Convention on Biodiversity: COP 15

COP 15 has now started in Montreal. Not another COP, I hear you cry, haven’t we just had one? Unfortunately the United Nations refer to all their big meetings as “Conference of the Parties” so you have to know which international agreement they are referring to before it makes any sense. COP 27, which we have all been talking about recently, is about climate change. This one is the 15th meeting for the Convention on Biodiversity, the much delayed meeting to set ten year global targets for the conservation of global wildlife and nature. Originally the aim was to hold the meeting in 2020 and set targets for the following ten years. The new targets will still run till 2030 but we will only have seven years to deliver.

Why does it matter?

Nature underpins our lives. It provides us with food, water, air to breathe, materials for our homes, and medicine that keeps us healthy. It brings us joy, sparks curiosity, and brings peace. Sadly, the importance and value of nature are often overlooked and downgraded in times of crisis. But this is short-sighted. For us to thrive, nature must thrive.

Both globally and nationally the world is not doing well at looking after nature. Butterfly Conservation has been monitoring butterflies and moths for over 40 years, most of this time has been spent monitoring declines – half of the UK’s butterflies are now endangered; 80% of butterfly species have decreased in abundance or distribution, or both since the 1970s

But it doesn’t have to be like this. At Butterfly Conservation we have shown that when we invest time, resources and knowledge into a problem we can deliver positive outcomes. However, there has been far too little of this across nature as a whole in the UK and we have now reached the point where we need to see a step change in effort if we are to deliver a healthy and functioning environment for future generations.

We need the Government to set the framework in policy, legislation - there has to be a fundamental change in how we view our relationship with the natural world and how we support nature’s recovery.

What do we want to see happen?

We are part of an NGO campaign asking the UK government to support 5 key asks

•    Halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030 
•    Set 2030 goals that will prevent extinctions, recover species populations, and retain and restore habitats 
•    Protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030 in a fair and effective way 
•    Set 2030 targets that will reduce the negative pressures humans put on nature globally by 50%, including from pollution and the unsustainable use of natural resources 
•    Provide the money and resources needed to restore nature, whilst empowering local people and indigenous communities, and holding countries accountable for their actions.

COP 15 is expected to run until 19th December. We will be back next week to tell you how things are going. If you want to see more information about the campaign, you can find it here