Convention on Biological Diversity (Zero Draft) of the Kunming Declaration - Towards an Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth


We, the Ministers and other heads of delegations, having met in person in Kunming, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China, and remotely, on 12 and 13 October 2021, on the occasion of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, and at the invitation of the Government of the People's Republic of China, 

Recalling the relevance of the 2050 Vision “Living in harmony with nature”, 

Emphasizing that biodiversity, and the ecosystem functions and services it provides, support all forms of life on Earth and underpin our human and planetary health and well-being, economic growth and sustainable development,

Concerned that the ongoing loss of biodiversity jeopardizes achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, 

Recognizing that progress has been made in the last decade, under the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, but deeply concerned that such progress has been insufficient to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, 

Acknowledging with grave concern that the unprecedented and interdependent crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, land desertification, and increasing risks to human health and food security, pose an existential threat to our society, our prosperity and our planet, 

Recognizing that these crises share many underlying drivers of change, 

Acknowledging that indigenous peoples and local communities have contributed to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through the application of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, 

Stressing, therefore, that urgent and integrated action is needed across all sectors of the economy and all parts of society, through policy coherence at all levels of government, and synergies across Conventions and multilateral organizations, to shape a future path for nature and people, where biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably, and its benefits are shared fairly and equitably, as an integral part of sustainable development, 

Noting that a combination of measures are needed to halt and reverse the decline of biodiversity, including actions to enhance the conservation and restoration of ecosystems, mitigate climate change, reduce pollution, control invasive alien species and prevent overexploitation, as well as actions to ensure the sustainable production of goods and services, and reduce consumption and waste, recognizing that none of these measures alone, nor in partial combinations, is sufficient and that the effectiveness of each measure is enhanced by the other, 

Noting that this requires the building of an “Ecological Civilization”, whereby, Nature is respected, “lucid waters and lush mountains” and all ecosystems are recognized and protected as invaluable assets, promoting a harmonious relationship between economic development and eco-environmental conservation, 

Reaffirming the Cancun Declaration on Mainstreaming the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity for Well-Being and the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration on Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet, as well as the outcomes of the 2021 International Conference on Environmental Justice, We declare that putting biodiversity on a path to recovery is a defining challenge of this decade, in the context of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, requiring strong political momentum to develop, adopt and implement, an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework, 

We Commit to:

1. Ensure the negotiation, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with provision of the means of implementation, and appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and review, to ensure that biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, towards the full realization of the 2050 Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature”;

2. Support the negotiation, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;

3. Work across our governments to continue to promote the integration, or “mainstreaming” of biodiversity values into decision-making as well as into policies, regulations, planning processes, poverty reduction strategies, and economic accounting and strengthen cross-sectoral coordinating mechanisms on biodiversity; 

4. Accelerate the development and update of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and make halting biodiversity loss an important goal of them; 

5. Improve the effectiveness of area-based conservation and management through establishing effective systems of protected areas and adopting other effective area-based conservation measures, and protect wild species and reduce or eliminate threats to biodiversity 

6. Actively advance the global environmental legal system that safeguards the environmental rights and interests of human beings, establish a sound and strict system of biodiversity laws and regulations, and conserve biodiversity with the strictest legal system and the most stringent regulatory arrangements. Uphold the principle of fair and equitable benefit-sharing, give play to the role of the judiciary, severely crack down on the illegal trafficking and trade of wildlife, advocate the use of diversified dispute resolution methods, and adopt preventive and restorative judicial measures to ensure that wildlife is protected.; 

7. Step up our efforts to ensure the fair and equitable benefit-sharing from the use of genetic resources, including related traditional knowledge and in the context of ongoing and emerging developments in technology; 

8. Strengthen measures for the regulation, assessment and management of emerging technologies and of the potential risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms;

9. Increase the application of Ecosystem-based Approaches or Nature-based Solutions to address biodiversity loss, restore degraded ecosystems, boost resilience, mitigate and adapt to climate change, support sustainable food production, promote health, and contribute to other challenges, enhancing One Health approaches and ensuring benefits across economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, through robust safeguards for environmental and social protection,

10. Ensure that post-COVID recovery policies, programmes and plans contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, to promote green development pathways that tap ecological potential for economic strengths with equitable and inclusive employment opportunities; 

11. Work with ministries of finance and economy to reform incentive structures, phase out or reform subsidies and other incentives that are harmful to biodiversity, mobilize additional financial resources, and align all financial flows in support of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and in particular to increase the provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries; 

12. Encourage indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youth, civil society, local governments and authorities, academia, the business and financial sectors, and other relevant stakeholders to make their voluntary commitments available on the Sharm el Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People, and to continue to build the momentum for the implementation of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework; 

13. Further enhance collaboration and coordinate actions with ongoing multilateral environmental agreements, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other related international processes, to promote synergistic approaches for the protection, conservation, sustainable management and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems and habitats, while contributing to other sustainable development goals, aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 


This Declaration will be submitted to the General Assembly of United Nations, the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and the 6th United Nations Environment Assembly.

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril - 1st Edition (routledge.com)


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