COP15 UN Biodiversity: Basics Explained

In a landmark deal aimed at safeguarding biodiversity at the COP15 UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, Canada, Nations have agreed to protect a third of the planet for nature by 2030.Chaired by China and hosted by Canada, COP 15 resulted in the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) on the last day of negotiations

There will also be targets for protecting vital ecosystems such as rainforests and wetlands and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The agreement at the came early on Monday morning.

  • Maintaining, enhancing and restoring ecosystems, including halting species extinction and maintaining genetic diversity. Delegates committed to protecting 30% of land and 30% of coastal and marine areas by 2030.
  • The deal also aspires to restore 30% of degraded lands and waters throughout the decade, up from an earlier aim of 20%. And the world will strive to prevent destroying intact landscapes and areas with a lot of species, bringing those losses “close to zero by 2030”.
  • Sustainable use” of biodiversity – essentially ensuring that species and habitats can provide the services they provide for humanity, such as food and clean water
  • Ensuring that the benefits of resources from nature, like medicines that come from plants, are shared fairly and equally and that indigenous peoples’ rights are protected.
  • Paying for and putting resources into biodiversity: Ensuring that money and conservation efforts get to where they are needed. Signatories aim to ensure $200 billion per year is channelled to conservation initiatives, from public and private sources. Wealthier countries should contribute at least $20 billion of this every year by 2025, and at least $30 billion a year by 2030.
  • Companies should analyse and report how their operations affect and are affected by biodiversity issues.
  • Countries committed to identify subsidies that deplete biodiversity by 2025, and then eliminate, phase out or reform them. They agreed to slash those incentives by at least $500 billion a year by 2030, and increase incentives that are positive for conservation.
  • Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species – for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species.
  • Yet another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them.
  • Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature’s products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions.
  • India is a mega diverse nation, housing around 10% of world’s species.Out of the 18 hotspots of diversity recognized in the world, India has two of them: Eastern Himalaya and Western Ghat.
  • List of Biosphere Reserves of India
  • The first of India’s reserves to make it to UNESCO’s list was Tamil Nadu’s Niligiri Biosphere Reserve in 2000. Besides this, West Bengal’s tiger-territory Sunderbans, Meghalaya’s Nokrek (home to the red panda) and the Great Nicobar (known for its saltwater crocodiles) have been included in the Network over the years.
Sl. NoYearNameStateTypeKey Fauna
12008Great Rann of Kutch  GujaratDesertIndian Wild Ass
21989Gulf of MannarTamil NaduCoastsDugong or Sea Cow
31989SundarbansWest BengalGangetic DeltaRoyal Bengal Tiger
42009Cold DesertHimachal PradeshWestern HimalayasSnow Leopard
51988Nanda DeviUttarakhandWestern HimalayasNA
61986 Nilgiri BR ReserveT&N, Kerala  KarnatakaWestern GhatsNilgiriTahr, Lion-tailed macaque
71998Dihang-DibangArunachal PradeshEastern HimalayaNA
81999Pachmarhi BRMadhya PradeshSemi-AridGiant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel
92010Seshachalam HillsAndhra PradeshEastern GhatsNA
101994SimlipalOdishaDeccan PeninsulaGaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant
112005Achanakamar -AmarkantakMadhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhMaikala HillsNA
121989ManasAssamEast HimalayasGolden Langur, Red Panda
132000KhangchendzongaSikkimEast HimalayasSnow Leopard, Red Panda
142001Agasthyamalai BRKerala, TNWestern ghatsNilgiri Tahr, Elephants
151989Great Nicobar BRAndaman and Nicobar IslandsIslandsSaltwater Crocodile
161988NokrekMeghalayaEast HimalayasRed Panda
171997Dibru-SaikhowaAssamEast HimalayasGolden Langur
182011PannaMadhya PradeshKen RiverTiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambharand Sloth bear
  • Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves of India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. They are given in ‘bold’ in the above list.( Gulf of Mannar, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Agasthyamalai, Achanakamar –Amarkantak, Simlipal, Pachmarhi, Nilgiri, Nanda Devi, Sundarbans).


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