MONTREAL ( Associated Press) – Negotiators at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference reached a historic agreement early Monday that would mark the most important effort yet to protect land and oceans and provide vital funding to develop the world’s biodiversity. Will get it done
The global framework was agreed upon a day before the scheduled end of the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity, or COP15, in Montreal. China, which presides over the summit, released a draft earlier in the day that gave the sometimes heated talks a much-needed boost.
The most important part of the agreement was the commitment to protect 30% of the land and water considered important for biodiversity by 2030. Currently 17% land and 10% marine area are protected.
“There has never been global conservation on this scale,” Brian O’Donnell, director of the conservation group Campaign for Nature, told reporters. “It gives us a chance to avoid a biodiversity collapse (…) We are now at a scale that scientists believe can make a difference to biodiversity.”
The text also calls for mobilizing $200 billion in biodiversity funding from various sources by 2030 and work on eliminating or reforming subsidies that could provide $500 billion for nature.
As part of the financing item, the agreement envisages increasing at least $20,000 million annually to poor countries through 2025, almost double the current amount. By 2030, this number will grow to $30 billion annually.
Some activists want tougher language on subsidies that have made fuel and food cheaper in many parts of the world. The document calls only for 2025 to identify subsidies that can be reformed or withdrawn and work to reduce them by 2030.
“The new text is a mixed bag,” said Andrew Deutz, director of global policy, institutions and conservation finance at The Nature Conservancy. “It includes some strong indications of finance and biodiversity, but it fails to move beyond the targets of 10 years ago in terms of addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss in productive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure And so it’s still at risk. It’s still at risk. Really transformative.”
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