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Gaps in Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Chemical Pollutants, Climate Mitigation Goals

For Mains: Gaps in Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and Recommendations

Why in News?

A group of environmental scientists, ecologists and policy experts have posited that the draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework fails to account for the totality of chemical pollutants that threaten ecosystems globally.

What are the Gaps in the Framework?

  • Chemical Pollutants: The draft agreement falls short by limiting itself to nutrients, pesticides and plastics, while many chemicals of high concern and importance are left out of the equation — including substances that are persistent and toxic, such as mercury and PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), as well as pharmaceuticals.
  • LNPP Inside Protected Areas: Currently, LNPP (land where natural processes predominate) covers around 56% of terrestrial land, excluding permanent ice and rock. However, only 20% of this land is formally protected. This means that, excluding permanent ice and rock, only 11% of the world’s land is covered by LNPP inside protected areas. The group feels that this is a problem since the post-2020 framework proposes at least 30% of land be protected by 2030.
    • LNPP refers to land where there is a low human disturbance and / or ecologically relatively intact vegetation, providing space and habitat for biodiversity to thrive.

What is Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework?

  • About:
    • It is a new framework that will guide actions worldwide through 2030, to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people.
    • It aims to spur urgent and transformative action by Governments and all of society to contribute to the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, its Protocols, and other biodiversity related multilateral agreements, processes and instruments.
    • The framework is built around a theory of change which recognizes that urgent policy action globally, regionally and nationally is required to transform economic, social and financial models.
  • Goals and Targets:
    • Four goals to achieve by 2050:
      • To halt the extinction and decline of biodiversity.
      • To enhance and retain nature’s services to humans by conserving.
      • To ensure fair and equitable benefits to all from use of genetic resources.
      • To close the gap between available financial and other means of implementation and those necessary to achieve the 2050 Vision.
    • 2030 Action Targets: The framework has 21 action-oriented targets for urgent action over the decade to 2030, which includes:
      • To bring at least 30% of land and sea under the world’s protected areas.
      • A 50% greater reduction in the rate of introduction of invasive alien species, and controls or eradication of such species to eliminate or reduce their impacts.
      • Reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds, and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste.
      • Nature-based contributions to global climate change mitigation efforts of at least 10 GtCO2e (gigatonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide) per year, and that all mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity.
      • Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives harmful for biodiversity, in a just and equitable way, reducing them by at least USD 500 billion per year.

What are the Recommendations?

  • There is need to target a wider scope of chemical pollutants for strategies and action to be implemented in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
    • Countries around the world recently agreed to create an intergovernmental science-policy panel on chemicals and waste to consolidate existing knowledge and inform policymakers.
  • The irrefutable evidence of chemical pollutants found in every ecosystem of the world, including remote Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan ecosystems, should compel negotiators of the new biodiversity framework to include these as threats to global biodiversity.
  • Protecting biodiversity is crucial for availability of food, there should be a net gain in the area, connectivity, and integrity of natural systems of at least 5% by 2030 and 15% by 2050 to support healthy and resilient populations of all species.
  • Shifting diets, increasing crop and livestock productivity, and limiting agricultural land expansion would help achieve global biodiversity, food security and climate mitigation goals by 2050.

What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity has been in force since 1993. It has 3 main objectives:
    • The conservation of biological diversity.
    • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
    • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
  • Nearly all countries have ratified it (notably, the US has signed but not ratified).
  • The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada and it operates under the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • The Parties (Countries) under Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), meet at regular intervals and these meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP).
  • In 2000, a supplementary agreement to the Convention known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was adopted. It came into force on 11th September 2003.
    • The Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
  • The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) was adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan at COP10. It entered into force on 12th October 2014.
    • It not only applies to genetic resources that are covered by the CBD, and to the benefits arising from their utilization but also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.
  • Along with the Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources, the COP-10 also adopted a ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity.
  • Officially known as “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020”, it provided a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets collectively known as the Aichi Targets for biodiversity.
  • India enacted Biological Diversity Act in 2002 for giving effect to the provisions of the CBD.

Source: DTE

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