Biodiversity needs greater global protection
This week, countries around the world will meet under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to begin drafting a global framework on how to sustainably protect and make use of biodiversity. Minister for Environment and Climate Per Bolund will take part in the meeting digitally and will emphasise that Sweden wants protection for 30 per cent of the world’s land and oceans.
According to a report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), human activities lead to ecosystem imbalance, species loss and a rapid and large-scale loss of genetic variation. Moreover, current human overexploitation of nature’s resources results in the deterioration and loss of ecosystem services; services that provide clean water, pollination and fertile soils.
Sweden supports introducing goals to protect 30 per cent of the world’s land and 30 per cent of its oceans. This is in line with what international researchers have highlighted as a minimum to ensure biodiversity.
“Humans are behind the global loss of biodiversity. Consequently, it is our duty to help address this critical issue. At the meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, I will work for an ambitious framework with global goals that meet the challenges we see with continued loss of biodiversity,” says Mr Bolund.
Protecting 30 per cent of the world’s land and oceans will not be enough to ensure ecosystem services upon which people are completely dependent. This is why goals and measures are needed that reduce the pressure on biodiversity in the other 70 per cent. Sweden wants the new global framework to include goals for reducing the global ecological footprint. This involves reduced pressure from human consumption and production on biodiversity and its ecosystem services.
Nature-based solutions are one way of both protecting biodiversity and contributing to emissions reductions or adaptation to a warmer climate. Sweden is pushing for the new global framework to contain such solutions. Climate change contributes to reduced biodiversity, and reduced biodiversity can drive climate change. Species and ecosystems are unable to adapt when the pace of climate change is steadily increasing. For example, degraded ecosystems absorb less carbon dioxide.
Press Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister Per Bolund
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UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Member States meet at a Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP) every other year. The most recent meeting was in Egypt in 2018. The meeting that will now begin in China has been postponed due to the pandemic.
This meeting – CBD COP15 – will be divided into two parts. COP15 part one will be held as a hybrid meeting on 11–15 October 2021. This meeting is expected to produce a decision on the budget for the Convention, digital contributions from participating ministers and the adoption of a declaration to provide political momentum for future negotiations.
COP15 part two is expected to take place as a physical meeting in April or May 2022 in Kunming, China.
• Genetic variation within species
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines biological diversity as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.
Report from IPBES
In May 2019, the IPBES presented the ‘Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’. This report is based on an analysis of some 15 000 sources. The aim is to illustrate the link between human activities, environmental changes and biodiversity, and to show possible courses of action. The assessment also includes traditional and local knowledge.