The fourth meeting of the open-ended working group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework has ended in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with a pledge to fast-track agreement on a new decades-long deal to re-energize the conservation of iconic species.
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Delegates who attended the June 21-26 forum, convened by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), vowed to speed up the establishment of a landmark framework to guide enhanced protection of habitats amid mounting threats.
CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said the spirit of consensus combined with political commitment will be key to developing an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
"I call upon the Parties in the next months to vigorously engage with the text, to listen to each other and seek consensus, and to prepare the final text for adoption," she said.
More than 1,000 in-person and virtual participants, including policymakers, representatives of multilateral agencies, industry, academia, and civil society, attended the six-day meeting to negotiate a framework to guide the future conservation of natural habitats.
The refined post-2020 global biodiversity framework is expected to be adopted at the second and final edition of the 15th conference of parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting, slated for Dec. 5-17 in Montreal, Canada.
During the Nairobi meeting, delegates agreed on the broader objectives of the envisaged global pact to revitalize species conservation as a means to attain sustainable development.
Other topics discussed at the meeting included resource mobilization to hasten the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and strengthening the role of women, youth, and indigenous people in the protection of habitats.
The delegates agreed on the need to entrench benefit-sharing, digital mapping of genetic resources, and a rights and people-centered approach to conserving biodiversity hotspots that sustain livelihoods.
Mrema said she was optimistic a new roadmap for conserving species is in sight, adding that it will transform livelihoods at the grassroots level besides enhancing climate resilience. Francis Ogwal, a co-chair of the open-ended working group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, said negotiators will refine the draft text to ensure it captures the interests and aspirations of all stakeholders before its adoption in December.
A landmark pact to re-invigorate the conservation of habitats is long overdue in the light of existential threats fueled by climate change, poor land-use practices, invasive species, and pollution, Ogwal said.
Basile van Havre, another co-chair of the working group, said the Nairobi meeting covered a significant milestone in attempts to come up with a new vision for saving planetary resources.