United Nations Summit Paves the way for the Approval of a Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework

The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) ended on Friday, with nearly 2,918 delegates in Kunming and 2,478 connecting digitally, paving the way for the approval of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the meeting’s resumption in spring 2022. 

The Kunming Declaration was adopted during the conference’s two-day High-Level Segment, which began with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement of the 1.5 billion yuan (about $233 million) Kunming Biodiversity Fund. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) committed to negotiating an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework that can bend the curve of biodiversity loss. 

The historic framework, which will be adopted at the UN Biodiversity Conference in May 2022 after more formal negotiations in January 2022, provides a clear political direction for those talks. 

The announcement by the Global Environment Facility, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme and the UN Environment Programme, that they will fast-track financial and technical support to developing country governments in order to prepare for the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework was one of the most significant initiatives and commitments made during the meeting. 

Furthermore, the European Union announced that external funding for biodiversity will be doubled, President Emmanuel Macron of France committed 30% of climate funds to biodiversity, the UK government announced that a significant portion of its increased climate funding will be directed towards biodiversity, the Japanese government announced a $17 million extension to its Japan Biodiversity Fund, and a coalition of financial institutions with assets totaling $12 trillion announced their support for biodiversity. 

China assumed the COP-15 Presidency, an interim integrated budget for the Convention, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing were all adopted, and the co-chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework presented a progress report. 

Many non-state actors attended the summit, ensuring that a diverse variety of parties were represented. 

President Xi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea, The Prince of Wales, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres were among the world leaders in attendance. 

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