The United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15) was held from 7 to 19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, to set new targets for nature for the decade 2020-2030 (the conference was originally scheduled to be held in China in Kunming in 2020). As stated by UNEP, the framework aims to put in place "an ambitious plan to implement far-reaching action to transform society's relationship with biodiversity and ensure that by 2050 the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is achieved". The conference marked a landmark agreement by establishing a new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GFB).
Four global targets were adopted:
- To halt human-induced extinction of threatened species and to reduce the extinction rate of all species by a factor of ten by 2050;
- To use and manage biodiversity sustainably to ensure that nature's contributions to humanity are valued, maintained and enhanced;
- Share equitably the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and information on the digital sequences of genetic resources;
- Ensuring that adequate means of implementing the World Wildlife Fund are available to all parties, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing states.
The new framework also sets out 23 targets to be achieved by 2030. These include :
- Goal 1 on "participatory and integrated land-use planning for biodiversity and/or effective management processes for land and sea-use change". This includes all developments related to hydropower projects, among others.
- Objectives 2 and 3, which concern the restoration, conservation and management of at least 30% of terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystem areas. These include lakes, rivers and wetlands of interest. Currently, 17% of the world's land and 8% of its seas are protected.
- Goal 7 which aims to "reduce, by 2030, the risk of pollution and the negative impact of pollution", which will have a direct impact on river health and water quality.
- Objective 10, which addresses, among other things, the impact of aquaculture and fisheries and the introduction of new, more biodiversity-friendly practices.
- Objective 11, which deals with the restoration, maintenance and improvement of ecosystems and the services they provide to populations (drinking water, disaster risk prevention, etc.).
- Goal 12, which addresses the impact of urban areas on the resource and the importance of urban biodiversity areas, including wetlands, for local populations.
A stumbling block during the conference (the countries of the South were demanding US$100 billion per year), the question of financing was concluded by the creation of a special trust fund, the WCD Fund, which will reach "at least US$20 billion per year by 2025, then at least US$30 billion per year by 2030". The particularity of this fund is that it is open to private sector actors and philanthropy. It will be managed by an existing mechanism, the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Finally, 23 countries have launched a new platform, the Accelerator Partnership, to help governments accelerate the implementation of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs).