Snapshots from a global biodiversity conference

Closing Plenary at COP15. Image: UN Biodiversity (Flickr: CC BY 2.0)

By |2023-02-20T10:16:36+00:00February 20th, 2023|Advocacy, Biodiversity, Capacity, Congo Basin, Events, Freshwater, Inclusion|Comments Off on Snapshots from a global biodiversity conference

The world’s largest and most important global gathering on biodiversity convened in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022. As the speeches, pledges and media coverage of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties 15 (COP15) fade into memory, we hear from four people who were there.

Large, global gatherings focusing on the environment will always – understandably – be subject to scrutiny: How can it make sense to fly thousands of people around the world to talk about climate change and biodiversity loss? What use are pledges and targets when they routinely fail to translate into action on the ground? While these are very legitimate questions, in this blog we want to show – through the words of our partners and members of the Synchronicity Earth team – that although these global gatherings are far from perfect, they do matter, and they can play a positive role in bringing about lasting change for the environment.

Our focus in Montreal was on centring and supporting voices that are often marginalised in these global forums – Indigenous Peoples, youth, women. We worked hard to help build momentum to support more enlightened and inclusive approaches to funding biodiversity conservation, and to push for key changes and additions to the goals and targets themselves.

Supporting our partners

Julie Gagoe Tchoko – Congo Basin Affiliate, Cameroon

Synchronicity Earth Affiliate, Julie Gagoe

Julie Gagoe at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal

Synchronicity Earth helped me and others to realise a dream! You can work for decades in the development space but never get the opportunity to take part in these events because there are so many obstacles: it’s already complicated enough for representatives of large international organisations, but it’s even more difficult if you’re a small, civil society organisation. The accreditation process is incredibly complicated, the logistics is exhausting, and the visa situation is a nightmare, especially when you need to travel abroad to a Western country.

But Synchronicity Earth was with us for every step of the process, helping us to realise our dream to attend a COP, and to see how these big conferences play out in reality.

When you are actually there, you realise that it is very difficult for some people and groups to have their voices heard, even if they do succeed in making it to the conference.

Over the course of COP15, Synchronicity Earth enhanced its reputation as a charity and funder whose philosophy and strategic engagement puts small organisations and those on the frontline of conservation front and centre. It was recognised as an organisation whose financial support for civil society groups was producing results, not just for biodiversity conservation, but also in helping to secure land rights and wellbeing for local and Indigenous communities. We felt very proud to be part of Synchronicity Earth, to benefit from their support and to contribute in our own way to their work.