UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 Opened In Montreal
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was in Montréal on Tuesday to welcome delegates from around the world to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. As a global leader in conservation, Canada stepped up to be the host location for COP15 from December 7 to 19, 2022, and renew the call for ambitious action to protect nature.
In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister highlighted Canada’s commitment to ensuring COP15 is a success by working with international partners to reach an agreement on an ambitious Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The GBF would provide a collective roadmap that will guide worldwide efforts on biodiversity conservation until 2030.
In support of this goal, Prime Minister Trudeau today announced that Canada will provide a new contribution of $350 million to support developing countries – home to the vast majority of the world’s biodiversity – to advance conservation efforts. This funding will support the implementation of the future GBF. This is in addition to the more than $1 billion Canada has already pledged to support climate action projects that address the effects of climate change on biodiversity loss in developing countries.
Today’s new investment further positions Canada as a global leader in protecting nature. It is in addition to billions of dollars in historic investments we have made since 2016 to conserve nature and biodiversity here at home and around the world. By stepping up and bringing the world together in Montréal, we can stop biodiversity loss and build a healthy planet for future generations.
“When people think of Canada, they think of our landscapes and the richness of our nature – parts of who we are. Today, we welcome the world to Montréal to continue working together to make sure the planet we leave to our kids and grandkids has clean air, clean water, and an abundance of nature to enjoy,” said Trudeau.
The conference, taking place at Montreal’s Palais des congrès, is surrounded by numerous side events intended to draw public attention to conservation-related issues, including Indigenous rights and the sustainable and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from nature.
Overall, the meeting has been billed as the last best chance to put species and ecosystems on a path to recovery by mid-century. It is also seen as essential for reaching global climate goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement since those goals depend on a large fraction of the world’s carbon staying locked up in the natural environment.
The lack of progress places a greater burden on COP15 itself, during which negotiators will need to resolve numerous differences in order to reach an agreement by the time the conference ends on Dec. 19.
Among the issues debated by the working group are how countries should share in the benefits derived from nature, and how the rights of communities to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment should be recognized.
At a separate briefing, Guido Broekhoven, head of policy research and development for the environmental organization WWF International, said the wrangling on the wording around those issues meant that participants in the working group had little time for other fundamental questions, such as how much land and marine areas countries would agree to permanently set aside for the protection of nature.
Canada is among the countries that have committed to a target of setting aside 30 per cent of their territory by 2030, often referred to as “30 by 30.″ The target has yet to be specified in working drafts of the framework.
Another point of contention likely to challenge negotiators at the meeting falls under the category of “resource mobilization,” which includes the money public and private entities will need to spend to ensure that any agreement that emerges from COP15 can be implemented.