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Event "Nature-based Solutions: How to avoid land grabbing in the name of biodiversity?"

The concept of “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) has been used since 2009 in the framework of the UN climate negotiations and has also been used in recent years by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These solutions are defined by the IUCN as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

Held in advance of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26), the aim of this event is to highlight civil society’s concerns about the specific use of NbS, notably for carbon or biodiversity offsetting. Such measures can have significant negative environmental and social consequences and can even hinder or undermine the global fight against the climate crisis.

This conference will provide an opportunity to answer the following questions:

(1)   How does the Convention on Biological Diversity intend to address civil society’s and indigenous peoples and local communities concerns about the so-called “fortress conservation” approach, including the setting of non-inclusive targets?

(2)   Could NbS sanction the destruction of biodiversity as long as there are attempts to compensate elsewhere, in breach of rights and science?

(3)   Are international financial flows and private funding the most appropriate tools to foster biodiversity conservation in developing countries?

(4)   Ahead of COP15 and COP26, is it desirable to agree on a clear and transparent framework on the use of NbS in the fight against climate change?


This event was held virtually on October 12, 2021 in Brussels by Members of the European Parliament and NGOs such as Docip, Fern and Transparency International. Mrs. Vu Thi Bich Hop – Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), representative of the Vietnamese NGOs and Climate Change (VNGO-CC) and the Vietnamese NGOs on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT) gave a presentation focusing on:

(1)   Current status of forests and forest management in Vietnam;

(2)   The role of Vietnam CSOs in climate change response and natural resource management;

(3)   Status of NbS-related research and practices in Vietnam;

(4)   Key recommendations

Mrs. Hop pointed out concerns and potential risks from the application of NbS and EbA in Vietnam and provided some recommendations related to NbS such as (i) NbS should be clearly defined in the context of NDC and NAP; (ii) Supporting for conducting evidence-based studies on the current state of NbS in Vietnam; (iii) Strengthening communication and training on NbS and EbA; and (iv) Strengthening the capacity of CSOs, local governments and communities.


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