New Zealand Minister
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

16 December 2022, Montreal, Canada - Aotearoa New Zealand has cemented its commitment to work with others to increase funding for biodiversity and to eliminate environmentally damaging subsidies.

Aotearoa New Zealand, a metropolitan member of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in the Pacific has an estimated 80,000 native species that have evolved in isolation over 80 million years. It is one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of life on earth. 75% of extinctions in the last few hundred years have been on islands.

Taking the floor during the High-Level Segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), Minister of Conservation of New Zealand, Hon Poto Williams stressed its dedication to work with more than 190 governments to bring about a transformational post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The world is gathering here now. We’re at a defining moment for our planet. Biodiversity is being lost faster than at any other period in human history,” stated Hon. Minister Williams.

“Our region is dominated by small islands heavily reliant on their natural environments. For us, the need for urgent action to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss is clear. At COP27 last month, our nations recognised the inextricable link between climate change and biodiversity loss and the vital importance of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems.”

“New Zealand is committed to responding to the climate crisis in a way that also protects, enhances, and restores nature, and we have integrated nature-based solutions into our policy frameworks.”

Having acknowledged the global nature finance gap, Aotearoa New Zealand has significantly increased their contribution to the Global Environment Facility’s replenishment this year, their new International Climate Finance Strategy prioritises investing in climate action that benefits biodiversity, oceans and nature.   

While calling for a Global Biodiversity Framework, Minister Williams stated that getting the framework right is just the first step.

New Zealand statement

“How each of us then champions and implements the new framework will determine its success.  We cannot ignore our collective failure to achieve the Aichi targets. The new targets must be stronger and smarter, in a framework that addresses all the major drivers of biodiversity loss,” presented Minister Williams during the High-Level Segment.

“Monitoring and reporting on our progress will be crucial in driving action and holding all of us to account.  So will transitioning financial systems and our economies towards nature-positive outcomes.”

Minister Williams stressed the world most ensure that ecosystems and indigenous species thrive, that people are enriched by their connection with nature, prosperity and thriving biodiversity are linked, and the integral role of indigenous peoples’ leadership is recognised.

I’ll leave you with this thought:

Toitū te marae a Tāne, toitū te marae a Tangaroa, toitū te tangata.

If the land is well and the sea is well, the people will thrive.”

The Honourable Poto Williams, Minister of Conservation of New Zealand presented the high-level statement on 15 December 2022 on day one of the CBD COP15 High-Level segment.

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 2020 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: or email [email protected]

New Zealand, CBD, COP15