The international community faces a “moment of truth” in the protection of nature, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, warned on Monday at the inauguration of the COP15 on biodiversity.
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity was launched from Kunming, China, and was attended by representatives of the Chinese government, the CBD and some delegations. It also takes place online.
COP15 was divided into two parts, the first was held until October 15. The second part is scheduled from April 25 to May 8, 2022 in person in Kunming, southwest China, for all the delegations of the 196 members of the CBD. This format was chosen after several postponements due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
“While there have been successes and advances, there has not been the progress necessary to stop the current loss of plant and animal diversity on Earth,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema from China.
“We are facing our moment of truth. If we want to achieve the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature, we must act in this decade to stop and reverse the loss of biodiversity,” he warned.
A text presented in July, which serves as the basis for the discussions, includes four main goals for 2050, with ten milestones for 2030 and 21 targets.
The objectives aim to “ensure that at least 30% of land and marine areas … are conserved through protected area systems and other effective conservation measures” or limit agricultural or plastic pollution.
They also include a financial component and measures to monitor State commitments.
China, which officially assumed the presidency of COP15 on Monday, will present a text, the Kunming Declaration, that will set the tone for its environmental ambitions.
“China has established a red line on ecological protection and is adhering to it,” said Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, with 25% of its territory out of the reach of developers.
China published a document a few days ago presenting its priorities in terms of nature protection, acclaimed by the US NGO WCS.
“Cooperation and multilateral commitments, such as those to be made at COP15 and next month’s conference on climate change (COP26 in Glasgow) are necessary to await the goal of + living in harmony with nature +”, emphasizes WCS .
More critically, the Avaaz movement believes that the success of the negotiations requires “a continuous and proactive commitment from China in the process, until the hammer blow that will close COP15 next year”, while participants were concerned about the discretion shown. up to now. by the Chinese delegation.
“We need China to be clear about its own ambitions,” adds Avaaz.
Beijing will host an online summit on October 12-13, with speeches by heads of state and government and ministers.
The European Union said in a statement that it will defend an “ambitious framework, with measurable and time-bound goals, with milestones and targets for all global ecosystems to be restored, resilient and adequately protected. By 2050,” the protection “of at least 30% of the land and oceans by 2030 “, control and financing processes.
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