Developed countries urged to ‘step up’ contributions to global nature fund | Biodiversity

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Developed nations have been urged to contribute to a brand new nature fund after it was left undercapitalised by $40m (£32m), receiving cash from simply two donors.

On the Cop15 biodiversity summit in December, the place nations agreed this decade’s biodiversity targets that included goals to guard 30% of Earth, governments agreed to the creation of a fund to assist creating nations meet the deal’s goals, which included a goal to supply $200bn for nature a 12 months by 2030.

Its formation was a big stumbling block within the closing hours of talks in Montreal, Canada, the place there have been walkouts and late-night disagreements as developed and creating nations cut up over how the targets could be funded.

Governments ultimately agreed for a fund to be created beneath the umbrella of the International Atmosphere Facility (GEF), the primary UN biodiversity supply of finance for nature.

Final week, governments formally accepted the fund’s creation at a GEF assembly in Vancouver nevertheless it was left undercapitalised, with Canada and the UK the one donor nations to contribute, offering $C200m and £10m respectively. It leaves the fund needing about $40m earlier than the top of the 12 months to formally launch, in line with GEF guidelines.

Whereas the formal creation of the fund has been welcomed, nations together with Japan, the US and EU states have been urged to contribute.

The interim UN biodiversity chief, David Cooper, mentioned: “It’s encouraging to see the contributions already introduced by Canada and the UK in addition to the statements by a variety of nations that additional pledges can be forthcoming shortly.

“We’re off to an excellent begin. We now name for additional pledges from nations and from different sources so the primary tasks beneath the brand new fund could be launched subsequent 12 months forward of Cop16.”

The World Large Fund for Nature mentioned creating the fund was an vital achievement as it will present a brand new income stream for biodiversity conservation. Nevertheless it warned that extra money should be contributed earlier than the biodiversity Cop16 subsequent 12 months, which nonetheless had an unsure venue after Turkey mentioned it couldn’t longer host due to the affect of latest earthquakes.

Within the closing assertion for the GEF summit, the activism organisation Avaaz mentioned: “We’re nonetheless questioning the place France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, the US and the opposite main donor nations had been. Why did they not step up when urgency is named for in each single assembly, session, speech?”

Canada’s setting minister, Steven Guilbeault, informed the Guardian help for the fund from developed nations was vital for assembly this decade’s biodiversity targets, which included restoring massive areas of degraded ecosystems, reforming $500bn of environmentally damaging subsidies and pressing actions to halt human-caused extinctions of species identified to be beneath risk and to advertise their restoration.

He mentioned: “In Montreal, we overcame years of inertia to achieve a historic multilateral biodiversity deal, together with settlement that formidable motion requires larger monetary help. Since then, devastating climate-related occasions that considerably affect biodiversity, together with historic and harmful wildfires, have solely strengthened our resolve.

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“The GEF meeting was a possibility to maintain up momentum on biodiversity insurance policies and to flesh issues out on the bottom with one another. That’s precisely why we organised the primary ministerial on nature that included ministers from creating nations ministers, and why we introduced $C200m to the newly established world biodiversity fund.”

He mentioned Canada would hold standing up for worldwide motion on nature safety. “Which means getting developed nations to purchase into this new fund as a method to obtain our formidable world biodiversity objectives.”

The Guardian understands the UK, Spain and Switzerland are potential hosts for Cop16.

Discover extra age of extinction protection right here, and observe biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the newest information and options

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