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  • Writer's pictureYe Prayas

COP15 biodiversity conference

A United Nations meeting on biodiversity resulted in a global agreement to safeguard the ecosystems that support half of the global economy and stop the further extinction of already decimated plant and animal species. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was agreed upon by the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was held in Montreal in December 2022. (GBF). By 2030, the GBF aims to address biodiversity loss and restore natural ecosystems through four goals and 23 targets. Representatives from 188 governments, including 95% of the CBD Parties, as well as the Vatican and the United States, agreed on the GBF.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has extensive areas of rainforest, objected, but the Chinese administration and the Canadian host government proclaimed the agreement accepted. Following two weeks of discussions held in Montreal, Canada, many major points were reached.

By 2030, delegates agreed to safeguard 30% of land and 30% of coastal and marine regions, achieving the 30-by-30 aim, which is the deal’s most well-known objective. As several nations and campaigners campaigned for during the negotiations, indigenous and traditional areas will also count toward achieving this aim. The agreement also aims to repair 30% of degraded lands and rivers over the course of the next ten years, up from the previous goal of 20%. Additionally, efforts will be made to stop the destruction of unaltered landscapes and places with a variety of species, aiming to reduce these losses “near to zero by 2030.”

The signatories want to make sure that both public and private funding, amounting to $200 billion annually, is directed toward conservation efforts. By 2025 and 2030, wealthy nations should each make annual contributions of at least $20 billion and $30 billion, respectively. This seems to be the main reason the Democratic Republic of the Congo objected to the package.

Businesses should evaluate and document how biodiversity issues are impacted by their operations. The parties approved “requirements” for big businesses and financial institutions to provide information about their operations, supply lines, and portfolios. The goal of this reporting is to gradually enhance biodiversity, lessen the hazards that the natural world poses to industry, and promote sustainable production.

By 2025, the participating nations agreed to identify the subsidies that harm biodiversity and either remove, phase out, or reform them. By 2030, they resolved to reduce those incentives by at least $500 billion annually while boosting those that encourage conservation. One of the more contentious goals of the agreement is to cut the usage of pesticides by as much as two-thirds. The final text, however, pledges to eliminate those concerns by “at least half” and instead emphasises other methods of pest management. It concentrates on the risks related to pesticides and highly dangerous chemicals.

The Kunming-Montreal agreement will, in general, concentrate on lowering the adverse effects of pollution to levels that are not thought to be hazardous to nature, but the text offers no quantified aim in this regard.

To avoid this agreement having the same outcome as identical targets that were agreed upon in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, and never realised, all agreed-upon aims will be supported by procedures to track progress in the future. In accordance with a similar framework used for greenhouse gas emissions under U.N.-led efforts to slow climate change, national action plans will be established and assessed.

The absence of a timeframe for nations to submit these plans has drawn criticism from certain commentators.

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