XuFancheng Culture Study Center

COP-15, 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference

 “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”

BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 15

A great privilege for Dr Das to participate as an Observer for the UN Biodiversity conference 2020 (#COP15), held virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021. The following article is written about the COP 15 event, the Kunming declaration, and the significance of cooperation between India and China.

 

The diversity of life on earth is referred to as biodiversity, including humans, animals, fungi, trees, and microorganisms. Biodiversity maintains all the elements of nature that are necessary for our survival, such as food, water, and shelter: each species and organism works in concert with others in ecosystems to preserve equilibrium and support life.

BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 1
BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 1
BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 1

Biodiversity can be explored at three levels – Genetic diversity, Species diversity, and Ecosystem diversity. Together, these three stages contribute to the complexity of life on Earth. By using more resources, we run the risk of disrupting ecosystem equilibrium and losing our biodiversity. #SCP (sustainable consumption and production) encourages using fewer natural resources to produce more goods and services. It also aims to promote sustainable lifestyles, improve resource efficiency, and uncouple economic growth from environmental deterioration.

SCP can make a significant difference in the fight against poverty and the shift to a low-carbon and environmentally friendly economy. Building cooperation amongst numerous distinct non-governmental groups and stakeholders across all nations is a crucial prerequisite. Urbanization that is planned can aid cities in making better and healthier living decisions. Additionally, it will assist individuals in making decisions about what they buy and how they live that will help preserve nature. The complex web of living things that nature has created is delicately balanced and adapted to live in the many climatic and geographic regions of our world.

The human species rely on nature in all of its variety for sustenance and survival. The main legal instrument to address threats to biodiversity is an international treaty known as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Its three main goals are the Conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity; and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. These are captured in the Nagoya and Cartagena Protocols and the Aichi Biodiversity targets formulated by the UN. Recently the Part I – UN Biodiversity conference was held in Kunming (COP 15) for the adoption of post global biodiversity framework at resumption in 2022. COP-15, part-I, addressed critical areas of work and demonstrated the capacity of countries to adjust to changes and advance on the path towards global sustainability.

About the COP15 conference -

The COP 15 conference’s two-day High-Level Segment (12-13 October), opened with the announcement by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Kunming Biodiversity Fund. The High-Level Segment of the meeting adopted the “Kunming Declaration”, with countries committing to negotiate an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework due to be agreed upon in 2022. There the participation of almost 2918 delegates in Kunming, and 2478 connected online, in part one of the UN Biodiversity Conference. The COP15 conference helped in setting the stage for the adoption of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the resumption of the meeting in spring 2022. Important initiatives and commitments introduced during the meeting included the announcement by the Global Environment Facility, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, that they will fast-track financial and technical support to developing country governments to prepare for the rapid implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The meeting saw China assuming the role of COP-15 Presidency, the adoption of an interim integrated budget for 2022 for the Convention, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, and a progress report from the co-chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Many non-State actors participated in the meeting, ensuring the good participation of a wide range of stakeholders.

BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 17
BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 17
BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 17
BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 17

India-China and the Nature

India and China must work together to stop the loss of biodiversity, slow climate change, and stop deforestation. The world’s two fastest-growing and most populous countries, China and India, “will play a substantial and leading role in setting the environmental consequences for our planet this century.” Environmental concerns are becoming more pressing as the economies of both nations see significant expansion. These places, notably the Himalayas, where these resources are derived, are experiencing this stress. Water supply may become a more difficult problem for the two nations to resolve and will require cautious cooperation. We must educate people about the advantages of cooperation. If these two nations don’t cooperate, more than just China and India will suffer. The effects on the environment will be felt on a global scale. Additionally, the two nations were expanding their ecological imprint throughout Asia. Large amounts of wood were also imported, which aided Asia’s loss of biodiversity and deforestation-related greenhouse gas emissions.Given the severity of the environmental problems, the two nations must collaborate significantly more closely. They should exchange information. Furthermore, tackling such issues would be more successful with coordinated action. Nations must safeguard species against increasing consumerism, dams, and industry since biodiversity has no tolerance for “national boundaries.” In addition to warning of the security and biodiversity threat posed by expanding consumption, dam construction, and industrial emissions, China and India might jointly decide the destiny of the planet’s ecology.

Future environmental, social, and economic outcomes will be greatly influenced by how China and India use natural resources both within and outside of their borders. These two nations import 9 million barrels of crude oil annually and 64% of the Roundwood pine produced in Asia, which exacerbates the issues of global warming and deforestation. The ecosystem is being harmed by numerous troops in the Himalayan border region. Because of the scarcity of resources in the mountain region, troops occasionally consume unusual vegetation. Other significant issues include rivers being constrained by hundreds of dams and melting glaciers that provide meltwater for half the world’s population.

We foresee an increase in the development of hydroelectric plants and the exploitation of other Himalayan resources in response to the rising energy demand in both countries, with grave implications for regional security.  The synergistic effects of declining water resources, biodiversity loss, increased pollution, and climate change may have negative social and economic consequences, or, even worse, escalate conflicts within and between the two countries. China and India have not collaborated much or performed any cooperative research to lessen the effects of their rapid development, despite their increasing global significance.

 Small signs of development have been observed in recent years, such as agreements to cooperatively monitor glaciers and investigate the interaction of the atmosphere and the ocean. The world’s two most populous nations must work more diligently together to combat biodiversity loss, climate change, and deforestation. They must also turn the disputed territory into transboundary protected areas, promote scientific cooperation, work with the UN to manage natural resources, and encourage regional forums like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to place a greater emphasis on the environment. Protection of wildlife between the two countries was unusual. China and India are currently the fourth- and fifth-largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, respectively. At least half of the world’s population relies on snowmelt from Himalayan glaciers as their main source of water throughout the summer. There is a lot that China and India can teach one another. India, for instance, has a greater energy efficiency than China. However, China has a lot to offer India in the areas of poverty alleviation, access to quality healthcare, and extensive conservation initiatives like the Grain-to-Green Program and the Natural Forest Conservation Program. These initiatives could help both nations reduce their contributions to global warming, environmental harm, and the loss of biodiversity. China primarily has experience with micro-hydropower projects, however both nations do as well. Local communities have a wealth of knowledge about biodiversity, hydrology, and climate change, particularly in the Himalayas. Sharing this information might help build the best strategies and technology. Both China and India must get through language and cultural obstacles. The promotion of Indian culture studies in China and Chinese culture studies in India is also essential. Cross-Cultural Study center’s can be helped by the UN and embassies to develop channels for cooperation. The Himalayas, UNESCO, and the U.N. Environment Programme are all potential catalysts for bringing the two nations closer and fostering such cooperation. International foundations and non-governmental organisations that are involved in environmental issues and the friendship between India and China could create transnational programmes. Organisations can play crucial roles in facilitating and supporting international discussions on climate change and other environmental issues that cut across political boundaries.

BikashKaliDas, COP15, UN Biodiveristy conference,Kunming - 3