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An aerial view of the Ewaso Nyiro South River in Shompole, Kajiado County.
In December 2022, two years later than planned, 196 nations adopted the historic Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF), committing the world to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 – a global goal hailed as the equivalent to climate’s 1.5C.
The Kunming-Montreal Agreement is historic because it is the first global agreement to fully acknowledge and incorporate ‘societal transformation’ as a necessary prerequisite to solve global environmental crises. It is also the first global biodiversity agreement to not only set goals for what we want to achieve, but also to set a number of quite operational goals for how we should go about achieving that.
The nations that signed on to the agreement, including Kenya, committed to conserve at least 30% of land, freshwater and ocean globally, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and recognizing the contributions of indigenous and traditional territories towards the target’s tally.
Overall, the Agreement set out four overarching goals to be met by 2050, but each with corresponding milestones to assess, in 2030 and progress towards the 2050 goals. The targets refer to what we should conserve, what we should avoid or limit, what we should safeguard and what actions we should take.
The four overarching goals are: halt biodiversity loss and restore nature, use lands and seas sustainably, share benefits and services derived from biodiversity, and mobilize necessary resources.
Under the first goal, nations committed to effectively restore 30% of degraded nature and to conserve 30% of lands and seas as well as halt human-induced extinctions.
The second goal committed nations to the sustainable use of land and seas by stopping the unsustainable use, harvest and trade of species, reduce alien species spread by at least 50%, and reduce pollution risks and impacts by at least 50%.
Lastly, the fourth goal committed nations to mobilize the necessary resources through mainstreaming of biodiversity into policy and practice, monitoring and reporting of nature impacts by businesses, promoting sustainable consumption and halving food waste, phasing out ‘perverse’ subsidies, increasing finance, and strengthening the capacity and participation of indigenous, local communities and women.
Five months after the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Agreement, the world commemorates World Biodiversity Day under the theme, “From Agreement to Action: Building Back Biodiversity.” This calls for a whole of society approach to ensure that we stop the rapid loss of species and ensure that actions are taken to reverse nature loss.
“This theme builds on the results of COP15 and calls for urgency in taking decisive actions shifting the focus to full and effective implementation of KMGBF at all levels.” Hon. Soipan Tuya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry.
As an individual, here are six ways you can spend your World Biodiversity Day:
- Ensure that our day to day activities do not cause harm to biodiversity.
- Use sustainably produced products that have low impact on biodiversity.
- Inspire the next generation of conservation champions to learn more about the natural world by supporting children and young people to protect and appreciate biodiversity.
- Say no to pollution: reuse, recycle and reduce.
- Call on your leaders to take immediate action by supporting the development, amendment and implementation of legislations and policies that protect biodiversity that we all depend on.
- Reconnect with nature: visit and appreciate areas of importance to biodiversity like parks.
By Olivia Adhiambo and Joel Muinde