COP 27 has come and gone. While developing countries are pleased that loss and damage funding could be on its way, developed countries are disappointed that there is no fresh plan forward on emission mitigation.

But there is still hope that all will not be lost if the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held from December 7-19 in Montreal, Canada is more productive. There is expectation that it will be successful in setting a future course to stop and reverse biodiversity loss and take actions for a more sustainable agenda through 2030. 

There is hope that the 196 Parties (to the CBD) will adopt a new global framework that will help protect biodiversity — a crucial step to meet sustainable development goals and keep temperatures below the 1.5 degrees mark.

Making objectives clear

Since the Paris Agreement there has been an effort to make countries recognise the intrinsic interconnect between climate and the loss of biodiversity. It is expected that the global framework will make the three basic objectives clear, which are conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of its components; and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources. 

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN CBD, sets the tone when she says — “What’s at stake are the fundamentals of human existence. Biodiverse, well-balanced ecosystems provide climate moderation, fertile soil and foods, clean water, modern drugs and the foundation of our economies — nearly half of humanity depends directly on natural resources for livelihoods and, in many cases, their daily subsistence needs.”

In a nutshell, what are the objectives of the CBD? It aims at bringing public, private and philanthropic sectors on board to close the biodiversity finance gap, which is estimated at $700 billion annually. It is expected to ensure that biodiversity is considered every time an economic decision is taken and that countries align their huge global spending with biodiversity goals. And it urges the world to link biodiversity and climate agendas, and implement the detailed global plan so that nature is “on the path to recovery by 2030”

Though it remains to be seen what will happen at the conference, there is scope to push the biodiversity and climate mitigation agenda forward.