This Wednesday, December 7, opens in Montreal, Canada, the 15th conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the UN, known as COP15, is devoted to preserving biodiversity. This summit is being held two years late because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of reaching a favorable outcome.
The event is expected to empower governments to act to tackle the biodiversity crisis. But many points remain to be discussed, and finding an agreement promises to be complicated.
After displaying their divisions at the COP27 on the climate, whose final text disappointed the European Union (EU) y the United Nations (UN), the representatives of the world will have two weeks to iron out their differences to begin a historic route capable of safeguarding nature by 2030.
Observers hope the final deal will be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris climate accord. The international community has failed over the shattered decade to deliver on its commitments made in Aichi, Japan, in 2010.
“The decline in biodiversity is currently reaching a level unprecedented in history. We estimate that 90% of ecosystems have been impacted so far and more than a million species are threatened with extinction,” said the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Elizabeth Maruma Mrema recently.
She wished to see the negotiations of the 196 members of the CBD (195 States and the European Union, without the United States) succeed. “It won’t be easy. It will take a lot of work and commitment, but the global framework for protecting biodiversity is crucial to securing the future of humanity on the planet,” she argued.
States must also agree on ways to restore ecosystems degraded by human activity, stem plastic pollution and reduce the risk of invasive species around the world.
The Montreal talks will also make progress on reducing subsidies for projects harmful to biodiversity, CBD Deputy Executive Secretary David Cooper argued Thursday. “Most governments pay far more nature-destroying subsidies than conservation subsidies. It will be critical to change this. »
No Head of State or Government is attending the conference
The head of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) stresses that no head of state or government is taking part in the UN conference on biodiversity.
China, which chairs the conference, has only invited ministers and NGO leaders to attend. Enough to feed the fear of observers of a failure of the negotiations, which are nevertheless crucial for safeguarding the planet.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema insisted she was “not worried at all” about a deal being struck while renewing her call for ambitious pledges from nations. “It will be important to have a consistent framework, not a framework on paper without ambition, without innovation, without transformation”, just good “to decorate our shelves”.
The most important goal is to protect 30% of the lands and seas. Over a hundred countries, including West African states (ECOWAS) and the European Union, infest the target.
Reforestation, restoration of natural environments, reduction of pesticides, fight against invasive species, sustainable fishing, and agriculture… are also on the list.
To achieve this, money remains a burning issue. Brazil, backed by 22 countries including Argentina, South Africa, Cameroon, and Indonesia, called on wealthy states to provide “at least $100 billion a year until 2030” to developing countries. But the Europeans are reluctant to create yet another fund.