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World biodiversity: why is our future at stake in Geneva?

Two weeks dedicated to global biodiversity

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Three key meetings for global biodiversity began today in Geneva, Switzerland. These are the preparatory talks of COP 15 on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held at the end of the year in Kunming, China. An appointment that will determine the ambition of humanity in the protection of the planet, the biological heritage and its species.

The world is clearly eager to see urgent action to protect nature,” commented the executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, quoted in a statement. “We have no time to lose. We must reach together, at the end, a truly historic agreement that puts us on the path to living in harmony with nature,” she continued.

Why is the Swiss conference so important? Because it’s the first face-to-face since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the CBD negotiation process. It will also be the last before COP15. In other words, from now until 29 March, delegates will have to do their utmost to move the talks forward as far as possible and to define the next framework for action.

The meeting carries out the arduous task of preparing the ground for the final negotiations,” explains Li Shuo, Greenpeace’s senior political advisor for East Asia. “Countries should not only advance ambitious goals, but also accelerate the discussion on implementation and funding. Over the past two years, the world is anxiously expecting an agreement that will reverse the rampant destruction of biodiversity. The meeting in Geneva must show that this wait is still worth it”.

The schedule of meetings

In detail, in these two weeks the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 24), the Subsidiary Body on Implementation and the Group on the Global Framework for Biodiversity Post-2020 (WG2020-3) will meet.

SBSTTA-24 is to discuss a monitoring approach for the post-2020 framework on global biodiversity. This includes both marine and coastal animal and plant species, the relationship between biodiversity and agriculture, biodiversity and health, and invasive alien species. Also on the table are topics such as synthetic biology, risk assessment and management of living modified organisms and the work program of the intergovernmental scientific policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

SBI-3, on the other hand, will complete its work on key inputs for the post-2020 framework and will lay a solid foundation for its adoption and implementation following the resumption of COP-15. The agenda includes a commitment to mobilize and increase funding for biodiversity, better aligning investment with the needs of nature and people. And facilitating the disclosure of risks and impacts to nature.

The WG2020-3 meeting will focus on the action needed to achieve Vision 2050 of living in harmony with nature and on defining how performance will be monitored and reported. This includes addressing the five determinants of biodiversity loss: land and sea use change, unsustainable exploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.

Biodiversity is at the heart of our planet’s resilience to climate change. The latest IPCC report clearly highlights this“, added An Lambrechts, of Greenpeace International. “CBD COP15 urgently needs to take bold action to protect our ecosystems. We know that healthy ecosystems sustain all life on Earth. But policies will fail if they do not put indigenous peoples and local communities at the center of decision-making […] our best solution is to protect at least 30% of the earth and at least 30% of the oceans globally by 2030“.

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