Open letter to Environment Ministers re. Convention on Biological Diversity

Civil society and business orgs urge governments and UN to forge ahead with date and location for urgent global biodiversity meeting 

17 June 2022

Dear Environment Ministers,

We, the undersigned, are writing with urgency to ask you to formalise the date and location for the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) negotiations before the Open-Ended Working Group 4 in Nairobi commencing June 21st.

Having no official date to finalise this agreement at CoP15 is stalling progress, momentum and
interest in this critical global agreement. We are extremely concerned that countries are failing
to address the biodiversity crisis which is accelerating; threatening the future survival, prosperity
and well-being of human societies. Further delays in announcing dates and holding the CoP
itself risks further loss of momentum and political will, reduces the window for action, and could
undermine an ambitious outcome – with potentially dire consequences for Earth support
systems.

We acknowledge the global challenge created by Covid-19 and the danger to health posed by
the continuing pandemic and understand the reasons for the postponement to date. It is
paramount that CoP15 takes place in 2022 to ensure the credibility of the Convention and to
allow countries to begin urgent implementation of the post-2020 framework. Meeting ambitious
targets in 8 years is already a challenge, and the risk of failure will increase dramatically if there
is a further postponement of CoP15.

We stress the need for the Bureau and Presidency to show leadership and commitment by
announcing 2022 CoP15 dates before this next round of CBD negotiations in Nairobi. Without a
firm deadline, negotiators will have little incentive to reach compromises, and the Nairobi talks
are unlikely to make progress.

As ministers of Environment for these representative countries of the Bureau, regions, and high
ambition coalitions, we urge you to show support for the CoP15 to be held in 2022 and to work
to ensure a resolution is urgently found on a location that allows for continued leadership of the
Chinese presidency, fair and equitable participation, and takes into account public health and
safety.

We also urge you to support the delivery of a successful CoP, with transparent and open access
for all Parties, observers and other stakeholders. To facilitate this, there must be full and
unrestricted digital access, and pragmatic management of Covid to allow for active participation
on site, as we have witnessed at UNFCCC CoP26, CBD OEWG3. It is vital that the CoP allows
for equitable participation from all interested parties, Indigenous Peoples and local communities,
and civil society organisations.

We stand ready to support in any way we can.

Yours sincerely,

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