The new Global Biodiversity Framework is more inclusive, more comprehensive, more SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), and more complex than the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that preceded it.
It includes quantified targets for resource mobilization, including a target that “aims to substantially and progressively increase the level of financial resources from all sources to at least USD 200 billion per year by 2030”.
The GBF’s “implementation is to be facilitated by decisions on resource mobilization and on capacity building and technical and scientific cooperation aiming to address the finance and capacity gaps” between developed and developing countries.
After lengthy negotiations, the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) adopted the “hard-fought” and “well-balanced” Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to guide biodiversity policy through four overarching goals to be achieved by 2050 and a set of 23 targets to be reached by 2030, to achieve a vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.
The world is losing biodiversity – the source of essential resources and ecosystem functions that sustain human life – at an alarming rate, notes the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting, with ecosystems in steep decline, and hundreds of thousands of species threatened with extinction. The 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference, the ENB writes, “aimed to take strong action to reverse this trend,” and “make peace with nature.”
Recognizing that the magnitude of the challenge of biodiversity loss is such that “only transformational change can bend the curve,” the ENB analysis of the meeting points out that the new Global Biodiversity Framework is more inclusive, more comprehensive, more SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), and more complex than the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that preceded it.
For example, two out of eight targets that aim to reduce threats to biodiversity (Targets 1 to 8), stand out for increased ambition compared to the Aichi Targets: to effectively conserve 30% of terrestrial, inland water, coastal, and marine areas through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030 (compared to 17% for terrestrial and inland water, and 10% for coastal and marine areas by 2020); and to ensure that at least 30% of degraded terrestrial, inland water, coastal, and marine ecosystems are under effective restoration by 2030 (compared to 15% by 2020).
Targets 9 to 13 aim to meet people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit-sharing, with Target 12 aiming for “improved connectivity of biodiversity through green and blue spaces in urban areas, something that was not included in the Aichi Targets,” according to the ENB. Targets 14 to 23 cover the tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming, including quantified targets for resource mobilization. Target 19, the ENB highlights, “aims to substantially and progressively increase the level of financial resources from all sources to at least USD 200 billion per year by 2030, including by increasing transfer from developed to developing countries to at least USD 20 billion per year by 2025, and at least USD 30 billion per year by 2030.”
“The evaluation of the largely unmet Aichi Biodiversity Targets warns,” however, “that the GBF will only be as good as its implementation,” the ENB analysis underscores, and “only time will tell” if it will “help humanity make peace with nature.”
The GBF’s “implementation is to be facilitated by decisions on resource mobilization and on capacity building and technical and scientific cooperation aiming to address the finance and capacity gaps” between developed and developing countries. “A monitoring framework, and a decision on mechanisms for planning, monitoring, reporting, and review,” the ENB notes, “are expected to promote and strengthen implementation and compliance.” “A decision on benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources aims to ensure that the CBD framework adapts to technological developments and ensures respect for the Convention’s third objective: fair and equitable benefit-sharing.”
The new GBF was supposed to be adopted as a replacement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in late 2020 in Kunming, China, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed both the COP and the GBF. The first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference convened virtually from 11-15 October 2021, resulting in the adoption of the Kunming Declaration, which called for “urgent and integrated action to reflect biodiversity considerations in all sectors of the global economy.”
The second part of the UN Biodiversity Conference convened from 7-19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, under the presidency of China, and included the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP 15), the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 10) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 4) to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization. [ENB Coverage of the UN Biodiversity Conference]