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One Planet Summit (OPS) 2021 held Virtually to Protect Biodiversity; Key Initiatives Launched

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World leaders at France summit focus on better protecting biodiversityOn January 11, 2021,4th edition of One Planet Summit (OPS) 2021 was virtually organized by France, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank from Paris (France) to prepare negotiations for setting global biodiversity targets in order to protect nature in the next decade.The theme of the summit is “Let’s act together for nature!”.

  • These negotiations will be utilized at a UN conference on biodiversity to be held in China in October 2021. It was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • The event was opened by Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, and President of the World Bank Group David Malpass.
  • The summit was not attended by India, Brazil, Russia, and the United States (US).
  • Notably, the US President-elect Joe Biden is a strong proponent of climate issues as he pledged to preserve 30% of American lands and waters by 2030. But the leader behind the absence of US leaders is that he does not take office until January 20, 2021.

Major Focus Topics of OPS 2021: 4

The OPS launched initiatives for the 4 major focus areas. These are detailed as below:

Topic: Protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems

Initiatives launched:

  • High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People: It was initiated in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain to set a target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 and already joined by the 50 countries.
  • To make the Mediterranean an exemplary sea by 2030

Topic: Promoting agroecology

Initiatives launched:

  • Accelerator for the Great Green Wall*: It will bring public and private firms to restore and preserve agriculture and farming areas in the Sahara and the Sahel.

Topic: Increasing funding to protect biodiversity

Initiatives launched:

  • Coalition for the convergence of climate and biodiversity funding: Under this countries commit 30% of their climate finance towards favorable biodiversity.
  • Taskforce on Nature related Financial Disclosure (TNFD)

Topic: Identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.

Initiatives launched:

  • PREZODE: PREZODE (PREventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence) is an unprecedented international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases (from animal reservoirs) and pandemics.
  • Alliance for the conservation of tropical forests and rainforests

Key Points:

–Germany along with the United Kingdom (UK) and Norway has set aside $5 billion over the past 5 years to protect rainforests.

–France is looking towards merging the issues of climate change and the preservation of biodiversity as experts as they are interconnected.

–Britain launched an “urgent appeal” to private sector leaders to join a new investment alliance targeting $10 billion by 2022 to finance nature-based solutions.

–Biodiversity is the natural capital of the world. Its exploitation, pollution and climate change is irreversible damage to ecosystems.

–As per the World Economic Forum (WEF), emerging business opportunities across nature could create 191 million jobs by 2030.

Additional Info:

–Around 1 million animal and plant species could become extinct in coming decades.

–More than 40% of the amphibian species are endangered.

–Upto 70% of the coral reefs have been lost or heavenly damaged.

–100 million hectares of tropical forests have been lost between 1980 and 2000.

Side Event:

There was also a side event namely “The Great Green Wall Investment Forum” which focused on investment for Africa’s Great Green Wall project, to stop the Sahara Desert from spreading further south. During the event the Accelerator for the Great Green Wall was launched (*mentioned above).

  • The Great Green Wall project, started in 2007, consists of planting an arc of trees running 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) across Africa from Senegal along the Atlantic all the way to Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden.
  • The OPS participants welcomed the creation of the accelerator, and are expected to release $14.3 billion over the next 5 years to finance the program.

About One Planet Summit (OPS):

It was incepted in 2017 as a pledging platform to preserve oceans, climate and biodiversity.  It is on the lines of One Planet movement founded by France, the World Bank and the UN to speed up the implementation of international climate agreements by supporting specific projects at the local level.

  • So far there have been meetings in Paris in 2017, New York (US) in 2018 and Nairobi (Kenya) in 2019.

Participants: About 30 leaders, government officials and heads of international organizations participated in the OPS including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Vice Premier of China Han Zheng.

About France:
Capital– Paris
Currencies-Euro, CFP franc
President – Emmanuel Macron

About World Bank:
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
President – David Malpass