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Why is COP15 key for the planet’s biodiversity?

25% of the species of animals and plants studied are threatened. This implies that at least one million species are in danger of extinction.

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Before the end of 2022 and after a long pause due to the pandemic, the 15th edition of the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity, also known as COP15, begins.

This year, representatives of countries from around the world will meet to set ambitious goals for the protection of the planet’s biodiversity from December 7 to 19 in Montreal, Canada. The main objective is to create a new Global Framework for Biological Diversity and guarantee, by 2050, the protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems.

According to a WWF report, although Latin America and the Caribbean are one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, there has been a decrease of up to 94%, between 1970 and 2018, of the monitored wild populations and there is an even greater loss in tropical areas. like the forests of the Amazon.

For more than 30 years, the objectives of this multilateral agreement have remained firm: conserve biodiversity, use its components sustainably and share its benefits fairly and equitably. However, over time, we have learned much more about the state of global biodiversity.

Among many other data, the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, published by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, a kind of IPCC of biodiversity) points out that:

Important points

  • 25% of the species of animals and plants studied are threatened. This implies that at least one million species are in danger of extinction.
  • 75% of the terrestrial surface, 66% of the oceanic surface and 85% of the wetland surface have suffered considerable alterations. Deforestation has slowed in the last decade, but millions of hectares of primary forest continue to be cleared each year (especially in the tropics).
  • Land degradation has reduced productivity on 23% of the global land surface and the loss of pollinators threatens up to $577 billion worth of annual crop production.
  • The rate of change in nature over the past 50 years is unprecedented in human history. The drivers of its degradation are, in order of importance, the change in land and sea use, the direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive species.
  • We need transformative changes in the economic, social, political and technological spheres to reverse this degradation and meet the nature conservation targets set for 2030.

What is COP15?

The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) is an international agreement entered into since 1992 and ratified by 196 countries, with the exception of the United States.

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Key issues of COP15

There are proposals for this event that will address infrastructure, agriculture, invasive species, pesticides, the role of business and government subsidies that harm the environment.

It will also seek to reach agreements on financing and the importance of protecting and restoring ecosystems that store large amounts of carbon such as forests, mangroves, coral reefs, peat bogs, among others.

Indigenous participation

The world’s indigenous population comprises some 476 million people who administer approximately 25% of the Earth, according to the UN. 

The COP15 global framework will also recognize the contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities as stewards of nature and the restoration and sustainable use of environmental resources. 

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