On Monday 19 December, the 15th Conference of Parties (CoP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came to an end with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, a set of targets to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss and protect wildlife and ecosystems. We acknowledge the promising inclusion of One Health but regret the absence of strong commitments to address animal welfare in a holistic approach.
The 193 State parties of the CBD gathered in December 2022 on the occasion of the CoP15 to finally adopt the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) containing 4 overarching goals and 23 targets aiming to protect 30% of the planet, restore 30% of ecosystems and double resources for nature conservation by 2030. The GBF sets important milestones to achieve the objectives of the vision 2050 on biodiversity: living in harmony with nature.
Since 2020, the global sanitary crisis has brought significant attention to the risks posed by exploitation of wild animals to public health. To address these concerns, the text provides that “the framework is to be implemented with consideration of the One Health approach”, therefore recognising the interlinkages between the health of the environment, animals and humans. In addition, target 5 that aims to ensure that wildlife exploitation and trade is conducted in a sustainable way, emphasises that this is a prerequisite to reduce “the risk of pathogen spill-over”. The GBF will act as guidance and strongly influence national and regional policy-making around the globe, including the EU, to comply with these objectives. This historic agreement therefore contains promising language and objectives that must be implemented to ensure conservation of species and individual wild animals.
However, we urge parties to comply with these objectives as soon as possible and certainly before the timeline set for the goals, for instance, to halt human-induced species extinction by 2050. We are also concerned by the lack of consideration given to animal welfare and the well-being of individual animals. Animal welfare is a keystone to sustainability and conservation as shown by discussions on sustainable food systems. Establishing clear objectives to guarantee the well-being of wild and domestic animals will permit to ensure that both animals and humans can thrive in healthy ecosystems.
We therefore call on the international community to enact strong resolutions promoting the inclusion of animal welfare in holistic approaches, including the future Global Action Plan on Biodiversity and Health.
For more information read the news by World Federation for Animals.