Fixing a Broken Planet: The Pathway Toward a Transformative Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)

Overview
November 30, 2022

This content was developed by NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

From Vision to Goals to Targets

According to IPBES, the five drivers of biodiversity loss are, in order, land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species. Targets 1 through 8 must address each of these drivers by measurably reducing the impact of each on biodiversity. They should not be conflated with Targets 9 through 13, which relate to sustainable use and the tools and means of implementing the Targets.

Vision: Living in Harmony with Nature

  • Goal A – Reducing Threats to Biodiversity: Targets 1-8
  • Goal B – Sustainable Use and Benefits Sharing: Targets 9-13
  • Goal C – Tools and Solutions: Targets 13-20
  • Goal D – Implementation and Mainstreaming: Targets 13-20

Where Things Stand

Our planet is broken

People are suffering as we lose high-functioning, thriving, and wildlife-abundant ecosystems that produce the foundations of human life and society like clean air and water, food security, and pathogen and flood control.

Our treatment of the natural world threatens around one million plant and animal species with extinction, many within decades.

Only a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values, will produce the changes we need to secure life as we know it.

We cannot meet peoples’ needs unless we first reduce or eliminate the drivers of the biodiversity crisis. Reducing those threats will lead to improvements in the planet’s ability to sustain life on Earth.

We must fix it

The GBF will only be helpful in securing biodiversity for ourselves and future generations if the Parties adopt targets that directly curb the drivers of nature’s decline. The GBF must:

  • Contain strong conservation goals (Goal A)
  • Provide necessary financing (Goal D)
  • Protect more natural ecosystems (Target 3)
  • Stop species extinction and shift to recovery (Target 4)
  • Ensure direct exploitation is sustainable and safe (Target 5)
  • Halt harmful pollution (Target 7)
  • Only allow the sustainable and safe management of the natural world (Target 9)
  • Eliminate harmful subsidies (Target 18)
  • Adequately fund nature conservation and restoration (Target 19.1)

Recommendations for text of GBF, including comments on the outputs of the Informal Working Group
 

Jouko van der Kruijssen/Getty Images

Goal A - Species and Ecosystem Conservation

Goal A encapsulates the biodiversity objectives needed to live in harmony with nature by 2050. At their core, these objectives must aim to conserve 50% of the earth and stop extinctions now with the objective of eliminating extinction risks by 2050.

  • Retain phrase “Beginning now, the human-induced extinction of all known threatened species is halted.”
    • Reject proposal by the Informal Working Group to remove the phrase “Beginning now.” Anything less than an immediate halt to the extinction of species would be a lowering of ambition from the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Extinction must stop immediately, and the risk of extinction reduced over time until it is eliminated.
  • Remove “[by 2030][by 2050]” for stopping extinction.
  • Retain “extinction risk is reduced by at least 20 per cent by 2030 and eliminated by 2050.”
  • Retain “the abundance and distribution of populations of all wild species is maintained at or enhanced to healthy and resilient levels.”
  • Retain “One hundred per cent of genetic diversity within all known populations of species is safeguarded, maintaining their adaptive potential.”

Ideal text

The ecological integrity of all ecosystems is maintained or enhanced, preventing collapse of ecosystems, increasing to 50 per cent by 2050 the area, connectivity and integrity of the full range of natural ecosystems globally. Beginning now, the human-induced extinction of all known threatened species is halted, and extinction risk is reduced by at least 20 per cent by 2030 and eliminated by 2050, and the abundance and distribution of populations of all wild species is maintained at or enhanced to healthy and resilient levels. One hundred per cent of genetic diversity within all known populations of species is safeguarded, maintaining their adaptive potential.


Goal D - Financing

Goal D must have clarity of purpose and set the global level of ambition required to meet the 2050 visions, leaving details on measures needed to reach the ambition in the Targets.

  • Retain “equitably” accessible or deployed.
  • Retain “close the biodiversity finance gap.”
  • Add “eliminate direct and indirect incentives harmful for biodiversity.”

Ideal text

Adequate financial resources and other means to implement the Convention are made available and equitably deployed to close the biodiversity finance gap needed to achieve the 2050 Vision, and direct and indirect incentives harmful for biodiversity are eliminated.


Jailam Rashad

Target 3 – Ecosystem Conservation

Target 3 sets a global habitat conservation objective which, in order to be met, must prohibit activities recognized as incompatible with ecosystem-wide conservation (e.g., bottom trawling, gas drilling) within protected areas while protecting the land and other rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

  • Retain “ensure” and remove “enable.”
  • Retain “at least.”
  • Retain “globally” and remove “[at the national level]”
  • Remove “[while ensuring that [sustainable use] of these areas, if in place, contributes to biodiversity conservation].”
  • Retain “terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems,” which is in line with the key realms in the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology.
  • Retain “fully and highly.”
  • Retain “that prohibit environmentally damaging activities.”
    • Reject proposal by the Informal Working Group that “Protected areas, by definition, should prohibit activities which are harmful or damaging.” Protected areas receive varying degrees of protection under national laws. The GBF must state that only fully and highly protected areas or areas where all environmentally damaging activities are prohibited would count towards the 30 per cent target.
  • Retain “protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities" and add "including their right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.”

Ideal text

Ensure that at least 30 per cent globally of fresh water, terrestrial, and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity, are adequately conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative, and well-connected systems of fully and highly protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, that prohibit environmentally damaging activities, while recognizing and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities including their right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.


Mike Budd/USFWS

Target 4 - Species Conservation

This target addresses biodiversity loss by halting human caused extinctions and then conserving species through maintaining abundant populations and recovering species by reducing extinction risk.

  • Remove “ensure active, undertake urgent” and “sustainable management actions.”
    • Reject proposal by the Informal Working Group to retain "sustainable" as sustainable management is addressed by Target 5.
  • Remove “domesticated species” and “ex situ” conservation.
  • Add “maintain population abundance” so that declining species are conserved and abundant species are maintained.
  • Remove ”human-wildlife interactions and conflicts” and move to the monitoring framework.
  • Retain “preventing human-induced extinctions” and add “immediately” to avoid backtracking from Aichi Target 12.
  • Add reducing extinction risk “by 20 percent by 2030” to align with Goal A.

Ideal text

Achieve the recovery and conservation of threatened species and maintain the population abundance, genetic diversity, and adaptive potential of all species, preventing human-induced extinctions of species immediately, and reducing extinction risk by at least 20 percent by 2030.


Target 5 - Wild Species Exploitation

The target must focus on eliminating, rather than just reducing, the threats to biodiversity and human health posed by the direct exploitation of species, while leaving matters related to sustainable management and use of wild species to Target 9.

  • Retain the word “exploitation” and remove “harvest.”
  • Add “ecologically” before “sustainable.”
  • Remove “safe for [[human], [animal and plant]] health]” and retain “[and poses no risks of pathogen spillover to humans, wildlife or other animals].”
    • Reject proposal by the Informal Working Group that “sustainable” includes human health aspects, which is dangerous and not supported by scientific consensus. Pathogens are indifferent to the legality and sustainability of wildlife trade.
  • Remove “and prevent and eliminate biopiracy and other forms of illegal access to and transfer of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge].”
  • Remove “[and creating the conditions for the use and provision of benefits for indigenous peoples and local communities].”
  • Retain “address both demand for and supply of illegal wildlife products.”

Ideal text

Eliminate all exploitation, trade and use of wild terrestrial freshwater and marine species that is illegal, ecologically unsustainable, or poses any risk of pathogen spillover to humans, wildlife, or other animals, while addressing both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products and safeguarding customary sustainable use by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.


Rich Carey/Shutterstock

Target 7 - Pollution

Target 7 must include ambitious and measurable reductions in pollution from nutrients lost to the environment and pesticides as part of the overall objective to eliminate harmful pollution from all sources, including plastic waste.

  • Retain “by at least half” and “by at least two thirds.”
  • Remove “significantly.”
  • Remove “[identified as harmful by each country, taking into account their own risk assessment and/or relevant lists developed by international organizations].”
  • Retain “eliminating the discharge of plastic waste.”
  • Retain “taking significant steps to minimize risks from noise and light pollution.”

Ideal text

Reduce pollution from all sources to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and human health, including by reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds, including phasing out highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture by 2030, taking significant steps to minimize risks from noise and light pollution, and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste.


Target 9 - Sustainable Management

Target 9 should focus on increasing the sustainability of the management and use of wild species, which will in turn ensure benefits for people, especially the most vulnerable.

  • Retain “Ensure that the management and use of wild species are sustainable” and add “and equitably distributed.”
  • Retain “thereby providing social, economic and environmental benefits for people, especially those in vulnerable situations and those most dependent on biodiversity.”
  • Remove “and promote the development of sustainable biodiversity-based products”
  • Remove “[including through the use [and promotion] of [sustainable biodiversity-based products and services].”
  • Remove “[including sustainable trophy hunting].”
    • Support proposal by the Informal Working Group to remove “sustainable trophy hunting.”

Ideal text

Ensure all management of wild species is sustainable and benefits are equitably distributed, thereby providing social and environmental benefits for all people, especially those in vulnerable situations and those most dependent on biodiversity for food and economic security, while safeguarding customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities.


iStock

Target 18 - Subsidies

The objective of this target is to address the harm that direct and indirect incentives inflict on biodiversity and require that subsidies do not undermine nature positive investments and initiatives.

  • Retain “eliminate.”
  • Retain “all direct and indirect.”
    • Reject proposal by the Informal Working Group to reject this text as indirect as well as direct subsidies must both be addressed.
  • Retain “incentives.”
  • Retain “by at least US$ 500 billion per year.”
  • Remove “as appropriate.”
  • Retain “Ensure that all incentives are either positive or neutral for biodiversity and that positive incentives are scaled up.”
  • Remove “consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations.”

Ideal text

Identify and eliminate, phase out or reform all direct and indirect incentives harmful for biodiversity in a just, effective and equitable way, reducing them by at least US$ 500 billion per year, including all of the most harmful subsidies, and ensure that positive incentives, including public and private economic and regulatory incentives, are scaled up, with a view to ensuring all incentives are either positive or neutral for biodiversity by 2030.


Mayur Kakade/Getty Images

Target 19.1 - Funding and Resource Mobilization

The target must identify the level of funding and resource mobilization needed to close the biodiversity funding gap and fully implement the GBF.

  • Remove “Substantially” and “Progressively” throughout target.
  • Remove “US$ 200 billion” and retain “US$700 billion” as the target for the increase in financial resources.
  • Retain “increasing international financial flows to developing countries by at least US$ 100 billion per year.”
  • Retain “acknowledging common but differentiated responsibilities.”
  • Retain “increasing domestic resource mobilization by 1% of GDP.”
  • Retain “establishing a new international financing instrument.”

Ideal text

Increase financial resources from all sources by at least US$ 700 billion per year, including from new, additional and effective financial resources, increasing international financial flows to developing countries by at least US$ 100 billion per year in the form of grants, acknowledging common but differentiated responsibilities, leveraging private finance, and increasing domestic resource mobilization by 1% of GDP and establishing a new international financing instrument that considers national biodiversity finance planning.


Now Is the Time for Transformative Change

We are unraveling the fabric of life on this planet. But mass extinctions and ecosystem collapse are still preventable.

This year we must choose to stop human-caused extinctions. By 2030 we must ensure that globally at least 30 percent of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine areas are effectively protected.

We must achieve the recovery and conservation of all species as a long-term goal. Only by conserving biodiversity can we meet people's needs.

Winston Chen