Commitment to Biodiversity Fosters Optimism for ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’

The Kunming Declaration, adopted at the end of the current High-Level Segment of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, urges States Parties to prioritize biodiversity protection in decision-making and recognize the relevance of conservation in defending human health. 

The Segment began on Monday, ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15, next year, and resulted in the establishment of the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, with President Xi Jinping of China offering roughly $230 billion to establish the Fund and support biodiversity in impoverished countries. 

The Japanese government has recently announced a $17 billion increase in the Japan Biodiversity Fund. 

Signatory countries will seek to fully realize the 2050 Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature,” ensuring that post-pandemic recovery policies, programmes, and strategies contribute to biodiversity conservation and promote inclusive development. 

The agreement recognizes the full and effective participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in assisting to monitor and analyse progress by phasing out and diverting detrimental subsidies. 

The Global Environment Facility, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), announced their commitment to providing immediate financial and technical assistance to developing countries in order to prepare for the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework once it is formally agreed next year at COP15. 

According to a news statement from the Convention Secretariat, the European Union recognized the doubling of external money for biodiversity, while France’s President Macron emphasised “the pledge for 30% of climate monies to be utilised for biodiversity.” 

The United Kingdom also declared that biodiversity will receive a large portion of its increased climate funding. 

In addition, a group of financial institutions with a combined asset value of 12 trillion euros has pledged to use their activities and investments to safeguard and restore biodiversity. 

Following more official negotiations in January of next year, countries are anticipated to ratify the proposed global biodiversity framework in May 2022. 

Three meetings of the UN Biodiversity Conference are taking place at the same time. 

Meetings of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on access and sharing of genetic resources are taking place in conjunction with COP15. 

The conference is split into two parts. The current section runs till Friday, after which in-person meetings will be held in Kunming from April 25 to May 8, 2022.