Seeking global commitment to save biodiversity

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Representatives from 196 countries are meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this week to discuss the best plans and a post-2020 framework to save the shrinking biodiversity on the planet. The meeting will run until Sunday and is being held under the banner of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The fourth open-ended working group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework has attracted more than 1,000 delegates including senior policymakers, representatives of multilateral agencies, academia and members of civil society who are participating in the six-day forum virtually and in-person.

While giving opening remarks to the event, Inger Andersen, the director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said there was an urgency to adopt a transformative global framework aimed at strengthening the protection of natural habitats amid mounting threats.

“The Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, with its associated decisions and commitments on resources and transparency, is a critical piece of the multilateral puzzle that, when assembled, will lay out the pathway to end the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste,” Andersen said.

Francis Ogwal, a co-chair of the fourth open-ended working group on post-2020 global biodiversity framework negotiations, said a new pact for protecting vital ecosystems was in sight, thanks to goodwill from governments, industry and civil society.

“There is a global consensus on the need to set ambitious targets for protecting natural resources that are the foundation of life and economic activities, especially in Africa. National governments will be tasked with domesticating the post-2020 global biodiversity framework in line with their unique circumstances and availability of funds,” Ogwal said.

Speaking to Xinhua News Agency at the sidelines of the meeting, Kevin Lunzalu, a co-founder of Kenya Youth Biodiversity Network, said that an ambitious and adequately funded global pact to tackle threats facing natural habitats should be aligned with the urgent needs of Africa’s indigenous communities including food, water and energy security.

According to Lunzalu, local communities should also be involved in the implementation of key targets outlined in the global biodiversity framework, including benefits sharing and compensation. The meeting in Nairobi is being held as a prelude to COP-15 talks in Montreal, Canada scheduled for December this year.

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