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Letter To Justin Trudeau On Canada Re-joining UNCCD

By CBD Alliance

19 June, 2016

June 19, 2016
To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We, the CBD Alliance, the global platform of civil society and academic organisations working on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), congratulate your government for the decision to re-join the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The three Rio conventions including the UNCCD are of great importance to developing countries and Indigenous Peoples. The Rio Declaration that is incorporated in the UNCCD gives States the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The same responsibility is contained in Article 3 and Article 14 (d) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

But the biodiversity of developing countries, where many of the members of the CBD Alliance live and work, is being continuously and irreversibly damaged by the emission of greenhouse gases by the private citizens of Canada, by the government of Canada, by the private corporations of Canada operating in Canada and by the Canadian corporations domiciled in Canada and operating in other countries. By continuing to violate the United Nations Framework on Climate Change your government is also violating the Convention on Combating Desertification as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity. We urge your government to abate the damage being caused to the environment of other States and other areas outside Canada by the distribution, consumption and production relations within your jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the Harper government made the decision to pull Canada out of the UNCCD sometime in 2012 with no consultation or publicity. The previous government has claimed that it was part of the plan to cut the deficit, and the decision was a very anti-democratic one. Your government should be better as it has raised new hopes about Canada across the world. We therefore urge you to uphold democracy and withdraw the ban on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign against Israel that started in South Africa and has been taken up in many countries. This is an affront to democratic choices of the people, let alone taking the side of an occupier that violently and systematically degrades the lands of its victims, in violation of UNCCD and more specifically the Principle 23 of the Rio Declaration which states “The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation shall be protected.”

For ecological movements democracy is the air we breathe. Our sacred environment on which our freedoms depend gets trampled unless there is open and transparent discussion of all public concerns.

With best regards

Anandi Sharan
On behalf of the CBA Alliance Board

Letter in PDF format



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