Countries sign historic deal at COP 15, commit billions by 2030 to save biodiversity

Amid the United Nations biodiversity summit, COP 15, negotiators said they have reached a historic deal, on Monday. The draft calls for raising billions of dollars by 2030 to protect land and marine areas as well as save biodiversity in the developing world. The conference that took place in Montreal, Canada was seen as the “last chance” to address the issue. 

In line with this deal, at least 190 countries have committed to placing 30 per cent of land and water under protection by 2030, which is significant for biodiversity. Additionally, the draft also calls for raising $200 billion by the end of the decade for a range of sources and work on phasing out or reforming subsidies which could provide another $500 billion for nature. 

Notably, as of now, 17 per cent of land and 10 per cent of oceans are protected. “There has never been a conservation goal globally at this scale…This puts us within a chance of safeguarding biodiversity from collapse,” said the director, Brian O’Donnell, of a conservation group called Campaign for Nature, to the press. 

The draft of the agreement was released, on Sunday, by China which holds the presidency at this conference but the venue had to be moved to Canada due to Beijing’s Covid-related restrictions. It was approved on early Monday, by ministers and government officials representing about 190 countries who agreed that saving biodiversity is a priority. 

Furthermore, the framework also calls for increasing the amount of money sent to poor countries to at least $20 billion every year by 2025 which could be increased by $10 billion each year by the end of the decade. However, the document only calls for identifying subsidies by 2025 which can be reformed or phased out and work on reducing them by 2030. 

The deal also accounts for the rights of Indigenous peoples and reaffirmed that they will have a voice in decision-making, a move which has been praised by many. This comes after nearly two weeks of negotiating with finance reportedly being one of the most contentious issues. As at least 70 delegates from African, South American and Asian countries, last week staged a walkout and did not return for hours. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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