Landmark deal to protect 30% of earth achieved at COP15

Almost 200 nations have reached an agreement to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 at UN biodiversity summit COP15. 

The historic deal was reached in the early hours of this morning after China is said to have pushed it through despite some objections by African nations.  

The Global Biodiversity Framework which has been adopted will see nations work together to halt biodiversity loss by maintaining and restoring ecosystems. 

Governments have also agreed to reform subsidies for activities which devastate land and compromise nature, as the global annual spend on this currently reaches £1.8 trillion.  

selective focus photography of walking brown tiger beside plants

The agreement also requires nations to ensure companies report on how they impact biodiversity and take action to limit this, so essential services nature provides to humanity can continue.  

Senior International Policy Officer for RSPB, Georgina Chandler, tweeted her reaction to the news. She wrote: ‘I am too exhausted to tweet about the outcomes of #COP15 other than to say we have a new Global Biodiversity Framework. Its not perfect by any means – but my goodness if we achieved our commitments globally by 2030 – imagine what the world might be like?’  

Stakes were high for delegates, as COP15 was called our ‘best and last chance’ to protect species and nature, with recent WWF research finding wildlife populations have dropped 69% since 1970. 

Progress was made with digital biopiracy, as nations have agreed that biological resources, like medicines from plants, should be shared equally and fairly. In the past, resources have been taken from poorer countries or marginalised people without official sanction. 

Indigenous people have also been considered throughout COP15 and are mentioned 18 times in the text, showing how vital Indigenous-led conservation is to biodiversity targets.  

However, there has been disappointment from some that the plans to protect nature do not go far enough, with weak language on pesticides and overconsumption, both huge drivers of biodiversity loss.  

The 30 x 30 target, a key discussion point throughout the conference, has also been altered, so it’s no longer aimed at protecting 30% of land and 30% of sea, but 30% overall.  

Sue Lieberman, Vice President of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said the agreement had ‘really positive elements’ but delegates could have done more to ‘truly transform our relationship with nature and stop our destruction of ecosystems, habitats and species.’  

Photo by Zulnureen Shariff


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