The Government of Colombia hosted a high-level gathering ahead of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15), aiming to build political commitment for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The “pre-COP” took place as a segment of the third meeting of the open-ended working group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF).

Participants discussed priorities and expectations for the GBF. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for ambition on targets, means of implementation, and all other areas of the GBF. Similarly, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), stressed the need to reflect ambition in the GBF beyond targets, to include capacity, finance, means of implementation, and political will.

European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans called for: ambitious 2050 goals; clear and measurable milestones for 2030; and a monitoring and review process. 

Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia, noted linkages between the biodiversity and climate crises and called for urgent action on the energy transition, transport, sustainable production, and the circular economy. Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador, stressed the importance of fair and equitable benefit-sharing and the need to transform global consumption patterns. Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina, said the GBF should provide for ambitious capacity-building and technology transfer provisions to ensure implementation in developing countries.

CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said economic actors have a crucial role to play in shifting their business models “from nature-negative to nature-positive,” and in identifying and disclosing their dependencies on nature. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, urged a new economic model and investment in nature to bridge the financing gap. A ministerial panel also addressed finances, with participants discussing how to increase the mobilization and allocation of financial resources for GBF implementation, how to eliminate perverse incentives, and the role of the international financial system and the private sector. 

In closing remarks, Duque Márquez said the discussions had pointed to the need for: specific GBF targets, additional financial resources and debt alleviation; public policy instruments mainstreaming biodiversity across all sectors; and building partnerships for implementation.

The third meeting of the working group convened from 23 August-3 September 2021. The Pre-COP for the CBD took place on 30 August. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin meeting coverage]