“30×30 could turn into one of the biggest corporate land grabs ever” – COP15 negotiator

Published by Brent Patterson on

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City, provincial and federal police and a 3 metre (10 foot) high fence will surround the Palais des Congrès in Montreal where the COP15 biodiversity summit will take place. Photo by Alison Northcott/CBC.

The Guardian reports: “In a series of dispatches ahead of the Cop15 UN biodiversity conference in Montreal in December, we will be hearing from a secret negotiator who is from a developing country involved in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework negotiations.”

That negotiator comments: “The rights of Indigenous peoples must be respected, or 30×30 could turn into one of the biggest corporate land grabs ever.”

Amnesty International has also cautioned “the [30×30 proposal] presents a grave risk to the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities.”

This past July, Mongabay explained: “The first draft of [Global Biodiversity Framework] targets contained no effective safeguards to protect the lands, rights and livelihoods of [Indigenous peoples and local communities] in conservation programs or protected areas, say Indigenous leaders.”

The article further notes: “Many Indigenous leaders and human rights advocates say [the 30×30] goal may lead to the mass eviction of Indigenous and local communities for the creation of more protected areas.”

Many organizations have also highlighted: “Protected areas have led to displacement and eviction of Indigenous Peoples and other land-dependent communities and brought serious human rights abuses by conservation organizations and enforcement agencies.”

Indigenous-led protected areas

The Narwhal has reported: “Kris Statnyk, a lawyer and member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation who lives on Gitxsan territory, [says] non-Indigenous conservation often perpetuates colonialism by placing restrictions and restraints on how Indigenous people use the land and resources such as fish and wildlife and noted how protecting one area under federal or provincial laws can lead to ‘opening up the remainder of areas for continued extraction.’”

That article continues: “In early August, at a feast hall near the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers in northwest B.C., Wilps Gwininitxw, a Gitxsan Nation house group, [unilaterally] declared the entirety of its 1,700 square kilometre laxyip (territory) protected.”

Significantly, “Wilps Gwininitxw is just upstream from the proposed routes of Enbridge’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission pipeline and TC Energy’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline. …While both projects received approval through B.C.’s environmental assessment process, neither has started construction.” 

The COP15 summit starts on Wednesday December 7 at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal.

PBI-Canada will be in Montreal on December 10.

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