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Biodiversity COP15 Focus

FILE: A herd of buffalo is seen on the water's edge drinking water in Louango Park on March 16, 2022.
FILE: A herd of buffalo is seen on the water's edge drinking water in Louango Park on March 16, 2022.

Nearly 200 nations gather in Montreal starting on December 5 to forge a new pact on biodiversity intended to keep species and ecosystems from further human destruction.

"Our planet is in crisis" says UN Convention on Biodiversity Chief Elizabeth Maruma Mrema.

She insists that a global agreement to protect biodiversity is "crucial to ensure that the future of humankind on planet Earth is sustained.

The "Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework" - which was delayed two years because of the COVID pandemic - intends to set up a plan for the first half of the 21st century to protect nature from further human damage.

The plan will include key economic sectors ranging from forestry to fishing and agriculture. It will also address a wide range of issues from pesticides and pollution to intellectual property.

COP15 in Montreal follows several weeks of environmental discussions in Egypt at COP27, at which major economic nations agreed to create a fund to assist developing nations deal with the effects of climate change.

As for the biodiversity treaty sought, only two out of the 22 targets set forth have so far been agreed upon.

An EU source close to COP15 said "We have to admit that success is not guaranteed. We have a very difficult situation ahead of us. "

The only world leader attending the Montreal meeting is Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The United States has not signed on to the COP 15 treaty target.

One major accomplishment ahead of Montreal is the "30 by 30 target" - an agreement to protect 30 percent of the land and oceans by 2030. So far, over 100 countries formally support that goal.

On Thursday, the UN Environment Program said investments for solving problems over nature incursions must grow to $384 billion per year by 2025. That's more than double the present commitment of $154 billion per year.

Another goal set for Montreal is the end or redirection of government subsidies that harm nature, cutting pesticide use, re-forestation initiatives, and curbing invasive species.

COP15 also seeks to promote sustainable farming and fishing.

It's getting nations to adhere to and administer these initiatives that's the challenge.

"We need goals and targets that are measurable and they need to be related to clear indicators," according to a EU source.

There must also be, he says, "Robust monitoring, planning, reporting, and review."