News Sustainability news New Deal to Protect Nature COP15

New Deal to Protect Nature COP15

Sustainability news

The agreement was made early on Monday morning (19th) of December following the Biodiversity summit in Montreal - a “historic” deal to protect biodiversity and nature, including rainforests and wetlands across the globe.

Biodiversity loss has gone hand in hand with the Climate Emergency. In 2019 it was estimated that over a million species of plant and animals would be lost within the coming decades.  From the 1st of January to the 30th of September this year, nearly 9000 square kilometres of deforestation occurred in Brazil alone in pristine rainforest (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE)). Global food demands have led to an increase in land being cleared for crops and grazing.

The agreement, known as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, is a new agreement which builds on the EU biodiversity strategy to protect 30% of land and marine areas by 2030 (the 30x30 agreement). Currently only 17% of terrestrial and 10% of marine areas are protected.

One of the biggest issues has been the finance and resources needed to protect biodiversity in poorer countries which are often the countries most at risk of both climate change and biodiversity losses. A range of sources have now been identified globally (through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)) to help raise $200 billlion for biodiversity by 2030, and a framework developed to help raise $20 billion a year by 2025 for the poorest nations - this number will increase to $30 billion per annum by 2030.

Although the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and several other African nations did not fully agree to the deal, this is a big step forwards, particularly following the climate emergency talks in Egypt last month at COP 27.

This agreement has gone a long way to bring key countries such as China and India together to find a way forward.  However, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), reported that the agreement is “the floor and not the ceiling” and although it has outlined key commitments for nature, Governments could have gone a lot further to try and halt biodiversity loss and at a faster pace to deal with the current decline of nature. More information about COP 15 can be found here.

These global discussions about biodiversity have however, added relevance given the recent launch of the Sport for Nature baseline report and the ongoing work to integrate nature and biodiversity into how we manage sport in the same way that we are starting to prioritise climate change action.

Authors Thomas Carrick & Dr Catherine Flitcroft