The United Nations (UN) Environment Programme includes a Nature Action component with the objective of "Ensuring the resilience of our planet through conservation, restoration and the sustainable use of nature".
However - and as the UN report themselves - despite numerous government pledges, biodiversity loss is accelerating in all regions of the world.
Representatives from more than 190 national governments gathered in Montreal, Canada in mid-December 2022 for what was planned to be the final part of the UN’s 15th Biodiversity COP. The COP had been running on and off since 2020, with host nation China choosing to move proceedings to Montreal after having to implement multiple delays due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The attendees agreed on a new Global Biodiversity Framework aimed at halting land and water deterioration, restoring 30% of degraded ecosystems on land and sea by 2030 and unlocking new finance streams for nature recovery.
23 action-orientated targets to be achieved by 2030 were agreed.
The framework that was agreed is the Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework.
Past biodiversity summits and agreements ...
There was optimism about environmental diplomacy at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The original climate and biodiversity conventions were agreed, and since then more and more targets have been agreed but usually missed or only partly hit.
At the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, governments agreed to reduce the rate of species loss by 2010.
It didn’t happen.
The international community did not fully achieve any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to slow the loss of the natural world. These included actions related to tackling pollution, protecting coral reefs, etc.
WWF Living Planet Report 2022
The WWF Living Planet Report 2022 reveals global wildlife populations have plummeted by 69% on average since 1970. The staggering rate of decline is a severe warning that the rich biodiversity that sustains all life on our planet is in crisis, putting every species at risk – including us.
And as pointed out in the report "The climate and nature crisis is not only an environmental issue, but an economic, development, security, social, moral and ethical issue too. Our world’s most vulnerable people, places and wildlife – and those least responsible for the climate and nature crisis – are at greatest risk, and already suffering."
However, the report includes this clear statement "With a fundamental, system-wide reorganisation across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values, there might still be a chance that we can reverse the trend of nature’s decline."
WWF Amazon Report 2022
The WWF Living Amazon Report 2022 is "based on the conviction that the fate of humanity is inseparable from the fate of the Amazon and that humanity has within its grasp the means to guarantee a prosperous life for all without destroying the natural wealth of the biome on which our collective well-being depends."
Although the report often paints a bleak picture - describing how the situation has begun to show signs of nearing a point of no return - it also shows that is it not too late if we do the right things now.
"It is time to establish a model of coexistence with the ecological attributes of the biome that is based on respect for the processes responsible for the origin and maintenance of its biologcal diversity and, above all, for the territories and traditional knowledge of the indigenous people who have inhabited the Amazon for millenia."