Crucial for the future of the planet, the COP15 on biodiversity could be held without heads of state

This is one of the most decisive meetings of this decade for the protection of the environment and the survival of humanity, and it risks being held without the presence of any Head of State. Two months before the opening of the COP15 on biodiversity in Canada, China, which chairs this world conference, officially invited only the ministers in charge of the issue and heads of NGOs to participate in the discussions. ” high level “according to an official document published on September 14.

“Given current plans, we may not have the heads of state and government”acknowledged Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), interviewed by the news site Weather Home News beginning of October. In France, the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, has confirmed that he will travel to Montreal, where the COP15 will be held from December 7 to 19. “By sending invitations only to ministers, the presidency has decided to give this COP less importance than it should have, reacted Oscar Soria, campaign director of the NGO Avaaz. Politicians at the highest level must show the world that they care about ecological collapse. »

The challenge of COP15 is immeasurable: it is about establishing a new global framework to put an end to the erosion of biodiversity by 2030. None of the objectives of the previous global agreement, concluded in 2010 in Japan, has been achieved, and the destruction of nature has continued to accelerate. Deforestation is at record levels, vertebrate populations have declined by at least 68% since 1970, and 40% of the land is degraded. However, keeping ecosystems in good condition is essential for food, agriculture, human health and even to fight global warming.

strained diplomatic relations

For the COP27 for the climate, scheduled for early November, more than ninety heads of state should travel to Sharm El-Sheikh, in Egypt. While more and more scientists and some political leaders are calling for addressing the twin climate and biodiversity crises together and with the same level of urgency, the possible absence of heads of state in Montreal raises fears that COP15, which will take place out at the same time. time like the World Cup in Qatar – does not provoke the expected mobilization.

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Initially scheduled for China at the end of 2020, this event has been postponed several times due to Covid-19. In late June, while Beijing was still dealing with the pandemic, the CBD announced that it would finally take place in Montreal, where it is based. However, diplomatic relations between China and Canada, now the two co-drivers of this meeting, have been particularly tense for several years.

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