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PML welcomes the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework following COP15

19 December 2022

After lengthy deliberation nearly 200 countries signed the pact aimed at halting and reversing biodiversity loss.
Many species of fish and a turtle swim in the lush corals in the Red Sea in Egypt At the UN Biodiversity Conference, which has been taking place in Montreal, Canada (7-19 December), Governments from around the world have agreed a new set of goals designed to “guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss”.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) has 23 targets for urgent action over the decade to 2030, designed to support longer-term goals on ensuring biodiversity is restored and sustainably managed. These include (in summary): 
  • Bringing the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance close to zero by 2030
  • Ensuring that by 2030 at least 30% of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine ecosystems are under effective restoration and that at least 30% of terrestrial, inland water, and of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are effectively conserved and managed
  • Ensuring urgent management actions to halt human induced extinction of known threatened species
  • Ensuring that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal
  • Eliminating or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species
  • Reducing pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity
  • Ensuring that the management and use of wild species are sustainable, thereby providing social, economic and environmental benefits for people
  • Ensuring that areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry are managed sustainably, in particular through the sustainable use of biodiversity, including through a substantial increase of the application of biodiversity friendly practices
  • Restoring, maintaining and enhancing nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services
  • Ensuring that the best available data, information and knowledge, are accessible to decision makers, practitioners and the public to guide effective and equitable governance.
Of particular interest to scientists at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), is Target 8 with its focus on climate change and ocean acidification: 

“Minimize the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity and increase its resilience through mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction actions, including through nature-based solution and/or ecosystem-based approaches, while minimizing negative and fostering positive impacts of climate action on biodiversity.”

PML’s Director of Science Professor Steve Widdicombe – who was in Montreal as a speaker for COP15 and is also Co-chair of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) – said:

“It is critical that urgent action on halting and reversing biodiversity loss is taken and I am very pleased that the Global Biodiversity Framework has now been agreed. In particular the inclusion of ocean acidification in the target-setting recognises this issue as a major challenge which needs to be addressed. This pact has been a long time coming and now the real work must begin as time is of the essence. This includes ensuring all countries can effectively monitor ocean acidification to help predict, mitigate and adapt to its many impacts.”

Professor Widdicombe spoke to us before travelling to COP15 to reinforce why we need "sound, effective biodiversity policy", stating "it is imperitive that we get this right".
Watch the full video below: