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Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15

A blog post by Catherine Gee

As the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP15) draws to a close, and we reflect on the important global commitments to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, our Deputy CEO Catherine Gee takes time to explore how we have supported and celebrated those taking action.  She also looks forward as we scale up our reach to assist people reset their relationships with our local and global neighbourhoods and green and blue spaces.

Robin sits on hand with green blurred background.

As an environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful is committed to supporting people to help maintain and restore biodiversity across Scotland and the globe.  Through our work we contribute to Scotland’s aim to become Nature Positive by 2030 and to have restored and regenerated biodiversity by 2045 in line with the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.

This is why the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its associated package of goals, targets and financing agreed at the COP15 in Montreal, following four years of negotiations, is so important to us.

The 196 parties to the convention agreed to halt the destruction of our planet's biological diversity and put humanity on a path to living in harmony with nature by 2045. With 196 parties, the CBD has near universal participation around the world reflecting the true importance and impact of global biodiversity.  But, if we want to halt biodiversity loss the implementation of the agreed Framework must start now and at pace. 

The climate emergency, the nature emergency, and our recently confirmed litter emergency are all inextricably linked.  They are all fundamentally propelled by unsustainable patterns of global production and consumption - our continuing over-use of resources is driving biodiversity loss and destroying ecosystems. 

We welcome the inclusion of the 30x30 target to protect at least 30% of the planet for nature by 2030, but also recognise the challenges that lie ahead.  The newly agreed Framework must act as a launch pad for governments, businesses and individuals to move urgently towards a ‘nature-positive’ world.  

There are difficult decisions that will need to be made by our leaders with regard to land-use and land-use change, and the ways in which we mine and process materials including natural resources. But while we wait for global leaders and politicians to implement the Framework internationally, we can act now.  

We must consider our own actions and make ourselves aware of the severe threats to nature, here at home and abroad. How many people know that we’ve already lost nearly 25% of our species abundance in Scotland, let alone the impact that this might have? 

 

I believe that it is essential we help reconnect people with the natural world in their own neighbourhoods and places, for their own health and wellbeing, and for the survival of species themselves. This is why we have developed an accredited Climate Emergency Training with Biodiversity – to support people to find out more about the twin crises and to enable action. 

As we enter a new year, we can all plan to do simple things to help nature, such as: 

  • support more community-based nature action as demonstrated by many of the community groups we support through the It’s Your Neighbourhood programme in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society;
  • buy and eat local seasonal products, or grown your own food;
  • equip young people and educators with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the challenges ahead;
  • support businesses to improve their environmental credentials and sustainability;
  • make a home for nature and plant for biodiversity, or;
  • register for our Climate Emergency Training with Biodiversity.

 

Despite the challenges we know life on earth faces, we must find hope, and approach 2023, positively. It is essential that we find ways to live that take less from our planet and that we give back equally if we are to leave the world a better place for future generations.

One of my aims for the coming year is to really help those we work with to develop strong and improved relationships with nature.  We need to care about saving our planet – not just for ourselves but for the sake of the rich and varied biodiversity that supports all life on earth. 

You can read more about our work to support action to protect nature in our recent news story. 

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