Wildlife & Biodiversity

World Biodiversity Day 2023: Are we on track to meet targets under global framework

With just around 7 years to achieve the targets set under the Global Biodiversity Framework, the progress so far is unimpressive

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Monday 22 May 2023
With nearly one million animal and plant species threatened with extinction, immediate action is imperative. Photo: iStock.

The International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated on May 22 each year, is a reminder of the promise made in Montreal last December. The theme of the international day this year is appropriately From agreement to action: Build back biodiversity.

It’s just five months since the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was agreed upon and understandably, not much has been done. The framework has a total of four goals with 23 targets which have to be met by 2030. 

However, there is a need to ensure the framework does not end up like Aichi Biodiversity Targets set up in 2011. These targets, which were similar to the targets set under the GBF, were to be met by 2020, but the world collectively failed to meet any of these.

Read more: One in three species threatened with extinction, action needed, says study

With around one million animal and plant species threatened with extinction, immediate action is imperative. Just seven years are available to meet the targets set under GBF. Issues with implementation are already visible. 

At the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) in 2022, it was decided that investment is important for meeting the targets of GBF. It was decided that developed countries would provide $20 billion in international finance to developing nations by 2025 and $30 billion by 2030. This is yet to happen. While G7 provided specific numbers for funding for climate change in a recent statement, a similar number for biodiversity was missing.

Members states also agreed to realign their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to the GBF. However, only Spain has submitted the realigned NBSAP this year. The new plans have to be submitted to CBD secretariat before COP16 in 2024 in Türkiye. At present, the secretariat is providing support to the countries to develop the new plans. India is in the process of preparing this plan. 

The target for protecting 30 per cent of land and water was among the most controversial. According to many, this step would infringe upon the rights of the indigenous people. Some 16.64 per cent of land and inland water ecosystems and 7.74 per cent of coastal waters and the ocean were protected, according to the Protected Planet Report published in May 2021. More than 40 per cent of this has occurred since 2010.

The world would need to scramble to be able to meet the GBF target of 30 per cent by 2030. India already has 27 per cent of its land area under protection and would easily meet the target, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

To create awareness about the targets and goals of the GBF, CBD organised a campaign from May 1 to May 22 with a list of 22 Actions that respond to the 23 targets. The campaign ran for 22 days, with each day representing one of the 22 actions/targets. At the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2024 in Türkiye, the world will take stock of the targets and commitments that have been set. 

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