Montreal, December 20 (IPS) – In a landmark agreement, all parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) adopted a draft Global Framework for Biological Diversity. (GBF) to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030.
Led by China and facilitated by the CBD, the conference participants adopted the draft very late on Sunday evening, after 12 days of intense negotiations on 23 goals, which together form the framework that protects biodiversity until 2030.
GBF old versus new
When the COP15 negotiations began on December 7, the GBF had 22 objectives. However, on December 19, the last day of the COP, 23 goals in the document were adopted. There aren’t any new additions, but Target 19 – focusing on finance – has been split into two targets: Target 19 and Target 20. Therefore, Target 20 is Target 21, Target 21 is Target 22 and Target 22 is now Target 23.
The adopted document looks neater and shorter than the version presented to the parties on December 7. However, the new version – presented by China on Saturday and approved by all parties then – reviewed the entire text important.
For example, on Goal 3 – considered by many to be the lifeblood of the GBF and equivalent to the COP climate change goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees – the old text is long and somewhat vague, with too much detail but no signs of action.
Under Target 19.1, which focuses on resource mobilization, the draft framework proposes to increase financial resources gradually and annually from all sources to reach at least $200 billion by 2030.
The framework adopted has simpler but more detailed language: “Raise international financial flows from developed countries to developing countries… to at least US$20 billion annually by 2025 and at least at least US$30 billion per year by 2030.”
In Goal 22, the draft version reads: “Ensure women and girls have equitable access to and benefit from the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as participation in their effective and informed stakeholders at all levels of policy and decision-making related to biodiversity.”
The adopted version of this goal has richer language and is more action-oriented: “Ensure gender equality in the implementation of the framework through a gender-responsible approach in which all women and girls have equal opportunity and capacity to contribute to the three goals of the Convention, including the recognition of their equal rights and access to land and natural resources and participation and their full, equitable, meaningful and informed leadership at all levels of biodiversity-related action, engagement, policy and decision-making.”
In addition to the GBF, the parties at COP15 adopted a series of related agreements on the implementation of the framework, including planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation; Mobilizing resources; help countries build capacity to meet obligations; and genomic sequence information.
For example, digital sequence information on genetic resources – a key theme at COP15 – has a wide range of commercial and non-commercial applications, including pharmaceutical product development, improved plant breeding, and classification. and monitor invasive species.
COP15 delegates agreed to establish a multilateral fund to equitably share benefits between DSI providers and users in the GBF.
Another important decision was the establishment of a specific fund for biodiversity within the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – the focal point for receiving, channeling and distributing all environmental protection funds around the world. gender. In response to the decision, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and President of the GEF, called the GBF an important breakthrough and supported the establishment of the fund.
“Mobilizing resources has been a central theme in Montreal over the past two weeks, both to strike an ambitious deal and to ensure it gets done. I am therefore honored and extremely pleased that the Conference of the Parties requested the GEF to establish a Global Biodiversity Fund as soon as possible, to supplement existing support and to scale up funding. key to ensure timely implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework,” said Rodriguez in a press release.
A good compromise
Jennifer Corpuz of the Forum for Indigenous Peoples for Biodiversity (IPFB), an organization comprising more than 10,000 indigenous organizations around the world, has lobbied vigorously to ensure the mainstreaming of people’s rights. native in the GBF, called the adopted document, a “good compromise” and “a good start.”
According to Corpuz, the GBF – now known as the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework,” has strong language for all its goals related to indigenous peoples and local communities. The language is powerful, especially in the areas of spatial planning (Goal 1), area-based conservation (Goal 3), customary sustainable use (Goals 5 and 9), traditional knowledge (Goal C, Goals 13 and 21), and participation in and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to land, territory, and resources (Goal 22) .
“The framework should be celebrated as a historic step towards changing the way we approach biodiversity conservation. The document provides a solid basis for countries to join hands with indigenous peoples in addressing the biodiversity crisis and to ensure that the negative legacy of conservation on indigenous peoples is engraved. restore,” Corpuz told IPS.
Basile Van Havre, co-chair of the framework, seems to agree with Corpuz. Responding to a question about the implications and connotations of different terms such as “fair governance” in the GBF, Havre told IPS, “it will help local governments create a mechanism to work together with different segments of the population, especially indigenous peoples. “
Regarding the adoption of the gender target (Goal 23) and the adoption of the Gender Action Plan, the CBD Women’s Caucus expresses gratitude to the various parties for their support. A group of women also danced jubilantly – an expression of their joy and relief after years of persuading gender as an independent goal within the GBF.
Next steps and challenges ahead
According to experts, the success of GBF depends heavily on two factors: 1) Adoption and operation of GBF indicators in line with each objective and 2) Creating a rapid mechanism for relevant decisions to a multilateral system.
For example, under the new GBF, finance for biodiversity will come from rich and developed countries as well as private investors. However, the roadmap and mechanism for these has yet to be decided, and the sooner these are implemented, the better for all parties to start implementing the framework.
According to Francis Ogwal, CBD co-chair of GBF, much will also depend on how quickly countries can revise their existing National Biodiversity Action Plans to find ways to deliver new decision under the GBF.
Others also warn that if countries cannot make the necessary policy changes, the GBF risks failure.
“The agreement represents an important milestone towards conserving our natural world and biodiversity has never been so high on the political and business agenda, but it has could be ruined by slow implementation and failure to mobilize the promised resources. Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, warned: “Governments have chosen the right side of history in Montreal, but history will judge us all if we fail to deliver on our promise today.”
The agreement also obliges countries to monitor and report on a large set of “headlines” and other indicators related to progress toward the GBF goals and objectives every five years or so. than. Key indicators include the percentage of land and sea that are effectively conserved, the number of companies disclosing their impact and dependence on biodiversity, and many others.
CBD will combine country information submitted at the end of February 2026 and end of June 2029 into global trend and progress reports.
Report of the UN IPS Office
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