Agreement on water and land use restrictions after UN COP15 summit

Negotiators at a UN summit on protecting nature yesterday appeared to be closer to a new global deal that could result in 30 percent of land and sea being protected by 2030, with hundreds of billions of dollars earmarked for protecting the wild places and species of the world are provided.

hina, the president of the COP15 conference in Montreal, published a proposed text that environmental activists praised for its ambitious goals.

The text “reflects accurately an ambitious approach and a compromise position that has a chance of getting through the negotiations,” said Brian O’Donnell, director of the nonprofit Campaign for Nature. “I give them credit for overcoming a really difficult challenge.”

The draft, based on talks over the past two weeks, sets a key financial target of $200 billion a year for conservation initiatives, but requires less from rich countries than some developing countries wanted.

It provides support for protecting 30 percent land and water by 2030, a landmark goal informally known as 30 by 30.

Businesses are also encouraged to assess and disclose how they impact and are affected by biodiversity considerations, but reporting is not mandatory.

Ministers from nearly 200 governments must today work out the details of the 23 proposed targets.

Policymakers hope a deal can spur conservation in the same way an international pact in Paris in 2015 helped mobilize efforts to limit planet-warming carbon emissions.

“This provides a platform to reach an agreement,” said Li Shuo, representative of Greenpeace East Asia. “The final days of COP15 must build on that.”

While optimistic, activists worry that the technical wording of the 30 by 30 target may not adequately address ocean protection.

The target calls for the protection of at least 30% of land, inland water, coasts and seas. However, it is not made clear whether that means 30% of land and separately 30% of oceans, Mr O’Donnell said, adding that China must make its intention clear quickly.

“The target should separate land and sea to ensure 30% of each applies,” said Greenpeace’s Mr. Shuo.

The draft recommends that US$200 billion be allocated annually to conservation initiatives from all sources, including the public and private sectors – a goal seen as critical to the success of any deal. Agreement on water and land use restrictions after UN COP15 summit

Fry Electronics Team

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