Nearly 200 nations this week signed off on a United Nations agreement that sets clear targets to halt and reverse the damaging decline of nature. About a million species are threatened with extinction because of mankind’s activities and large areas of the planet are fully or partially degraded. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which was agreed to at the COP15 talks in Montreal, will hopefully reset humanity’s relationship with nature – the complex web of life on which mankind is deeply dependent for food, water, clean air, resources and much more.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the accord, saying: “We are finally starting to forge a peace pact with nature.” The peace pact is urgent and nations must spare no effort in putting it into action to achieve its 2030 targets. Despite the immense value that nature brings, humanity has long taken advantage of its bounty, stripping the planet of its resources in the quest for economic growth, material goods, food and profits. Wild animal populations have plunged since 1970 and almost a third of the world’s tree species are at risk of extinction. Plastic pollution is also taking a heavy toll on marine life.