Finally, after two long years of waiting, the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in Montréal, Canada, under China’s chairmanship, from 7-19 December. The event will bring together thousands of delegates from around the world, as well as representatives of the 196 parties to the CBD, with the aim of discussing, negotiating, and taking global action for the protection of nature.
Nowadays, it is critical to recognize that biodiversity is the cornerstone of the world’s ecosystems. Conserving and sustainably using biodiversity is a way of preserving the stability of the ecosystems from which we derive essential services for our human development.
However, in recent years, this biodiversity has been declining at an alarming rate. The pressure we are placing on the environment is producing a major crisis in nature, which in turn is deteriorating our capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As evidenced by the latest “Living Planet Report 2022” published by the WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF), since 1970 the world has lost 69% of its wildlife population. And yet, we are still unable to meet the environmental commitments ratified in the Paris Agreement and the 20 Aichi Targets.
In this emergency context, COP15 offers a historic chance for world leaders to adopt a forceful Global Framework on Biodiversity that will guide immediate action for a nature-friendly future. This event is the perfect occasion to strengthen the post-2020 framework’s goals with more clearly specified and time-bound objectives, as well as more direct actions to combat biodiversity loss at the global level. It is necessary that the parties focus on finding solutions that promote conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity, adequate means of implementation, and equitable benefit-sharing. In short, the adoption of a comprehensive and equitable framework that is matched by the resources, both technical and financial, required for its implementation. This being the situation we find ourselves in today, it must be clear the urgency of addressing this challenge immediately with new approaches and solutions at distinct scales, as well as with full collaboration between the different actors in the public-private sphere. COP15 may be our last chance to turn talk into action and thus move towards a more sustainable future in which both people and nature can thrive.