The hopes of the Nature based Solutions Initiative team and the biodiversity community for COP15
This week, the much anticipated 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) kicks off in Montreal and will run to 19 December. This is an opportunity for the global community to come together to discuss urgent issues related to the protection of nature and its biodiversity. The primary purpose of the conference is to adopt the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the details of which must be unanimously agreed-upon by all 196 countries that are signatories of the CBD. This sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity.
Its overarching goal is to ensure that biodiversity loss is reversed by 2030, and by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled. The first draft of the framework, published in July 2021, has four goals and 22 targets, with much of the precise wording yet to be agreed by all Parties. The four long-term goals of the draft GBF include:
- enhanced integrity of all ecosystems.
- valuing, maintaining or enhancing nature’s contributions to people through conservation and sustainable use.
- fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the utilisation of genetic resources.
- closing the gap between available financial and other means of implementation, and those necessary to achieve the 2050 Vision.
The head of UN CBD Elizabeth Mrema, has described the conference as having the potential to be “a Paris moment for biodiversity”, in reference to the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The importance of a strong outcome from CoP15 cannot be overstated. Biodiversity – the diversity of life from the level of gene to the level of ecosystem – secures the health of all we value and need from nature; it is the bedrock of healthy societies and flourishing economies. Biodiversity is also an intimate part of the spiritual and cultural identity of Indigenous People and local communities across the world and has rights of its own. Yet, development continues as if biodiversity has no value at all. Biodiversity loss is accelerating and this is undermining human wellbeing and the economy globally. The need for effective collective action is becoming increasingly urgent as the cost of failing to act on protecting and restoring biodiversity now far outweighs the cost of action. Intact healthy ecosystems increase our resilience to and mitigation of climate change, while biodiversity loss compounds the impacts and vulnerability to climate change, and weakens our resilience.
“Biodiverse nature is our life support system and we continue to destroy it at our peril. The evidence from science and practice is very clear on that. That is why robust, ambitious, equitable and just targets must be agreed at CoP15. The moral and material imperative for this is incredibly strong.”
NbSI Director Professor Nathalie Seddon.