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At a UN conference in Kunming, China, President Xi Jinping set aside $230 million to form a fund that preserves biodiversity in developing countries. This announcement was made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity talks (COP15) which are dedicated to preserving delicate ecosystems and preventing plants and animals from going extinct.
Greenpeace’sGlobal Policy Advisor for East Asia, Li Shuo, said in a statement: “China’s actions at home can have great impacts on the global biodiversity movement. Yesterday’s commitment to fund biodiversity protection at a larger scale could be the impetus others need to direct finance towards protecting biodiversity.”
More to Come
In addition to the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, President Xi announced a new national park plan that will bring 88,800 square miles of land — including panda and tiger habitats — under increased protection.
Still, environmental groups are concerned that China’s promises aren’t enough and note that Xi has yet to commit to protecting 30% of his nation’s lands and waters by 2030. “The Kunming Declaration gives us a hint on China’s leadership style. The declaration made a reference to the 30×30 target but did not indicate if Beijing is on board with it or not,” said Shuo. “Much remains to be seen on whether Beijing can spearhead a delicate multilateral process.”
The group will meet in Kunming again next spring for Phase 2 of the conference to set global conservation targets for the next decade.
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