The Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat (CBD) has announced the global biodiversity summit COP15 will now take place in two parts: a virtual event in October and an in-person event in April.
The COP was originally scheduled for October 2020 and was moved to October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual event will now take place from 11-15 October that will include an opening of the meetings, discussion of agenda items that must be addressed for the continuation of the operations of the Convention and the Protocols, and a high-level segment. This will be followed by an in-person event in Kunming, China from 25 April-8 May 2022 whereby delegates will address the remaining agenda items of the Meetings, including the finalization and adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
The first draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework recognises the need for “urgent action across society to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity… to put biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 for the benefit of planet and people” and sets a number of milestones to be met in 2030.
CIEEM CEO Sally Hayns said:
Whilst the move to a virtual event is not surprising given the continuing concerns regarding overseas travel and Covid-19 infection rates, the delay of a further 6 months to the finalisation and adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is extremely disappointing. Global biodiversity loss is continuing apace and we need fully committed governments and agencies demonstrating concerted and emphatic action NOW to tackle this global crisis.
The considerations at COP15 must also take account of the agreements made at COP26, set to take place in November this year, to ensure a systems-based approach is taken to solving both the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis together.