UN’s COP15 Summit Delayed for Third Time due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Despite the ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating rapidly across the world and is expected to degrade even further in the coming years. The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), which convokes the global community to work together to save the planet, has been delayed for the third time due to the coronavirus pandemic, consequently delaying the conservation efforts.

Earlier scheduled for October 2020, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was planned to be held in Kunming, China, in May after the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. However, the biggest biodiversity summit in the decade was again moved to October due to delays linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent statement, the Chinese ministry of ecology and environment confirmed that COP15 would be delayed and the negotiations for this decade’s targets will be divided into two phases before the delegates meet face-to-face in Kunming in the first half of 2022. Environmentalists have stated that the delay would “not mean taking our foot off the pedal.”

UN’s COP15 Summit Delays for Third Time due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Image: Michael Van Woert/NOAA NESDIS

The first phase of the meeting will take place between October 11 and 15, a largely procedural meet with most people attending virtually. Delegates will negotiate the targets for the global biodiversity framework that governments will plan to achieve by the end of the decade in the Chinese city from April 25 to May 8, 2022.

The draft text of the convention framework consists of proposals to reduce pesticides use by two-thirds, eliminate plastic pollution and protect 30 percent of the earth’s land and sea. Experts have stated that the text should “conserve and protect at least half of the planet by 2030 as a means of staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius and addressing the acceleration of biodiversity loss.”

Brian O’Donnell, director of Campaign for Nature, said;

It is critically important for all parties and civil society to equitably participate in the development of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and we must stand in solidarity with all people battling the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. There is no pause button for biodiversity loss. Human destruction of nature continues unabated, and governments do not need to wait for a global deal to take action and redirect finance to urgently protect our planet.

According to Zac Goldsmith, Britain’s minister for the environment, the biodiversity crisis must be dealt with head-on and there should be major progress on finance for nature, on cleaning up global supply chains and on efforts to tackle deforestation.

Baccy Speight, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said the delay was understandable but the crisis in the natural world is still raging on and humankind must act quickly. The UK is set to host the UN COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, in November.

Via: The Guardian

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