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COP15 Biodiversity Summit

Context:

After four years of fractious talks, nearly 200 countries, including India, approved a historic Paris-style deal to protect and reverse dangerous loss to global biodiversity, following an intense final session of negotiations at the UN COP-15 summit in Canada.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key takeaways from the COP15 biodiversity summit
  2. About the Convention on Biological Diversity

Key takeaways from the COP15 biodiversity summit

Conservation, protection and restoration
  • Delegates committed to protecting 30% of land and 30% of coastal and marine areas by 2030, fulfilling the deal’s highest-profile goal, known as 30-by-30.
  • Indigenous and traditional territories will also count toward this goal, as many countries and campaigners pushed for during the talks.
  • The deal also aspires to restore 30% of degraded lands and waters throughout the decade, up from an earlier aim of 20%.
  • And the world will strive to prevent destroying intact landscapes and areas with a lot of species, bringing those losses “close to zero by 2030”.
Money for nature
  • Signatories aim to ensure $200 billion per year is channelled to conservation initiatives, from public and private sources.
  • Wealthier countries should contribute at least $20 billion of this every year by 2025, and at least $30 billion a year by 2030.
  • This appeared to be the Democratic Republic of Congo’s main source of objection to the package.
Big companies report impacts on biodiversity
  • Companies should analyse and report how their operations affect and are affected by biodiversity issues.
  • The parties agreed to large companies and financial institutions being subject to “requirements” to make disclosures regarding their operations, supply chains and portfolios.
  • This reporting is intended to progressively promote biodiversity, reduce the risks posed to business by the natural world, and encourage sustainable production.
Harmful subsidies
  • Countries committed to identify subsidies that deplete biodiversity by 2025, and then eliminate, phase out or reform them.
  • They agreed to slash those incentives by at least $500 billion a year by 2030, and increase incentives that are positive for conservation.
Pollution and pesticides
  • One of the deal’s more controversial targets sought to reduce the use of pesticides by up to two-thirds.
  • But the final language to emerge focuses on the risks associated with pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals instead, pledging to reduce those threats by “at least half”, and instead focusing on other forms of pest management.
  • Overall, the Kunming-Montreal agreement will focus on reducing the negative impacts of pollution to levels that are not considered harmful to nature, but the text provides no quantifiable target here.
Monitoring and reporting progress
  • All the agreed aims will be supported by processes to monitor progress in the future, in a bid to prevent this agreement meeting the same fate as similar targets that were agreed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, and never met.
  • National action plans will be set and reviewed, following a similar format used for greenhouse gas emissions under U.N.-led efforts to curb climate change.
  • Some observers objected to the lack of a deadline for countries to submit these plans.

About the Convention on Biological Diversity

  • Biodiversity conservation is a collective responsibility of all nations.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a step towards conserving biological diversity or biodiversity with the involvement of the entire world.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (a multilateral treaty) was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into effect in 1993.
  • The convention called upon all nations to take appropriate measures for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilisation of its benefits.
  • It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
  • The Convention is legally binding; countries that join it (‘Parties’) are obliged to implement its provisions.
  • 195 UN states and the European Union are parties to the convention.
  • All UN member states, with the exception of the United States, have ratified the treaty.
Three main goals:
  • conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);
  • sustainable use of its components; and
  • fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2023
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