Saturday, 25 March, 2023

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COVID-19 fears force relocation of UN biodiversity summit from China

The rising cases of COVID-19 infections has forced the relocation of the UN biodiversity summit from China to Canada.

With China in the Chair as President, the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will reconvene Dec. 5 to 17 in Montreal, Canada, where a new world agreement to safeguard nature is expected to be adopted.

The decision was confirmed at a meeting of the Bureau of the CBD and announced as Parties to the CBD convene in Nairobi (June 21-26) to advance negotiations on an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework that will set the world on a path to bend the curve on nature loss.

Originally planned for Kunming, China in 2020, COP15 was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and later split into a two-part event. Part 1 was successfully held in Kunming last October.

Chinese President XI Jinping and other State leaders from eight Parties as well as the UN Secretary General made online presentations and speeches, reinforcing their commitment to address the biodiversity crisis.

The Chinese Government, Yunnan province and the city of Kunming have been working continuously to ensure a successful COP15.

“I thank the Government of Canada, as the host of the Secretariat, for providing a venue in Montreal for this crucial meeting. I want to thank the Government of China for their flexibility and continued commitment to advancing our path towards an ambitious post 2020 global biodiversity framework. I look forward, with the support of all Parties, to successful outcomes of COP15.”

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity


COP15 part 1 was also highlighted by the Kunming Declaration and President Xi Jinping’s announcement that China would take the lead to invest RMB 1.5 billion to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, providing strong political impetus to global biodiversity governance
and a solid foundation for the second part of COP 15.

Opened for signature in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and entering into force in December 1993, the CBD is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.

With 196 Parties, the CBD has near universal participation among countries.