On Monday the 19th of December, the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came to an end in Montreal. A new deal has been reached to safeguard the planet.
The objective of this conference, which started on the 7th of December, was to get the post-2020 global biodiversity framework adopted. This framework will serve, for the coming ten years, as both a strategic vision and a worldwide road map for biodiversity conservation, preservation, restoration, and sustainable management.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said “The time has come to change the trajectory of our planet and, in turn, the future of humankind. We can no longer continue with a 'business as usual' attitude. This December in Montreal, Canada, I challenge every nation and every person to support the adoption of AN AMBITIOUS, REALISTIC, AND IMPLEMENTABLE post-2020 global biodiversity framework; our roadmap to a healthy, sustainable future.”
On Sunday, in the final compromise they presented to the negotiators, the Chinese presidency of the COP-15 decided to set the objective of safeguarding 30% of the planet. This objective was presented as the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
The discussions also focused on the financial issue, which was at the heart of the debates until the end. Several African countries have been advocating for the establishment of a new fund to support the preservation of biodiversity, which was refused by some other countries. As a compromise, China suggested the creation of a biodiversity branch under the existing Global Environment Facility (GEF). Also, it was agreed that annual international support for conservation in developing countries would be $20 billion per year by 2025, rising to $30 billion per year by 2030.
Finally, after days of intense negotiations, the 195 states reached an agreement, despite opposition from the Democratic Republic of Congo. For Masha Kalinina of the Pew Charitable Trusts NGO, "protecting at least 30% of the land and sea by 2030 is the new North Star we will use to navigate towards nature's recovery”. On a different note, Bert Wander of the NGO Avaaz told “the text is a significant step forward in the fight to protect life on Earth, but it will not be enough”.
The objective of the Sea2see Foundation is to preserve marine biodiversity and coastal environments by collaborating with coastal population to remove marine plastic waste such as discarded fishnets from the marine environment. This ends up in lower contamination but also gives a new source of income to the collectors, hence alleviating poverty across low-income fishermen communities. Every day, we try to highlight the importance of preserving the biodiversity in which we live by raising awareness and promoting circular economy in countries where waste management is almost inexistent. Cleaner environment, social impact, carbon emission offsetting, all in the name of our planet and Oceans.