Submitted by Sosikeni Lesa on Sat, 12/17/2022 - 16:05
Australia's Minister Plibersek
December 17, 2022 by Sosikeni Lesa
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

16 December 2022, Montreal Canada - As a megadiverse nation with an abundance of rare plants, animals and some of the most spectacular biodiversity on earth, Australia is committed to play a leading role in securing a historical post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

Australia’s Minister for the Environment and Water, Hon. Tanya Plibersek, expressed this on Friday night during the High Level Segment of COP15, as negotiators worked away in the meeting halls and corridors of the Palais des Congress in Montreal Canada, to try and agree on a biodiversity framework. 

She also expressed Australia’s support for the one Pacific voice calling on the global community to agree on an effective and coherent GBF that reflects the needs of Pacific islands nations to conserve their unique biodiversity

“We understand the stakes of this conference and we share its driving vision of a world that is net zero and nature positive, a world that is winning the fight against climate change on a path to net zero carbon pollution, while living in harmony with the natural resources that sustain us all,” Hon. Plibersek said.

Australia’s commitment, however, begins at home by transforming Australia from nature negative to nature positive. “That’s what we’re seeking to do, to turn the tide in our country from over two centuries of nature destruction to a future of nature repair,” she said.

Australia has made substantial changes in the last month, Hon. Plibersek told the plenary.

“One of our first acts as a new government was to lift Australia’s climate ambition, setting higher targets for emissions reduction by 2030, with a clear path to net zero by 2050,” Minister Plibersek said. “Australis is working with the private sector to design out waste and pollution, keep materials in use and foster markets to achieve a circular economy by 2030.”

Australia has also announced a new Nature Positive Plan to protect the island continent’s biodiversity, stop new extinctions and hopefully reverse the damage already done. Part of the plan involves the establishment of a new Environment Protection Agency.

“We will protect thirty percent of our land and sea by year 2030. We will design a new nature repair market to encourage private investment in conservation, protection, and restoration. We will reform our national environment laws from the ground up, taking them from nature negative, where they were simply managing a decline in our environment, to nature positive, where we will protect our land and sea and leave it in a better state than we found it.”

Despite all that, Australia acknowledged that no single nation can completely accomplish the goals of nature positive on its own. That’s why global agreements such as the GBF that is being negotiated and conferences like COP15 are important.

 “It is why clear targets and strong goals and mutual support are so vital,” Minister Plibersek said. “Australia stands ready to lift our ambition, to support our friends and partners, particularly in the Pacific, and to face the most critical challenges facing humanity today.”

The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) is held in Montreal, Canada from 7 – 19 December 2022.  Chaired by the Government of China, the CBD COP15 will result in a new Global Biodiversity Framework that will continue the Biodiversity Targets with the global goal of halting biodiversity loss.

Fourteen Pacific Islands countries are Party to the CBD. They are contributing to a unified One Pacific Voice on collective issues at COP15. The countries present in Montreal are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), support to Pacific island countries has been implemented with technical input through the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT),  and includes a One Pacific approach involving support from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, and the Pacific Community at COP15 with financial assistance from the Government of Australia and the ACP MEA Phase 3 Project funded by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States for the ACP countries. 

For more information on the CBD COP15 please visit: https://www.cbd.int/conferences/2021-2022 or email [email protected]