Nigeria: COP15 – Major Agreements Reached At UN Biodiversity Conference

The UN biodiversity conference concluded with negotiators adopting four goals and 23 targets for achievement by 2030

Between December 7 and December 19, governments from around the world gathered in Montreal, Canada, to agree on a new set of goals to guide global actions in an effort to halt and reverse declining global biodiversity.

Within this period, about 190 countries (negotiators) at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, COP15, reached a landmark agreement to protect 30 per cent of the world’s lands and oceans among other ambitious goals and targets adopted.

Biennially, the UN Biodiversity Conference is where negotiators (countries) meet to discuss ways to promote the conservation of biodiversity and to ensure the sustainable use and equitable sharing of genetic resources. Often at the convention, targets and goals aimed at arresting the destruction of nature due to human anthropogenic activities are set.

This year, the just concluded 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) led to the adoption of a new deal called the ” Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”(GBF). This includes “four goals and 23 targets” to guide global actions to preserve and protect our natural resources worldwide through 2030.

According to the UN, nature is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Based on this, the UN said the adoption of a bold GBF that addresses the key drivers of nature loss is needed to secure our health and well-being alongside that of the planet.

“Nature and biodiversity is dying the death of a billion cuts. And humanity is paying the price for betraying its closest friend. We are committing suicide by proxy, this Conference of the Parties must secure the future of our planetary life support system,” says Inger Anderson, UN-Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

Key targets and goals adopted at COP15

The UN biodiversity conference concluded with negotiators adopting four goals and 23 targets for achievement by 2030, the organisers said on Monday.

Below are some of the global targets and goals agreed upon at COP15:

Targets:

1.Effective conservation and management of at least 30 per cent 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. Currently 17 per cent and 10 per cent of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas respectively are under protection.

2. Have restoration completed or underway on at least 30 per cent of degraded terrestrial, inland waters, and coastal and marine ecosystems

3. Reduce to near zero the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity

4. Cut global food waste in half and significantly reduce over consumption and waste generation

5. Reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals

6. Progressively phase out or reform by 2030 subsidies that harm biodiversity by at least $500 billion per year, while scaling up positive incentives for biodiversity’s conservation and sustainable use

7. Mobilise by 2030 at least $200 billion per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from all sources – public and private

8. 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 US$ 20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least US$ 30 billion per year by 2030

9. 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

10. 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 among 13 other targets.

“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 GBF noted.

The four major goals

Below are the four critical goals adopted by countries at the just concluded COP15 convention that must be abided by to achieve the aforementioned targets:

GOAL 1

The integrity, connectivity and resilience of all ecosystems are maintained, enhanced, or restored, substantially increasing the area of natural ecosystems by 2050;

Human induced extinction of known threatened species is halted, and, by2050, extinction rate and risk of all species are reduced tenfold, and the abundance of native wild species is increased to healthy and resilient levels;

The genetic diversity within populations of wild and domesticated species, is maintained, safeguarding their adaptive potential.

GOAL 2

Biodiversity is sustainably used and managed and nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services, are valued, maintained and enhanced, with those currently in decline being restored, supporting the achievement of sustainable development, for the benefit of present and future generations by 2050.

GOAL 3

The monetary and non-monetary benefits from the utilisation of genetic resources, and digital sequence information on genetic resources, and of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, as applicable, are shared fairly and equitably, including, as appropriate with indigenous peoples and local communities, and substantially increased by 2050, while ensuring traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is appropriately protected, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in accordance with internationally agreed access and benefit-sharing instruments.

GOAL 4

Adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the Kunming-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 $700 billion per year, and aligning financial flows with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

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