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Area-Based Biodiversity Conservation Targets Not Acceptable: India at COP 15

Area-based targets for biodiversity conservation are a one-size-fits-all approach that India has rejected at the UN biodiversity talks in Montreal, Canada.

Shivam Dwivedi
Biodiversity must be promoted through positive investment.
Biodiversity must be promoted through positive investment.

On December 7, the second part of the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) began, with 196 parties gathering in the hope of finalising negotiations for a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) — a new set of goals and targets that will guide global action on nature through 2030.

It has also stated that vital assistance to vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture, cannot be classified as subsidies and should be phased out.

The "3030" conservation target is one of the GBF's contentious components to be negotiated. It calls for the conservation of 30% of the world's land and sea through the establishment of protected areas and other area-based conservation measures.

 

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav delivered the national statement at COP15 on Friday, saying, "Our experience shows that area-based targets are a one-size-fits-all approach that is not acceptable." The parties are also attempting to reach an agreement on eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies, such as those for fossil fuel production, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and redirecting the funds to biodiversity conservation.

India has stated that "essential support to vulnerable sectors cannot be referred to as subsidies and should not be targeted for elimination, though they may be rationalised. It has also stated that biodiversity must be promoted through positive investment. "Our agriculture, like that of other developing countries, provides hundreds of millions of people with food, a living, and a culture. "Their food and nutrition security must be ensured, while their activity must be modernised," Yadav said.

 

The goal of COP15, the most important biodiversity gathering in a decade, is to reach a historic agreement to halt and reverse biodiversity loss on par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Yadav arrived in Montreal on Friday and will lead the Indian delegation through the final round of talks next week.

 

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