States strike 'historic' deal at COP15 - Dispatch Weekly

December 19, 2022 - Reading time: 4 minutes

In a historic agreement to protect biodiversity, nations have pledged to protect a third of the earth by 2030.

Targets will be set for preserving indigenous peoples’ rights and important habitats like wetlands and rainforests.

The decision was made early on Monday morning during the COP15 UN summit on biodiversity in Montreal, Canada.

Due to Covid, the conference had been moved from China and delayed.

In spite of a last-minute protest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the agreement was formally ratified.

According to the UN Development Programme, the “historic accord” gave people all across the world optimism for significant advancements in halting biodiversity loss.

The key ideas are as follows:

* Upkeep, improvement, and restoration of ecosystems, especially stopping the extinction of species and preserving genetic variety;

* “Sustainable use” of biodiversity refers to preserving species and habitats so they can continue to provide critical services to people, such as food and clean water;

* Making sure that indigenous peoples’ rights are upheld and that the advantages of natural resources, particularly plant-based medicines, are distributed equally and fairly; and

* Ensuring that funds and conservation efforts are directed where they are most needed.

“It is truly a moment that will mark history as Paris did for climate,” Canada’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault told reporters. The Paris climate deal saw nations agreeing in 2015 to keep world temperature rise below 2C.

​​​It had been thought that the meeting in Montreal represented a “last chance” to restart nature. There was disagreement on the proposals’ viability and the degree of ambition throughout the discussions.

How to finance conservation efforts in the regions of the world that are home to some of the world’s most amazing biodiversity was a major issue of contention.

All of the Earth’s living organisms and how they are interconnected to form a sophisticated web of life that supports the planet are referred to as its biodiversity.

China published a revised version of the agreement’s language on Sunday.

After several hours of delays, delegates finally assembled the summit’s full session early on Monday morning, but they promptly agreed to the wording.

Despite the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s reservations, which stated that it could not support the pact, Minister Huang Runqui, president of COP 15, pronounced the agreement accepted.

According to Georgina Chandler, senior international policy advisor for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the agreement reached in Montreal should benefit both people and the environment.

“Now it’s done, governments, companies and communities need to figure out how they’ll help make these commitments a reality.”

​​​The agreement, according to Sue Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society, was a compromise that could have gone further “to truly transform our relationship with nature and stop our destruction of ecosystems, habitats, and species,” even though it contained a number of good and hard-won elements.

Following days of difficult negotiations, a deal was reached. Ministers delivered fervent statements on Saturday about the necessity of reaching consensus on specific objectives in order to put nature on a path to recovery by the end of the decade.

“Nature is our ship. We must ensure it stays afloat,” said EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius.

​​​Scientists have cautioned that people are putting the Earth beyond its acceptable limits by causing record rates of forest and grassland loss as well as ocean pollution.

Increased exposure to diseases such SARs CoV-2, Ebola, and HIV from wild animals is one consequence of this.

The topic of money has been a major problem. Some nations have been advocating for the establishment of a new fund to support the preservation of biodiversity, echoing the COP 27 climate summit in Egypt, but this has been rejected by others.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.