MONTREAL, CANADA – UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri participated in the High-Level Segment (HLS), the second part of the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), that took place in Montreal, Canada.
The HLS, which took place from December 15-17, 2022, aimed to enable participating ministers to support the final stages of the negotiations on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and related decisions, with a view to ensuring a successful outcome of the conference.
“The world is experiencing rapid socioeconomic and environmental changes that are fundamentally impacting our ecosystems,” Almheiri said.
“Our success in tackling the growing environmental challenges largely depends on our ability to boost cooperation and join forces to protect our planet and safeguard its biodiversity,” she said.
She urged other ministers to work together towards achieving the meeting’s objective of adopting the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and raising international ambitions to reverse biodiversity loss and realize the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity of a world living in harmony with nature.
The minister said that in line with the vision of its wise leadership, the UAE has consistently worked towards preserving its biodiversity through developing an integrated legislative framework, rolling out related projects and initiatives, and engaging the community in environmental efforts.
She said, “As the host of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), the UAE seeks to present a clear vision and practical processes that scale up ecosystem conservation and harness nature-based solutions in the face of environmental challenges.”
The country’s steadfast commitment to biodiversity protection was recognized at COP15, as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) named the coastal and marine ecosystem preservation and rehabilitation programs of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) among its top 10 global initiatives for restoring and rehabilitating coastal marine ecosystems.
Almheiri congratulated EAD on the achievement.
The minister attended multiple meetings as part of her participation at COP15 which included the Ministerial Dialogue on Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change, the Ministerial International Steering Committee Meeting of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC2.0), the second Ministerial Meeting of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution.
The meetings included a side event on halving the global footprint by 2030 and a panel discussion on how to ensure the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
She also participated in two high-level roundtables organized by the COP28 Committee – one that drew on the connection between food systems and climate change, and the other between biodiversity and climate change.
The minister’s agenda featured bilateral meetings with several ministers concerned with the environment, climate and food .
It also included meeting with senior officials from international organizations to explore new avenues for collaboration aimed at spurring concerted action for environmental protection and biodiversity sustainability.
The main objective of COP15 was to adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Draft One of the framework, released in July 2021, builds on lessons learnt from the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
It recognizes that urgent policy action globally, regionally and nationally is required to transform economic, social and financial models so the trends that have exacerbated biodiversity loss will stabilize by 2030 and allow for the recovery of natural ecosystems, with net improvements by 2050.
After four years of negotiations, a landmark agreement was reached at COP15 to guide global action on nature through to 2030.
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) aims to address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems and protect indigenous rights.
The plan includes concrete measures to halt and reverse nature loss, including putting 30 percent of the planet under protection by 2030 and raising international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least US$30 billion per year by 2030.