Issues brief

Post-2020 global biodiversity framework

  • In December 2022, Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will meet to determine the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
  • Despite commitments made in 2010, biodiversity has further declined over the past decade.
  • An ambitious new biodiversity framework is needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.
  • The framework must aim to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and achieve recovery by 2050, which requires additional investment in nature equivalent to between 0.7 and 1% of annual global GDP.
  • Targets in the framework should be measurable, underpinned by science, and have explicit outcomes.

July 2022

What is the issue?

In December 2022, Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet (COP15) to determine the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (the framework). IUCN Members see the framework as a global strategy for jointly safeguarding nature and securing our common future.

Despite an increase in policies and actions to support biodiversity, indicators show that the drivers of biodiversity loss have worsened and biodiversity further declined between 2011 and 2020. At the global level none of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed by Parties to the CBD in 2010 have been fully achieved.

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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™

Analysis suggests there have been gaps in the ambition and commitment of countries to address nature loss over the past decade; national plans have generally been poorly aligned to the Aichi Targets and insufficient in scope to meet them.

Estimates based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ tell us that one million species are currently threatened with extinction, but modelling demonstrates it is not too late to reverse these trends.

Why is this important?

The degradation of ecosystems and decline of biodiversity exacerbate climate change and threaten the natural processes which protect human health and provide clean air, water and food.

Healthy ecosystems support 55% of global GDP, and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity underpins sustainable development. An ambitious new framework is therefore needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.

The framework and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration are opportunities to reverse nature loss at scale. To do so is critical to solving the climate crisis. Healthy ecosystems protect communities from climate change impacts like extreme weather, and nature-based solutions could provide up to 37% of our climate change mitigation needs as per the Paris Agreement.

What can be done?

Parties to the CBD must aim to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2030, and achieve recovery and restoration by 2050. Transformational change to humanity’s current way of living is vital, requiring decisive local and global action from all countries and all sectors of society. IUCN is helping create the tools to guide, monitor and measure such action.

Global targets must be measurable, underpinned by science, and have explicit outcomes. These should include action to tackle threats to biodiversity (specifically genes, species and ecosystems), and to protect and restore the benefits nature provides to people. IUCN’s Global Species Action Plan (to be published at COP15) highlights the importance of species conservation for the implementation of the whole framework. 

Protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures should be expanded to cover at least 30% of the planet by 2030, while recognising the rights and roles of indigenous peoples and local communities (“30 x 30”). The 30% must incorporate all areas of particular importance for biodiversity, including key biodiversity areas (KBAs), with steps taken to ensure habitat connectivity. As the global standard for effective area-based conservation, the IUCN Green List can both support the achievement of “30 x 30” and act as a simple indicator of progress.  

Given the links between the climate and nature crises, Parties should view targets within the framework as aligned to existing climate commitments. Two-thirds of governments supporting the Paris Agreement include nature-based solutions in their national climate plans, for example. The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions will help Parties ensure such projects are as effective as possible.

Monitoring the framework’s implementation is essential and IUCN supports the programme of monitoring through indicators proposed in the draft framework. Parties should particularly consider the IUCN Red List of Threatened Speciesas the world’s most comprehensive information source on global extinction risk.

The framework must engage countries, cities, sub-national governments, indigenous peoples and local communities, industry, women, youth, farmers, civil society and the private sector. It should be inclusive, understanding of gender roles and inequalities, and reflect links between nature and culture.

To facilitate such engagement all elements of the framework should be scalable, from local to global levels, and allow anyone to determine their contributions towards global targets. The Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) metric, co-created by IUCN, can be used to quantify the impact of specific actions in specific places towards halting global species extinctions.

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Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) metric

IUCN

Governments must guarantee the additional investment in nature every year for the framework to succeed; an increase equivalent to between 0.7 and 1% of annual global GDP is needed. Private, public and philanthropic finance should be mobilised. As governments help economies recover from the COVID-19 crisis, they must ensure that stimulus investments do no additional harm to nature, and should direct at least 10% of the overall recovery investment to protecting and restoring nature.

Before the framework’s adoption and during its implementation, the conservation community should raise the awareness of all governments and all stakeholders on the urgency to act. The IUCN World Conservation Congress in September 2021 brought together 9,200 experts just before COP15: Part One to help build this momentum.

More information:

IUCN’s submissions to the post-2020 framework: iucn.org/our-work/informing-policy/international-policy/un-convention-biological-diversity-cbd

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: iucnredlist.org

IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions: iucn.org/nbs-standard

IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas: iucngreenlist.org

STAR metric: iucn.org/star-metric

IUCN Congress 2020 Resolutions 040 and 101: