15 December 2022, Montreal Canada - Leaders and Ministers from Pacific countries have reiterated the call on the global community to come together to agree on an effective and coherent Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that reflects the needs of Pacific islands nations to conserve their unique biodiversity.
They have also further re-emphasised the message that Pacific islands face unique conditions in their efforts to conserve and manage biodiversity, due to their geographic situation, limited land area and vast ocean spaces, and they need financial assistance to do this.
These views were expressed by the Premier of Niue, Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, Palau Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Steven Victor, Samoa Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE), Hon. Toeolesulusulu Cedric Shuster, Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Ralph Regevanu, Ambassadors and Heads of Delegations who attended a Pacific Ministers Informal Roundtable Breakfast meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal Canada, on Thursday.
New Zealand’s Minister of Conservation, Hon. Poto Williams, was present as well as Australia’s Head of Delegation, Mr James Larsen. The breakfast hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, provided Ministers an opportunity to discuss priority biodiversity issues and challenges in our region as Pacific delegates look to do their part to finalise an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to halt biodiversity loss.
The Director General of SPREP, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, acknowledged the effort by the leaders and Ministers present in Montreal. He facilitated the roundtable discussion and reiterated the Pacific’s key priorities at COP15, namely:
- The critical importance for the Pacific islands region to have an effective and coherent Global Biodiversity Framework that reflects the needs of Pacific islands nations and conserving their unique biodiversity.
- Pacific islands face unique conditions in the effort to manage biodiversity and conservation, thanks in large part to our geographic situation, limited land, and vast ocean spaces.
- Pacific islands need investments in capacity to manage and monitor the status of biodiversity and of human actions influencing native biodiversity.
- Healthy ocean biodiversity is a Pacific islands national and regional priority and should also be a global priority.
The High Level Segment of COP15 followed the Pacific Ministerial breakfast. Pacific leaders and Ministers will be hoping to make their presence count in the last few days of a conference aimed at preserving what is left of the planet's biodiversity.
Talks at COP15 hit a speed bump early Wednesday when more than 60 nations from the global south walked out over concerns that pledges from rich countries to fund conservation were too small and too vague. The Ministers and delegates have four days to reach agreement before the conference ends on Monday.
While negotiators report progress on many of the proposed 22 targets in the Framework, many of the most contentious -- including the amount of land to be preserved and how conservation action will be paid for -- are still to be worked out. Advocates are hoping the nations will agree to set aside 30 per cent of the world's land and oceans by 2030, the bare minimum scientists say is needed to stop the collapse of ecosystems, as well as limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Pacific Ministers Informal Roundtable Breakfast was funded by Australia and New Zealand.
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]