UN Conference on Biodiversity aims to establish global conservation action plan
First phase of COP-15 leads to Kunming Declaration for developing a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
Although questions regarding emissions reductions and energy transition are currently taking center stage in the global climate change agenda, biodiversity follows closely behind. As more and more time, energy, studies, business and capital are directed toward addressing biodiversity issues, it has become increasingly important to understand international trends and Brazil’s significant role.
The first phase of the UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP-15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity) is currently in session, with representative parties meeting online from October 11 to 15, 2021. The event is running together with the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (COP-MOP 10) and the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP 4).
The conference’s main objective concerns adopting a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework for a biodiversity conservation action plan over the next decade. The framework is to be based on contributions from the countries that have signed the convention, in line with a series of common goals forecast in July 2021.
First established in 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity is a global agreement aimed at conserving biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. As part of this convention, the following Protocols have also been signed:
- The 2000 Cartagena Protocol, which governs how living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology are handled, used and moved across international borders, seeking to ensure an adequate level of protection; and
- The 2010 Nagoya Protocol, aimed at fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, which includes adequate access to genetic resources and the appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.
Discussions at COP-15 are particularly focused on analyzing suggestions included in a draft for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Initially consisting of 21 goals for 2030, the framework emphasizes the following points:
- Conserving at least 30% of global land and sea areas through protected areas;
- A minimum 50% reduction in the rate invasive alien species are introduced into new areas, as well as controls or eradication efforts to eliminate or reduce their impacts;
- Reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, pesticides by at least two-thirds; and eliminating the disposal of plastic waste;
- Nature-based solutions for mitigating global climate change that contribute to reducing emissions by at least ten gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year;
- Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives that can harm biodiversity, reducing them by at least USD 500 billion per year fairly and equitably; and
- Increasing financial resources from all sources to at least $200 billion per year.
On October 13, 2021, the first phase of the conference adopted the Kunming Declaration – ‘Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth’, in which countries pledged to ensure a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is developed, adopted and implemented. Among other topics, the declaration commits to ensuring the effective participation of local communities and indigenous peoples, as well as working toward reforming subsidies and incentives that are damaging to biodiversity.
A second phase of the Biodiversity Conference will occur in Kunming, China, between April 25 and May 8, 2022, where the discussions on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework are expected to be finalized.
For further information on biodiversity, please contact Mattos Filho’s Environmental Law & Climate Change practice area.