In December 2022, thousands of government delegates and observers will meet in Montreal, Canada at COP15 – the Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – to finalise and adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
What is COP15?
CBD COP15 stands for the 'Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)', an international convention also referred to as the 'UN Biodiversity Conference'.
The CBD has three main goals/objectives: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from commercial and other use of genetic resources. The CBD was adopted over 30 years ago, at the Conference on Environment and Development (known as the 'Earth Summit') in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992.
When and where is COP15?
COP15 was originally scheduled to be held in China in 2020. However, the disruption and restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the meeting being postponed and then split into two parts. Part one took place virtually, hosted from Kunming, China in October 2021. Part two will be held in Montreal, Canada from 7 to 19 December 2022, under the presidency of China.
Why is COP15 important?
At COP15 thousands of government delegates and observers will meet in Montreal, Canada to finalise and adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This framework will set out an ambitious plan to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity and ensure that by 2050 the shared vision of ‘living in harmony with nature’, adopted as part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, at COP10 in Nagoya, Japan in 2010, is fulfilled.
The journey to COP15
It has been a long journey to get to Part 2 of COP15. Discussion and negotiations on a post-2020 global framework started over 3 years ago, back in August 2019, with the First meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in Nairobi. A summary of the key meetings is provided in the timeline.
The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is a high-level document that will be agreed and adopted by Parties to CBD at COP-15, which aims to reverse biodiversity decline globally. The GBF will build on the previous framework, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its 20 Aichi Targets, which ran until 2020, and will include a new set of goals and targets to be met by 2030.
The draft framework (June 2022) consists of four goals and over 20 targets.
Following finalisation and adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework, Parties will be urged to review, and, as appropriate, update and revise, their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in line with the GBF. NBSAPs will be the principle instrument for implementing the GBF at the national level, and parties will monitor and review their implementation of the GBF and progress towards meeting the goals and targets through regular National Reports. These reports are used to inform the Global Biodiversity Outlook, a periodic report that summarises the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity globally and provides an analysis of the steps being taken by the global community to ensure that biodiversity is being conserved and used sustainably.
The UK Biodiversity Framework (2022–2030)
In the UK, biodiversity and the natural environment are devolved matters and are therefore the responsibility of the governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Their responsibility also extends to implementing international biodiversity obligations, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), although these are negotiated and entered into on a UK-wide basis.
All four nations of the UK therefore have and continue to develop their own domestic policies and strategies to protect and restore nature, to manage natural resources sustainably and to respond to climate change and other environmental challenges.
These domestic policies and strategies will be reviewed following the finalisation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, a post-2020 UK Biodiversity Framework is being developed, which will serve as a vehicle for the four nations to work together on areas of shared ambition or common purpose for biodiversity at a UK level in order to address the goals and targets outlined in the GBF.
Nature Recovery for Our Survival, Prosperity and Wellbeing: Joint Statement
Prior to the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UK’s Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (JNCC, Natural England, Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (Northern Ireland), Northern Ireland Environment Agency, NatureScot, and Natural Resources Wales) launched a joint statement: 'Nature recovery for Our Survival, Prosperity and Wellbeing’' at an event on 23 November 2023.
The Joint Statement stresses the need to deliver on the ambitions of the new Global Biodiversity Framework to ensure our collective survival, prosperity, and wellbeing.
JNCC’s CEO, Dr Gemma Harper, provides her reflections on the launch of the Nature Recovery Joint Statement on 23 November 2023.
You can also access the video via our YouTube channel.
JNCC’s Chair, Professor Colin Galbraith FRSE, gives his thoughts on the Nature Recovery Joint Statement.
You can also access the video via our YouTube channel.
JNCC's role in COP15
The UK ratified the CBD in June 1994 and since then, JNCC has provided technical and scientific support to Defra on issues relating to the UK’s implementation of the CBD, including prominent roles in the Global Plant Conservation Strategy, the Ecosystem Approach, the Global Taxonomy Initiative, and National Reporting. In addition, JNCC hosts the UK Clearing House Mechanism for the Convention on Biological Diversity, a website that provides relevant information on the CBD in the UK, including the UK's implementation of the CBD, the UK's national reports, information on implementation in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies, and UK funding for the CBD.
JNCC will be busy before and during COP15, including through:
- Playing a key role in negotiations at OWEG-5 and COP15 as part of the Defra-led UK delegation. JNCC colleagues have been busy providing evidence to Defra and helping to inform the UK position on the GBF, as well as other items to be discussed at COP15 including on biodiversity and health, invasive alien species, and soil biodiversity.
- Supporting the development of the UK Biodiversity Framework 2022–2030, which will serve as a framework for the four nations to work together on areas of shared ambition.
We have a team of experts attending, including our CEO, Dr Gemma Harper.
We'll be posting regular updates on our activities at COP15 on our social media channels. You can also find out more in a blog from our Chair, Professor Colin Galbraith.