Parties committed to step up actions protect marine and coastal biodiversity.
Photo: ©Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock

Kunming Declaration on “Living in Harmony with Nature” adopted

"Ecological civilization: building a shared future for all life on Earth" is the title of the Declaration adopted by ministers at the high-level segment at COP15. With none of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020 reached, the new Declaration is to contribute to protecting biological diversity.

With the adaption of the Kunming Declaration: Ecological civilization: building a shared future for all life on Earth at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in October 2021, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) committed to develop, adopt and implement an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework that would put biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, towards the full realisation of the 2050 Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature”. 

Critically, the framework would also include provision of the necessary means of implementation, in line with the Convention and its two protocols, as well as appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and review. The landmark post 2020 global biodiversity framework is due to be adopted as part two of the UN Biodiversity Conference in May 2022, following further formal negotiations in January 2022. The Declaration gives clear political direction for those negotiations. 

Key elements of the Declaration include mainstreaming biodiversity across all decision-making, phasing out and redirecting harmful subsidies, strengthening the rule of law, recognising the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities, and ensuring an effective mechanism to monitor and review progress. 

The parties committed to ensure that post-pandemic recovery policies, programmes and plans contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, promoting sustainable and inclusive development.

Investments in biodiversity

At the conference, the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that his country was investing 1.5 billion yuan (about 230 million US dollars) to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support biodiversity protection in developing countries. He invited other countries to contribute. 

The government of Japan extended its Japan Biodiversity Fund by 1.8 billion yen (about 17 million USD). This commitment to extend funding will provide support for National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.

During the meeting, the Global Environment Facility, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), announced their commitment to fast-track immediate financial and technical support to developing country governments to prepare for the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework once it is formally agreed next year at COP-15. 

The European Union noted the doubling of external funding for biodiversity. President Emmanuel Macron of France noted the commitment for 30 per cent of climate funds to be used for biodiversity. The government of the United Kingdom also announced that a significant part of its increased climate funding would be directed towards biodiversity. A coalition of financial institutions, with assets of twelve trillion euros, committed to protect and restore biodiversity through their activities and investments. 


More information at CBD website

Read the Kunming Declaration

Rural 21, Issue 2/2021: "Biodiversity"

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