Joint NGO statement on state of play in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) negotiations

News 24.03.22

Posted by Nature4Climate

It’s time to ring the alarm bell for nature as global biodiversity talks stall

As the latest round of detailed talks on a new global biodiversity framework draws to a close in Geneva, NGOs are sounding the alarm on progress to date. 

A joint statement reads:  “Nowhere near enough progress is being made ahead of the high-level summit scheduled to take place in Kunming, China later this year. Unless things change, the success of that summit is in jeopardy. The pace of the Geneva talks has been glacial. There is a yawning gap between the deal we need to secure a nature-positive world and the current text on the table.  

We desperately need to see progress now. As a first step, negotiators must agree on a mission to reverse the loss of nature by 2030. This would provide a guiding light and clear destination for the rest of the biodiversity framework. 

We also need a clear work plan to be agreed by the end of the talks, showing how negotiators will resolve the large number of issues that are still outstanding. In light of the tremendous challenges ahead, it will take both an injection of urgency, and extremely careful planning, if COP15 is to achieve the deal we all need: quite literally a plan to save life on earth. 

In 2022 world leaders will adopt a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the UN Biodiversity talks (CBD COP15) in Kunming, China. This framework is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to secure an ambitious and transformative agreement that sets nature on the path to recovery – essential for climate action, the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the future of life on our planet. 

We know nature is in crisis and we cannot afford to squander this crucial moment.  Delay further and it will be too late.  Already precious and irreplaceable ecosystems like the Amazon may be on the verge of collapse. 

Over 300 organisations have signed a global call to action asking governments to strengthen the first draft of the Global Biodiversity Framework so that it commits to reverse the loss of nature by 2030. This is essential to help secure an equitable, nature positive, net-zero emissions world. 

Despite countries arriving in Geneva with this call to action ringing in their ears, the complexity of the issues discussed and the extraordinary meeting format have meant that negotiations have moved forward worryingly slowly over the last week. 

We are deeply concerned that we are yet to see governments act with any urgency and show that they are fully committed to closing the enormous gap between the unambitious draft global biodiversity framework and commitments already made, such as the Leaders Pledge for Nature,  to secure a nature-positive future. Currently, words are not translating into action and progress inside the negotiations.

By the end of the Geneva negotiations, we must have at minimum these building blocks in place to pave the way for success at COP15: 

  • Countries must rally behind a joint Mission to reverse nature loss by 2030, securing a nature-positive world for everybody. We urgently need this shared mission to help guide and drive our efforts –  similar to the net-zero goal we have for climate change. 
  • Governments need to use this last week of negotiations before COP15 to seek consensus at the highest level of ambition on the goals, targets, resource mobilisation and other important elements of the Global Biodiversity Framework. 
  • The negotiations need to agree on a productive way forward between the Geneva meeting and COP15, on the crucial topics of accountability and financing. Substantive and productive intersessional work must take place on these issues. 

In the face of the catastrophic loss of nature that is devastating people’s lives around the world, we urgently need governments to step up to the enormous challenges at hand. It is essential that we finish this meeting able to point to successes and a renewed momentum for tackling the crisis taking place in our natural world.”