This summit begins when time is short; a million species are threatened with extinction, a third of the earth is severely degraded and fertile soils disappear, while pollution and climate change accelerate the devastation of the oceans.
“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres denounced on Tuesday during the inauguration of the summit. And he attributed that consequence to mankind’s “bottomless appetite for unbridled and uneven economic growth.”
He referred to COP15, a sort of twin sister to the climate COPs, as the “opportunity to stop this orgy of destruction.” However, negotiations have been stalled for three years.
This time it is a question of concretizing an agreement of twenty objectives, the main one of which aims to protect 30% of the lands and seas. Others provide for the restoration of natural environments, the reduction of pesticides, the fight against invasive species or the conditions for sustainable fishing and agriculture.
Costs of environmental devastation
It is estimated that the degradation of ecosystems will cost 3 billion dollars annually until 2030, Guterres recalled.
Before his speech, a dozen indigenous activists demonstrated in front of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeaudenouncing the ecological crisis in these communities.
Their territories are home to 80% of the remaining biodiversity in the world and the recognition, even financial, of their role in the final agreement is one of the thorny issues to be resolved.
At the opening session of the #COP15, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced a contribution of 350 million dollars (CAD) for programs to protect global biodiversity. He called for finding solutions and not relegating nature to the background. pic.twitter.com/KE8xo9VGgW
— WWF Latin America (@WWF_LAC)
December 6, 2022
Today begins the #COP15the Biological Diversity Conference of the @ONU_es that will bring together governments from around the world to conclude a historic agreement to guide global action on #biodiversity from here to 2030 🇨🇦🌿.
Follow us to find out more! #By nature
— UNESCO in Spanish 🏛️ #Education #Science #Culture (@UNESCO_es)
December 7, 2022
In an attempt to reach agreements, three days of previous discussions were completed from December 3 to 5, but they concluded without significant progress, since only five objectives were approved. This caused concern among experts and NGOs.
“This summit is an opportunity the world should not miss, probably the last for governments to turn the tide and save our precious life support system,” WWF advocacy official Bernadette Fischler Hooper said Tuesday.
“We are in the final stretch, and it is time for all of us to step up, this is becoming crucial,” the head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Andersen, visibly concerned, said on Tuesday.