Hope for a revitalized treaty at COP15 on biodiversity

Hope for a revitalized treaty at COP15 on biodiversity

An air of hope for biodiversity blew up Saturday at COP15, where a compromise deal is emerging even as the funding issue remains unresolved.

“I am very confident that we can maintain our ambitions and reach an agreement,” Chinese Environment Minister Huang Runqiu, the president of COP15, told reporters on Saturday.

The ambition of this COP on Biodiversity is to seal a historic agreement on Biodiversity, similar to the Paris 2015 Climate Change, by 19 December.

In the absence of heads of state or government at this decade’s summit, ministers of the environment, critical to humanity and the planet, worked hard for the third and final day in a row.

The text is designed as a road map for the countries until 2030, when the last ten-year plan signed in Japan in 2010 failed to achieve any of its objectives, notably due to a lack of monitoring mechanisms.

One of the main objectives of the plan is to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030, halve the use of pesticides and restore millions of hectares of degraded land.

“We’ve made tremendous progress,” said Canada’s environment minister, Steven Guilfeld, who is hosting the summit.

However, many points are still being discussed in detail, especially with the countries of the South.

They fear too restrictive criteria that do not match their development needs or technical and financial resources.

– “We can’t wait any longer” –

Developing countries, home to much of the world’s biodiversity, believe that sharing the benefits of natural resources, an objective at the heart of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, is not taking place.

To enter into an ambitious deal, they are demanding $100 billion a year. A modeled amount of broken promises of international climate aid would be equivalent to multiplying current north-to-south exchanges in biodiversity by ten.

Therefore, Southern countries are still pushing for a new separate fund to deal with climate change, similar to the one the South received in November.

“I think we will get an agreement, the question is its quality: we need ambition in funding as well as in conservation goals,” commented Li Shuo, an adviser to Greenpeace.

Several tentative texts released on Saturday on key technical issues hinted at what the final deal could be.

One of the documents is about monitoring and control mechanisms to avoid repeating the failure of the previous agreement, and the other is about sharing with the South the advantage of biological resources that allow the production of medicines or cosmetics in rich countries. .

More than 3,100 researchers from 128 countries said in an open letter on Saturday that “there is a moral obligation” to halt biodiversity loss, alarmed by the stalling of talks.

“Acting now, decisively, can be achieved”, they said, “we owe it to ourselves and future generations – we cannot wait any longer”.

Time is running out: 70% of the world’s ecosystems have been degraded, largely due to human activity, and more than a million species are at risk of extinction on the planet.

Beyond the moral implications, experts say, the entire world’s prosperity is at stake: more than half of the world’s GDP depends on nature and its services.

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