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Metz Charter on Biodiversity

Metz, France, May 6, 2019
[pdf]

We, the G7 Ministers and Member of the European Commission in charge of the environment, together with the Ministers in charge of the Environment of Chile, Fiji, Gabon, Mexico, Niger, Norway participating in the Metz meeting on May 6th, 2019, under the witness of the Minister of the Environment of Egypt;

I. Acknowledging the importance of addressing biodiversity as an essential part of the G7 dialogues, in consideration of the increasing pressures seriously threatening biodiversity at the global level, and building on G7/G8 relevant work on biodiversity, as the "Potsdam Initiative", the "Kobe Call for Biodiversity", and the "Carta di Siracusa", and on its evaluation in the Elmau Progress Report;

II. Acknowledging that biodiversity, in addition to having intrinsic values, plays a vital role for maintaining life-sustaining systems, and therefore is of paramount importance to all life on Earth including human beings; recognizing that biodiversity and the entirety of ecosystems (terrestrial, soil, freshwater, and marine) constitute the natural capital that supplies us with food, raw materials, medicine, shelter, fertile soils, climate regulation and water, mitigates or prevents natural disasters and provides us with opportunities for employment, recreation, among a myriad of other ecosystem services and recognizing that the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems, due to unsustainable human activities, constitute both an environmental problem, as well as a socio-economic problem which affects human well-being;

III. Recognising the important role of indigenous peoples and local communities, women and youth with regard to biodiversity, and the need to engage with them to advance efforts towards its conservation and sustainable use;

IV. Acknowledging the outcomes of 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) (Sharm-El-Sheik 2018) including the Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration, and noting with concern the affirmation in Decision 14/1 that "…despite many positive actions by Parties and others, most of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are not on track to be achieved by 2020, which, in the absence of further significant progress, will jeopardize the achievement of the mission and vision of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, the Sustainable Development Goals, and ultimately the planet’s life support systems", and emphasizing that urgent action is required;

V. Welcoming the "2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services;

VI. Noting the OECD analytical report on "Biodiversity: Finance and the Economic and Business Case for Biodiversity Acton";

VII. Acknowledging Decision 14/34 of the CBD COP14 urging Parties and inviting other Governments to "…actively engage and contribute to the process of developing a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework" and Decision 14/3 recognizing that mainstreaming of biodiversity in all relevant sectors "is critical for achieving the objectives of the Convention", and "should be one of the key elements of the post- 2020 global biodiversity framework";

VIII. Welcoming the negotiations taking place at the United Nations with regard to the development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction;

IX. Welcoming high level international discussions to accelerate action on biodiversity, and in this regard noting the recent Montreal Nature Champions Summit, as well as the upcoming Trondheim Biodiversity Conference;

X. Recognizing that the decade 2021-2030 was declared the decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by the United Nations General Assembly;

DECIDE TO :

1. Accelerate and intensify our efforts to halt the biodiversity loss, to value, conserve, restore and wisely use biodiversity, thereby maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.

We will seek to do so by strengthening and improving our current biodiversity strategies, policies, action plans and research programmes, increasing the level of implementation of the commitments and actions therein, and by taking new, ambitious and achievable commitments for swift action on biodiversity, either individually or jointly. We will implement these strategies, policies, programmes and action plans as well as commitments, review them and, as necessary, update them, so that they are commensurate with the challenges we face.

In this regard:

Our commitments and actions will address the main pressures on biodiversity, as informed by the best available science and knowledge, including the thematic, regional and global assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the Global Environment Outlook by the United Nations Environment Program, the Global Biodiversity Outlook by the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects, and the State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The critical pressures on biodiversity include habitat change, loss and degradation (including from land take, deforestation and forest degradation, unsustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices), the spread of invasive alien species, terrestrial and marine pollution (including by microplastics and nutrients), overexploitation of natural resources (including overfishing, illegal logging, poaching and illegal trade in wildlife) and climate change. There is evidence to suggest that changing climate conditions will exacerbate biodiversity loss in the future, especially in degraded ecosystems.

Our commitments and actions will include those policies and actions that offer co-benefits with regard to other global challenges besides biodiversity loss, including climate change, ecosystem degradation and natural disasters. These challenges are inextricably linked and must be addressed together, while pursuing all aspects of sustainable development, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context, we will further deploy nature-based solutions, such as ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, which can also enhance climate change mitigation and ecosystem restoration.

Our commitments and actions will also include the further deployment of relevant policies and tools identified to date, building on best available knowledge, including science-based solutions, and tools related to governance and law enforcement, planning, conservation policies, ecosystem-based management and knowledge development and sharing.

Our commitments and actions will promote the valuation of biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide, and their mainstreaming in decision-making processes across government, business and economic sectors, in particular in the key productive sectors that have the most impact on biodiversity. Our commitments will fully recognise the economic and non-economic value of biodiversity and its components.

Our commitments and actions will enhance the benefits which biodiversity and ecosystems provide to all, especially the most vulnerable, including the impoverished, members of indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youth and elders, noting that the loss of biodiversity has disproportionately large impacts on them. We believe that the necessary transition towards a more sustainable future must be at the same time environmental and inclusive, supporting the aim of combating inequalities.

Our commitments and actions will include efforts towards the mobilization of additional resources from all sources, both public and private, at the domestic and at the international levels, towards the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. We also recognize the need to make investments consistent with the achievement of the global biodiversity goals, and to work to reform systems that are harmful to biodiversity.

Our commitments will be presented where possible in the appropriate forthcoming international fora, prior to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (China, October 2020), in order to inform the development or the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

2. Encourage the engagement of other actors and stakeholders, including all relevant organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities, local and sub-national governments and authorities, academia, women's and youth groups, the business, financial and economic sectors, and non-governmental organizations, to support and complement our efforts.

We will do so, among other means, by encouraging stakeholders to voluntarily develop, adopt, implement, review and as necessary update, their own biodiversity commitments, individually or in coalitions. Such commitments could form part of the "Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Acton Agenda for Nature and People".

3. Support the development and implementation of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which should have a strong level of ambition and practicality, in order to facilitate the transformational changes needed to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. It should build on the lessons learned from the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as on the best available science and knowledge. It should be aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We will do so, within the comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, by working on an overarching, easy-to-communicate mission and/or objective(s) for global biodiversity. The framework should be ambitious, realistic, and contain time-bound targets, which are measurable, where possible, and associated with appropriate indicators and metrics, taking into account the framework set by the Sustainable Development Goals. We will also work on strengthened and/or new instruments for a more effective and better implementation i.a supported by strengthened or new processes for monitoring and reviewing implementation.

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Source: The Official Website of the 2019 French Presidency of the G7


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