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28 December 2022

COP 15 Biodiversity: Global Biodiversity Framework Is Approved

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The parties that participated in COP 15 in Montreal have reached an unprecedented agreement aimed at stopping the degradation of biodiversity and its resources at the international level.
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The parties that participated in COP 15 in Montreal have reached an unprecedented agreement aimed at stopping the degradation of biodiversity and its resources at the international level. After several years of negotiations and long conference days, more than 190 countries have approved an agreement.

In summary, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, now called the "Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework," establishes 23 targets and four goals, and focuses on protecting 30% of the planet by 2030; as of today, only 17% and 10% of the world's terrestrial and marine areas, respectively, are under protection. In addition, the agreement aims to unlock $30 billion in annual conservation aid for developing countries and to bring guarantees for indigenous peoples, proposing to restore 30% of degraded lands and halve the risks related to pesticides.

In addition to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, two other related documents were approved during COP 15, one on Resource Mobilization and the other on Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources (DSI).

Background

Unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of the factors driving global biodiversity loss, an average of 25% of species in assessed animal and plant groups are threatened—with around 1 million species facing extinction, many within decades—according to the IPBES Global Assessment Report.

Resource Mobilization


The document recognizes the necessity of having an intermediate phase for the next two years (2023-2024) and a second phase for the rest of the decade (2025-2030), which will be agreed on during COP 16 (2024). For now, the document establishes, in its Annex I, the "Strategy for Resource Mobilization – Building Blocks and Structure for Phase I," which aims to quick-start resource mobilization for least developed countries and small island developing states.

Also, the document requests that the Global Environmental Facility establish in 2023 a Special Trust Fund—the "GBF Fund"—to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources (DSI)

Unfortunately, the COP 15 discussions on accessing and benefit-sharing related to DSI did not lead to a consensus; a definitive mechanism may be agreed on at COP 16 (2024). However, the decisions related to DSI note that the parties did agree that benefits (monetary or not) from the use of DSI should be used to support biodiversity conservation and benefit traditional communities. Also, the document encourages the inclusion of more digital sequence information on genetic resources with appropriate information on its geographical origin, in order to facilitate benefit-sharing.

Brazilian Response to COP 15 Outcomes

The COP 15 negotiations and approval of the Global Biodiversity Framework have already started to impact the parties' national legislations. On December 14, 2022, in Brazil, during the negotiations, Ordinance GM/MMA No. 299/2022 was published, establishing the National Biodiversity Conservation Program (CONSERVA+), which will establish the strategies for recognizing, assessing and managing native species in relation to sustainable use and the risks and threats of extinction in order to ensure the protection, conservation and management of Brazilian biological diversity. The program will seek to identify, publicize, and value the natural peculiarities and potentialities of native flora and fauna species as well as detect, reduce, and eliminate threats that may affect them.

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This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

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