Sustainlabour is taking part of the eleventh meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad (India) defending the trade union demands and launching the new report Ecosystems, Economy and Employment.
Biodiversity and ecosystems, as the basis for priority sectors in our economies are closely linked to employment in sectors as diverse as forestry, agriculture, fisheries and industrial sectors such as paper production, wood industry and pharmaceutical and service sectosr, especially tourism. In fact, in one way or another, biodiversity relates to all economic sectors.
The protection of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystems has great potential for creating new jobs that are not only sustainable in terms of environment but also, very frequently, have better working conditions. However, job and income losses might happen in sectors that have not yet incorporated these practices sustainability therefore a just transition for all workers if required, those who will benefit and who might be harmed by the transition.
For all these reasons Sustainlabour participates as part of the ITUC delegation at COP 11 Biodiversity in Hyderabad (India). Representatives of Workers' Commissions (CCOO) of Spain and Central Unica de Trabajadores (CUT) of Brazil are also part of this delegation.
Access to new discussion fora, integrating biodiversity into collective bargaining, trade union action extended to other social and environmental areas and creating bridges between unions and other civil society organizations are our priorities. For all this and especially to ensure a just transition for all workers, it is needed access to participation in decision-making processes related to biodiversity. This is the main demand of the trade union delegation here in COP 11.
COP 11 Background
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) last COP in 2010 agreed a package of decisions to allow implementing the three objectives of the Convention, ie the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems and a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of these resources. The first element of this package was the Nagoya Protocol, which defines the rules for implementing the third objective of the Convention.
The second decision was the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Targets, which has become the global framework for policies and initiatives related biodiversity at international and national levels. All countries are now in the process of adapting their policies to this new framework.
Finally, it was agreed that for these decisions to be implemented was necessary to develop a financing package to define a mechanism to assess the financial needs to implement the Strategic Plan, the financial mechanism to manage these funds and finally the development of a strategy on resource mobilization (where the money will come from). This decision should be agreed at the next meeting of the parties, thus in this COP 11.
Therefore, the issue that will measure the success or failure of this meeting is just the financial issue and the extent to which governments gathered here will be able to implement what was agreed in Japan last year and define the mechanism on financial needs assessment, fund management mechanism and agree a strategy for mobilizing financial resources to combat the loss of biodiversity and its sustainable management.
This is not the first time that unions have been involved in the Biodiversity Convention. They did it in Nagoya, last COP in 2010, with an ambitious position and framed by the need to ensure a just transition for workers. You can see this position here.
Sustainlabour also organizes a side event to lauch the new report on Ecosystems, Economics and Employment on Friday October 19.
The decision was adopted in response to EU Commission consultation on unconventional fossil fuels in Europe