Biodiversity is also a bilateral economic and political topic.
At the EU-India Summit on 15 July 2020, EU and India for instance agreed to:
- Work closely together in developing an ambitious post-2020 global framework to protect biodiversity, to be adopted at the Kunming UN Biodiversity Conference in October 2021. High-level dialogue will support mutual understanding and the definition of a common approach on these issues (Joint Statement);
- Address the global biodiversity crisis, stepping up the implementation of existing biodiversity targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity, encourage cooperation on research in soil biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and conservation, sustainable management and use of forests, in line with relevant international and national laws and policies of each of the two parties (EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025);
- Step up cooperation in the area of air quality (Roadmap 2025).
- Reinforce cooperation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the climate change resilience of cities and towns;
- Continue to contribute to the resource efficiency and circular economy strategies, formulating guidelines on collection, handling, processing and recycling of waste.
- Enhance cooperation on standardisation and sharing of best practices in fostering an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources;
- Promote technical and regulatory cooperation on the development of (inter alia) agri-tech and health-tech. Promote cooperation for strengthening sustainable food systems, health and bio-economy, including through cooperation on research and innovation;
- Work together on health security and pandemic crisis preparedness and response, in particular linked to the COVID-19 outbreak;
- Strengthen […] engagement and partnership with businesses on greening the economy, particularly SMEs and start-ups.
In her contribution to the One Planet Summit (January 2021), European Commission President U. von der Leyen had also stressed “COP15 for nature must be like the COP21 was for climate: we need a Paris-style agreement”. “Just as we cooperate for our ‘One Planet’ we need to work together for our ‘One Health’”.
EU will also propose new legislation on “Farm to Fork” food systems, or to minimise the risk of products linked to global deforestation being placed on the EU market. October 2020, EU Council Conclusions (i.e. EU Member States MS like Germany, France, Spain …) already underlined:
- The importance of seeking synergies and co-benefits with biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements: nature-based solutions fostering biodiversity will play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- Biodiversity is a core priority of the EU’s external action: European Union is ready to show high ambition to halt and where possible reverse biodiversity loss, to lead the world by example and by action;
- EU and its MS upheld their commitment to double financial flows for biodiversity to developing countries and economies in transition; and will step up their cooperation;
- EU commitments to ensure full implementation and enforcement of the biodiversity provisions in all trade agreements as well as to better assess the impact of trade agreements on biodiversity, with follow-up action to strengthen the biodiversity provisions of new agreements;
- EU should strengthen the links between biodiversity protection and human rights, democracy, gender equality, health, education, conflict sensitivity, the rights-based approach, land tenure and the role of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Concretely, EU Delegation in India aims to work closely with the Indian Government towards the adoption of an effective and ambitious new global framework for biodiversity in COP15, including 6 key elements:
- Overarching global goals for biodiversity for 2050, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the vision of ‘living in harmony with nature’.
- Ambitious global 2030 SMART targets in line with EU commitments (e.g. at least 30% of the world’s land and 30% of sea area under effectively managed protected areas), addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss and matching EU and Indian Strategies.
- A much stronger implementation, monitoring and review process with a regular review cycle to look at progress towards the targets, based on science-based gap-analysis and foresight process, with common headline indicators for both sides/ Parties.
- An enabling framework (finance, capacity, research, innovation and technology) based on a financial needs and gap assessment.
- Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources, including digital sequence information.
- Respect for the rights and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities; an inclusive approach with participation of all stakeholders.