Nations Agree to Protect Biodiversity
Scientists have warned for years that as forests and grasslands are disappearing at unprecedented rates and oceans are pressured by pollution, humans are pushing Earth beyond tenable limits. In December 2022, nearly 200 countries agreed on a Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The historic agreement represents hope for real progress to halt the loss of biodiversity. Among its numerous provisions, the framework commits nations to protect 30 percent of the world's lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans by 2030; increase financing for nature restoration and protection; halt human-induced extinction; and protect the rights of indigenous people. The protections will emphasize areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services.
Throughout the talks there was division over the strength of the measures and how to finance them. In a statement released by the Wildlife Conservation Society, vice president of international policy Susan Lieberman said, “The [framework] is a compromise, and although it has several very good and hard-fought elements, it could have gone further to truly transform our destructive relationship with nature." During negotiations, some countries called for a new fund to be set up to help preserve biodiversity, but this recommendation was not included in the final pact.