Convention on Biological Diversity COP15

This page covers the below sections:

  1. What is Biodiversity?
  2. What is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)?
  3. What is CBD COP15?
  4. 2050 Goals
  5. References

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What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity comes from the term biological diversity.  The Cambridge English dictionary defines biodiversity as “the number and types of plants and animals that exist in a particular area or the world generally.” (1)

Biodiversity encompasses all living things, from tiny microorganisms to huge mammals and everything in between; no matter how small, all species have an important role to play.

As well as the ecological value, biodiversity adds to cultural and economic value and increasingly, biodiversity and natural capital are recognised as integral to climate change in planning for a sustainable future and having an impact on business planning for net zero.

Although throughout Earth's history the climate has always changed, the rate of change is now significantly higher than it has been historically(2), and this has huge impacts on biodiversity and the ability for ecosystems and species to adapt.  The result of this is significant changes in the resources that human life depends on, such as the availability of food and water. 

Healthy ecosystems better withstand and recover from natural and anthropogenic disasters, which means that greater species diversity is more likely to lead to natural sustainability for all life forms.  This requires accounting fully for the impacts of our interactions with nature, and ensuring that our demands do not exceed sustainable levels of extraction.

What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a multilateral agreement that took effect from December 1993.  It has three main objectives(3):

  1. The conservation of biological diversity
  2. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  3. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of utilisation of genetic resources

The CBD has been responsible for developing various strategies and protocols, including the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The Aichi Biodiversity targets were a set of 20 targets to be achieved by 2020, that were designed to meet five strategic goals(4):

  1. Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
  2. Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
  3. Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.
  4. Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  5. Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

Now that the deadlines for meeting the Aichi Biodiversity targets have passed, a new plan is being developed to manage nature through to 2030; the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  This is expected to be developed and adopted at CBD COP15.

What is CBD COP15?

CBD COP15 stands for 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Due to the ongoing changing situation with COVID-19, COP15 was divided into two parts; the first took place virtually in October 2021, and the second will take place as face-to-face meetings in Montreal, Canada from 5 – 17 December 2022.

The COP15 Presidency is held by China, who is responsible for hosting the conferences.

In the opening statement for the first part of the conference, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the CBD stated, “If we are to meet the 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature, we must take actions this decade to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and put biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest.” (5)

The aim of the conference is to agree on measurable targets to be achieved by 2030, to align with long-term goals for 2050.  The first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been published, which outlines the suggested goals and targets.

2050 Goals

The first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework sets out 21 targets to be achieved by 2030, that are designed to meet four long-term goals for 2050(6):

  1. Goal A: The integrity of all ecosystems is enhanced, with an increase of at least 15 per cent in the area, connectivity and integrity of natural ecosystems, supporting healthy and resilient populations of all species, the rate of extinctions has been reduced at least tenfold, and the risk of species extinctions across all taxonomic and functional groups, is halved, and genetic diversity of wild and domesticated species is safeguarded, with at least 90 per cent of genetic diversity within all species maintained.
  2. Goal B: Nature’s contributions to people are valued, maintained or enhanced through conservation and sustainable use supporting the global development agenda for the benefit of all.
  3. Goal C: The benefits from the utilisation of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably, with a substantial increase in both monetary and non-monetary benefits shared, including for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
  4. Goal D: The gap between available financial and other means of implementation, and those necessary to achieve the 2050 Vision, is closed.

References

  1. Cambridge English Dictionary
  2. NASA Global Climate Change
  3. Convention on Biological Diversity
  4. CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  5. SCBD - ES Opening Statement
  6. First Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework