South Africa congratulates the People’s Republic of China for the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

The Framework and all associated agreements were adopted at the second session of the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) under the presidency of the People’s Republic of China and hosted by the Government of Canada in Montreal.

The landmark agreement for nature consists of four overarching global goals and 23 targets that aim to address halting biodiversity loss through the sustainable use and management of ecosystem services, preventing the extinction of species, and protecting the rights of local and indigenous communities through fair access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources.

South Africa facilitated the negotiations in Montreal that saw the adoption of the resolutions and decisions on Access and Benefit Sharing related to the use of Digital Sequence Information (DSI) from genetic resources. The decision to recognise DSI as part of the Convention and the establishment of a global mechanism for the sharing of benefits is welcomed. South Africa stands ready to participate and share our experiences in the process to develop the mechanism.

The Global Biodiversity Framework also includes concrete measures that will place 30 percent marine and terrestrial ecosystems under protection by 2030. This requires not only placing these areas under protection, but also restoring systems that have been degraded within the next eight years.

A key decision has been the adoption of a proposal to increase finance to developing countries to drive sustainable investment in reversing the loss of biodiversity as well as prevention of future loss for the Planet through implementation of the Framework. Following initial resistance from developed countries to the creation of Global Biodiversity Fund, a compromise was reached calling for the Global Environment Fund to further reform its operations to ensure adequacy, predictability and timely flow of funds. South Africa had played a significant role in facilitating the Strategy on Resource Mobilisation adopted to complement implementation of the Fund.

The Kunming-Montreal Declaration, whilst ambitious in its expression of goals and targets, falls short in respect of ambition on means of implementation, including resource mobilisation to close the financing gap of USD 700 bn and capacity building, technology and technology transfer.

South Africa, with the support of the partners, stands ready to align the Framework with national priorities on biodiversity. These would be in line with the soon-to-be adopted White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity and the revised National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

South Africa is hopeful that outstanding elements of COP15 will be resolved in time for next conference to be hosted by the presidency of Turkey 2024.

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