MONTREAL, Canada, November 4 (IPS) – It’s no secret that past human actions have accelerated the degradation of ecosystems, negatively impacting economies, societies, our health and culture. It is estimated that humans have altered more than 97% of ecosystems worldwide, to date. One million species are currently threatened with extinction (IPBES). The writing on the wall is clear. Our planet is in crisis. It is a dire reality that if we continue on our current trajectory, biodiversity and the services it provides will continue to decline, jeopardizing the achievement of the Development Goals. Sustainability and our life as we know it. Biodiversity decline is expected to continue to accelerate unless effective action is taken to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss. These causes are often justified by social values, norms and behaviours. Some examples include unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, human population dynamics and trends, and patterns of technological innovation.
This is considered the decisive decade. This is because after this decade, as we move through 2030, the damage done to our planet will be irreparable. That didn’t give us much time but it still gave us a chance. This December in Montreal, Canada, we will have that opportunity. It may be our only chance. I cannot emphasize that enough. This December, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will bring together world leaders to tackle the biodiversity crisis at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15). . Truth be told, the outcome of COP 15 will determine the trajectory of humanity on planet Earth.
The ultimate goal of COP 15 is to provide a plan, a roadmap towards a sustainable future. We call it the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). The Framework is currently being negotiated by the Parties under the Convention on Biological Diversity and represents a historic opportunity to promote action on biodiversity at all levels. It aims to build on the results of the 2011-2020 Biodiversity Strategic Plan and the Aichi Biodiversity Goals and achieve the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature. The draft framework, if adopted and implemented, would put biodiversity on the path to recovery before the end of the decade.
Why is GBF adopted and implemented so important? Because 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs (WWF United Kingdom). Because we’ve lost half of the world’s coral and we’ve lost an area of forest the size of 27 football fields per minute (WWF LPR). Because an estimated 4 billion people mainly rely on natural medicines for their health care and about 70% of drugs used for cancer are natural or synthetic inspired products. from nature (IPBES). Because Ecosystem-based (biodiversity) approaches can provide up to 30% of climate mitigation needed by 2030. Because wildlife populations are monitored, including including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, have decreased by an average of 69% since 1970 (WWF LPR). I can go and come back.
Some of the main goals in the draft framework include:
- o Ensure that at least 30% of land and sea areas globally are protected. o Prevent or reduce by 50% the rate of introduction and establishment of invasive alien organisms. o Reduce at least half of nutrients lost to the environment, at least 2/3 of pesticides and eliminate plastic waste. o Use ecosystem-based approaches to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and ensure that all climate efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity learn. o Redirect, reposition, reform, or eliminate incentives harmful to biodiversity in a fair and equitable manner, reducing them by at least $500 billion annually. o Increase financing from all sources to at least $200 billion per year, including new, complementary, and productive sources of finance, increase at least $10 billion annually in international financial flows to developing countries .
The post-2020 global biodiversity framework is not only important, but very important. It will require a whole society and whole government approach, and will require hard work and commitment; but we can do it. We need to act now to bend the curve to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. COP 15 will be the most important and decisive step towards a better and more sustainable future for future generations. This is our chance. It’s time to decide on a future.
Elizabeth Maruma Mremaa citizen of the United Nations Republic of Tanzania, who is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
IPS UN Office
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