By Isla Binnie and Gloria Dickie
MONTREAL, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A United Nations nature summit culminated on Monday with a global deal to protect the ecosystems that prop up half the world economy, and prevent the further loss of already ravaged plant and animal populations.
Despite an objection from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is home to lush tracts of rainforest, the Chinese presidency and Canadian host government declared the deal approved.
Here are some of the key areas agreed on after two weeks of negotiations hosted in Montreal, Canada.
CONSERVATION, PROTECTION AND RESTORATION
Delegates committed to protecting 30% of land and 30% of coastal and marine areas by 2030, fulfilling the deal’s highest-profile goal, known as 30-by-30. Indigenous and traditional territories will also count toward this goal, as many countries and campaigners pushed for during the talks.
The deal also aspires to restore 30% of degraded lands and waters throughout the decade, up from an earlier aim of 20%.
And the world will strive to prevent destroying intact landscapes and areas with a lot of species, bringing those losses “close to zero by 2030”.
MONEY FOR NATURE
Signatories aim to ensure $200 billion per year is channelled to conservation initiatives, from public and private sources. Wealthier countries should contribute at least $20 billion of this every year by 2025, and at least $30 billion a year by 2030.
This appeared to be the Democratic Republic of Congo’s main source of objection to the package.
BIG COMPANIES REPORT IMPACTS ON BIODIVERSITY
Companies should analyse and report how their operations affect and are affected by biodiversity issues. The parties agreed to large companies and financial institutions being subject to “requirements” to make disclosures regarding their operations, supply chains and portfolios.
This reporting is intended to progressively promote biodiversity, reduce the risks posed to business by the natural world, and encourage sustainable production.
Countries committed to identify subsidies that deplete biodiversity by 2025, and then eliminate, phase out or reform them. They agreed to slash those incentives by at least $500 billion a year by 2030, and increase incentives that are positive for conservation.
POLLUTION AND PESTICIDES
One of the deal’s more controversial targets sought to reduce the use of pesticides by up to two-thirds. But the final language to emerge focuses on the risks associated with pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals instead, pledging to reduce those threats by “at least half”, and instead focusing on other forms of pest management.
Overall, the Kunming-Montreal agreement will focus on reducing the negative impacts of pollution to levels that are not considered harmful to nature, but the text provides no quantifiable target here.
MONITORING AND REPORTING PROGRESS
All the agreed aims will be supported by processes to monitor progress in the future, in a bid to prevent this agreement meeting the same fate as similar targets that were agreed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, and never met.
National action plans will be set and reviewed, following a similar format used for greenhouse gas emissions under U.N.-led efforts to curb climate change.
Some observers objected to the lack of a deadline for countries to submit these plans.