On 22 May 2022, the world was led by the Convention on Biological Diversity to celebrate the international biodiversity day. It aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and to bring them to the forefront of the policy debate. This year’s theme “Building a shared future for all life” builds on the momentum generated over the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework* hopefully to be adopted later this year at the UN Biodiversity Conference #COP15. Anchored in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, Biodiversa+ had a closer look at the draft framework, why it matters for all and the targets it will set.
Biodiversity, and the benefits it provides, is fundamental to human well-being and a healthy planet. It is a pillar to tackling global challenges such as climate, poverty, food and water security, health and more. But despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating at an unprecedented rate and this trajectory is set to continue without rapid and profound transformations. Our window of opportunity to act is closing fast and we need deep changes across sectors and borders to reverse the current trend of biodiversity loss and secure a life-supporting future. That’s why parties are drafting a global framework to be adopted at UN Biodiversity’s COP15, replacing the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets that have now expired.
The draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement global action to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that “by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.” The framework aims to stimulate actors at all levels to develop goals and targets and to update their strategies and action plans, based on the best available science and practice.
The official draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework aims to fulfil its vision of living in harmony with nature through four long-term goals for 2050:
- Enhancing the integrity of all ecosystems. This includes ensuring the connectivity of natural ecosystems, supporting healthy populations and safeguarding the genetic diversity of all species.
- Valuing, maintaining or enhancing Nature’s contributions to people. This goal supports the global development agenda for the benefit of all.
- Sharing fairly and equitably the benefits from the use of genetic resources.
- Closing the gap between available means of implementation and those necessary to achieve the 2050 Vision.
The long-term goals are to be achieved through 21 action-oriented targets for 2030. The actions listed in the draft framework address reducing threats to biodiversity, meeting people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit-sharing, and tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming. The 21 targets call for, among other things:
- At least 30% of land and sea areas global (especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people) are conserved through effective, equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas (and other effective area-based conservation measures)
- Reducing the rate of introduction of invasive alien species by at least 50%, and controlling or eradicating such species to eliminate or reduce their impacts
- Decreasing pollution from all sources to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity, ecosystem functions and human health, including reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds, and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste
- Minimising the impact of climate change on biodiversity, contributing to mitigation and adaptation through ecosystem-based approaches by at least 10 GtCO2e per year, and ensuring that all mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity
- Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives harmful to biodiversity, in a just and equitable way, reducing them by at least $500 billion per year
- Increasing financial flows from all sources to developing countries by at least US$ 200 billion per year.
Together, the results from these 21 target actions will enable positive conservation outcomes by 2030 and set us on a trajectory for living in harmony with Nature by 2050.
Through its membership and governance, Biodiversa+ promotes tight collaborations between national/local and European policy makers in charge of biodiversity and related issues. It also provides an overarching platform for exchanges among science, policy and practice, and strives to increase synergies between existing initiatives to avoid duplication. It generates new knowledge and tools to tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss, and to support decision-making and international policies and initiatives. It also plays an instrumental role in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, including through promoting the generation of new knowledge and engaging regional networks of research programmers and funders. Finally, it also aims to improve monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem services across Europe, hence also providing input to indicators tracking process towards the new targets. As a key player in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, Biodiversa+ will contribute to the ambition that “by 2030, nature in Europe is back on a path of recovery, and that by 2030 people are living in harmony with nature” in line with the emerging post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Highlighting the importance of biodiversity for many sustainable development issues, this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity was action-oriented and echoed the draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework. In the run-up to this day, the Convention on Biological Diversity released various lists of actions for biodiversity, such as “actions that anyone can do”, “actions for businesses” or “actions for connecting with nature”. These lists complement the 21 urgent actions for 2030 that can help us reverse the current trend of biodiversity loss.
*The draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be further negotiated in Nairobi (21-26 June), during the 4th meeting Open-Ended Working Group. This meeting will be instrumental in preparing the ground for the adoption of the framework, hopefully later this year.