‘Landmark’ deal to save biodiversity reached at COP15 in Montreal

4 goals, 23 targets for 2030 under UN Biodiversity Agreement


December 19, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

‘Landmark’ deal to save biodiversity reached at COP15 in Montreal

COP15, or the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, ends with agreement

A landmark deal has been reached at the UN Biodiversity Summit, COP15, at Montreal with fairly aggressive targets set for the year 2030 to protect the global biodiversity, which has been facing an existential threat for the past few decades. The deal includes protection of 30 pc of Earth’s lands, oceans, coastal areas, inland waters as well as a cut in government subsidies by USD 500 billion and reducing food wastage by half.

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In a rare development, a global gathering on protecting biodiversity has concluded on time and with an ambitious agreement in place. After over two weeks of heated discussions and debates, representatives of about 190 countries from around the world agreed on a historic package of measures deemed critical to addressing the dangerous loss of biodiversity and restoring natural ecosystems.

COP15, or the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity which concludes in Montreal today, was convened under UN auspices and chaired by China, and hosted by Canada. On Monday, the delegates approved the adoption of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The agreement lists four goals and 23 targets that the world has to meet by 2030. One of the most important targets is effective conservation and management of at least 30 pc of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans, with emphasis on areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services.

According to a press statement, the GBF prioritises ecologically-representative, well-connected and equitably-governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories and practices. Currently 17 pc and 10 pc of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas respectively are under protection.

The agreement also includes the need to have restoration completed or underway on at least 30 pc of degraded terrestrial, inland waters, and coastal and marine ecosystems and reduce to near zero the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity.

Yet another key target that the agreement sets is to cut global food waste in half and significantly reduce overconsumption and waste generation and also reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals. The governments also agreed to progressively phase out or reform by 2030 subsidies that harm biodiversity by at least USD 500 billion per year, while scaling up positive incentives for biodiversity’s conservation and sustainable use. It also calls for mobilisation of at least USD 200 billion per year by 2030 in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from all sources, public and private.

In an important development, the countries also agreed to raise international financial flows from developed to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, to at least USD 20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least USD 30 billion per year by 2030.

The governments also agreed to prevent the introduction of priority invasive alien species, and reduce by at least half the introduction and establishment of other known or potential invasive alien species, and eradicate or control invasive alien species on islands and other priority sites. They also will require large and transnational companies and financial institutions to monitor, assess, and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity through their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios, as per the agreement.

“Without such action, there will be a further acceleration in the global rate of species extinction, which is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years,” the press statement quotes the agreement.

The agreement also calls for halt on human induced extinction of known threatened species and and, by 2050, extinction rate and risk of all species to be reduced tenfold, and the abundance of native wild species is increased to healthy and resilient levels.

Adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the Kunmin-Montreal global biodiversity framework are secured and equitably accessible to all Parties, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, progressively closing the biodiversity finance gap of USD 700 billion per year, and aligning financial flows with the Kunmin-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.



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