Ministers and heads of international organizations lined up for the opening of the high-level segment, while text-based negotiations continued unabated. In the meantime, a letter from the COP President set up a path for informal ministerial-level consultations on the most controversial matters, including: the global biodiversity framework (GBF); resource mobilization; digital sequence information (DSI); planning, monitoring, reporting, and review; and capacity building, and technical and scientific cooperation.
In the high-level segment, Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of China, welcomed delegates and announced the participation of 126 ministers and 77 deputy ministerial representatives from 140 parties as well as 60 heads of international organizations. Together with many dignitaries, he urged participants to show leadership and decisiveness for an ambitious, practical, and transformative GBF.
Steven Gilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, advocated for conservation of 30% of land and sea areas by 2030 (30x30 target) as well as increased funding, and referred to Canada’s recent announcements to fund Indigenous-led and international action for biodiversity, and to protect the world’s largest remaining ecologically intact watershed in Manitoba.
Several heads and high-level representatives of international organizations and conventions underlined their commitment and readiness to help finalize and implement a robust GBF. Dalton Emani Makamau Tagelagi, Premier of Niue, deplored the state of climate emergency in the Pacific islands and the high species extinction rate of islands. He called for meaningful benchmarks and funding to address the triple planetary crisis holistically. Zhang Yan, a youth representative from Yunnan, China, illustrated how humans and elephants have been living in harmony in her village.
High-level rhetoric on an ambitious and robust GBF did not seem to have an immediate impact on text-based negotiations. GBF deliberations on targets 15 (responsibilities of businesses) and 17 (biotechnology) highlighted divergent visions on the role of businesses in biodiversity policy and action, as well as on the integration of emerging biotechnologies in the GBF. Debates on the financial mechanism and on resource mobilization continued to reflect well-known disagreements between developed and developing countries. Other groups continued to work on capacity building and technical and scientific cooperation, and the monitoring framework of the GBF, among other issues.
In the evening, negotiations continued on the GBF, capacity building, and DSI.