Countries create fund for nature conservation as UN calls for more money

The fund will prioritise island states which are most vulnerable to the loss of biodiversity and are among the least developed nations

The UN has called for contributors to achieve a target of $30 billion for the year (photo: National Herald archives)
The UN has called for contributors to achieve a target of $30 billion for the year (photo: National Herald archives)


The international community has ratified the setting up of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF), aimed at ramping up critical nature restoration and biodiversity conservation at a gathering in Vancouver on Thursday. Canada and Britain have confirmed that together, they will provide $160 million in seed money.

"We are off to a good start. We now call for further pledges from countries and from other sources so that the first projects under the new fund can be launched next year," said David Cooper, acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Representatives from 185 countries were present at the meeting.

The fund is set up within the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — a mechanism established under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The fund's creation comes after more than 190 countries signed a pact at the Montreal COP15 summit in December 2022 to protect nature and reverse decades of environmental damage which threatens biodiversity.

That pact's objective was to raise $30 billion annually in conservation aid for developing countries, securing 30 per cent of the planet as a protected zone and bringing an end to extinction of threatened species caused by human activity.

The GBFF will allocate 20 per cent of its collection towards indigenous-led initiatives to conserve biodiversity. It will also prioritise island states which are most vulnerable and among the world's least developed nations.

The United Nations has also called for contributions to help meet its $30 billion goal for the year.

Speaking of the GBFF, campaign group Avaaz said the $160 million raised was not enough startup money and that another $40 million was required to make the fund operational by the end of 2023.

It urged governments, including that of Japan and the United States to "put money on the table."

"The time for half-measures has passed," Avaaz director Oscar Soria said. "Surely donors can come up with the paltry $40 million" needed to get the fund up and running.

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