Story | 27 Mar, 2023

Moving forward on biodiversity at COP 15

More than 1700 participants joined IUCN WCEL and the Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training for a high-level global expert webinar. The event discussed avenues to preserve biodiversity.

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Photo: UN

On February 8, 2023 IUCN WCEL jointly hosted the webinar "What outcomes from COP 15?" with the Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training, the academic branch of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, which is a platform for the design and dissemination of environmental education pedagogy. The Center is a showcase of sustainable architecture that respects the environment in its design, its construction, and its operation. More than 1700 participants connected live from across the globe to take part in this event.

The half-day webinar, available in four languages, is part of a series entitled "The Transformative Power of Law: Addressing Global Environmental Challenges."

This edition offered an update on the outcomes of the landmark COP 15 on biodiversity held in Montreal in December 2022, under the presidency of the People's Republic of China.

IUCN's World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Chair, Professor Christina Voigt, Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection Secretary General, Ms. Nouzha Alaoui, and IUCN's International Policy Centre Director, Ms. Sonia Peña Moreno, launched seminar proceedings.

As Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity since June 2020 and newly appointed Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in December 2022, Ms. Elizabeth Mrema of the United Republic of Tanzania was an ideal keynote speaker to provide an initial assessment of COP15 results. She reviewed the crucial conference’s genesis, postponed for two years because of Covid-19, eventually leading to resolutions different from those that would have been reached in 2020.  Indeed, she indicated that the two-year delay meant more time for work and the participation of new non-governmental actors in these important negotiations, as they concerned the definition of the global framework for biodiversity that will govern its protection until 2030.

The session then examined COP 15 outcomes from a legal perspective, with expert testimony from Yong Pung School of Law at Singapore Management University’s Professor Michelle Lim.

The following two sessions turned the spotlight on youth: the first addressing youth leadership in biodiversity, with presentations by three youth speakers: Swetha Stotra Bhashyam (Global Youth Diversity Network), Julieta Sarno (IUCN WCEL Early Career SG member) and Aya Laccheb(Young Environmental Reporter from Morocco); and the second focusing on how universities should approach species and ecosystem regeneration, with a presentation from Oxford University Biology Department's Nature Positive Universities Coordinator, Emily Stott.

Watch the full webinar here: