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15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to begin


15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to begin

Photo: CBD

The first phase of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will begin virtually today.

COP15 is a UN group that takes an expansive view of biological diversity and is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Specifically, COP15 will review the UN’s Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, a blueprint for future biodiversity conservation. The framework’s first draft, released in July, seeks to transform modern society’s relationship with biodiversity ensuring that “by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used.” Phase two of the conference will also take place in Kunming, China in April 2022.

Expect phase one of COP15 to produce a finalized Biodiversity Framework, including confirming 21 targets to be achieved by 2030 as checkpoints on the way to 2050. One likely target is to achieve protected status in 30 percent of global lands and oceans. Another is the reduction of $500 billion in annual subsidies to harmful industries, including fossil fuels those causing deforestation. Despite a framework, the convention’s 2010 conference failed to achieve its goals by the 2020 deadline. COP15 runs a similar risk if it does not provide financial assistance to achieve relevant targets, especially for those signatories that are developing countries.

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