It is a UN initiative that brings together governments from around the world to agree on a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It was held last December with the aim of establishing an ambitious plan to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity and ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is achieved.
The Conference also discussed the implementation of the protocols to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that address the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of biodiversity, and the safe transport, handling and labeling of living modified organisms.
The first part of COP15 was held in October 2021. It included the opening of the meetings and the discussion of various essential elements of the agenda so that the Bureau of the Conference could proceed with the constituent activities of the Convention and the associated Protocols.
WE ARE LOSING NATURE AT A RATE UNPRECEDENTED IN HUMAN HISTORY.
Biological diversity encompasses living and non-living beings of our planet, their interconnection and systems. It has been declining rapidly over the last decade with human activities. It is estimated that wild populations have been reduced by 69% on average over the last 50 years and natural ecosystems by 47% due to resource use at a rate that far exceeds nature’s capacity to restore itself. As life on earth depends on biodiversity, so does the economy. In fact, more than half of the world’s GDP depends directly and indirectly on nature’s products and services.
WE ARE FACED WITH
NATURE IS IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY, WE HAVE AN UNREPEATABLE OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THINGS.
COP15 will create similar momentum towards biodiversity targets as the Paris agreement created with respect to climate change in 2015. It consists of four ambitious global goals for 2030 and 2050 to protect nature from further deterioration and“build a shared future for all life on Earth.”
It includes increasing land and water conservation, reducing pollution, incorporating biodiversity into national policies, reducing harmful subsidies and mobilizing funds for national plans. Agrees to conserve and effectively manage and restore at least 30% of the world’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems by 2030. The language, while not “mandatory,” is sufficient to be expected to have a significant impact. Although the US is not a signatory and is not bound by COP15, the Biden administration has taken an active role and pledged to take action in line with the adopted resolutions.
Objective 15 favors private sector efforts. It requires governments to take measures to encourage large companies and financial institutions to track and disclose impacts on biodiversity, as well as the risk of its loss, due to the level of dependence we have.