The COP 13, meeting place

by Angélica Lizbeth Alcántara Sánchez 


IFSA Delegates at Cop 13 in Cancun, México, December 2016.

Cancun was the place where COP 13 took place, where different actors and managers of biological diversity, who are involved in all the world. It was amazing to see in a single place people from all over the world, with different customs, traits, ways of thinking, different realities, more incredible that all they  came together to talk about a subject that concerns us all, a subject that is indistinct in race , Skin color, economic level: biodiversity, which is implicit in everyone and everything


Moon Palace Cancún, Meeting place to COP 13, December 2016.

During the events, indigenous peoples and their role in biodiversity were a very frequent issue and of the most important, because that is it, they are the ones who first use natural resources, and have preserved the ancestral knowledge that our ancestors had on Mother Nature, which was important to take in a serious way, they also did Science in some way and much more importantly, they are also possessors of these lands where most of the biodiversity is found.


Manifestation of indigenous people at COP 13

One of the important messages is that biodiversity must be managed in an integral way, in many parallel events we talked about the sustainable and integral management of natural resources, from the perspective of protected natural areas, for example the goal Aichi 11 (At least the 17% Of terrestrial and continental areas, and 10% of marine and coastal areas have to be preserved). Good examples were given in the Rio Pavilion, where some representatives of national governments gave the progress of their work, also institutions such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


Indigenous women participation in side event.

Seeking gender equality, the voice of women also became present in the parallel events, mainly the voice of indigenous women in different parts of the world, the contribution they make in their role as women, knowledge bearers and Of project promoters who seek the integration of indigenous communities in their communities. The indigenous and non-indigenous women is a very important actor, because it was also possible to see many women ministers participating during the side events and in the plenary sessions.

During the COP13 as a delegate one is involved in biodiversity issues, different perspectives, lines of action and work, the role of government, society, nongovernmental organizations, and more important for us, the Different youth organizations working on biodiversity issues. We are the young people who are acquiring more responsibility and commitment.  It is good and the right of every citizen to know what governments are doing on this issue (and in others), the actions implemented and to implement, the commitments adopted by each nation and the progress that they have or are missing to achieve, This gives us the chance to work on projects that are positive for biodiversity, it is a good way to get involved with our governments, people and biodiversity to develop us in the professional way. I am sure we can all do something for the use, management and conservation of biodiversity, from small actions, that impact on our own life, from which arise the reactions in chain.


Our delegates at CBD

IFSA Delegates at Cop 13 in Cancun, México, December 2016.


Second Week at COP 13

As we begin the second week of the 13th Convention of Biological Diversity (COP13 CBD) we continue to be bombarred with complex ideas, policy and statistics. There was no lack of these in the two major events I attended today. The first in the Rio Conventions Pavilion looked at the progress toward developing protected areas in line with Aichi Target 11. The target calls on all parties to increase the area protected within their countries to 10% of land area and 17% of inland and terrestrial waters (including it would appear the area with each country’s Exclusive Economic Zone). From the presentations heard, most regions including the African continent are making considerable progress toward this target (although as we have heard previously the marine target is unlikely to be reached globally). One type of protected area that appears to have been quite common to countries across several regions is that of the community protected area. This is a reserve managed by communities on behalf of the government, with all the benefits that local knowledge has.

The second major event I attended today further explored what has been one of the dominant themes underlying side events at this convention. The future of conventional agriculture has been discussed from two different perspectives. One position is from the perspective of the scientists and predominantly developed countries currently benefiting from synthetic gene research. They argue broadly that technology can solve the looming food deficit as population growth is predicted to peak at somewhere north of 9 billion. This method expands upon the current paradigm in developed agricultural practices of highly specialised industrial monocultural production.

The opposing position is that extensive genetic modification is a ‘techno fix’ which does nothing to solve the underlying problems of soil degradation and biodiversity loss. Curiously many members appear to be opposed even to organic farming methodologies (due to their predominantly monocultural production), despite this being one of the sources of traditional opposition to synthetic gene development and applications. The position stated in the report presented by iPES-Food, an international body of experts in agricultural production, is the best reflection of this position at the convention. The report calls for worldwide adoption of a new paradigm of agricultural production rooted in a set of principles which can be adapted to any situation. This paradigm would be based on Diverse Agricultural Systems, drawing upon local biodiversity, traditional knowledge, scientific best practice soil management and natural synergies much as a natural ecosystem would do. The presentation for this report included a presentation from the French delegation detailing how as a nation, France is already embracing this paradigm. Braulio Dias the Executive Secretary of the CBD also spoke in favour of the report and its findings.

The future of agriculture, it is clear from both my experience and that shared by delegates and observers at this CBD convention is one which faces immediate and serious threats. iPES-Food and other non- and inter- governmental agencies suggest that an integrated agroecological approach may offer a partial solution to the threat conventional agriculture has on global biodiversity. This is an idea worth considering in the context of forestry as a set of principles which could be applied to agroforestry as well as wider environmental problems in parallel to protected areas.

By Patrick Nykiel

The present text was wrote on December 12th

Youth. Interested. Invested. Involved.

Walking in to the Moon Palace Resort – the main venue of the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)– my expectation were met and exceeded as government officials, non-governmental organizations, civil society, indigenous people and youth convened in support of the most important international framework for the conservation and protection of biodiversity.

The energy was great! I could hear the laughter of reconnecting delegates in the hall, the monotony of the plenary from Coba/Tulum rooms, and the panic from one woman not able to find a Conference Review Paper on the CBD website.

The environment was exciting, even more so, the level of youth participation. During the first week of COP, we were able to listen and connect with many young people and youth led organizations.

Our first connection was made with our Caribbean friends, Adrian and Jamilla of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). With representation in 18 territories, the CYEN is the largest youth organization in the Caribbean.


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Introducing UN CBD Delegates!

Angélica Lizbeth Alcántara Sánchezangelica

Hello everybody, my name is Angélica Lizbeth Alcántara Sánchez, I am from Tecámac, State of Mexico, México. I am a renewable natural resources engineer from Universidad Autónoma Chapingo where I am currently doing my thesis in Environmental Education in a protected natural area with preschool children.

It is a pleasure to be part of the IFSA delegation at COP 13, I hope to learn and see how international politics works in the aspects of natural resource management. I also hope that the COP 13 discusses the true importance of biological diversity for sustaining life, its function as part of a culture, and the sustainable management that we must have to ensure that our own and future generations have a decent life.



Leticia Quiahua Barrera

Hello everyone!Leticia

My name is Leticia. I am from Mexico, I am currently a student at the Autonomous University of Chapingo and I am pleased to work as part of the IFSA delegation at COP13. My expectations for this important event are: We, as young people of the present, can link ourselves to make decisions based on the discussion of top leaders in the field of biodiversity, the knowledge acquired can serve as a basis for planning future projects and can also be Shared by us to other students. I am very grateful to be part of this great event.


Luis Eduardo Sanchez Chavez

Hello everyone!Luis

I’m Luis Eduardo Sánchez Chávez, graduated from a bachelor’s program in Forestry Engineering on Autonomous University of Chap
ingo. Since the second year of my university studies I was part of IFSA as a Local Representative and today it is my pleasure to represent IFSA in this interesting meeting and I hope to provide you with updated information, discussions or other kind of papers related.

This meeting will be held in my country and this represent a huge responsibility, specifically about sharing of benefits and maintaining the diversity of genetic resources and their associated traditional knowledge. Mexico have 1.9 million of kilometers and on this land lives around 30 million of people that belong to a native culture and that implies more than 64 languages and their variants. Sometimes the environmental policy does not take these facts in account and is the reason because I want to learn about the CBD and the viewpoint of the countries around the world in this topic.


Patrick Nykiel

Greetings, I am Patrick Nykiel, originally from thepatrick far flung corner of the Australian continent known as Perth, I now live, study and work in Canberra; the nation’s capital. Currently completing my Masters degree in Forestry with a specialisation in policy, I come from a background in sustainability and ecology. While doing so I work for the parliamentary service in the research division of the library.

Biodiversity has always been a keen interest of mine, the opportunity to attend COP13 of the CBD will be an enriching experience which I hope to take back to my colleagues at Parliament House and the Australian National University. I also hope it will inform my upcoming research which will be directed toward the philosophy of environmental management, and how different education techniques can promote different management approaches. Biodiversity will form a key part of that research, being a key indicator of ecosystem health and management.


Denver Cayetanodenver.jpg

Denver from Belize here! Belize is the little country just south of the giant that is Mexico. I work as a Forest Biologist with the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute. We’re studying the effects of climate change and other stressors on forest dynamics among other things.

I’m particularly interested in deepening my understanding of
the politics surrounding biodiversity conservation. I’d also like to use this opportunity as a measuring stick to gauge Belize’s status as it related to biodiversity conservation. Not many young Belizeans get the opportunity to engage these processes so information sharing is very important to me.

Looking forward to engaging in this grand learning experience with you all. This is my first COP which makes it even more exciting.