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COP15 relocated after consultation

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2022-06-21 17:41
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Kunming, Yunnan province, has been decorated with flower clusters, landscaping and lighting to welcome the opening of COP15 in October 2021. [Photo by Hu Yunlong and Xu Jun/]

The second phase of the United Nations' negotiations over the world's new biodiversity conservation goals through 2030, known as COP 15, has been relocated from the Chinese city of Kunming to Montreal, Canada according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The meeting is scheduled for Dec 5 to 17.

The decision was reached following joint consultation between the Chinese and Canadian governments and secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, a media release from the ministry said on Tuesday.

Montreal is where the secretariat is based.

With the COVID-19 pandemic control situations home and abroad fully considered, the arrangement was made to "accelerate the global biodiversity conservation process", it said.

"China will continue to work as president of COP 15," it said, adding the theme of the gathering and its logo will be kept unchanged.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to biodiversity conservation. While playing its role as host of COP 15, China, together with other parties, will endeavor to see an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework reached at the meeting, the release read.

As the largest UN biodiversity gathering in a decade, COP 15 was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province, in October 2020.

Carrying the title "Ecological Civilization-Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth", it is tasked with elaborating on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and identifying protection goals through 2030.

Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that prioritizes the harmonious coexistence of mankind and nature.

After being postponed to May 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it was rescheduled in August to be held in two phases— first in October 2021 and then in the first half of this year.

The first phase was successfully held in Kunming from Oct 11 to 14, which included the opening ceremony, leaders' speeches and the issuance of the "Kunming Declaration".

Overseas personnel attended the meeting online, and personnel in the territory participated on-site.

At the conference, Xi announced via video link China's initiative to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support biodiversity protection in developing countries.

China is taking the lead in investing 1.5 billion yuan ($224 million) and welcomes contributions from other parties to the fund, the president said.

The Kunming Declaration includes a series of commitments on biodiversity conservation, with implementation one of the key points.

Parties commit to "ensure the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework."

The framework should include provision of the necessary means of implementation in line with the convention, as well as appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and review to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest.

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