[Burning Issue] CBD’s Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)



  • The United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) ended in Montreal, Canada, on 19 December 2022 with a landmark agreement to guide global action on nature through to 2030.
  • Chaired by China and hosted by Canada, COP 15 resulted in the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) on the last day of negotiations. 
  • In this context, this edition of the burning issue will tell about the agreement in detail.

About Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)

  • The CBD known informally as the Biodiversity Convention is a multilateral treaty having its origin at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
  • The convention has three main goals: the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
  • Its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and it is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
  • It has two supplementary agreements, the Cartagena Protocol and Nagoya Protocol.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)

Need of the Agreement

  • Dangerous decline in nature: The stakes could not be higher: the planet is experiencing a dangerous decline in nature as a result of human activity. It is experiencing its largest loss of lives since dinosaurs. One million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.
  • Failure of Aichi targets: The targets are ambitious, considering that biodiversity is in a poor state. In 2020, the world failed to meet the last set of targets, the Aichi Targets. Countries would need to ensure success this time around.


  • The GBF aims to: Address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems and protect indigenous rights. The plan includes concrete measures to halt and reverse nature loss, including putting 30 per cent of the planet and 30 per cent of degraded ecosystems under protection by 2030. It also contains proposals to increase finance to developing countries – a major sticking point during talks.


  • The GBF consists of four overarching global goals: to protect nature, including halting human-induced extinction of threatened species and reducing the rate of extinction of all species tenfold by 2050; sustainable use and management of biodiversity to ensure that nature’s contributions to people are valued, maintained and enhanced; fair sharing of the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources, and digital sequence information on genetic resources; and that adequate means of implementing the GBF be accessible to all Parties, particularly Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.


The GBF also features 23 targets to achieve by 2030, including:

  • Effective conservation and management of at least 30 per cent of the world’s land, coastal areas and oceans. Currently, 17 percent of land and *8 per cent of marine areas are under protection.
  • Restoration of 30 per cent of terrestrial and marine ecosystems
  • Reduce to near zero the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance and high ecological integrity
  • Halving global food waste
  • Phasing out or reforming subsidies that harm biodiversity by at least $500 billion per year, while scaling up positive incentives for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
  • Mobilizing at least $200 billion per year from public and private sources for biodiversity-related funding
  • Raising international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least US$ 30 billion per year
  • Requiring transnational companies and financial institutions to monitor, assess, and transparently disclose risks and impacts on biodiversity through their operations, portfolios, supply and value chains

Reporting of the Outcomes

  • The countries will monitor and report every five years or less on a large set of indicators related to progress. The CBD will combine national information submitted by late February 2026 and late June 2029 into global trends and progress reports.

Creation of a dedicated fund

  • The Global Environment Facility has been requested to establish a Special Trust Fund to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (“GBF Fund”). This is to ensure successful implementation.
  • Delegates have agreed to establish within the GBF a multilateral fund for the equitable sharing of benefits between providers and users of digital sequence information on genetic resources (DSI), to be finalized at COP16 in Türkiye in 2024.

Key outcomes of the Agreement

[A] 30×30 Target

  • Delegates committed to protecting 30% of land and 30% of coastal and marine areas by 2030, fulfilling the deal’s highest-profile goal, known as 30-by-30.
  • Currently, 17% of terrestrial and 10% of marine areas are protected.
  • Indigenous and traditional territories will also count toward this goal, as many countries and campaigners pushed for during the talks.
  • The deal also aspires to restore 30% of degraded lands and waters throughout the decade, up from an earlier aim of 20%.
  • And the world will strive to prevent destroying intact landscapes and areas with a lot of species, bringing those losses “close to zero by 2030”.

[B] Money for nature

  • Signatories aim to ensure $200 billion per year is channeled to conservation initiatives, from public and private sources.
  • Wealthier countries should contribute at least $20 billion of this every year by 2025, and at least $30 billion a year by 2030.

[C] Big companies report impacts on biodiversity

  • Companies should analyse and report how their operations affect and are affected by biodiversity issues.
  • The parties agreed to large companies and financial institutions being subject to “requirements” to make disclosures regarding their operations, supply chains and portfolios.
  • This reporting is intended to progressively promote biodiversity, reduce the risks posed to businesses by the natural world, and encourage sustainable production.

[D] Harmful subsidies

  • Countries committed to identifying subsidies that deplete biodiversity by 2025, and then eliminating, phasing out or reforming them.
  • They agreed to slash those incentives by at least $500 billion a year by 2030, and increase incentives that are positive for conservation.

[E] Pollution and pesticides

  • One of the deal’s more controversial targets sought to reduce the use of pesticides by up to two-thirds.
  • But the final language to emerge focuses on the risks associated with pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals instead, pledging to reduce those threats by “at least half”, and instead focusing on other forms of pest management.
  • Overall, the Kunming-Montreal agreement will focus on reducing the negative impacts of pollution to levels that are not considered harmful to nature, but the text provides no quantifiable target here.

[F] Monitoring and reporting progress

  • All the agreed aims will be supported by processes to monitor progress in the future, in a bid to prevent this agreement from meeting the same fate as similar targets that were agreed upon in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, and never met.
  • National action plans will be set and reviewed, following a similar format used for greenhouse gas emissions under U.N.-led efforts to curb climate change.
  • Some observers objected to the lack of a deadline for countries to submit these plans.

India’s presence at the Conference

  • India was represented at the conference by Union Environment Minister Mr. Bhupendra Yadav.
  • India mainly put forward the arguments for supporting the case of developing countries and suggested for the creation of a biodiversity fund to help developing countries successfully implement the global framework.
  • India also called for the application of the ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR) principle while deciding the responsibilities of different countries as the developing countries bear most of the burden of climate change and, therefore, require adequate funding and technology transfer.

Few concerns with the agreement

  • Activist organization Avaaz has pointed out that Goal A does not contain the 2030 milestones and enough numerical values anymore. This would make it difficult to assess whether or not the GBF leads to positive impacts on ecosystems. 
  • Avaaz also said there was still an imbalance between the amounts pledged in the text and real needs.
  • The framework text has indicated that the resources needed are up to $700 billion per year but the flows will be increased only to $200 billion per year by 2030. Avaaz said the framework should specify how this gap will be closed.  
  • There is now consensus that $200 billion will be made available every year from all sources by 2030. However, it is not clear how this funding would be disbursed. Some Parties favour the establishment of a stand-alone fund outside the existing funding structure while others want to improve the existing funding mechanisms.
  • Also, India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said that a numerical global target for pesticide reduction in the agriculture sector is unnecessary and must be left for countries to decide. The agriculture sector in India, like other developing countries, is the source of “life, livelihoods, and culture for hundreds of millions,”.
  • There is no 2030 target for increasing species population abundance. Some earlier drafts included details about enlarging the area of natural ecosystems by at least 5% by 2030, and these targets were removed.
  • The term “nature positive”, which scientists had said would be the biodiversity equivalent of “net zero”, did not make the final document. Many will see this as a missed opportunity – a unifying idea similar to keeping global heating to within 1.5C.
  • The main criticism of 30×30 (and other area-based conservation targets) is that implementing them risks violating human rights (original forest dwellers).


  • This agreement means people around the world can hope for real progress to halt biodiversity loss and protect and restore our lands and seas in a way that safeguards our planet and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
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