Wildlife & Biodiversity

COP15 CBD: Disclose biodiversity impact, address harmful subsidies, urges EU

Bulk of financial resources for implementation of targets needs to come domestically, says European Commission

By Shuchita Jha
Published: Thursday 08 December 2022
Photo: @StewartRWheeler / Twitter
Photo: @StewartRWheeler / Twitter Photo: @StewartRWheeler / Twitter

The first day of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada, saw the European Union push for increased accountability for biodiversity impacts and sustainable consumption choices.

The European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment, Hugo-Maria Schally, addressed a press conference on the first day of the COP15 CBD, saying the EU is propping Targets 15 and 16 of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

The bulk of the financial resources necessary for implementing the framework will, however, have to be raised domestically, Schally said. Overall assessment of financing shows only a small part of it should be dealt with international flows, he added.

Read more: ‘Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must feature role of indigenous people’

Target 15 deals with legal and administrative policy measures. Under this, businesses, transnational companies and financial institutions must disclose their impacts on biodiversity in order to reduce the same.

Target 16 aims to encourage and enable people to make sustainable consumption choices. This includes establishing supportive policy, legislative or regulatory frameworks and improving education and access to relevant, accurate information and alternatives.

“It is important also to make sure that business practices increasingly consider biodiversity impacts. Transparency and reporting by companies in that regard are important and we are pushing very hard for Targets 15 and 16,” said Schally.

While the EU is pushing for the mobilisation of resources, it is important to address issues related to environmentally harmful subsidies, and it needs to figure ‘explicitly’ in the Post-2020 GBF, he added.

The EU is trying to ensure multilateral development banks like the World Bank play their part in the generation of international flows, Schally said. “That can also leverage private investment, which, of course, will also play an important part, especially with regard to mainstreaming activities in that regard,” added Schally.

The Union takes the responsibility of keeping past commitments and matching ones commensurate with the framework’s ambition, he said.

“President of the European Commission had pledged last summer that our biodiversity funding would reach $7 billion by 2025. Member states, such as France and Germany, have made similar commitments. Along with other donors, this means we have collectively reached and surpassed our financial commitments for implementing the Aichi framework,” he added.

Aichi Biodiversity Targets are an ambitious set of global goals aimed at protecting and conserving global biodiversity.

He pressed for a realistic framework that caters to different provisions that ensure future public spending and private investment are aligned with the rest of the objectives, applying (at the bare minimum) the principle of ‘do no harm’.

While there is a sense of urgency, it was important that the framework is made based on scientific and monitoring information about the state of the biodiversity, said Ladislav Miko of the Czech presidency delegation and special envoy of the Czech Republic.

It must also consider all the experiences and lessons learned from the previous decades. “We believe the ambitious and transformative Global Biodiversity Framework is a key step in achieving our vision for 2050,” said Miko.

A set of area-based targets to meet land use planning of protected areas and restoration issues for effective management was extremely important, particularly for the countries of that are members of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People supporting the 30 by 30 targets, he added.

Read more: ‘COP15 is our chance to start protecting and repairing the web of life’: UNEP chief

Miko also pushed for measurable and realistic targets.

Speaking about the Farm to Fork strategy implemented by many countries in the EU, he added the Union is trying to mainstream biodiversity by reform of harmful subsidies and initiating a conversation about sustainable production and consumption, which are key components to halt biodiversity loss.

The efforts of resource mobilisation at the national level should be supplemented through international flows on time for implementing GBF targets, he added.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.