Nature Canada hopeful for global nature recovery with Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Deal
The global biodiversity framework announced at the COP15 U.N. Biodiversity Summit in Montreal today is a breakthrough for nature and lays the groundwork for the needed international effort to halt and reverse nature loss on a planetary scale. Despite some concerns around funding and accountability, the new deal managed to reach agreement on key biodiversity measures including goals for protecting 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030 with recognition of the critical importance of Indigenous rights and knowledge.
“These deals are always a mixed bag but there’s a lot to be optimistic about here,” says Graham Saul, Nature Canada’s Executive Director. “ We can work on funding and we can work on accountability. But we got agreement for urgent action to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and to protect 30 percent of land and ocean in that timeframe – which is the only solution out there commensurate with the scale of the crisis. We also have a deal that reinforces Indigenous rights and conservation, which will be critical in ensuring we reach those goals.”
Throughout the negotiations Nature Canada has been highlighting the role that Canada was able to play as the summit took place in Montreal. Canadians across the country made it clear they expected strong leadership from Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault and both have stepped up to show that Canada wanted to see strong outcomes from COP15. Last week Minister Guilbeault announced a commitment to advance a domestic plan to halt and reverse nature loss, which was met with excitement from Canadian ENGOs present in Montreal.
“Canada has shown leadership in helping to broker this global deal for nature by demonstrating our commitment at home and on the global stage,” says Gauri Sreenivasan, Nature Canada’s Director of Campaigns and Policy. “Every country will need an action plan to meet the ambitious goals agreed to in Montreal. If Minister Guilbeault delivers a Canadian Action Plan to halt and reverse nature loss that includes legal accountability, ambition, and centers Indigenous rights and equity, we can be an example for the world in how to meet the global challenge.”
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework meets calls from Nature Canada and other ENGOs on several fronts:
- It commits world leaders to protect 30 percent of land and ocean territory by 2030
- It recognizes Indigenous leadership as a central part of the solution to achieve the goal including explicit recognition of Indigenous rights over their territories and resources
- It introduces commitments for wealthy countries to provide new global funding for nature protection in developing countries ($30B per year by 2030)
- It includes a target for countries to identify and eliminate subsidies that harm nature.
The deal lays out the action necessary to achieve nature’s full recovery by 2050 and builds powerful momentum toward that goal. However, the agreement does lack binding accountability mechanisms to ratchet up action where progress falters, meaning the key to successful implementation will lie with each government doing its part to meet the goals laid out.
The world biodiversity crisis is one of the most urgent issues facing the planet with scientists estimating over 40 percent of species could go extinct by the end of the century without action. The Kunming-Montreal deal puts us on the path to avoid that worst case scenario but governments, citizens, and all members of society must continue the momentum to ensure the ambitious goals laid out in Montreal are met.
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Nature Canada is Canada’s voice for nature. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 130,000 members and supporters and more than 1,000 nature organizations.