What are Germany’s core interests at CBD COP 15?
Germany's main goal for the conference in Montreal is to ensure that the global framework adopted there includes, first, ambitious, measurable targets and, second, effective mechanisms that ensure the targets are monitored and implemented, with appropriate financing.
Ambitious, measurable targets
The Federal Government is pursuing three priorities:
1. More and above all better managed protected areas
30x30x30: The agreement needs to contain a binding target for all countries to place at least 30 percent of the land and sea under protection by 2030. This would be roughly double the current protected area on land and four times that at sea. This does not mean that all of these areas would become zero use. Truly sustainable use can also help support protection, for example as in biosphere reserves.
It is important to underpin this target with standards for effective management and fair governance of protected areas. These areas should not just be protected on paper. It is also necessary to have effective management that includes indigenous people and local communities on site.
2. Less pollution
Protected areas cannot be left as isolated islands. Pollution and destruction of our nature must be stopped on a large scale, not just in protected areas. For this reason, the global framework should also set targets on improving resource efficiency and circular economy.
This type of goal includes the EU’s proposal to establish measurable targets for reducing nutrient input in ecosystems and pesticide use in agriculture. Similarly, we need to end plastic pollution. This is very ambitious, but a good basis for further negotiations. The UNEA resolution for a global agreement on plastic has blazed a trail for us on the issue of plastic waste.
3. Restoring nature
The global framework needs to ensure the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Healthy, stable ecosystems are like life insurance that also ensures our survival. Degraded ecosystems, for example deforested areas, must be restored to a near-natural state. The Federal Government therefore supports, for example, the target to restore at least 3 billion hectares each of degraded land and marine ecosystems. This is an area roughly the size of the continent of Africa on both land and sea respectively.
Effective monitoring mechanisms to ensure implementation of the framework
To truly drive change, the targets agreed in the global framework must be clear, concrete, ambitious and measurable.
The world community already adopted biodiversity targets once, in 2010 in Aichi, Japan. Not one of these targets was fully achieved. For this reason, the focus in Montreal is on effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms.
To achieve this, the global framework must be translated into national targets via the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and must be underpinned with implementation measures. Additionally, the countries should agree on regular and reliable reporting based on uniform headline indicators. This ensures comparability across countries. The Global Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which describe the worldwide status of biodiversity, will complement the national reports.
A mechanism for raising ambition should be triggered when reporting shows that the global targets will probably not be achieved. For example, the NBSAPs must then be revised and made more ambitious or additional implementation measures adopted.
Solid financing for implementing the global framework
The protection and restoration of ecosystems costs money. Funds need to be mobilised around the world, from government budgets and private sources, both nationally and internationally. It is clear that the industrialised countries must meet their responsibilities and increase support for the Global South by the conference.
Germany is doubling its funding: By 2025 at the latest, Germany will make 1.5 billion euros available per year for international measures to preserve biodiversity. This sum is double the roughly 750 million euros per year that were invested on average from 2017 to 2021. The other G7 countries also declared their readiness to significantly increase international funds for nature by 2025 at the G7 summit at the end of June. The BMUV will implement its part of the funding via the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Pledges to projects or initiatives that promote the concrete implementation of the global framework are also needed. Germany, for example, is funding the Nature for Health Multi-Partner Trust Fund via the IKI. With the fund, we want to bring the prevention of future pandemics to the fore by improving the health of people, animals, plants and ecosystems. The German government will provide 50 million euros in seed capital from the International Climate Initiative to help with practical implementation.
However, we must also tackle the issue of areas where our use of financial resources endangers biodiversity. Subsidies that contribute to the destruction of nature must be dismantled and redirected. For this, we urgently need clear decisions from COP 15 that address effective implementation in a stronger way than others have to date.
The BMUV views a new global biodiversity fund critically. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the financing mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Instead of creating new structures, we should continue to use this mechanism and, where necessary, improve the work of the GEF.