COP15 successful, China takes lead in biodiversity, says UN official
The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China, was "very successful and met all the expectations," said a CBD executive official.
"The fact that we were able to hold the COP after postponement of it twice is a success by itself," Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the CBD, told Xinhua via video as the conference wrapped up on Friday.
"We had it in a hybrid mode, both on site particularly for delegations which were already accredited to China and international organizations or NGOs already here, while the rest of the world connected virtually, and few of us from the secretariat (of the CBD) have been able to join," she said.
Over 5,000 representatives from governments, international organizations, research institutes and enterprises attended the conference, known as COP15, which was the first global conference convened by the United Nations (UN) to highlight ecological civilization.
The Kunming Declaration was also adopted during the conference on Wednesday and was hailed as a major milestone achievement.
The declaration commits to ensuring the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure that biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, towards the full realization of the 2050 Vision of "Living in Harmony with Nature."
The executive official mentioned China's latest commitments at the conference, among which include establishing the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support preserving biodiversity in developing countries to the tune of 1.5 billion yuan (233 million U.S. dollars). "To us, it is a major achievement."
"Those outcomes will be important for the climate COP because if we are saying climate change and biodiversity loss are interlinked and solutions to one will have no effect without solution to the other, and we need to look at solutions in an integrated fashion, then that message on the outcomes will help the climate change COP to also have them in their discussions," she said.
"Clearly, China will take to the climate COP the outcomes from this meeting," Mrema said, expressing her expectations for China's role in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
Mrema said that China is assuming a leadership role in biodiversity protection, and has been sharing with the world what it has done on the conservation and protection of biodiversity.
"It has done a lot, which are demonstratable," said the official, noting that China's experience "can be emulated and can be followed by other countries," and on the basis of their national specific and circumstances.
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