"We are finally starting to forge a peace pact with nature."
With these words, Antonio Gutteres Secretary-General the the U.N. hailed the new Biodiversity Framework agreed yesterday at COP15 in Montreal.
The agreement – which was finalised in the early hours of Monday 19th December in Montreal, Canada – includes a global commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and to protect 30% of land and oceans by the same date.
The framework also commits to ending human-induced extinctions of known threatened species, such as rhinos and gorillas.
These are the key pledges of COP15 Biodiversity Summit:
Protect 30% of the world's lands, seas, coasts and inland wateres by 2030 - especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecostystem functions
Halve global food waste by 2030
Reduce to "near zero" the loss of areas of wildlife-rich habitat
Reduce by 500 billions dollars a year government subsidies that harm nature
Eliminate, minimize, reduce and/or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and establisment of other known or potential invasive alien species by at least 50% by 2030
The agreement has come just in time. Wildlife populations have plunged by almost 70% over the last 50 years, according to the last Living Planet Index by conservation charities WWF and the Zoological Society of London.
One million species are threatened with extinction, potentially the biggest loss of life since the dinosaurs. Humans and their livestock now account for 96% of all the mammal biomass on Earth. Yes, just 4% of all mammals by weight are wild.