Monday, June 24, 2024

New biodiversity deal emerges from COP15

Conservation Minister, Poto Williams says a new UN Convention on Biological Diversity deal will see COP15 nations commit to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

It includes targets to restore damaged ecosystems, tackle overexploitation of wild species, eliminate or reform $500 billion of environmentally damaging subsidies, and halt pollution that damages ecosystems.

“Biodiversity is being lost faster now than at any other period in human history, with an estimated 1 million species threatened with extinction. Aotearoa New Zealand has joined a global deal for nature to halt biodiversity loss and adopt the ‘30×30’ initiative to protect 30% of land and of ocean by 2030,” said Minister Williams, who is taking part in the COP15 talks in Montreal this week.

“We have made global biodiversity commitments before. This deal recognises we need to do better. The new targets are stronger, smarter and address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss.”

She said that, importantly, the framework also reflects an understanding that climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked and must be addressed together.

“New Zealand has been an early adopter, with commitments in our first Emissions Reduction Plan and National Adaptation Plan to ensure climate action enhances biodiversity and prioritises nature-based solutions wherever possible.”

“We recently committed $1.3 billion in international climate finance. At least half will support Pacific Island countries and includes a focus on nature-based solutions and the protection of biodiversity.”

Ms Williams said COP15’s strong targets have been matched by more finance for biodiversity to support global ambition, directing support to those who need it most.

“For our part, New Zealand has nearly doubled our contribution to the Global Environment Facility to $23.5 million.”

“Ministers from more than a hundred countries joined the negotiations to get the deal across the line. Ultimately it was recognised that globally, we cannot continue to ask Papatūānuku herself to compromise any longer.

“The framework recognises the essential contribution of Māori and other indigenous peoples as kaitiaki, to the sustainable management and conservation of nature. It is now up to us, individually and in partnership with others, to play our part. In Aotearoa, we will implement our commitments through Te Mana o te Taiao, our national biodiversity strategy.”

“To succeed in delivering a nature-positive future for our tamariki and mokopuna, everyone will need to be involved. All sectors of society will need to work alongside each other to look after the nature that sustains us all,” the Minister said.

Ms Williams is representing Aotearoa New Zealand at the COP15 Bio Diversity conference in Montreal, joining thousands of delegates from across the globe to discuss and agree on targets for biodiversity in the context of stopping the loss of species and habitats and the goal of 30% protection by 2030 of land and ocean.

Minister Williams noted there was a strong representation by the Pacific, who spoke directly to the visibility of Oceans within the framework and the rights and interests of Indigenous people and local communities.

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