UN biodiversity talks fail to agree on new targets to protect wildlife

There has been little progress at talks in Geneva geared toward encouraging international locations to set new targets for shielding wildlife


29 March 2022

Deforestation in Philippines

Deforestation in Palawan, Philippines

Roland Nagy / Alamy

A fortnight of negotiations to ascertain the draft of a brand new international deal reversing the lack of wildlife and habitats has led to what has been described as “major disappointment” after international locations did not agree on any new biodiversity targets.

Officials from 195 international locations met in Geneva to debate the “post-2020 global biodiversity framework”, a brand new mission and set of 21 targets on the whole lot from growing the extent of protected areas to stemming species extinctions. But they failed to completely agree on any of the targets and even the overarching mission.

That means a UN biodiversity summit to agree the ultimate deal, in Kunming, China, will now formally be delayed for a fourth time. As New Scientist not too long ago reported, it’s going to now happen in late August. An further negotiating assembly might be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21 June, to attempt to obtain breakthroughs on the deal. The draft of the deal agreed in Geneva is suffering from sq. brackets, which means international locations have but to agree.

“It’s true that progress has been very slow,” says Guido Broekhoven at WWF International. He say it’s worrying that key components haven’t been agreed, however says there was some progress on the brand new deal’s total mission which is converging on a “nature positive” dedication to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

There have additionally been promising indicators international locations are nearing settlement on a goal to guard 30 per cent of the world’s oceans and land by 2030, says Sue Lieberman on the Wildlife Conservation Society. That can be up from 16.4 per cent for land 7.74 per cent of oceans now. Another constructive is that international locations now ‘own’ the draft textual content and there’s a clear concept of what the ultimate deal would possibly appear like, Lieberman provides. “If one is charitable, one could say it’s moving in the right direction,” she says.

Much of the talks in Geneva obtained slowed down in international locations airing their positions fairly than making an attempt to come back nearer collectively, says Brian O’Donnell on the non-profit Campaign for Nature, an alliance of greater than 100 conservation organisations. “It’s a major disappointment that here we are two years delayed into the process and still still feeling a long, long way from an agreement,” he says.

New cash for growing international locations to pay for conservation initiatives was a sticking level on the talks. The draft requires wealthy international locations to supply an additional $10 billion a 12 months for funding to guard nature in poorer international locations. But analysis by O’Donnell’s group has discovered the determine must be extra like $60 billion a 12 months to be efficient, whereas a gaggle of nations together with Brazil and India known as for funding to ultimately rise to $700 billion a 12 months.

Overall, Broekhoven says he’s “very worried about the lack of urgency” on the discussions. O’Donnell says that greater degree political engagement, together with from heads of state, might be wanted in Nairobi to keep away from a repeat of the “slog” of the previous fortnight.

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