The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Montreal, Canada, has resulted in a new global deal for nature and people. This agreement, known as the Kunming Declaration, was adopted by all 196 Parties to the CBD and sets out a new vision for protecting and conserving nature, while also addressing the needs of people and communities.
The Kunming Declaration recognizes the urgent need to address the ongoing loss of biodiversity and the escalating climate crisis. It acknowledges that nature is essential for human well-being and that the continued loss of biodiversity is undermining the ability of ecosystems to provide essential services, such as clean air and water, food, and medicine.
The Declaration sets out a new framework for action, which includes a set of ambitious goals and targets for protecting and conserving nature, as well as measures to address the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss. It also calls for greater investment in conservation and restoration efforts, as well as efforts to strengthen the participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in conservation efforts.
One of the key aspects of the Kunming Declaration is the emphasis on high ambition. This means that nations must continue to push for ambitious goals and targets in order to effectively protect and conserve nature. This is particularly important given the current state of the planet, which is facing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity and an escalating climate crisis.
Another important aspect of the Declaration is the focus on delivery. This means that the agreement must be translated into action on the ground in order to have a real impact. This will require the cooperation and collaboration of governments, organizations, and individuals at all levels. The Declaration also calls for increased financial resources to be mobilized to support conservation efforts, recognizing the important role that the private sector and civil society can play in this regard.
The United Kingdom and other nations of the United Nations must play a key role in this effort by working together to deliver on the commitments made at COP15. This will involve a wide range of actions, including implementing policies and regulations that protect nature, investing in conservation and restoration projects, and raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity.
The Declaration also highlights the need for transformative change, which means that it is not only about protecting and conserving nature but also about changing the way we live and do business. This requires a shift in policies, institutions and systems to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making. It also means engaging with local communities and indigenous peoples as key partners, recognizing their knowledge and rights.
The Kunming Declaration is a historic agreement that sets out a new vision for protecting and conserving nature, while also addressing the needs of people and communities. It is a call to action for all nations to work together to protect and conserve the Earth's biodiversity, and it is an important step forward in the effort to address the pressing environmental challenges of our time.