Wildlife & Biodiversity

Can Montreal be another Paris? Hopes build up after COP15 President’s text includes key demands

The text of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has included targets to halt and reverse biodiversity, respect indigenous rights among others

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Monday 19 December 2022
Montreal to be another Paris? Expectations build up after COP15 President’s text includes key demands
Photo: @UNEP / Twitter Photo: @UNEP / Twitter

Heads of delegations at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) released the President’s text of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework December 19, 2022.

The text has been christened the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Informal consultations are taking place now with a view to understanding the basis for consensus.

The text is set to be adopted at the plenary meeting at the end of the day at the UN biodiversity conference taking place in Montreal, Canada. 

The mood is generally upbeat about the text of the framework which has four long-term goals to be met by 2050 and 23 Kunming-Montreal 2030 Targets.

Halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 has been included in the text. Marco Lambertini, director-general of WWF International, called this the equivalent of the decision to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees decided on at Paris in 2015.

Representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities also found the text to be positive as it upholds their rights over land.

Specifically, the rights of indigenous people have been recognised. The rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their traditional territories in the target of 30X30 protection for land, inland water, coasts and oceans will be respected.

Target 3 talks about “equitably governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories”. 

Digital Sequence Information is now part of the text of the framework. The text of Goal C says that “monetary and non-monetary benefits from the utilization 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.”  

However, there are some concerns too. Activist organisation Avaaz has pointed out that Goal A does not contain the 2030 milestones and enough numerical values anymore. This would make it difficult to assess whether or not the GBF actually leads to positive impacts on ecosystems. 

Avaaz also said there was still an imbalance between the amounts pledged in the text and real needs.

The framework text has indicated that the resources needed are up to $700 billion per year but the flows will be increased only to $200 billion per year by 2030. Avaaz said the framework should specify how this gap will be closed.  

Other than these points, the framework also agrees that parties would eliminate, phase out or reform incentives, including subsidies harmful for biodiversity. The aim would be to reduce them by at least $500 billion per year by 2030.

There would also be efforts to ensure that risk of pollution from all sources would be reduced to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services.

These pollutants include halving excess nutrients from agriculture, pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals and eliminating plastic pollution. 

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