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Two conferences and a hope

Architect and a civil construction entrepreneur, CEO of Instituto Amazônia+21, President of the Federation of Industries in the State of Rondônia.

Marcelo Thomé

Translated by Ciléia Menezes; Silvia Benchimol; Ewerton Branco (UFPA/ET-Multi)


Jesting or not, many people comment with incredulity that COP-15 took place after COP-27. It would be funny if it were an unintentional oversight by ONU, but the tragic thing is that the fact hides – or reveals – the little importance given to the loss of biodiversity, something as dangerous as climate changes. We know that COP is the acronym in English for “Conference of the Parties”, being “parties”, the countries involved. But COP-27 was the twenty-seventh edition of the Climate Convention, while the recent COP-15 was the fifteenth edition of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The good news is that the misunderstanding about the numbering enhances the visibility of the biodiversity COP, which has always received much less attention than the ONU conferences on climate changes.

Climate and biodiversity are directly related. The movement of one, impacts on the other and their causes and effects are interwoven, that is, both require more involvement from society and more effectiveness of the containment work of countries and international mechanisms. But in this case, what matters is that both COP-27 on Climate and COP-15 on Biodiversity are being considered as the most important of all ever held. 
The Climate COP-27, in Egypt grew in importance by strengthening a financial mechanism for compensation of losses and damages, which helps the most vulnerable countries to face the effects of climate changes. But rich nations still owe transparency and effectiveness concerning climate finance, a sector in which they promise to invest 100 billion dollars a year.
COP-15 on Biodiversity made history with the Kunming-Montreal Agreement, signed by 190 countries, with the purpose of protecting 30% of land, oceans, and species until 2030. Just to have an idea, today, only 17% of land and 8% of seas have some sort of formal protection. For this reason, many already consider that the framework of COP-15 represents to Biodiversity what Paris Agreement represents to the climate issue, resulting in a pact which achieved the target to limit the global warming at 1.5ºC by 2100. 
Anyway, urgency is required. Scientists warn that human activity has already altered 75% of the ecosystems in the planet and puts hundreds of thousands of species at risk of extinction. On the other hand, humanity needs to prosper and create opportunities for excluded populations. And the World Economic Forum recognizes that half of the global economy depends on nature. 
COP-15 on Biodiversity created means to guarantee 30 billion dollars for conservation in developing countries. From COP-27 on Climate, emerged the consensus that at least 30% of the annual 100 billion dollars in Climate Financing should be invested in biodiversity.
Suitably, Brazil ratified the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing. More legitimacy was given to our participation in the Climate COP-27 and, even more in COP-15 on Biodiversity. On both occasions, I presented the Instituto Amazônia as an innovative local initiative for connecting national or transnational investments and sustainable business opportunities in the guardian forest of one of the richest biodiversity spots on earth.
In both conferences, either in climate or biodiversity, hope grew to save the one and only planet we deserve to live on.