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  • Writer's pictureCommon Earth

COP15: The UN Biodiversity Conference

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

Between December 7th and December 19th, world leaders, politicians, scientists, activists, and more have been meeting in Montreal, Canada for what the UN is touting as the most significant conference on biodiversity in the past 10 years. Diversity in nature has been declining worldwide and is projected to continue to decline dramatically if we don’t act quickly to change that. While there are many efforts underway, they are not enough. Combining our efforts to avoid overshoot and collapse has been the focus of this COP.

A plodding, unsatisfactory agreement on a funding format delayed the wrap-up of the recent COP27 in Egypt. In Montreal, the same pace and competing priorities on funding formats is unfolding at this COP. A focus of many conversations seems to be quibbling over how much land and water should be saved. The goal of the conference is to set aside 30% of Earth’s land and water. Developing nations feel that the conversation should be more focused on reparations and funding for them. This disagreement caused developing countries to walk out of the conference on Wednesday, December 14th and the conversations around funding models continue as we speak.

According to a report in The Guardian the oceans have been publicly addressed by delegates, but until now, very few references have been made to the agreement being finalized. Some countries have been showing resistance to committing to restrictions and they have the power to veto these restrictions if they don’t agree to them. In our most recent Alumni Meeting, journalist Alanna Mitchell talked about the importance of the oceans for the life on the planet. She said that if all life on land ends, life on the planet will continue, but if life in the ocean ends, life on the planet will be extinguished. It’s concerning that we are taking stronger measures to safeguard the health and biodiversity of this life-sustaining part of our planet.

Hoping to inspire world leaders to cooperate and collaborate, French choreographer Sadeck Waff created a performance for COP15. Birds, when flying together as one, create a beautiful murmuration of harmony and interconnection. Inspired by this, Waff presents this beautiful piece with students from Bird College.


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