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Parties agree on COP15 core content, structure

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-11-29 09:19
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Photo taken on Oct 13, 2021 shows a view of the Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity have essentially agreed upon the structure and core content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, but divergences remain, officials with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.

They made the remarks in a news conference on Monday in the lead-up to the second phase of the 15th meeting of the conference of parties to the convention, widely known as COP15.

The first phase of the largest UN biodiversity gathering in a decade was held in Kunming, Yunnan province, which included an opening ceremony, leaders' speeches and the issuance of the "Kunming Declaration".

Carrying the theme of "Ecological Civilization — Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth", COP15 will see its second phase held in Montreal, Canada from Dec 5 to 17, still under the Chinese presidency. In this phase, parties will meet to conclude negotiations and decide on the framework.

Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that features harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature.

Cui Shuhong, head of the ministry's nature and eco-conservation department, noted "proactive progress" in the past year as China strives to implement its duties as COP15 president via various channels and means to ensure the success of the upcoming gathering in Montreal.

Making full use of opportunities created by international events, such as the recent COP27 UN climate change conference in Egypt, China has carried out communication and coordination with high-level representatives from various countries.

The efforts have "effectively boosted the global political momentum" for the meeting next month, he emphasized.

China also hosted almost 40 meetings of the presidium of the Convention on Biological Diversity and participated in two conferences of the working group on the post-2020 biodiversity framework in the past year to discuss the framework, which have "laid the critical foundation for reaching the final framework", he continued.

Zhou Guomei, head of the ministry's department of international cooperation, said parties have reached a consensus that the three goals included in the convention should be implemented in a full and balanced manner, instead of overemphasizing certain parts of them.

Having come into effect in 1993, the convention includes three objectives — the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

Zhou confessed, however, the negotiations of the 196 parties over the post-2020 biodiversity framework have not been smooth all the way and there are still divergences on some specific topics.

More communication is needed on how to balance the three goals and inscribe them into the framework, she said.

She also highlighted resource mobilization and financial support for developing nations as a key part and a sticking point in negotiations.

Despite remaining difficulties and divergences in the negotiations, many parties have extended their firm political support and confidence in the negotiation process and in China's presidency, she said.

"We are fully confident" that the international community will echo the theme of COP15 and demonstrate its wisdom and encouragement to address these difficulties and divergences, she stressed.

She vowed consistent, all-out efforts from China to promote the negotiation process.

China will endeavor to build the broadest possible consensus to promote the reaching of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and ensure that the second phase of COP15 will be "completely successful "as it was in the first phase, she said.

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