Kunming, Yunnan province, has been decorated with flower clusters, landscaping and lighting to welcome the opening of COP 15. CHINA DAILY Because of human activities, species are disappearing from the planet with alarming rapidity, at 50 to 100 times the historical rate. The loss of individual species makes the news and draws attention, but it is the destruction, degradation, and destruction of forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and other ecosystems that pose the greatest threat to biological diversity, as it is pointed out by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological DiversityConvention on Biological Diversity.
On Wednesday, representatives of the 196 nations that have ratified the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will meet in Montreal, Canada for the start of the second phase of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention.
The meeting, which has the task of securing a consensus on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, was split into two parts to allow more time for negotiations on the framework. As China is the current chair, it will lead the deliberations in Montreal, setting the agenda and tone.
The goal is to ensure biodiversity loss is stopped and reversed by 2030, and that humans live in harmony with nature by the year 2050, according to Huang Runqiu, China's minister of ecology and environment and COP 15 president.
The size of the challenge to achieve those ambitious but vital objectives can't be overemphasized. In 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, the parties agreed on the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. None of the 20 objectives has been fully realized.
It is important to find common ground on issues such as funding, genetic resources, enforcement and oversight mechanisms, and that's why it is so important to turn consensus into concrete actions.
As with the recent negotiations on climate action, one of the sticking points is the developed countries failing to meet the obligations stipulated in the Convention and related protocols to provide funding, technology and capacity building to the poorer nations.
In order to set the ball rolling, China launched the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and contributed $230 million to it at the first phase of the COP 15 meeting in Kunming last year.
China has a clear vision for protecting its rich biodiversity, much of which is endemic, and is encapsulated in the goal of realizing an ecological civilization that has been written into the country's constitution. The international community has been recognized by the fact that it has taken concrete steps to achieve this goal.
This provides it with a solid platform to demonstrate the bold leadership required to achieve a meaningful outcome in Montreal.