COP15 biodiversity, a global framework for the next decade
The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) on Biological Diversity is held in two parts: the first one took place on October 2021 in Kunming, China, with a high-level segment and the declaration "Towards an Ecological Civilisation", and the second will take place in autumn 2022.
Main objective: To adopt the new global biodiversity framework, which sets targets to be achieved by 2030 to reverse the current trend of biodiversity loss.
This new framework follows on from the 2011-2020 strategic plan for biological diversity, adopted in Nagoya at COP10 in Japan and setting 20 Aïchi targets, which have not been met. The new framework aims in particular to tackle the issues of nutrition, food security, health and the livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities.
The new global biodiversity framework, which will be formally adopted at COP15, aims to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030. In 2022, according to Protected Planet, protected areas cover 16% of land surface (17% with conservation areas) and 8% of sea surface.
Achieving the 30% goal is inextricably linked to global food security and health issues. Indeed, the surface area concerned will necessarily involve areas cultivated and managed by humans, which are themselves dependent on biodiversity. Based on the ecological interactions between agriculture and natural biodiversity, the authors of this joint proposal, call for the integration of local practices and knowledge to renew agricultural approaches in the developed and developing world, in order to co-construct a new relationship with nature with all stakeholders and for the well-being of all human beings.
Joining hands with natural biodiversity to enable agriculture to adapt to a changing environment
Biodiversity must become a priority for global agriculture, which can rely on agroecological practices or mixed management methods combining intensive activity areas and preserved natural areas. Its management methods must make the most of scientific and local knowledge to characterise and understand the functions of biodiversity and ecosystem services, while integrating combinations of conservation approaches. The authors point out that exchanges between natural and cultivated environments have been successful. Indeed, they have enabled the adaptation of maize to high altitudes in Mexico and millet to Sahelian climates through crossbreeding with wild relatives.
Agricultural and food systems benefit from the services provided by local natural environments
Natural environments also provide important ecosystem services for agriculture, such as pollination. Good management of ecological interactions at the local landscape scale can thus help to develop more resilient agriculture. As for soil biodiversity, it is a determining factor in the closing of the carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water cycles.
Taking better account of the role and knowledge of local stakeholders
Traditional agricultural and food systems are particularly rich in biodiversity. A better understanding of them is therefore essential to build agricultural and food systems that are resilient in the face of climate change, based on local, protected and valued resources. The knowledge of farmers and local communities must be incorporated more into scientific knowledge and decision-making in order to jointly come up with other forms of managing agricultural biodiversity, while ensuring the integration of its wild counterpart.