The High-Level Segment of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) closed on Wednesday with the adoption of the Kunming Declaration in this Chinese city, where over 100 nations committed to develop, adopt and implement an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest.
They also decided towards the full realisation of the 2050 vision of "Living in Harmony with Nature."
Critically, the framework would also include provision for the necessary means of implementation, in line with the convention and its two protocols, as well as appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and review.
The landmark post-2020 global biodiversity framework is due to be adopted at part two of the UN Biodiversity Conference in May 2022, following further formal negotiations in January 2022. The declaration gives clear political directions for those negotiations.
The declaration addresses the key elements needed for a successful post-2020 framework: The mainstreaming of biodiversity across all decision-making; phasing out and redirection of harmful subsidies; strengthening the rule of law; recognising the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and ensuring an effective mechanism to monitor and review progress, among others.
The High-Level Segment opened on October 12 with the announcement by Chinese President Xi Jinping setting the tone by investing 1.5 billion yuan (about $230 million) to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support biodiversity protection in the developing countries.
Xi also invited other countries to contribute. Accordingly, the government of Japan extended its Japan Biodiversity Fund by 1.8 billion yen (about $17 million).
During the meeting, the Global Environment Facility, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), announced its commitment to fast-track immediate financial and technical support to developing country governments to prepare for the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework once it is formally agreed next year at COP-15.
The commitment from Japan to extend its funding will provide support for national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
The European Union noted the doubling of external funding for biodiversity. French President Emmanuel Macron noted the commitment for 30 per cent of climate funds to be used for biodiversity.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland also announced that a significant part of their increased climate funding will be directed towards biodiversity.
A coalition of financial institutions, with assets worth 12 trillion euros, committed to protect and restore biodiversity through their activities and investments.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, "The adoption of the Kunming Declaration is a clear indication of the worldwide support for the level of ambition that needs to be reflected in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be finalized next spring in Kunming.
"I also want to congratulate President Xi for the establishment of the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and look forward to more financial and technical commitments in support of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and its implementation."