End of the first part of COP 15 biodiversity this Friday and a first positive assessment. These negotiations brought together around 2,900 delegates in Kunming and 2,500 online, a hybrid format adopted because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Kunming Declaration, supported by China and which defends the concept of "ecological civilization" was adopted. It partly takes up the objectives contained in the text that will be negotiated by the delegations of the 196 members of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in January in Geneva, then in spring 2022 at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP).
China, which officially took over the presidency of COP15 on Monday, "has an extremely important role to play," commented to Lin Li of WWF. "The leadership of the host country, by defining the level of ambition necessary to resolve the biodiversity crisis and by rallying other countries around this ambition, is essential for a successful result ," she continues, recalling that China at the same time has made commitments in terms of the fight against climate change. The Chinese Minister of the Environment is committed to the continuation of negotiations to do everything to "reach the highest level of consensus" possible and ensure "smooth functioning".
China will invest 200 million euros for biodiversity.
Commitments have been made to finance the protection of biodiversity. China has launched a fund for developing countries, matched to the tune of 200 million euros, and Japan has put on the table around 14 million euros. According to the French Development Agency (AFD), needs are estimated at between 722 and 967 billion dollars per year by 2030, when 124 to 143 billion dollars are spent and 500 billion go to harmful subsidies to the nature.
These announcements constitute "a modest start", notes Li Shuo of Greenpeace, who asks for more clarification on the Chinese fund. For some countries, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the appropriate tool to finance actions in favor of biodiversity. "The question of financing is crucial, it will determine the commitment of certain countries (in the negotiations), in particular the countries of the South" , notes Julien Rochette.
"Reversing the loss of biodiversity"
This first part, presented as essentially protocol, also allowed progress on the substance, with "a revival of the political breath" which "we want to be reflected in the text of the negotiations" , comments Julien Rochette, of the think tank French IDDRI.
"The international community expects COP15 to be a key moment to reverse the loss of biodiversity, just like the Paris summit (in 2015 was) for climate change," insisted the Chinese minister of Environment, Huang Runqiu, at the closing press conference for this session in Kunming, southwest China.
"Biodiversity continues to decline at an unprecedented rate"
All eyes are now on Geneva, then on Kunming in the spring. COP15 will end in spring 2022 with face-to-face negotiations planned in China, with an intermediate session in Switzerland. This format was adopted so as not to further delay discussions after several postponements.
“Biodiversity continues to decline at an unprecedented rate,” warns Bruno Oberle, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “We cannot be satisfied with the pace of progress at this point. But the good news is that we can still halt and reverse the decline if we take urgent action now ”.
"We must continue to move forward on several outstanding issues," insisted Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), during the press conference. “The biggest challenge is the ability to engage all stakeholders,” she continued. Another important point will be the effective implementation of the measures adopted. “We must solve together the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change,” she insisted, while the COP26 climate will be held in Glasgow in November.