Things to know about global biodiversity agreement

After years of negotiations, the world has agreed to a landmark deal – Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – to protect vanishing species and ecosystems. Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the pact agreed at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Montreal, Canada.

'30 by 30'

The cornerstone of the agreement is the so-called 30 by 30 goal – a pledge to protect 30 percent of the world's land and seas by 2030 – up from about 17 percent of land and 7 percent of oceans currently. 

The oceans target had reportedly been opposed by some countries but made it into the final text. However, some experts say that 30 percent is a low aim, insisting that protecting 50 percent would be better. 

Indigenous rights

Indigenous rights are addressed throughout the text, including areas covered by the 30 by 30 pledge, safeguarding Indigenous peoples' right to remain the stewards of land they use and ensuring they are not subject to evictions in the name of conservation.

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity praised the text for its "strong language on respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities."


The text approves the objective for rich countries to provide "at least $20 billion per year by 2025, and ... at least $30 billion per year by 2030," approximately double and then triple the current international aid for biodiversity.

Developing countries were seeking a new funding mechanism, which developed nations said would take several years to create.

A halfway solution has been adopted: a "trust fund" within an existing financial mechanism called the Global Environment Facility, as a stepping stone towards a new fund.


The accord prescribes efforts for "reducing the overall risk from pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals by at least half."

Some delegates and campaigners had argued that the emphasis should be on overall pesticide "use," which is easier to measure. But specialists said some pesticides are powerful in small quantities so the emphasis should be on the "risk."

Genetic sequencing 

The framework demands people receive benefits from "genetic resources" originating in their countries: natural assets, such as medicine or cosmetic ingredients in plants, which may be sourced in a developing country but then have their genetic information mapped and shared with researchers and companies abroad.

The text calls on parties to "ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from the utilization of genetic resources and from digital sequence information" and "traditional knowledge" associated with them.

(With input from AFP)

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at

Search Trends