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A major milestone for the conservation of nature

January 13, 2023

In the last days of 2022, nations of the world agreed on a historic package of measures deemed critical to addressing the dangerous loss of biodiversity and restoring natural ecosystems.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, reflecting the joint leadership of China and Canada, is the culmination of four years of work to create an agreement to guide global conservation efforts through 2030. Countries participating in the UN-backed COP15 biodiversity conference managed to reach consensus around the agreement’s most ambitious target of protecting 30% of the world’s lands and seas by the end of the decade, a goal known as 30 by 30.

The Framework, and its associated package of targets, goals and financing “represents but a first step in resetting our relationship with the natural world,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), speaking during the closing plenary. 

“Now is our chance to shore up and strengthen the web of life, so it can carry the full weight of generations to come,” she added. “Actions that we take for nature are actions to reduce poverty; they are actions to achieve the sustainable development goals; they are actions to improve human health.” 

Among the global targets for 2030:

  • Effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans, with emphasis on areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services. The GBF prioritizes ecologically-representative, well-connected and equitably-governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories and practices. Currently 17% and 10% of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas respectively are under protection.
  • Have restoration completed or underway on at least 30% of degraded terrestrial, inland waters, and coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Reduce to near zero the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance,including ecosystems of high ecological integrity
  • Cut global food waste in half and significantly reduce over consumption and waste generation
  • Reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals

Source: UN News