Egypt handed over the presidency of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to China on Monday during the opening activities of the 15th edition in China.
Egypt’s presidency over COP14 lasted for three years under exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad hailed the important and far-reaching decisions that Egypt presented, through its presidency of the COP14, and the development of a political framework for action in biodiversity through the high-level segment and the African Ministerial Conference.
She noted that despite the emergency conditions of the pandemic, the COP14 has made significant contributions to advancing the implementation of the convention, agreeing on key concepts and charting directions for future actions, including strengthening the commitment of parties, civil society and business to integrate biodiversity and sustainable development into economic sectors.
It has also contributed to creating momentum and interest in the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and mobilised political participation for its implementation, especially from the African region.
The minister added that during Egypt’s presidency of the conference, many controversial issues related to biodiversity were addressed, and Egypt set paths to enhance international cooperation to link biodiversity and technology, and developed a road map for developing the global biodiversity framework beyond 2020, and launched the “Sharm to Kunming” program of work to stimulate contributions from all actors.
Fouad stressed that there is a serious need to bridge the funding gap and provide adequate funding for biodiversity conservation, integrating biodiversity into economic sectors, as well as enhancing integration of the three Rio conventions as well as other multilateral environmental agreements and coordinating their implementation at the national level.
The three Rio conventions are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Moreover, during the Egyptian presidency of the conference, the IPBES Global Assessment was launched, which provided the most accurate analysis of the biodiversity crisis and required to address it.