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The Nature Agreement (COP15): Climate adaptation must not come at the expense of biodiversity

A new international nature agreement was adopted in Montreal at COP-15, the UN conference on biological diversity, in December 2022. The nature agreement is clear that climate measures and climate adaptation must not come at the expense of natural diversity.

From 7 to 19 December 2022, Montreal hosted the 15th United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15). After four years of negotiations and covid postponements, 188 states, including Norway, adopted the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” (GBF), including four goals and 23 targets for achievement by 2030. The agreement was concluded between the member states of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal on 19 December 2022.

By 2030, 30% of Earth’s lands, oceans, coastal areas, inland waters shall be protected.

To achieve this, the parties agreed on four overarching goals:

Goal A

  • The integrity, connectivity and resilience of all ecosystems are maintained, enhanced, or restored, substantially increasing the area of natural ecosystems by 2050;

  • Human induced extinction of known threatened species is halted, and, by 2050, extinction rate and risk of all species are reduced tenfold, and the abundance of native wild species is increased to healthy and resilient levels;

  • The genetic diversity within populations of wild and domesticated species, is maintained, safeguarding their adaptive potential.

Goal B

  • Biodiversity is sustainably used and managed and nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services, are valued, maintained and enhanced, with those currently in decline being restored, supporting the achievement of sustainable development, for the benefit of present and future generations by 2050.

Goal C

  • The monetary and non-monetary benefits from the utilization of genetic resources, and digital sequence information on genetic resources, and of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, as applicable, are shared fairly and equitably, including, as appropriate with indigenous peoples and local communities, and substantially increased by 2050, while ensuring traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is appropriately protected, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in accordance with internationally agreed access and benefit-sharing instruments.

Goal D

  • Adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework are secured and equitably accessible to all Parties, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, progressively closing the biodiversity finance gap of $700 billion per year, and aligning financial flows with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

23 targets - and importance of nature-based solutions

In addition, 23 targets was also adopted to reach the overarching goals. Nature-based solutions was specifically mentioned in target 8 and 11.

Target 8

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.

Target 11

Restore, maintain and enhance nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services, such as regulation of air, water, and climate, soil health, pollination and reduction of disease risk, as well as protection from natural hazards and disasters, through nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches for the benefit of all people and nature.

SPARE and the Global Biodiversity Framework

The Nature Agreement clearly states that climate measures and climate adaptation must not come at the expense of natural diversity. The primary objective of SPARE is to provide knowledge, develop tools and test management approaches for a stronger inclusion of stormwater, biodiversity and recreation in urban land-use management and thereby increase space for resilience.

Photo: UN Biodiversity/Flickr



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