The role of chemical pollution in biodiversity loss featured so prominently ever as in the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The main focus of the 15th Conference of Parties to CBD, as to establish Post-2020 targets to replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets which expired in 2020 without having acted on anyone of the four goals and 20 targets and to adopt new goals and targets. It is noteworthy that USA, the biggest polluter is a non-party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Vatican is also a non-party to it.
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the CBD. It adopted four goals and 20 targets. The four goals and the 20 targets were:
Strategic Goal A. Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Strategic Goal B. Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Strategic Goal C. To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Strategic Goal D. Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Strategic Goal E. Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems.
By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio-economic conditions.
By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.
Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.
By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.
By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.
By 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity.
By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment.
By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.
Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.
By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.
By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.
Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.
By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.
By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.
Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
By 2015 each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.
By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.
By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 from all sources, and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resource needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.
CBD concluded a two-week COP15 in Montreal, Canada on 19 December.
The CBD process has been mentioned many times in connection with the
"Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
Beyond 2020" which will also establish goals and targets and finalize them in 2023.
Target 7, one of the 23 targets adopted at COP15 of CBD addresses the impacts of pollution to levels “not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, considering cumulative effects…” The targets also have as a goal to “significantly reduce overconsumption and substantially reduce waste generation.” Surprisingly, the CBD targets also mention, “preventing, reducing, and working towards eliminating plastic pollution.”
The targets also specifically state as a goal to “ensure gender equality… through a gender-responsive approach where all women and girls have equal opportunity and capacity to contribute to the three objectives of the Convention, including by recognizing their equal rights and access to land and natural resources and their full, equitable, meaningful and informed participation and leadership at all levels of action, engagement, policy and decision-making related to biodiversity.” This includes “full, equitable, inclusive, effective and gender-responsive representation and participation in decision-making, and access to justice and information related to biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultures and their rights over lands, territories, resources, and traditional knowledge, as well as by women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities and ensure the full protection of environmental human rights defenders.”
The targets deal with financing. In addition to the usual set of options, the targets set a clear financial resources goal of “mobilizing at least 200 billion United States dollars per year.” In addition, the targets name a specific amount that developed countries should be financing; “US$ 20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least US$ 30 billion per year by 2030…”
The most significant outcome of CBD is it's focus on rights of nature and Mother Earth and food waste besides targets 6, 7, 8, 13 and 17.
If governments acts according to the above focus and targets biodiversity loss will be considerably reduced especially in the light of target 13.
Business as usual approach of governments disregarding commitments in response to climate crisis and biodiversity loss.
If the Indian state and non-state actors do not internalise outcomes of CBD15 in their relevant laws, policies, programmes, incentives and in their mega land use and sea use change projects it will not consequent into any concrete remedial measures.
After the submission of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on Biological Diversity Amendment Act 2022 in August 2022, the final revised bill is all set to be introduced in the current session of the Parliament after internalising the outcome of the COP15.
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