15 December 2022, Montreal Quebec - Showing global leadership and a strong commitment for a healthy biodiversity, the Pacific island of Niue is the only country that has a leader attending the High-Level Segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Our nature is declining at an unprecedented rate with our planet close to a million extinct species. Warnings have rung loud and clear at the CBD COP15 of just how much biodiversity is the foundation for human health and well-being as well as our livelihoods and culture.
Despite this, only one leader has attended the high-level segment of CBD COP 15, which aims to endorse a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that aims to both halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
“I am here because this is fundamentally important to me, my government and the people of my country. I am here because I am proud of the work Niue is doing, motivated by the legacies and the responsibilities passed on, from our ancestors; so that our people, and our future generations can sustain the strong foundations that our ancestors have set for us all,” stated Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi as he opened the High-Level Segment today as the first speaker.
“Every nation aspires to be better and serve their people; to do better; to be successful; to be prosperous.
As Leaders, we also have a responsibility. A responsibility to ensure that our actions of today do not compromise the future of our children, their children and the generations to come. We, the world, have a collective responsibility to do better.”
More than 190 Governments have united with partners to negotiate new global targets they will collectively endorse. Global targets that will translate to biodiversity actions on the ground with the unified vision of halting and reversing biodiversity loss.
In a demonstration of international innovation, Niue announced the bold and proactive steps the island is taking to deliver on their key role as custodians and guardians of our environment and natural resources. Forty per cent of Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone has been declared as a no-take Marine Protected Area known as Moana Mahu. Twenty per cent of Niue’s terrestrial land has been designated as a conservation area. Niue has also developed a homegrown, fit-for-purpose sustainable funding mechanism, Ocean Conservation Credits, to help deliver on the commitments that have been made.
The objective is to mobilise funding now, emphasising urgent actions for our biodiversity.
Although Niue has already exceeded the global goal and targets set for healthy biodiversity, it posed a challenge to the world to work collectively and endorse an ambitious framework saying that more needs to be done by all to address our triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution.
The Niue Premier called on everyone in the room to be bold and innovative and to deliver a highly ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework for us all.
“The Global Biodiversity Framework must be a document of its time, and to fully integrate the triple global priorities of climate, biodiversity and pollution,” he stated.
“We have come to COP15 expecting a global framework that will set clear targets and guide how we all address biodiversity into the immediate future. Regionally, we have integrated within our regional Framework for Nature Conservation 2021 – 2025 what we have anticipated to come out of COP15.”
“We cannot fail to deliver on the Global Biodiversity Framework.”
The Hon. Premier Tagelagi was the first speaker at the High-Level Segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity that opened on 15 December, 2022.
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: https://www.cbd.int/conferences/2021-2022 or email [email protected]