United Nations Biodiversity Conference | 64 million invite the world to Montreal

(Ottawa) The Trudeau administration is putting on the table $64 million to host the second part of the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Montreal in October.

Posted at 5:00 am

Joel Denis Bellavance

Joel Denis Bellavance
The press

The hope of seeing the big meeting on the subject of biodiversity in the metropolis is therefore within reach. This event could attract between 12,000 and 15,000 people from about 190 countries – a major economic windfall as restaurants, hotels and the tourism industry begin to recover from a two-year pandemic.

In recent weeks, the Trudeau government has been taking behind-the-scenes steps to salvage this important conference, Learn said The press from multiple sources.

The work of COP15 was launched in October 2021 in Kunming, China, in a hybrid format and was scheduled to continue in the same city from April 25 to May 8. However, they have already had to be postponed four times as Beijing imposed strict containment measures to combat COVID-19 cases.

Responding to the uncertainty surrounding the China conference, the United Nations has begun examining other options and rejects the idea of ​​another postponement.

By putting real money on the table, Ottawa is responding to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, who recently said that Montreal could be “the default option” if “the government is willing to pay the cost.” deal with”.

Traveling through Montreal ten days ago, she had raised the possibility that the metropolis would take over Kunming if the health situation in China did not improve. She then rated the chances of Montreal hosting the event “at an 8 out of 10”. The metropolis already houses the secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

A challenge for the host country

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly have been co-leading Canada’s efforts to replace China in organizing COP15 on biodiversity for several weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau endorsed their approach and, according to our information, an initial budget of approximately $64 million to organize the conference was approved last week. The United Nations requires the host country to bear the costs associated with organizing the meeting.

“Canada is committed to supporting the success of COP15 in 2022, including the adoption of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. We understand that the COP15 Office is still considering options for the location of COP15 in 2022 ‘ said an Environment Ministry source.

The host country of such an international conference usually has two years to organize it. Canada must therefore pull out all the stops to meet the challenge of organizing such a conference in just four or five months, it said.

“We are trying to save the COP15. It’s not 100% confirmed, but bodes well. The Chinese cannot organize it this year. There were negotiations as to who might recover it. It will definitely be a huge challenge. We will all have to mobilize very quickly,” said another government source familiar with the matter.

Ambitious and measurable conservation goals

A text presented in July 2021, which serves as a basis for discussions at COP15, specifically sets as targets by 2050 “that at least 30% of land and sea areas […] through protected area systems and other effective conservation measures”, or to limit pollution from agriculture or plastic. The talks should also make it possible to define a financial component and the means of following up on states’ commitments.

The European Union has already indicated that it intends to defend an “ambitious framework with measurable and time-bound targets, milestones and targets so that all the world’s ecosystems are restored, resilient and adequately protected by ‘2050’. The protection of “at least 30% of land and sea areas by 2030” is specifically mentioned, as are monitoring and financing procedures.

A 2019 United Nations Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report highlighted that more than half a million terrestrial species lack adequate habitat for their long-term survival. These species are therefore threatened with extinction unless their habitats are restored.

Of even greater concern is that species extinction is accelerating, with serious consequences for human populations and the risk of undermining the very foundations of our economies, food security and health, IPBES President Robert Watson recalled in the publication of the report.

With the Canadian Press

Protect 30% of the land and oceans

Biodiversity is declining rapidly around the world, and this decline will only worsen if nothing is done to halt its erosion. The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) wants to bring together the governments of 196 countries around a common plan to protect biodiversity in the coming decades. The text, which is at the heart of the negotiations, would protect 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030, compared to the 2020 targets (17% of land and 7% of marine and coastal areas). Currently, this goal is supported by more than 90 countries.

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