WWF @ CBD COP15: What we’re up to during the UN biodiversity summit

WWF-Canada and our international WWF colleagues will be out in force at CBD COP15, aka the 15th Conference of the Parties for the UN Convention on Biological on Diversity, advocating for a Global Biodiversity Framework that will reverse nature loss by 2030.

Environmental NGOs are offered observer status for UN environmental treaties, which means we can monitor and provide suggestions to negotiators but aren’t part of the decision-making process. (Though many governments, Canada included, invite NGO reps to be part of their national delegations to share ideas and info more easily.)

A crowd watching two men having a discussion onstage in front of a WWF panda logo
WWF’s Manuel Pulgar Vidal interviewing Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault at the COP27 Panda Pavilion in Egypt © Tracey Lue / WWF-Canada

NGOs also stage events inside the negotiation zone and throughout the cities where negotiations take place to help inform negotiators, media and the general public on issues vital to the treaties under discussion.

WWF is the sponsor of four official side events, co-sponsor of 11 additional events and will be co-hosting the Nature-Positive Pavilion alongside The Nature Conservancy. Open from Dec. 7 to 16, this hub is intended to showcase innovative solutions, address issues of equity and rights, and create and solidify new and diverse partnerships.

The pavilion will feature over 120 separate events, including the panel Advancing solutions at the nexus of biodiversity, carbon, and Indigenous rights at 4:30 pm EST on Dec. 15,  which will feature James Snider, WWF-Canada’s VP of science, knowledge and innovation; Vern Cheechoo, Mushkegowuk Council’s director of lands & resources; Stephanie Thorassie, Seal River Watershed’s executive director; and others.

The panelists will discuss the biodiversity and climate co-benefits of nature protection and stewardship on Indigenous  territories; the importance of First Nations’ knowledge systems and governance in realizing these benefits; and the need for both a rights-based approach to stewarding carbon in nature and new financial mechanisms to support it.

WWF-Canada will also be hosting a three-part breakfast series event outside of the conference:

Dec. 09: Towards Marine Protection Across the Arctic

Our first session features three Arctic organizations discussing their local coastal/marine conservation initiatives and how they connect to large-scale marine protected area (MPA) network planning. The panel will explore how Indigenous-led conservation can advance international biodiversity goals — including the 30×30 commitment to protect 30 per cent of lands and waters by 2030 — and why local benefits should underpin MPAs regionally, nationally and internationally.


  • Jimmy Ullikatalik, Manager, Spence Bay Hunters and Trappers Association
  • Barnie Aggark, Senior Executive Director of the Foxe Basin Kivalliq North Sapujiyiit Guardians of the Sea Society
  • Gabe Canfield, Project Coordinator at Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA)


Dec. 12: Restoring Ecosystems to Fight Climate Change

Nature-based climate solutions use the unique powers of nature — through actions such as habitat protection or restoration — to capture and store carbon, helping mitigate climate change and safeguard species. But financing this work requires significantly more investment than is readily available. So our second breakfast session will discuss the net positive impact of restoration projects on nature and climate as well as the opportunity to leverage investment through partnerships.



Dec. 14:  An Indigenous Rights Approach to Becoming Biodiversity Positive

To be effective, equitable and enduring, conservation requires the advancement of Indigenous rights, knowledge and priorities while protecting nationally and internationally significant areas for biodiversity and ecosystem carbon storage.

In our final breakfast session, five Indigenous leaders will discuss their experiences using a conservation approach that complements thousands of years of stewardship over their territorial lands and waters. Panelists will also discuss how an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must include financial investment to support Indigenous communities for long-term solutions.


  • Steven Nitah, Managing Director, Nature for Justice
  • Stephanie Thorassie, Executive Director, Seal River Watershed Alliance
  • Nadina Gardiner, Cumberland House Cree Nation
  • Jimmy Ullikatalik, Manager, Spence Bay Hunters and Trappers Association
  • Vern Cheechoo, Director Lands and Resources, Mushkegowuk Council


  • James Snider, VP, Science, Knowledge and Innovation, WWF-Canada

We’ll be posting daily updates, blogs and videos from Montreal, so follow our social channels to stay on top of CBD COP15.