The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place from 7 to 19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada.
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will be present at this landmark event as part of the delegation of the European Union and as member of the AC SNG (Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity) constituency to the United Nations.
As the EU's assembly of cities and regions, the CoR will represent the voices of local and regional authorities democratically elected and deploy all efforts to develop an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Biodiversity action: Together for Implementation
The CBD COP15 is a unique opportunity to define a renewed and ambitious 10-year strategic plan for speeding up biodiversity action, as well as to make nature a top priority forging an integrated approach to climate, health, and biodiversity, respecting the planetary boundaries. International negotiations to adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) will take place in December after more than two years of delay due to the pandemic, and hopes are very high for making Montreal "the Paris moment for nature".
The main objective of the GBF is to stop and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, as well as to accomplish its recuperation and restoration by 2050. In order to do so, the GBF comprises 21 targets and 10 'milestones' to be achieved by 2030, in route to 'living in harmony with nature' where “by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.'
The CoR is advocating, together with its partners, for a formal inclusion of subnational governments in achieving such goals and targets. This is stated in the Edinburgh Declaration, a document materialising the final steps of the "Edinburgh process"– an online, global engagement and consultation for subnational, regional and local stakeholders – with the aim of securing greater reference and power to the role of subnational and local authorities, including cities, in the post-2020 GBF.
The CoR will be working to ensure that the CBD COP15 adopts a decision implementing a Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity (2021-2030). In this way, the CBD would acknowledge the importance of engaging, cooperating and involving local and regional authorities for a successful development of biodiversity actions, strategies and plans.
The Plan of Action is a comprehensive mechanism for engagement with subnational and local governments, and will be supported by platforms such as RegionsWithNature and CitiesWithNature, in strong partnership with the CoR.
The CoR delegation to COP15