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The 21 proposals include targets for things such as reducing pesticide use, curbing plastic waste and a yearly fund to protect nature in developing countries.
They will be voted on by the 196 countries in the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity when it next meets in October for the CBD COP15 in Kunming, China.
Why This Matters: With 1 million species now threatened with extinction, scientists are wondering if the earth is going through its sixth mass extinction. This crisis is the result of centuries of agricultural production, mining, fossil fuel emissions, and pollution.
Though the UN has set many targets to curb ecological destruction, the world has never met a single one.
For example, the world failed to meet any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to protect coral reefs, remove government subsidies that damage nature, and tackle pollution.
The Agreement: In addition to many countries’ 30 by 30 commitments, this new draft of the CBD’s agreement includes 21 major commitments to reducing pollution and restoring the earth’s ecosystems, like:
Reducing pesticide use by two/thirds
Halving the rate of invasive species introduction
Eliminating $500 billion harmful government subsidies a year
Cutting the extinction rate by a factor of ten
Channelling $200 billion a year towards protecting nature in developing countries
Some worry that these proposals will be too difficult to implement worldwide — countries may cherry-pick the easiest targets to achieve while disregarding the others. Some targets are also a bit vague, including a commitment to ensuring proper conservation management and respecting Indigenous rights. At the same time, Francis Ogwal, a co-chair of the Convention on Biodiversity, emphasized that having fewer targets, would “undermine how complex biodiversity is” during a virtual news conference.
The draft agreement should be finalized at the next global biodiversity conference, COP15, currently scheduled for October in Kunming, China.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the CBD, said: “Urgent policy action globally, regionally and nationally is required to transform economic, social and financial models so that the trends that have exacerbated biodiversity loss will stabilize by 2030 and allow for the recovery of natural ecosystems in the following 20 years, with net improvements by 2050.”
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