The world congregated in Montréal for COP15, with representatives from 196 countries joining the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The goals were lofty, with nothing short of the preservation of the planet’s biodiversity on the line – and the results, impressive.
Late on December 19, in the last moments of the last day of the conference, there was an agreement by consensus of the historic Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework.
What does this ambitious agreement represent?
A promise from all signatories that the following targets will be reached, among others:
- That 30% of the land and water on Earth will be protected between now and 2030 (currently 17% are protected). Similarly, that 30% of the land and water ecosystems will be restored.
- That US$200 billion annually will be mobilized by the Global Environment Fund to assist less wealthy countries in their preservation initiatives between now and 2025, to then be raised to US$300 billion annually by 2030. (That’s triple what was allocated between 2010 and 2020.)
- That financial assistance for projects that are deemed harmful for the environment will be progressively lowered by minimum US$500 billion annually between now and 2030. These funds will be applied to projects that enhance biodiversity.
- That the risk related to pesticides and dangerous chemicals will be reduced by 50% between now and 2030.
- That indigenous peoples be recognized as the guardians of 80% of the world’s biodiversity. It was agreed that the implementation of the framework be done with their free, prior and informed consent and with respect for their traditional knowledge, values and worldview.
There are 23 points to the document, but let’s all agree – if all participating nations can align to execute even these five dictates, the world will be infinitely better for it.
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