COP15 president urges closing gaps in biodiversity talks

All parties need to show greater courage, wisdom and determination to close gaps and divides to promote reaching a final outcome at a key UN biodiversity conference, Huang Runqiu, China's minister of ecology and environment, said Tuesday.

Huang, also president of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, told a press conference that with the broad participation of all stakeholders, the meeting has so far achieved positive progress.

Progress includes the passing of 23 decisions, more than one third of all the decisions that need to be made at the conference, said Huang.

In some key areas, all parties held in-depth exchanges on their positions and views, he added.

The UN biodiversity negotiation started last week and has entered a critical stage as there is only one week left for the outcome document on reversing global biodiversity loss for discussions. There will be a ministerial-level meeting scheduled for December 15-17 for negotiation on difficult issues concerning the document.

"We need this negotiation to produce an ambitious, realistic, and transformative framework that will bring to a halt of the loss of biodiversity and set us on a path of recovery," said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, at the press conference.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program, urged all stakeholders to "pick up the pace" to mobilize resources to get the work done. There are some key priorities that need to be moved forward in a balanced manner, she added.

Steven Guilbeault, Canadian minister of environment and climate change, also called for resource mobilization to ensure the outcome of the conference.

"It is not just about putting the goal on paper. We need to find necessary tools to protect ... our nature," he said.

The COP15 meeting is expected to conclude with the adoption of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework aiming to saving nature for future generations to come.

(Cover: Huang Runqiu, China's minister of ecology and environment, speaks during the opening ceremony of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) at Plenary Hall of the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on December 6, 2022. /CFP)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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