December 2022 The Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Biological Diversity, commonly known as COP15, was held. Representatives from 195 countries discussed the problem of massive biodiversity loss. Unprecedented findings on goals and actions to protect the seas and land were also adopted.

The agreement reached in Montreal calls for 30% of the globe to be protected by 2030. That’s a 13% increase over the next seven years. During this time, nearly1/3 of the area of degraded ecosystems is to be renaturalized. Among the findings are references to cutting food waste in half. What distinguishes the Montreal findings from previous similar initiatives is the linking of goals to financial issues.

The agreement calls for the creation of a $200 billion biodiversity conservation fund, as well as cutting state subsidies for activities that harm biodiversity, which would provide an additional $500 billion. It would provide $20 billion in annual support to developing countries, including small island states. The amount in subsequent years is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2030. These measures are intended to equalize disparities in bearing the consequences and costs of biodiversity loss.

The European Union is also getting involved in the implementation of the COP15 findings. The initiative to adopt a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the restoration of natural resources (Nature Restoration Law), whose goals coincide with those set in Montreal, fits in here in particular. This regulation obliges member countries to develop national Programs for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity. EU-wide targets indicate the need to restore all ecosystems by 2050. The list of habitats listed in the appendix includes wetlands, forests, aquatic areas, as well as grasslands. Quantitative targets are set for the 2030 and 2050 horizons. In addition, the EC reports that measures on rational forest management, as well as on sustainable agriculture, are also being implemented. The EU is also supporting knowledge-enhancement initiatives in partner countries.

In the coming years, we should see the first results of efforts to protect and restore biodiversity both in Poland, the EU and the world. If the targets for securing funding as agreed at COP15 are met, there is a real chance for global change in reversing the loss of animal and plant species.

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