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United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15)

United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15)


Ana María Pujante Mora

The United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15), called the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”, was held in Montreal from December 7 to 19, 2022. At the conference, 195 countries agreed on joint global action for nature with the aim of halting the loss of biodiversity caused by humans.

In addition to the goals and targets to be developed, the agreement includes a commitment to financing, national and international, public and private. Financing for countries with fewer resources is a key issue for achieving the COP15 goals and targets.

Measures adopted in the past to combat biodiversity loss have not been effective. In 2010, COP10 was held in Nagoya (Japan), where governments committed to meet the so-called Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020. To this end, 5 strategic objectives and 20 targets were established to halt the loss of biological diversity:

  • Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society. Targets 1 to 4.
  • Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use. Targets 5 to 10.
  • Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. Targets 11 to 13.
  • Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services. Targets 14 to 16.
  • Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building. Targets 17 to 20.

The analysis of the results obtained, published in the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, indicates that the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have had a low level of compliance, making it crucial that the commitments made at the Montreal Conference are implemented by 2030.

To move towards the sustainability of the planet and achieve a readjustment of the relationship between humans and nature, it is necessary to make a series of transitions in specific domains and spheres of human activities, as shown in the following figure:

Transitions in eight aspects of the interface between human activity, human well-being and nature and the linkages between them (Source: Global Biodiversity Outlook Report 5).

COP15 has set four goals and 23 targets, which can be summarised as follows:

  • Protection of at least 30% of the world’s land, inland waters, coastal zones and oceans.
  • Fully restore (or be in the process of restoring) 30% of the world’s degraded terrestrial, inland and coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Halve global food waste and significantly reduce overconsumption and waste generation.
  • Halve both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals.
  • Eliminate or phase out or reform biodiversity-damaging subsidies by at least $500 billion each year by 2030.
  • Mobilize at least $200 billion per year by 2030 in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from public and private sources.
  • Increase international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least $20 billion per year by 2025 and to $30 billion per year by 2030.
  • Prevent the introduction of priority invasive alien species and reduce by at least half the introduction and establishment of new invasive alien species. And eradicate or control them on islands and other priority sites.

Biodiversity loss must be halted, more than a million species are threatened with extinction if the measures adopted at COP15 are not implemented promptly.