Montréal Replaces Kunming as Host for COP15 in December

a series of flags at an outdoor pavilion
Nairobi, Kenya

Montréal Replaces Kunming as Host for COP15 in December

The second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) Biodiversity Summit will be held in Montréal, Canada in December 2022 after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in its original venue in Kunming, China.

The decision on the change of venue was confirmed at a meeting of the Bureau of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held during the fourth meeting of the open-ended working group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its negotiations hosted by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

Executive Secretary of the CBD, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said the COP15 CBD will reconvene from Dec 5 to 17 in Montréal, Canada, with China in the Chair as President where a new world agreement to safeguard nature is expected to be adopted.

“I thank the Government of Canada, as the host of the Secretariat, for providing a venue in Montréal for this crucial meeting. “I want to thank the Government of China for their flexibility and continued commitment to advancing our path towards an ambitious post-2020 GBF," she said during the plenary session.

The summit was initially scheduled to take place from Oct 15-28, 2020, in Kunming, but was postponed several times in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Aug 18, 2021, the secretariat announced that COP15 will take place in two parts. Part one was successfully held last October as scheduled to address the biodiversity crisis. COP15 part 1 noted the Kunming Declaration and President Xi Jinping’s announcement that China would take the lead to invest RMB 1.5 billion to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, providing strong political impetus to global biodiversity governance and a solid foundation for the second part of COP15.

COP15 President, Huang Runqiu said the China would like to emphasise its continued strong commitment, as COP President, to work with all parties and stakeholders to ensure the success of the second part of COP 15. This includes the adoption of an effective Post-2020 GBF, and promoting its delivery throughout its Presidency," he said through a pre-recorded video during the plenary session.

Meanwhile, the fourth meeting of the open-ended working group on the Post-2020 GBF and its negotiations, hosted by UNEP, kickstarted in Nairobi on Tuesday. During the six-day negotiations, delegates from about 163 parties from UN member countries will continue to discuss issues related to GBF building on the strong work undertaken in Geneva, in March.

Among the key objectives include work towards finalisation of the GBF text for COP15 and setting out the ambition of parties with respect to outcome goals and related targets towards the 2050 vision of 'living in harmony with nature.

The negotiations also cover conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing, as well as addressing drivers of biodiversity loss subsidies and finance, strengthening the role of Indigenous peoples, local communities, youth and women and other stakeholders.

The final framework is expected to be adopted by world governments at the upcoming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), chaired by China, in Montreal, Canada from Dec 5 to 17. 

Since 1993, parties to the UN CBD have met regularly to agree on and review the steps they are taking to implement the three objectives of the convention, namely: to conserve biodiversity, utilise it sustainably, and ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its use.

This June marks the final gathering to negotiate the Post-2020 GBF before its adoption at the COP15 of CBD, already delayed four times in two years due to COVID-19.

This story was produced as part of a reporting fellowship to the 2022 UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s 4th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, led by Internews' Earth Journalism Network. It was originally published in OANA News on 21 June 2022 and has been lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Banner image: Expo 67, United-Nations Pavilion, on Notre-Dame Island, Montréal, Québec, Canada. In foreground is The Tree of Life, sculpture on wood from Joseph Rifesser / Credit: Laurent Bélanger via Wikimedia Commons

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