenous people, smallholder farmers, and rural populations will be key as we seek to rebalance our relationship with nature.

Promoting equal access to justice for all through both formal and informal justice mechanisms is vital for the protection of these rights, as well as the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Second, the rule of law can provide the basis for multilateral cooperation and encourage green growth among and within States.

It can promote confidence for investors, enhance transparency, reduce corruption, and establish mechanisms by which all actors – both public and private sector – can be held to account for their actions, or inactions, which harm nature.

And third, the rule of law can enable women and girls, who are often hit first and worst by the effects of climate change, to lead efforts to realize the goals of the Framework by promoting equal participation, including in environmental decision-making, eliminating discriminatory laws and practices, and ending violence against women in all its forms.

At IDLO, we are proud to adopt an explicitly feminist approach to environmental action. We strongly encourage all Parties to prioritize the Gender Plan of Action and ensure adequate financing for women-led environmental initiatives in the new Global Biodiversity Framework.

Protecting the planet and the environment is an act of justice. As we chart a course to live in harmony with nature by 2050, IDLO is committed to working with all of you to deliver a fairer and more sustainable world for present and future generations.