A tall order – on Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)

Source: This post is created based on the article “A tall order”, published in Business Standard on 23rd December, 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 3, Environment, Biodiversity Conservation

News:  15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, has managed to conclude Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) agreement.

The agreement may prove to be tough to implement despite providing an elaborate financing mechanism.

Read – Features of new COP 15 agreement

What are the challenges in achieving COP 15 agreement targets?

The bulk of the world’s vital bio-resources are unprotected. For example, at present only about 17 per cent of the terrestrial, and less than 10 per cent of the marine areas, are under some kind of protection.

Financing these targets would not be an easy task. It looks unachievable after looking at the result of commitment, of $100 billion a year for the climate mitigation fund, by developed countries in 2009.

Living Planet Report 2022 of the Worldwide Fund for Nature reports that nearly 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species, including one-eighth of the bird species, face the threat of extinction.

Main reasons behind threats are Habitat destruction, over-exploitation, harmful anthropogenic activity, air and water pollution, and climate change.

How India has been able to make changes to the agreement?

India’s suggestion to grant freedom to adopt the targets according to country’s position, priorities and capabilities, has been adopted.

India was able to keep references to the agricultural and fisheries subsidies out of the agreement.

Some of the desired goals of India, linked to indigenous people and knowledge have become part of agreement, such as:

  1. Sharing of monetary and non-monetary benefits with indigenous people, which is accruing from the utilisation of genetic resources
  2. Protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.
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