Stand up for a Nature Positive World at COP15

Around 50 MPs and Peers from all parties in the UK Parliament have pledged to “stand up for a nature-positive world” by encouraging and supporting the UK Government to take a strong leadership role at the upcoming UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 summit. The conference is to be hosted later this year under the Chinese Presidency to agree on a new global framework to save nature.

Awareness is growing about how biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to worsen with business-as-usual scenarios. The UN Biodiversity Conference will convene governments from around the world to agree to a new set of goals for nature over the next decade through the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process. The framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.

 Scientists warn of a sixth mass extinction, this time driven by human activity. But action has been slow. Especially by world leaders. Ten UK environmental NGOs (Marine Conservation Society, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, RSPB, Soil Association, Wildlife and Countryside Link, The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, WWF-UK, Zero Hour have urged the UK Government to lead this global effort.  Around 50 MPs and Peers gathered and pledged to support an ambitious outcome at COP15. Promising to take action to halt and begin to reverse nature’s decline by 2030, MP's are telling their constituents that they would “stand up for a nature positive world”. The leading environmental charities and campaigners want COP15 outcomes to translate into effective domestic policy which will lead to real action on nature loss at home and overseas.

It is estimated that 77% of the world's land and 87% of the oceans have been altered by humans, leading to a loss of 83% of wild mammal biomass and half of the world’s plant biomass. The Aichi biodiversity targets set in 2010 under the CBD have largely been missed, and nature continues to decline, with more than 1 in 5 species globally at risk of extinction. Closer to home The UK is known to be one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. 
COP15 is the final chance to agree on action to tackle the global biodiversity crisis: action is needed now.

Lord Goldsmith, Minister for the International Environment—with responsibility for COP15—told Parliamentarians:

“We have an opportunity this year to build on the momentum of COP26 and make this the moment we put nature on a path to recovery. But it will require a lot of heavy lifting internationally, particularly in relation to finance for nature and targets to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and sea by the end of the decade, and the UK will do all we can to raise ambition globally in the run up to and at the UN Biodiversity Summit, COP15, later this year.”

Caroline Lucas MP, who is leading a COP15 debate in the UK Parliament, said:

“The climate and nature emergencies are two sides of the same coin, demanding an urgent and joined-up strategy. COP15 is our best chance to galvanise international action - to work towards a nature-positive economy, and protect and restore biodiversity for future generations to come. Our window of opportunity is rapidly closing - we need to seize it.”

Human prosperity and wellbeing are intrinsically tied to a nature-rich planet. The negotiations at COP15 must therefore agree a strong and binding post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that not only aims to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2030 but also embeds concrete and ambitious commitments that will reverse it, backed up by the means and mechanisms for implementation.

The UK must secure such a new framework for biodiversity at COP15 and support a nature positive goal for 2030—at both an international and domestic level.

"It's all about encouraging people to participate and learn about the natural world through hands on discovery."

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