Mr Stephen Harper
Canada Subject: Canada’s withdrawal from UNCCD
Dear Mr. Harper,It is with great concern that we, the undersigned Civil Society Organizations and social movements, who participate in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) within the membership of the CBD Alliance, learned that your government decided to withdraw Canada from the United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).This decision – together with your previous objectionable decision to renounce the Kyoto Protocol, and Canada’s unacceptable environmental record- raises fundamental questions about Canada’s commitment to the Community of Nations, respect for multilateral institutions, and its concern for our world’s climate and environment.
Canada’s repudiation of both the UNCCD and the Kyoto Protocol, is understandably regarded by the international community as extraordinary and backward. Desertification is advancing, climate change is increasing, and the global environment for cooperation is collapsing. As civil society organizations that monitor the Rio conventions closely, we share – with governments – the concern that Canada has lost
commitment to all three Rio treaties. This contrasts with the words spoken when Canada was competing for hosting the CBD Secretariat, had a high commitment to international law and furthermore had an much better environmental record. These words now leave us with a bitter taste.
The time for procrastination is over; the world is in a state of emergency. The position of the Canadian government to renege on its obligations is deeply disturbing. Because of this, we urge your government to: (1) rejoin the two treaties you have left; (2) reaffirm your commitment to the CBD; and, (3) renew your commitment to the multilateral community as represented by the United Nations.
We hereby sign respectfully,
Ecological Society Philippines
Gangadar Panday, babul Films, India
Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Argentima
Mangrove Action Project (MAP), US
Indian Biodiversity Forum, India
Ecological Society of the Philippines
Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee
Kenya Young Greens
CEEweb for Biodiversity, Hungary.
Global Forest Coalition
Forest Peoples Programme, England
Third World Network
Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa, Japan
International Sustainable Development Network, UK
ETC Group, Canada
Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, India
Forest Action, Nepal