Paris | The COP15 on biodiversity, an important international meeting for the protection of nature, was postponed again Wednesday, to April 2022, a delay made necessary by the COVID-19 epidemic which complicates negotiations.

COP15 will open for a virtual summit on the scheduled date of October 11, 2021 (until October 15), which will focus on agenda issues.

It will also include a “high-level segment”, that is to say bringing together senior representatives of the countries, online on October 12 and 13, which should result in a “Kunming declaration” to mark a “political impetus”. , said the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD) in a statement.

The actual face-to-face negotiations will then be held in Kunming, China, from April 25 to May 8, 2022, with the aim of arriving at a framework for the protection of nature for the coming decades.

“Organizing COP15 in two parts will allow maximum progress to be made on the remaining difficult topics, before our final face-to-face meetings in Kunming,” said CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, quoted in the statement.

COP15, which was originally scheduled to be held in October 2020, had already been postponed for a year.

The CBD presented in July a draft text to be finalized during the Kunming negotiations and aimed at “living in harmony with nature” by 2050, with intermediate objectives for 2030.

Time is running out, because despite the urgency, the States have not kept their commitments to reverse the trend over the decade 2010-2020.

Climate and environment linked

According to UN biodiversity experts, IPBES, a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and poor ecosystem health also threatens the future of humans.

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While the Delta variant of COVID-19 raises fears of new epidemic waves in many countries, this postponement constitutes a new setback for environmental diplomacy, which increasingly focuses on a holistic approach to issues of biodiversity and change climate.

The important COP26 climate conference, which should materialize the new enhanced commitments of countries in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and finalize important pending issues of the 2015 Paris Agreement, initially scheduled for November 2020 in in the wake of the biodiversity COP, has also been postponed for a year.

It is now scheduled for early November in Glasgow and its British presidency ensures that it wants to do everything to ensure that it takes place as much as possible in person. But in addition to a possible epidemic resurgence and the movement restrictions that could accompany it, questions of access to COVID vaccines still hover over this gathering which normally drains tens of thousands of people from around the world.

The CBD project released in July includes 21 targets to be reached in 2030 to reduce threats to biodiversity, the tools for their implementation and meet the needs of populations.

It also addresses the issue of financing and intends to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring that the fight against climate change does not have negative impacts on biodiversity.

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