(Montreal) Montreal will host the second part of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in December.
Posted at 7:50am
The event will take place from December 5th to 17th.
The decision was confirmed Tuesday at a meeting at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference on a different topic this morning in Laval, Quebec Minister for Environment and Combating Climate Change Benoit Charette reacted to the announcement.
“This is very, very good news. Quebec has been involved in the international discussion on this issue, it has now been confirmed that it will be held in Montreal in early December,” said the minister, stressing that the event will attract several thousand people.
“As environment minister, I will take the opportunity to highlight biodiversity,” added the minister, explaining that the fight against climate change has cast some shadows on biodiversity decline in recent years.
The David Suzuki Foundation is calling on world leaders to come to COP15 with “a shared agenda to halt and reverse biodiversity decline”.
In a press release, Sabaa Khan, director general for Quebec and the Atlantic at the David Suzuki Foundation, stressed that this was “a pivotal moment for the protection of biodiversity”. It called on leaders to unite around “a new vision of international cooperation based on protecting the earth and the life that sustains it”.
For his part, Alain Branchaud, Executive Director of CPAWS Quebec, pointed out that “this will certainly be an opportunity to promote several inspiring initiatives that emanate from here”.
CPAWS recalled that holding COP15 in Montreal should mark the beginning of a new global framework for biodiversity, of which important actions include the goal of 30 percent protection of the terrestrial and marine environment by 2030.
“We want governments to come up with a concrete game plan that matches their ambitions. In Quebec, this includes in particular the introduction of specific protection targets for the south of the province as well as appropriate investments,” said Alice de Swarte, senior director at SNAP Quebec.
Montreal instead of Kunming in China
The 15the The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity kicked off in Kunming, China in autumn 2021.
The event took place in a hybrid format, which means that the executives participated online.
The second part of this conference was due to take place in China this summer, but health regulations and repeated lockdowns in major Chinese cities have forced the United Nations to consider a location other than Kunming.
In an interview with The Canadian Press on June 7, Convention on Biological Diversity Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema stated that China remains “the number one option” but that “there is pressure on the COP not to have it postponed.” the United Nations had begun to explore other options. It had indicated that Montreal could become “the default option” because the organization’s office is headquartered in Old Montreal on Saint-Jacques Street.
Thirty years after the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Rio Earth Summit, according to Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the next COP is particularly important, particularly because of “recent scientific evidence that biodiversity loss is occurring on an unprecedented scale and that the loss of biodiversity is also linked to other environmental problems such as pollution, land degradation, climate change”.
Speaking in Montreal earlier this month, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema referred to a particularly alarming report released in 2019 by the United Nations Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
According to that report, more than half a million terrestrial species “lack a habitat for their long-term survival” and are threatened with extinction, many within decades, if their habitats are not restored.
The rate of species extinction is accelerating, with serious consequences for human populations and risking “undermining the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life around the world,” IPBES President Robert Watson said at the release of the report .