Bloom Association » COP15: other issues addressed in the Kunming-Montreal agreement

Bloom Association » COP15: other issues addressed in the Kunming-Montreal agreement

The 195 Member States of the Convention on Biological Diversity have agreed on a number of key issues such as deep sea protection, restoration of degraded ecosystems, advocacy for the rights of indigenous people, the rights of nature, and funding for nature protection in developing countries.

DEEP SEA MINING

This theme is addressed in an annex of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework[1]. Paragraph 16 of this annex on the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biological diversity:

“encourages Parties and invites other Governments to ensure that,  before deep seabed mineral exploitation activities take place,  the impacts on the marine environment and biodiversity are sufficiently researched and the risks understood, the technologies and operational practices do not cause harmful effects to the marine environment and biodiversity, and  appropriate rules, regulations and procedures are put in place  by the International Seabed Authority, in accordance with the best available science and the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities with their free, prior and informed consent, and  the precautionary and ecosystem approaches,  and consistent with United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant international law”

This paragraph is testament to how important the topic of deep sea mining has become since the 2018 COP14, where it was virtually absent from discussions. The agreement reached in Montreal, however, is far from satisfactory.

Indeed, this  “encouragement”  is very different from proposing a clear and formal ban on deep sea mining, even when the risks for biodiversity are proven. It does, however, urge the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to put in place  “appropriate rules, regulations and procedures”  in case of proven risks, based on the precautionary principle and an ecosystemic approach. This paragraph should serve as a basis for the ISA to work towards an international agreement on this matter in coming months.

RESTORATION OF DEGRADED ECOSYSTEMS

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