Greens Welcome the Adoption of the Biodiversity Framework, Call for Swift Canadian Implementation

 (Montreal, December 20, 2022) - The Green Party of Canada welcomes with enthusiasm yesterday’s adoption by COP15 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (the GBF). We wish to join the international community in saluting this momentous achievement, of potentially historical significance.

“That potential must not be lost. To realize the promises of the GBF, we must consider its adoption as only the beginning of a promising, but arduous, way forward,” Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, said. “Much more has to be done to ensure that the valuable goals and targets of the Framework are fully and effectively implemented,” she added. 

The Green Party of Canada warmly welcomes the 23 “action-oriented targets” contained in the Framework and which parties committed themselves to initiate immediately and complete by 2030. Most notably, they include commitments to ensure:

  • That 30 percent of land and marine areas, especially those of  greater biodiversity importance,  be conserved and managed  through effective conservation measures and with an emphasis on developing networks of well connected protected areas;
  • Pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources are reduced, by 2030, to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services;
  • That people are encouraged and enabled to make sustainable consumption (…) to live well in harmony with Mother Earth;
  • That areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry are managed sustainably, in particular through the sustainable use of biodiversity, including through a substantial increase of the application of biodiversity friendly practices;
  • That legal, administrative or policy measures are implemented to encourage and enable business, and in particular large and transnational companies and financial institutions monitor, assess and disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts related to biodiversity; and finally;
  • That subsidies to activities harmful for biodiversity be identified by 2025 and eliminated, phased out or reformed by a collective US$500 billion by 2030.

While saluting the ''30 by 30'' commitment, the Green Party wishes to stress that none of the targets contained in the Framework should be taken in isolation. They form an interconnected and deeply interdependent package of commitments, which all rely on each other.

“An integrated approach is crucial to addressing the loss of biological diversity and other global environmental concern,” Jonathan Pedneault, deputy leader of the Green Party said. “The many substantial linkages between biodiversity and the fight against climate change cannot be ignored anymore, and the success of this COP provides an important foundation in building a healthier planet and future.”

The Green Party now urges the Government of Canada to take open, swift, and effective measures to produce its National Implementation Strategy and put it into action.  The full respect, and further strengthening, of those implementation measures will be key to the success of the Framework. 

“Given the voluntary nature of some of the measures produced by the GBF, the Government of Canada can now play a positive leadership role for the rest of the international community by committing immediately and explicitly to the full respect of those voluntary mechanisms,” May said.

The Green Party of Canada sees a role for elected officials and all interested partners, including non-governmental organizations, local authorities and members of the private sector  in ensuring a strong and effective implementation of the Framework. 

“Given the ongoing climate and biodiversity crises, the federal government should take the lead in crafting a comprehensive national implementation strategy, in coordination with the provinces, territories and Indigenous governments, while recognizing the important role of municipalities,” Pedneault said.

“It will also be paramount to ensure that members of Parliament, in addition to their involvement in adopting domestic application measures, be given an opportunity to see, and comment upon, the proposed international reports to be produced by Canada in accordance with the GFB implementation measures,” Pedneault concluded.

“ Altogether, the success of COP15 is measured against a fairly low bar. Failure to adopt any GBF was a real risk. Having an agreement at all is a success. But we do need to face the reality that many goals are not tied to any particular time line,” May said.

“The all important commitment to 'halt and reverse' loss of biodiversity is not linked to any particular year, but in an earlier draft was to occur by 2030. In our relief that we have a good set of decisions, we must not lose sight of the fact that more must be done," she concluded.

The Green Party of Canada is looking forward to be working with the rest of the Government of Canada towards the full and successful implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework, in Canada and beyond.