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HomeWorldDraft UN Biodiversity Agreement Falls Short, Says WWF

Draft UN Biodiversity Agreement Falls Short, Says WWF


  • UN publishes first draft of global agreement aimed
    at addressing the nature crisis
  • Draft plan lacks
    ambition and urgency necessary to reverse biodiversity loss,
    despite high-level commitments
  • One million species
    are currently threatened with
    extinction

GLAND, Switzerland (12 July
2021) –
In response to the publication today of the
first draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework,
WWF expresses concern that the world is failing to
adequately respond to the nature crisis, thereby also
jeopardising our ability to tackle the climate crisis and
endangering the resources we all depend on for business and
our very survival.

The draft agreement, published by
the Convention on Biological Diversity based on discussions
between governments, sets out proposed global goals and
targets for nature. In WWF’s assessment, the current draft
lacks both the ambition and urgency required to reverse
biodiversity loss and secure a nature-positive
world this decade.

Crucially, the low ambition of the
first draft is at odds with the increasing number of world
leaders signalling they are stepping up ambition on nature.
To date, 89 world leaders have endorsed the Leaders’
Pledge for Nature
committing to reverse biodiversity
loss by 2030, including through delivering a transformative
post-2020 global biodiversity framework. In June, G7 leaders
signed the G7
Nature Compact
committing to halt and reverse
biodiversity loss this decade by taking bold action for
delivery of ambitious outcomes for nature in
2021.

Marco Lambertini, Director General of
WWF International, said:

“While WWF
welcomes the publication of the first draft of the post-2020
global biodiversity framework as a major step towards
securing a crucial global biodiversity agreement, we are
disappointed that the text, overall, does not reflect the
ambition required to turn the tide on the nature
crisis.

“We need the text to include a clear
and measurable global goal for nature, similar to the one we
have for climate. This is crucial to define adequate
science-based targets and allow governments, businesses,
investors and consumers to all contribute toward a shared
goal. Eighty-nine world leaders have, to date, endorsed the
Leaders’ Pledge for Nature committing to reverse
biodiversity loss by 2030. Yet the ambition and urgency
contained in the draft agreement are significantly below
what is necessary to secure a nature-positive world this
decade. With human activities continuing to drive
irreversible biodiversity loss, pushing species to
extinction and ecosystems toward collapse, we urge leaders
to step up and deliver on their commitments, instructing
their negotiators to secure a transformational
outcome.”

Human activities are currently driving
an unprecedented loss of biodiversity, with one
million species
threatened with extinction. Last year,
it
was revealed
that the world has not achieved any of its
previous decade-long Aichi biodiversity targets.

WWF
emphasises that the nature crisis requires a comprehensive,
urgent and ambitious global response which includes both
increased conservation action and a transformation of the
drivers of biodiversity loss, including our agriculture,
food system and infrastructure which all need shifts to
sustainable alternatives.

As such, WWF welcomes the
inclusion of a target to protect 30% of land, freshwater and
oceans by 2030, which must be conditional to a rights-based
approach which recognizes, secures and protects the rights
of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to their lands
and waters. However, the lack of a milestone to halve the
footprint of production and consumption by 2030, and an
especially weak species milestone, are very
concerning.

Guido Broekhoven, Head of Policy Research
and Development at WWF International, said:

“The
draft text contains many of the elements necessary to a
successful nature agreement, but it falls short in several
key areas. Action to protect ecosystems is vital, but we
will not be successful in securing a nature-positive world
unless we also address the drivers of biodiversity loss,
moving to sustainable systems of production and consumption,
and healthy and sustainable diets. Similarly, while the text
does cover resource mobilization, the needs expressed are
probably a significant underestimation.

“We
urgently call on countries to work together to strengthen
the text. The world must not miss this once-in-a-decade
chance to secure a Paris-style agreement for
nature.”

WWF further notes that the language in
the draft text on responsibility and transparency is
particularly weak. It will be essential that parties work to
strengthen this section, ensuring the inclusion of an
effective implementation mechanism in the final agreement
that holds countries to account. To avoid a repetition of
the Aichi targets, a strong implementation mechanism is
essential, including to support a whole-of-country and
society approach, and sector engagement.

Parties must
now urgently work to strengthen the draft agreement at the
next round of UN negotiations in August. To halt and reverse
the loss of biodiversity, it is essential that a
comprehensive package is adopted at COP15 in Kunming,
China.

Lambertini added:

“We can’t risk
another lost decade for nature. Science has never been
clearer: action on nature is not just essential to reducing
our vulnerability to future pandemics, it is critical to
tackling the climate crisis and securing an equitable and
prosperous future for
all.”

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