Colombia extends invitation to COP15 preparatory meeting
At the invitation of Colombian President Iván Duque, Environment State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth attended a high-level meeting to prepare for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The state of biodiversity continues to deteriorate drastically: the rate of species extinction today is several times higher than the average over the last ten million years. To reverse this trend, the parties to the international Convention on Biological Diversity are currently negotiating a new global framework for the conservation and sustainable use of species and ecosystems and for the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. To lend the negotiations more weight, the Colombian President invited heads of state and government, ministers and high-ranking representatives of international organisations and civil society to this event. To date, Germany has on its own supported 300 biodiversity projects worldwide with around 1.3 billion euros.
State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth commented: "The need to create a new global framework for biodiversity conservation is more urgent than ever before. Our goal must be to stop the loss of biodiversity within the next ten years. We have destroyed nature for centuries, it is now time to begin a decade of restoration. To achieve this goal we need the combined forces of policymakers and civil society. In the process, we must ensure that we close the global funding gap for biodiversity. Funds and subsidies that damage or destroy biodiversity should be eliminated and positive incentives for nature conservation strengthened. We also need to mobilise new funds from all sources and to use financial resources more efficiently and effectively."
The new global framework is set to be adopted at COP15 in Kunming, China, in April/May 2022. In the current negotiations, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) is advocating, for example, that 30 percent of land and marine areas be placed under protection. At the same time, the BMU wants to improve the quality of how existing protected areas are managed.
Biodiversity conservation also contributes to pandemic prevention and protection against other zoonoses such as COVID-19. Healthy, stable ecosystems are a kind of life insurance policy and serve as indispensable habitats for the survival of humans and animals. Ecosystems that have already been damaged, such as deforested areas, therefore need to be restored.
Through the International Climate Initiative, the BMU is helping to ensure that Germany meets its international commitments to finance biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. Between 2008 and 2020, its funding volume for climate action, climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation amounted to 4.5 billion euros. This initiative has supported more than 300 biodiversity projects around the world with a volume of more than 1.3 billion euros.
At the high-level event to prepare for COP15, government representatives reaffirmed the commitment they made in September 2020 in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature to halt biodiversity loss by 2030. China will chair the first part of COP15, which will be held mainly in virtual form from 11 to 15 October 2021. The negotiations on a new global biodiversity framework are expected to be successfully concluded at the second part of COP15, which will be held in-person in Kunming, China in April/May 2022.