From December 7 to 21, delegates from 196 nations who are Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will gather in Montreal, Canada to negotiate a new global agreement to stop environmental loss.

Many of the 24 conservation targets being discussed at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) seek to learn from the past and improve upon the most recent set of conservation objectives adopted by the world, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which will no longer be in effect after 2020. In-country achievement of each of the 20 Aichi Targets was not achieved by any one nation, according to a September 2020 UN evaluation.

The Aichi Targets were established during the 2010 CBD summit in Nagoya, Japan’s Aichi prefecture, and included objectives like cutting deforestation in half over the next ten years and reducing pollution so that it didn’t harm ecosystems.

However, many of the targets used ambiguous language and did not require that countries take a specific action, according to experts.

Parties were required to develop their own national biodiversity strategies that mirrored the Aichi Targets after adopting them. These strategies were developed by almost all parties, but the majority were never fully carried out.

By the end of the decade, 17% of all land, inland waters, and 10% of the ocean were to be protected or conserved, making it the most notable Aichi objective and one of the few with a numerical goal.

The world came close to achieving that goal, but ultimately fell short. Approximately 8% of ocean territories and 15% of land are currently protected in some way, though the degree of protection varies.

The assessment discovered that only minimal progress was made in about 10% of the targets. The conservation of land and oceans was one of six targets that were deemed to have been “partially achieved.”

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