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COP15 Proves to Be Most Important UN Conference for Planet Earth

Article Published At:
Green Energy Times
Date of Publication:
January 27th, 2023

The UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in Montreal Reaches Landmark Agreement.

One of the most important conferences on the survival of life on Planet Earth was COP15 in Montreal in December, 2022. Representatives from 188 governments gathered in Montreal for two weeks and reached a landmark agreement to guide global action on nature through to 2030. Chaired by China and hosted by Canada, COP 15 resulted in the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) on December 19th 2022. The GBF aims to address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems and protect indigenous rights. The plan includes concrete measures to halt and reverse nature loss, including putting 30 per cent of the planet and 30 per cent of degraded ecosystems under protection by 2030. It also contains proposals to increase finance to developing countries for these purposes.

The broad context here is that there has been a 69% plunge in wildlife populations over the past 48 years. The global rate of species extinction is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million yrs.

Much of this accelerated loss has been caused by the destruction of natural habitats by humanity for commercial or agricultural uses; coupled to the increase in climate extremes linked to the relentless burning of the fossil fuels by “business as usual.”

A key agreement is to conserve 30% of the Earth, both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, by 2030 the end of this decade. The expansion of new protected areas will respect indigenous and traditional territories. The language emphasizes the importance of effective conservation management to ensure wetlands, rainforests, grasslands and coral reefs are properly protected, not just on paper. One critical step is the recognition that Indigenous rights are at the heart of conservation. Several scientific studies have shown that Indigenous peoples are the best stewards of nature, representing 5% of humanity but protecting 80% of Earth’s biodiversity. From Brazil to the Philippines, Indigenous peoples are still subjected to human rights abuses, violence and land grabs (after centuries of similar abuse). The language in the text is clear: Indigenous-led conservation models must become the norm this decade if we are to take real action on biodiversity.

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