Beijing, China – The COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) kicked off this week in Kunming, China, with a week of virtual meetings among governments and organisations.

Ending the first round of negotiations that aim to establish multilateral commitments to end catastrophic biodiversity loss, governments attending the CBD meetings have put forward the ‘Kunming Declaration’, which sets forward general ambitions for biodiversity protection, but does not address lingering questions about implementation or further commitments from governments in attendance.[1]

An Lambrechts, Senior Campaign Strategist, Greenpeace International, said:

“The Kunming Declaration could have provided a major boost to the slow moving UN biodiversity negotiations. It offers a preview of what’s to come in 2022 and makes modest attempts in some areas, but doesn’t show enough progress on most of the contentious issues. Unfortunately, vague commitments that lack accountability are hardly a step forward from the 2010 Aichi targets. Ambition urgently needs to ramp up from here before the spring 2022 session, before it’s too late. We are facing an unprecedented extinction crisis. Our governments need to make the Kunming process count.

“While ambitious targets such as protecting at least 30% of terrestrial and marine areas by 2030 are important, implementation strategies and the real means to deliver those targets are critical. Targets must recognise the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and their key role in the preservation of nature and biodiversity.”

Li Shuo, Global Policy Advisor, Greenpeace East Asia, said:

“The Kunming Declaration gives us a hint on China’s leadership style. The declaration made a reference to the 30×30 target, but did not indicate if Beijing is on board with it or not. That’s a balancing act to recognise the growing momentum behind this goal while not prejudicing the multilateral process. Beijing should make up its mind soon if it wants to lead from the front.

“China’s actions at home can have great impacts on the global biodiversity movement. Yesterday’s commitment to fund biodiversity protection at a larger scale could be the impetus others need to direct finance towards protecting biodiversity. But much remains to be seen on whether Beijing can spearhead a delicate multilateral process. Our global biodiversity crisis is urgent but so far the CBD’s progress has been too slow. Autopilot won’t get us there. The contrast between China’s ambitious domestic agenda and its modest diplomatic approach is striking. It’s time to bridge that gap.”



[1] Kunming Declaration text available here


August Rick, Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing: [email protected]

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]

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