A key United Nations summit to negotiate an accord for nature similar to the Paris climate agreement has been postponed for a second time, it has been announced.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said in a a statement that Cop15, the biggest biodiversity summit in a decade, had been moved to October due to delays related to the coronavirus pandemic. The negotiations in Kunming, China, had been scheduled for May after they were moved from October 2020.
Countries are expected to reach an agreement over targets to protect the natural world, including proposals to conserve 30% of the world’s oceans and land by 2030, introduce controls on invasive species and reduce plastics pollution.
Scientists have warned that agricultural production, mining and pollution are driving the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, with human activity threatening the healthy functioning of life-sustaining ecosystems.
The UN biodiversity head, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said the summit would take place from 11-24 October 2021, but hinted that further delays might be necessary because of the pandemic.
The world has never met a single UN target to stem the destruction of wildlife and the natural world, failing to meet any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to protect coral reefs, remove government subsidies that damage nature, and tackle pollution. It was the second consecutive decade that governments failed to meet targets.