• Monday, Dec 06, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:19 pm

UN biodiversity talks end in Kunming with new pledges

  • Published at 09:47 pm October 15th, 2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping at UN Biodiversity Conference
Media staff members watch a live image of China's President Xi Jinping speaking at the media centre of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), in Kunming on October 12, 2021 AFP

Nearly 3,000 delegates participated in the ‘COP15’

China, the European Union and Japan were among countries pledging to spend more on slowing down rapid species loss at talks this week in China to prepare for a new global biodiversity pact.

Nearly 3,000 delegates participated in the "COP15" talks that ended on Friday in the southwestern city of Kunming, with almost 2,500 connecting online, the Secretariat of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) said in a press release.

Further negotiations will take place in Geneva in January before delegates return to Kunming in April to put the finishing touches to a post-2020 deal aimed at "bending the curve of biodiversity loss."

Apart from the $233.21 million pledged by Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of a new "Kunming Biodiversity Fund," the European Union also said it would double funding for biodiversity.

France and Britain also promised to direct more of their climate budgets to protecting biodiversity, and Japan announced a $17 million extension to its own biodiversity fund.

Huang Runqiu, China's environment minister and the president of COP15, said global environmental governance was facing "unprecedented challenges" as the rate of global species extinction accelerates.

"In short, I think we have achieved more than expected, and we hope the second part of this COP will be even more. These are words," CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema told a closing briefing.

"We are looking forward to seeing the translation of what is written in these various documents, and what has been pronounced, into real action on the ground. That is what will bend the curve on biodiversity loss." 

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