Rahul Somvanshi

Why COP15 Matters For All Life On Earth

Climate, COP15, Environment, News, UN, World

The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) -a key UN summit to halt nature loss- begins in Montreal today.  COP15 is the 15th Conference of Parties(COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)- a climate pact signed by150 nation’s at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It will essential to know why COP15 matters for all life on Earth.

It’s main objectives are: 

1.To conserve biological diversity 

2. Promote sustainable use of the components of biological diversity

3. Ensure fair & equitable sharing of benefits arising out of utilization of resources

196 nations have ratified CBD – the United States being the only major nation to have not ratified it. 10,000 delegates will attend the two – week-long summit in Montreal-including US govt representatives.

Why is it important?

The world’s last set of nature targets- the Aichi Targets- expired in 2020, leaving the world with  no global agreement to preserve biodiversity at the time when global biodiversity losses are soaring. 69% in global wildlife populations was reported by the Living Planet Report 2022 showing “devastating” losses of wildlife in the past 50 years.

The report , published by WWF , revealed a region-wise wildlife loss of : 

1. 20 % – North America,

2. – 94% -Latin America & the Caribbean,

3. -66%_Africa,

4. -55% – Asia & the Pacific 

5. -18 %_  Europe , Central Asia

On brink of Mass Extinction

In 2020, scientists sounded an alarm on the ongoing sixth mass extinction, which can lead to a complete collapse of humanity ‘s life support systems.

Percent of species threatened  are as follows:
  1. 41% Amphibia (frogs,salamanders)
  2. 13%Aves (birds)
  3. 37%Chondrichthyes (sharks,rays)
  4. 27%Mammalia (mammals)
  5. 17% Actinopterygil  (bony fish)
  6. 21%Reptilia ( reptiles)
  7. 28% of all vertebrates are threatened with extinction

What it hopes to deliver

Its  main objective is to adopt an ambitious global biodiversity framework. There are 22 targets that  countries will implement under the framework. Some of the contentious issues to be negotiated are :

  1. Establish target to protect 30% of land & sea areas by 2030,
  2. Review & monitoring of implementation
  3. How funding would be mobilised for developing nations .

Among the many issues to be negotiated at COP15 will be infrastructure, agriculture, invasive species, pesticides, the role of business profits, and government subsidies that harm the environment. The UN Secretary General has summed up in one sentence “Humanity has become  a weapon of mass extinction.”

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