Global Biodiversity Framework to benefit the Cook Islands
Cook Islands National Environment Service officers join more than 190 countries at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) and the 5th Open Ended Working Group (OEWG5) held in Montreal, Canada in December 2022.
The OEWG5 met to advance negotiations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The GBF is a comprehensive and ambitious new plan to assist countries in halting and reversing current trends of biodiversity loss over the next 10 years, with the goal of living in harmony with nature by 2050. It consists of four long-term goals, 23 targets and a set of indicators to monitor progress, replacing the 2011-2020 global Aichi targets on safeguarding biodiversity.
The Cook Islands delegation led negotiations on behalf of the 14 Pacific Island Countries for GBF Targets four (Species Conservation), six (Invasive Alien Species) and seven (Pollution). Key outcomes of these negotiations led to retaining text with specific mention of “islands” in Target 6, and “eliminating plastic pollution” in Target 7. This adds more recognition to the special circumstances of small island developing states and addresses the key issue of plastic pollution that we face in the region.
The adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework, now labelled as the Kunming-Montreal GBF, made the CBD COP15 a success and now countries are moving towards its implementation.
Elizabeth Munro, Manager of Environmental Stewardship, stated “the first step to implement the GBF in the Cook Islands is to review the Cook Islands National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2002, updating it to align with the new GBF goals and targets. NES looks forward to working in partnership with key stakeholders to review the NBSAP and create a plan that addresses biodiversity loss across our islands”.