COP 15 over, how do we ensure success?

COP 15 over, how do we ensure success?

Chinese Environment Minister Huang Runqiu (center) flanked by Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema.

Now that the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework has been adopted, the work has only just begun to ensure real achievement of the 23 adopted targets. Whether at the domestic or international level, different means are available to follow the evolution of the protection of biodiversity as required by the Global Framework.

Uniform monitoring will not be easy. Some of the objectives are quantified or have a performance indicator, but others are not.

At the domestic level, various tools are publicly accessible to monitor the progress towards the targets in real time. As for the protection of 30% of marine and terrestrial territories, the register of protected areas of Quebec will make it possible to observe the progress at the provincial level.

The species at risk public register will allow to evaluate the progress of the objective of the Global Framework targeting the reduction of the risk associated with the disappearance of species.

All civil society actors are there to hound governments and ensure that we get results. 

Alain Branchaud, Executive Director of SNAP Quebec

For the Director General of the Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP) of Quebec, Alain Branchaud, although the federal government has great latitude with regard to the protection of marine territories, this is not the case with regard to land territories. According to him, Ottawa cannot put “all its eggs in one basket” and must have more confidence in civil society actors.

“It is absolutely necessary that a large quantity of financial resources go to the protection of public territory, explains Alain Branchaud. It must not only be invested at the provincial and territorial government level, but we must also support civil society, such as environmental organizations that work in the protection of public land and that will make the difference.

Alain Branchaud considers that Ottawa must better equip the partners who can play a role of catalyst and matchmaker at the local level. Support is also necessary for the provinces to ensure a transition of the sectors concerned by the protection of biodiversity.

“We need the same kind of public pressure across Canada, with organizations that are well equipped and well funded,” he says. There needs to be a different approach, the federal government needs to work better with the different parties and I think the result will be there.”

Last fall, Greenpeace launched a campaign for Ottawa to pass legislation to make it binding to meet the goals of the Global Framework.

According to Mr. Branchaud, such a law would be a good tool to both ensure transparency on the achievement of objectives, but also to establish a whole-of-government approach that forces the various departments within a single government to act in a coherent manner with regard to the achievement of the objectives. However, he fears that such a law will not be easily applicable, because it would be juxtaposed with other pre-existing nature protection laws.

“To come and constrain laws such as that on species endangered by another law, that would not really make sense,” notes Alain Branchaud.

Acting on an international scale

Beyond ensuring the achievement of the objectives of the Global Framework on its own territory, Canada can also act internationally to ensure that the commitments made by the various governments and States at COP 15 are respected. international climate diplomacy at Climate Action Network Canada, Eddy Perez, this can involve aligning the Global Framework with bilateral treaties and tools.

“Canada could ask in the context of trade negotiations to include this environmental agreement as a condition for achieving the objectives of a free trade treaty,” he said. It’s in Canada’s interest – the Host of COP 15 – to present a commercial and international vision that forces our diplomatic relations to strengthen the implementation of the Global Framework”.

We should make the spirit of the Global framework the commercial standard and the diplomatic standard, as in some respects we tried to do with the Paris Agreement.

Eddy Perez, Director of International Climate Diplomacy at Climate Action Network Canada

For Eddy Perez, we must see the outcome of COP 15 as a “balance” between on the one hand, the gestures that are within the Global Framework, and on the other side, economic support and solidarity between countries.

“This balance creates a dependency. There can be no ambition without funding and there can be no funding without ambition,” explains Eddy Perez.

He stresses the need for the ministers who signed the Global Framework to meet again next year to reconfirm the importance of the Global Framework and present the efforts they will have already made at the domestic level. .

“Funding issues are serious,” he says. At the beginning of 2023, the rich countries will have to make new contributions quickly and announce them”.

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