Many of the Green capitalist projects financed by COP15 initiatives (financing for green transport, policies that limit unrestrained development, etc.) seem genuinely worthwhile compared to the alternative of doing literally nothing in the face of unrestrained free-market capitalism– and in this way, capitalists and the governments that support them rebrand themselves as "wildlife saviours" at conferences like COP15. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that they are in fact using the extremely limited set of policy and regulatory tools that they have at their disposal to patch just a few of the holes that they themselves continue to pierce at an even faster rate. Especially since the water is coming in now faster than they can bail it out.
The only way to achieve the COP15 goal of “live in harmony with nature” by 2050 is to completely rethink our system of social and ecological relations and to build durable anticapitalist alternatives. Fortunately, there are communities building real, lasting, anticapitalist solutions to biodiversity loss. For example, nearly every document published by the COP15 acknowledges the fact that the “full and effective participation” of Indigenous peoples is critical to conservation. But decolonization and “land back” are real, genuine methods for reversing biodiversity loss– they are not hollow metaphors. We cannot allow the COP15 to co-opt these solutions by emptying land acknowledgements of their meaning while the COP15's host state continues to violently suppress land and water defenders. We don’t need token participation and inclusion– we need a full redistribution of both power and material wealth, and we need to dismantle the violent state machinery that prevents responsible land stewardship from taking place as soon as the interests of the people are at odds with the pursuit of profit. For example, Wet’suwet’en land defenders are engaged in a decade-long struggle over responsible stewardship of the land– they are more than capable of protecting the region’s biodiversity, if only the RCMP would let them!
|Strategy||Relationship to biodiversity restoration|
|Land Back||An indigenous-led strategy to re-establish indigenous sovereignty throughout Turtle Island. Peasant farmers and Indigenous peoples are among those doing the most to conserve and restore biodiversity as responsible stewards of the land. Many of these communities actively maintain a dynamic ecological balance by responsibly harvesting, hunting, and fishing; much Indigenous-led restoration involves paying close attention to the ways that plant and animal populations change from year to year, and modifying their interactions with nature accordingly.|
|Wet'suwet'en re-occupation||The Wet'suwet'en community is fighting back against the construction of the CGL pipeline, which threatens salmon, caribou and many other wildlife species vital to the region. You can follow their campaign at https://www.yintahaccess.com/|
|Fairy Creek Land defense||Fairy Creek is one of the last remaining old growth forests in British Columbia. It comprises the remaining 2.7% of the province's old-growth temperate rainforest and is home to a number of threatened species. Led by the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, land advocates have been facing violent crackdowns by the RCMP in their efforts to defend this valuable ecosystem from logging and road building.|
|Reciprocal restoration||In contrast to conservation frameworks that merely attempt to minimize human damage through commercialization, reciprocal restoration means recognizing that the restoration of land and restoration of culture are intimately connected - "it is not just the land that is broken, but our relationship to it." True ecosystem restoration requires rethinking the capitalist framework within which traditional scientific institutions research, describe, and interact with natural systems. To do so, we must bring together Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western science, both within and outside of "formal" scientific institutions.|
|Rewild the lawns||Lawns are horrifyingly unnecessary and a status symbol for the rich-- they are monocultures that do not support life. Rewilding lawns is crucial at a time when half of Canada's honeybee colonies did not survive the winter in 2022 -- the worst loss in 20 years due to the spread of a parasitic bug, facilitated by a warming climate. We can increase the numbers of songbirds, bees, and other arthropods and pollinators just by tearing up manicured grass and tending wildflowers, shrubs, so-called "weeds" instead.|
|Guerrilla Gardening / Seed-bombing||Seed-bombing and guerilla gardening in neglected public places, in a way that is responsible and respectful of native flora and fauna, can not only improve an area of land that is otherwise neglected, it can help also help temper the effects of urban heating and provide food for pollinators.|