190 nations agree to save 30% of planet by 2030 | India News


NEW DELHI: In a historic UN biodiversity agreement, over 190 countries agreed in Montreal on Monday to protect 30% of the planet by 2030, while pledging to achieve 23 targets to reverse ecosystem degradation under four overarching goals for survival of the natural world. Farm subsidies – India and other developed countries had demanded its continuation – could escape the axe as the final text of the global deal did not specify it, reports Vishwa Mohan.
Under the “Global Biodiversity Framework“, countries agreed to reduce harmful government subsidies worth $500bn annually, while vowing to identify subsidies “harmful for biodiversity” by 2025.
Biodiversity plan gives India legroom on farm subsidies
The landmark Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), agreed to by over 190 countries in Montreal, Canada, on Monday, gives elbow space to India both in terms of continuing farm subsidies and pesticide use. This has been a priority for India, which has been voluntarily pitching for natural farming in a big way.
GBF refers to subsidies in general terms and says countries can “reform incentives” in a proportionate, just, fair, effective and equitable way. The Framework, in fact, wants countries to deal with the issue of subsidies in line with other relevant international obligations.
Calling it a “milestone moment”, environment minister Bhupender Yadav said, “The suggestions from India for keeping all the goals and targets, globally, was accepted, along with other propositions. The most significant contribution of the Indian interventions was that all targets are kept as global in nature and countries will be free to adopt them according to their circumstances, priorities and capabilities.”
Yadav, who led the country’s negotiating team, said, “India could also successfully negotiate that the ecosystem-based approaches should be given due place in all mitigation processes.”
Apart from India and other developing countries, Japan too had pushed for the removal of references to agricultural and fishing subsidies during the negotiations at 15th session of the UN conference on biodiversity (CO).
Considered equivalent to the Paris Agreement on climate change in terms of its significance for protecting biodiversity, the GBF’s other targets include reducing the use of pesticides by half and raising annual international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least $20 billion by 2025, and to at least $30 billion by 2030.
“Success (of the Agreement under GBF) will be measured by our rapid and consistent progress in implementing what we have agreed to,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme. The agreement also obliges countries to monitor and report every five years or less on a large set of headlines and other indicators related to progress against the GBF’s goals and targets. The monetary and non-monetary benefits from utilisation of genetic resources under internationally agreed access and benefit-sharing instruments, digital sequence information on genetic resources, and protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources are, in fact, part of the four overarching goals of the GBF.





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