Wildlife & Biodiversity

Biodiversity framework: Ambitions running amok at negotiations ahead of CoP15

Negotiators have a tough task to clean up the text of global biodiversity framework in 6 days and ready it for December  

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Wednesday 22 June 2022
Biodiversity framework: Ambitions running amok at negotiations ahead of CoP15 Photo: iStock

The world has to wait a little longer for the 15th Conference of Parties (CoP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) where a plan to protect biodiversity will be chalked out.

The fourth round of negotiations in the run-up to CoP15 to finalise the text of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is currently ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya. The negotiators at Nairobi have a tough task in front of them: They have to finalise the text over the next six days. 

This plan will consist of targets related to conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing that need to be achieved by 2030 to ensure that the world can reach the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature”.

At the 3rd round of negotiations in March in Geneva, very little progress was made on the text and at present, it consists of a large number of suggestions that need to be agreed upon. 

Over the next six days, the negotiators at Nairobi will have to ensure that indigenous peoples, local communities, youth and women as well as other stakeholders are fully included in the decisions. Among other things, the negotiators also need to figure out how to gather the finances for achieving the targets.

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, said in response to the decision on the venue: 

There is an urgent need for international partners to halt and reverse the alarming loss of biodiversity worldwide. With up to one million species currently at risk of extinction worldwide, the world cannot afford to wait any longer for global action on nature protection.

The conference is organised every two years but due to the pandemic, the meeting was delayed and the members have not got together in four years. CoP15 was to be held in Kunming in 2020. Due to the pandemic delay and restrictions, it was split in two parts: The first was held online in October 2021 and the second was to be organised by the end of August 2022 but the venue had to change due to a COVID-19 case surge in China. 

It will now be held in Montreal, Canada, the CBD Secretariat, from December 5, 2022. The decision was necessary as other global meetings are being organised this year despite the pandemic. 

“I thank the Government of Canada, as the host of the Secretariat, for providing a venue in Montreal for this crucial meeting,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive-secretary, CBD. 

“I want to thank the Government of China for their flexibility and continued commitment to advancing our path towards an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework,” she added. “I look forward, with the support of all Parties, to successful outcomes of COP15.”

CoP15 President Huang Runqiu noted that “China would like to emphasise its continued strong commitment, as COP President, to work with all Parties and stakeholders to ensure the success of the second part of CoP15, including the adoption of an effective post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and to promote its delivery throughout its Presidency”.

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