Chaired by China and hosted by Canada, the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) marked a momentous event for biodiversity protection. In December 2022, Nations from around the globe part of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) gathered in Montreal to discuss the future of Earth’s natural capital in light of its rapid degradation caused by human activity.
The UN CBD is the international legal instrument promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The CBD’s governing body is the Convention of Parties (COP) consisting of all governments who have ratified the convention and meet periodically to discuss the state of biodiversity and its future development.
On 19 December, the last day of COP15, governments signed what is widely seen as a historic agreement to halt the destruction of the planet’s ecosystems. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) addresses biodiversity loss, ecosystem restoration, and protection of indigenous rights. The concrete measures of the Framework include putting 30 percent of the planet and 30 percent of degraded ecosystems under protection by 2030 together with proposals for increasing financing to developing countries.
The GBF defines four overarching long-term goals for 2050 and twenty-three specific targets for the protection of nature by 2030. As a project focusing on connecting biodiversity protection with decision-making, BioAgora celebrates this international milestone agreement and our consortium followed the discussions closely.
More specifically, BioAgora supports Target 21 in ensuring that the best available data, information and knowledge, are accessible to decision-makers (the core objective of our project), practitioners, and the public. In this way effective and equitable governance can be guided towards a more integrated and participatory management of biodiversity. This will result in stronger communication, awareness-raising, education, monitoring, research and knowledge management.
Of interest to BioAgora is also Target 14 outlining the need of a full integration of biodiversity and its multiple values into policies, regulations, planning and development processes such as poverty eradication strategies, strategic environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments.
The timing of the agreement could not have been more important: nature is experiencing degradation of unprecedented scale due to human activities. Flora and fauna across the planet are faced with extinction. The GBF signed during COP15 signals the willingness of world leaders to act in unison to safeguard our global ecosystem and it makes the work done in the framework of the BioAgora project all the more essential. It is now time for the hard work of each nation and local actors to fully implement these targets. BioAgora will offer full support to EU member states in finding best practices that have science-based evidence.
You can find all the relevant COP15 documents here.
© Image credit: CBD