E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation at COP15

Statement on the historic Kunming-Montreal Agreement by E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation (official observer to UN CBD COP15):

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is thankful that the Kunming-Montreal Agreement has been adopted by the governments at COP15. The late American naturalist, E.O. Wilson believed that only by coming together around a transcendent goal could we stop and reverse the loss of species by protecting nature. E.O. Wilson wrote in Half-Earth, “To strive against odds on behalf of all life would be humanity at its most noble.”

This framework takes critically important steps to build commitment to conserve at least 30% of land and seas, as well as freshwater. Despite the loss of measurable milestones, targets make a positive difference for species that should now be worked into the individual plans of parties and nations, including Target 3 where areas chosen for protection will also include inland water among terrestrial and ocean areas, and that they must be “ecologically representative.”

Further, the agreement establishes commitments to honor and respect how indigenous peoples and local communities, steward the bulk of the world’s biodiversity and to ensure it matters toward meeting our common goals. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation stands ready to contribute our science to help measure and monitor progress toward these goals.

Paula J. Ehrlich – President and CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation shared:

“Nations have made a historic decision to protect the web of life upon which we all depend. The Kunming-Montreal Agreement unites us in common cause to save nature, and with it, ourselves.  Now we must turn quickly, to taking action with the best available science so decision makers can identify and protect the land and waters that will save global biodiversity.

E.O. Wilson’s plea was that we understand everything we can about species. We have the information at high geospatial resolution to inform which 30% we must protect in order to safeguard species. This agreement is grounded in rigorous scientific and human understanding, and begins to truly reimagine how we care for our planet.”

David Prend – Chairman of the Board of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation remarked:

“The late E.O. Wilson helped set us on this path to conserve sufficient land and water to protect nature.  We honor his legacy by taking an important step to Half-Earth with this agreement on 30X30.”

Walter Jetz – Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation said:

“There are many wins for Nature here, informed by the best available science. Now we have a better opportunity to implement the framework with funding commitments, a declaration of respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and agreement that the areas we protect are ecologically representative. We’re not just protecting land, freshwater, the ocean –we’re moving to protect species.”

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation COP15 delegation:

  • Paula J. Ehrlich, President and CEO
  • Walter Jetz, PhD, Scientific Chair 
  • Joel R. Johnson, VP of Marketing and Communications
  • Amy Tidovsky, VP of Development
  • Keith Tuffley, Member of the Board of Directors,  Vice Chairman, Global Co-Head, Sustainability and Corporate Transition, Citi
  • Jeff Ubben, Member of the Board of Directors, Founder, Inclusive Capital Partners

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