Britain takes the lead to call for global action to protect nature at the COP15 biodiversity conference

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The UK will lead ambitious calls to protect nature at a UN meeting in Nairobi this week to agree global biodiversity targets – in line with UK leadership through its Environment Bill.

The UK-led declaration, backed by 46 other ambitious countries, calls on the international community to halt and reverse biodiversity loss worldwide and adopt the ’30by30′ target to achieve at least 30 per cent of the country’s and protect ocean areas. This will help restore ecosystems, fuel species population recovery and halt extinctions by 2050.

That Preliminary talks in Nairobi, ahead of the rescheduled COP15 conference of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, will help shape a Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to drive international action in this decade. This will build on the momentum following the UK’s COP26 presidency, which led to the agreement of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, a commitment by 140 leaders representing 90 per cent of the world’s forests Stop and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

Biodiversity loss cannot be ignored – deforestation, pollution and nature loss are happening at an alarming rate. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the UK also welcomes confirmation that the COP15 conference – under the Chinese presidency – will be held in Canada later this year.

Lord Zac Goldsmith, International Secretary for the Environment said:

Nature is in crisis. We need ambitious targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss globally by 2030 and I am pleased to hear that COP15 will take place later this year. Restoring nature is one of the greatest challenges we face as a global community. We must reverse deforestation, protect our landscapes and seas, and give them and the species that live within them a chance to recover.

We welcome Canada’s announcement and offer to host and will do everything we can to help them make it a success. And we will continue to support the Chinese Presidency to ensure ambitious results are achieved. I look forward to working with my colleagues in China, Canada and the wider international community to ensure we make this year the Paris moment for nature.

The UK is taking a leading role in defining and strengthening the Global Biodiversity Framework. As leader of the Global Ocean Alliance and Ocean Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the UK is committed to the 30by30 target and other ambitious outcomes for land, sea and species. Almost 100 countries have now pledged to support this goal.

At negotiations in Nairobi this week, the UK, in partnership with members of the global community, will coordinate a declaration of high ambitions to prioritize:

  • An ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework to halt and reverse biodiversity loss worldwide, with targets for 2050 and targets for 2030, and strong reporting and verification mechanisms.
  • A plan to increase financial flows to promote biodiversity and remove incentives for harmful activities
  • Building capacity in the international community and collaborating on technical and scientific knowledge
  • A result on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) – the digital representation of genetic resources – that provides value to the global community (see Notes).

The UK is already leading the way with its pledge to spend at least £3bn of our £11.6bn International Climate Finance pledge to protect and restore nature, including £500m for the ocean through the Blue Planet Fund , in addition to commitments in the international development strategy and development aid abroad.

More than half of global GDP – $44 trillion – is linked to biodiversity and supports the livelihoods of some of the most remote communities on earth. For this reason, the international community must take urgent action to address the plight of our planet. The COP15 conference is an important step in laying a solid foundation in support of a prosperous future for people and planet.

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Further information:

  • For more information visit: Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Digital genetic resource sequence information (DSI) refers to the digital representation of genetic resources stored in databases around the world. The COP is expected to make a decision on how to ensure that countries that provide genetic material for use in these databases share the benefits arising from their use, but without violating the principles of open access and the interfere with activities of the scientific community.
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