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Media Statement: Don’t let nature miss its Paris moment

Failure to reach consensus on draft Global Biodiversity Framework leaves many key details still to be agreed ahead of UN Biodiversity Conference COP15

Two American bison lock horns at Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
American bison American Bison (Bison bison) roam and graze the spring grasses across the more than 40,000 acre Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. © Morgan Heim/TNC

Against a turbulent geopolitical background, global negotiators have spent the past two weeks working around the clock in Geneva to finalize a draft of a new Global Biodiversity Framework, designed to set the course for nature’s recovery over the next decade, and intended for adoption in September at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, in Kunming, China.

Unfortunately, negotiators failed to reach consensus on the draft within this two-week window, leaving many details of the text still to be agreed, and meaning that another meeting - provisionally scheduled for Nairobi at the end of June -  will be needed to resolve various sticking points ahead of the COP. 

Commenting on the underwhelming outcomes of the Geneva meeting, Linda Krueger – Global Biodiversity Policy Lead for The Nature Conservancy – said:  

“Although we acknowledge the collective effort that has been poured into getting the draft Global Biodiversity Framework to this stage – including growing support for ‘nature-positive’ ambitions to halt and reverse the current declines by 2030 – we are profoundly disappointed that crucial elements of the text, including sector-specific impacts and resource mobilization, remain bracketed at this stage.

“For years, we’ve been urging governments around the world to meet this moment; to stand up for their communities, their economies, and the planet with real action that stops destroying nature and starts restoring it. After two weeks of negotiations in Geneva, some modicum of progress was made, but not nearly enough in terms of ambition and scale.

“Be under no illusions: we are running out of time to secure a future that is ecologically stable, a requirement for future generations to thrive; one where we see resilient and intact natural ecosystems, healthier habitats, more sustainable food production, abundant wildlife, cleaner and safer drinking water, and conservation and climate actions that are mutually reinforcing.

“The precious months before Kunming must focus on establishing clear timelines for country-level action and specific measures to plug funding gaps.  That means taking action on environmental harmful subsidies, increasing overseas aid budgets and mobilizing domestic resources.

“Nature’s ‘Paris Moment’ is still just about within reach, but achieving this outcome will require laser-like focus between now and Kunming. Science shows that we have no alternative, and headlines remind us that the time to act is running out. Now is the time for national governments, and for the host country, China, to galvanize political will through leadership, courage, and conviction before it’s too late.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.