For Immediate Release, December 19, 2022
Tanya Sanerib, +1 (206) 379-7363, email@example.com
Biodiversity Summit Agrees to Protect 30% of Planet by 2030
But New Framework Fails to Commit to Halting Wildlife Extinction Now
MONTREAL— A global agreement was reached today to protect 30% of terrestrial, freshwater and marine areas by 2030. The 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP15, in Montreal concluded by adopting the “Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework.” The framework centers the role of Indigenous Peoples in meeting the habitat goals and vastly increases financing for biodiversity.
“A global agreement to protect a third of the planet by 2030 is monumental. And recognizing the importance of freshwater and marine habitat as well as centering Indigenous Peoples' roles and traditions in habitat protection are key,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “My whole life, habitat loss has been a key driver of decreasing biodiversity. While agreements are great, if we’re going to save life on Earth, now we have to roll up our sleeves and do it.”
Today’s framework is meant to guide biodiversity protection for the 196 countries that are party to the convention, which the United States has not joined. The planet faces an extinction crisis like none ever before witnessed by humankind, with 28% of species across the global facing extinction.
Despite more than 100 organizations and 50,000 people globally demanding an immediate end to human-caused extinction, the framework does not set a goal of ensuring that human-caused extinctions are halted immediately.
The old targets, which were set in 2010 in Aichi, Japan, included an agreement to prevent the extinction of known threatened species by 2020. But the new Kunming-Montreal framework does not call for an immediate halt to human-caused extinctions.
“Basically, the agreement is a watered-down version of business as usual when it comes to fighting wildlife extinction,” said Sanerib. “U.N. scientists said we need transformative change or we risk losing a million species. What we got when it comes to halting species’ extinctions is backtracking on biodiversity.”
The framework also contains targets for curtailing pesticide and plastic pollution, addressing the intersection of climate and biodiversity, and addressing invasive species threats. While the negotiations were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the framework calls for reducing but not eliminating the risk of pathogen spillover.
“This framework doesn’t do enough to prevent future pandemics, despite the tragic reality that millions have died from a pandemic of likely zoonotic origin,” said Sanerib. “Conserving biodiversity and preventing pathogen spillover need to go hand in hand to prevent the next pandemic.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.