The Biodiversity Conference of the United Nations (UN), known as COP15, was approved on Wednesday, at the end of its high-level session, the Kunming Declaration, by which participants commit to the implementation of mechanisms to strengthen the protection of biodiversity.
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The document takes its name from the Chinese city where COP15 is being held, the capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan.
Among the commitments included in the document is the strengthening of national environmental laws and their enforcement to protect biodiversity and the reform or elimination of subsidies and other incentives (to finance actions) that are harmful to biodiversity.
It also includes a pledge to increase actions to reduce the adverse effects of human activities on the ocean and implement an ecosystem-friendly strategy to address biodiversity loss.
The signatory countries, more than 190, also commit to restoring degraded ecosystems provided that such methods do not contradict priority actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions urgently.
The declaration states that these efforts aim to ensure that biodiversity is on the road to recovery by 2030 at the latest. The overall goal is “living in harmony with nature” by 2050, but no details were provided.
In a special mention of post-pandemic recovery, the signatories pledge that the recovery policies of their respective countries will contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
With the rate of loss of animal and plant species now the highest in ten million years, politicians, scientists, and experts have been trying to lay the groundwork for a new pact to save biodiversity.
The summit is being held until next Friday and virtually, is the first part of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity.
The second part is expected to be held in person in the same city between April 25 and May 8, 2022.