Historic agreement on biodiversity adopted in Montreal


After hours of negotiations, the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity in Montreal on Monday adopted a “global framework for biodiversity,” a 23-goal roadmap to try to halt the destruction of nature by 2030.

The contract was accepted ” COP15 Chinese President Huang Runqiu said tonight at the hammer blow in Montreal.

After four years of difficult negotiations, ten days and one night diplomatic marathon, more than 190 countries reached an agreement. this” a peace treaty with nature The “Kunming-Montreal Agreement” aims to protect land, oceans and species from pollution, degradation and climate crisis.

30% of the planet’s protected and degraded lands have been restored

Specifically, the countries agreed on a roadmap aimed at protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030. This will be done.” through ecologically representative, well-connected and equitably managed networks of protected areas “and” ensuring that any continued use (…) is fully compatible with conservation objectives “. Therefore, the goal is global and not national, implying that some do more than others, or that they do more on land than at sea. This 30% is the minimum for scientists and NGOs, and 50% is what they believe is necessary. to date, 17% of land areas and 8% of seas are protected.

Second goal: restore 30% of terrestrial ecosystems, inland seas and degraded coastal and marine ecosystems.

The talks were marked by a long bargain between North and South: more environmental ambitions in exchange for more international subsidies and vice versa. Finally, the text affirms the aim of rich countries to provide ” At least $20 billion per year by 2025 and at least $30 billion by 2030 “. This roughly doubles and then triples current international aid for biodiversity.

Another goal that wasn’t planned in advance or necessarily won: reducing pesticides. The agreement envisages a reduction pollution risks and adverse impacts of pollution from all sources to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity by 2030 “. The long-lasting struggle pitted the European Union against countries such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.

DRC opposition

But this text also has weaknesses, our special correspondent in Montreal points out.Lucile Gimberg. It should be recalled that none of the goals set in the previous agreement in Aichi in 2010 could be achieved, almost at the end of it, in 2020. Therefore, this time countries adopted a common planning and monitoring mechanism with clear indicators. A mechanism that has yet to prove itself. The text remains less binding than the Paris climate agreement.

And clearly the frustration of a number of southern countries, especially African countries, with increased funding that has not met their expectations. Moreover, after the applause that followed the agreement, there was a moment of tension. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has indeed expressed its opposition to the agreement due to the lack of a special fund for the countries of the South. It was one of the big wishes. He condemned the financial “lack of passion”, especially when the countries of the DRC and the Congo Basin would have to spend a lot of money to protect biodiversity in their natural habitats. Cameroon has spoken forced transition “.

“Historical” contract

Nevertheless, this agreement ” date President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. ” History also for the Minister of Environmental Transition, Christophe Bechu.

We have an agreement that includes pesticides, we have an agreement that says we have to eliminate subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity, we have commitments to dates not just to 2050 but to 2030, and we even have the funding, even some countries say it’s not enough. if they see it isn’t going far, doubling between now and 2025 and tripling by 2030! We have to look at where we started. For all these reasons, this is an absolutely historic deal.

Christophe Bechu, Minister of Environmental Transition

Conservation now takes its rightful place, right next to climate, Espen Eide, He welcomed the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment. For five or six years, climate has become a top-level topic. Heads of state and government, big managers, big organizations are working seriously on the climate. But we have not paid enough attention to nature. However, we are experiencing a climate crisis and a nature crisis. And we need to rebalance these two battles. It is not only about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also about protecting biodiversity. And I think that this international framework will have a material impact on the world. For governments, NGOs, companies that want to develop their investments with greater respect for nature. And that sets the course for the next COPs. Frankly, I’d like stronger text. But I think we got a pretty good deal that sends a strong message and sets the tone for the future. »

(with AFP)

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