Recently, the UN secretary-general addressed the opening ceremony of the 15th session of the UN biodiversity conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. He urged the participants to take a final call on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

 

Details

  • The UN secretary-general (UNSG – Antonio Guterres) urged the countries to deliver an ambitious deal – a peace pact with nature, for a better, greener, bluer and more sustainable world.
  • The countries’ negotiators at the 2nd phase of the COP 15 will brainstorm on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, actions that could help in stopping biodiversity loss.
  • Access and benefit sharing is one of the goals of the framework that would work on the premise that the biotech, pharmaceutical and other industries that use biodiversity must share the benefits equitably with communities.
  • Besides raising critical issues of finance to address challenges posed by the biodiversity loss, India along with over 100 other countries will push for a global goal to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 – ‘30×30 Target.’
  • At the opening of the 15th session UNSG stated that with our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction.
  • He stated that multinational corporations are filling their bank accounts while depleting the world’s natural resources, creating an estimated $3 trillion annual loss by 2030.
  • As a result, the world requires nothing less than a bold post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework from this meeting.

 

Background of CBD

  • To arrest the alarming rate of species extinction caused by human activities, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on Biological Diversity in 1988 to explore the need for an international CBD.
  • In 1992, the Ad Hoc Working Group culminated its work with the Nairobi Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the CBD.
  • The Convention was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio “Earth Summit”) and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
  • It was inspired by the world community’s growing commitment to sustainable development.
  • Main objectives —
      • The conservation of biological diversity.
      • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
      • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
  • Conference of the Parties (COP) —
      • It is the governing body of the Convention and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.
      • The first session of the COP was held in 1994 in the Bahamas and to date the COP has held 14 ordinary meetings and one extraordinary meeting (to adopt the Biosafety/Cartagena Protocol).
      • The COP 15 will be held in Kunming (virtual), China and Montreal (in person), Canada, in two phases.
  • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the CBD — It is an international agreement (adopted in 2000 and entered into force in 2003) which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology. They may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.
  • The Nagoya Protocol to the CBD (on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation) — It is an international agreement (entered into force in 2014) which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.