Posted on 03 September 2021
Securing a nature-positive world requires both effective and increased conservation action and action on the drivers of nature loss, most notably our unsustainable food, agriculture and fisheries systems. WWF emphasizes the importance of the inclusion of a 2030 milestone to half the footprint of production and consumption.
GENEVA, Switzerland (3 September 2021)
As two weeks of UN talks conclude, WWF voices its deep concern over the lack of ambition and urgency displayed by governments negotiating a once-in-a-decade global biodiversity agreement.
The third session of the Open-Ended Working Group, taking place virtually from 23 August – 3 September, was an opportunity for countries to resolve sticking points in the first draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
. However, while some progress was made, major unresolved issues remain.
With only one short negotiation window left in January 2022 before the draft agreement arrives in Kunming, China, for adoption at the second segment of COP15, WWF stresses that time is running out for the world to secure an ambitious agreement that can reverse the loss of nature by 2030.
Li Lin, Director of Global Policy and Advocacy at WWF International, said:
“These talks have allowed countries to find common ground in new areas, but all of this could still be undone at the next round of negotiations. WWF is extremely concerned with how much still needs to be done if the world is to secure a biodiversity agreement that is as ambitious and comprehensive as the Paris Agreement on climate change. Frankly, we are running out of time.
“The nature crisis is already impacting lives and livelihoods, but the pace of negotiations is pedestrian. We need world leaders to translate ambitious commitments to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 into urgency in the negotiations room. It’s not too late to secure a nature-positive world, but we need leaders to step up and send a clear signal of intent in October through the Kunming Declaration.”
WWF notes that the final UN agreement will only be successful if it contains a complete package. The current financial gap to implement a new agreement is estimated at least 700bn USD per year which must be urgently addressed.
“The reality is that all financing, from all sources - domestic, international development assistance, private and public sources - will have to be massively scaled up,” said Guido Broekhoven, Head of Policy, Research and Development at WWF-International.
“At the same time, all the investments from biodiversity-harmful public subsidy policies, estimated by the OECD to be at least 500bn USD per year globally, need to be eliminated or redirected.”
The Convention on Biological Diversity draft framework from July included a target of $10 billion from donors to help developing countries. “Developed countries, which have been for the most part active proponents of ambitious conservation targets, ultimately must take the lead in ensuring that adequate attention is given to bridging the gap on financing,” said Broekhoven.
Human activities are driving a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, with wildlife populations declining by two-thirds globally
since 1970. Action to reverse biodiversity loss is essential to reducing the risk of future pandemics
, fight climate change, and protect livelihoods.
WWF and many other organizations are supporting the adoption of a global goal of reversing biodiversity loss to secure a nature-positive world by 2030. The talks reveal growing support among countries for a 2030 nature-positive goal to be integrated in the final agreement.
With 89 world leaders having committed
to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for sustainable development and securing an ambitious and transformational agreement in Kunming, this ambition needs to be more strongly reflected in the negotiation rooms.
Securing a nature-positive world requires both effective and increased conservation action and action on the drivers of nature loss, most notably our unsustainable food, agriculture and fisheries systems. WWF emphasizes the importance
of the inclusion of a 2030 milestone to half the footprint of production and consumption.
“It is essential that a complete package arrives in Kunming next year that is ready to be put into action immediately after its adoption,” said Broekhoven. “We also need clear mechanisms to make sure the framework is owned, and implemented, by the whole of society. Governments must use the remaining time well to deliver an ambitious agreement for people and the planet.”
The two week session also saw several countries push to remove the 2030 milestones contained in the draft agreement. In WWF’s view, these are necessary to ensure that progress at achieving goals is tracked and measured; and are essential given that many countries are positioning the framework’s 2050 goal as “aspirational only” - meaning that progress towards achieving them will not be measured.
Broekhoven added: “Ambitious biodiversity targets are useless if we don’t actually define and measure their impact on biodiversity. It is critical that the final agreement contains clear 2030 milestones, and a ratchet mechanism* to ensure all countries are doing all they can to reach those milestones.”
Notes to Editors
In August, it was announced
that the fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, is to be split into two parts, the first taking place in October, with the publication of the Kunming Declaration expected, and the second taking place in April-May next year and featuring concluding negotiations and adoption of the final agreement.
* A ratchet mechanism would encourage parties to increase and speed up action if progress appeared insufficient to achieve the 2030 milestones.