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On the road to a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

22 / May / 2022Events

On the road to a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Building a shared future for all life” is the slogan for this year's Biodiversity Day.

The slogan for this year seeks to propel the final framework that will show the way to better conserve Earth’s biodiversity for the coming decades. After the publication of the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook report, in September 2020; that warned that the world had so far failed to halt the destruction of wildlife and life-sustaining ecosystems by largely missing the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets, the need for a new strategic plan became urgent. From that point forward, the meticulous construction of an ambitious new biodiversity framework to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals began.

The vision of this framework is a world of “Living in harmony with nature” where “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these meetings and negotiations have taken longer than expected and the final result is long overdue. It all started with the first draft of the global biodiversity framework (GBF) released in July 2021; and after three previous meetings, it will continue with the Fourth Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (WG2020-4), to be held from June 21 to 26 in Nairobi, Kenya. Finally, later this year, at the resumed session of COP-15 (in Kunming, China), the negotiations will conclude and the post-2020 GBF will be presented for consideration. This agreement must result in ambitious yet workable targets that protect and restore nature, while equitably and sustainably sharing nature’s contributions to people.

The four long-term goals in the Post 2020 GBF relate to:

  • enhanced integrity of all ecosystems;

  • valuing, maintaining or enhancing Nature’s contributions to people through conservation and sustainable use;

  • fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources; and

  • closing the gap between available financial and other means of implementation, and those necessary to achieve the 2050 Vision.

Revising the previous framework, it comes clear that many Aichi Targets had implicit dependencies on ecosystems. But explicit references were dispersed among multiple targets for particular ecosystem types (for example, forests in Aichi Target 5 and coral reefs in Aichi Target 10), rather than under the general goal for safeguarding biodiversity (Goal C); this left many ecosystem types without a clear point of reference.

In the perspective piece Scientific foundations for an ecosystem goal, milestones and indicators for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, published by some members of the RLE Thematic Group, it is proposed that to have an effective ecosystem goal underpinned by science, it should include three core components: area, integrity and risk of collapse. At the same time, targets—the actions that are necessary for the goals to be met—should address the pathways to ecosystem loss and recovery, including safeguarding remnants of threatened ecosystems, restoring their area and integrity to reduce risk of collapse and retaining intact areas.

Be sure to follow the last stretch on the race for this global plan at the Convention on Biological Diversity website, looking forward to the final document that will lead the way for the sake of life on our planet, and hoping that this time the plan for action will include achievable, integral and realistic targets based on scientific knowledge and capacities.

Written by: Susana Barreto




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