Biodiversity summit comes with ‘nature on the brink’

Participants gather at the COP15 conference in Montreal. Credit: Chloe Adams via Twitter

World leaders are gathering in Montreal for a high-profile United Nations conference to tackle the global biodiversity crisis. Known as “COP15,” the conference seeks to set aside 30% of the planet for wildlife by 2030 and redirect funds to protect natural resources.

In an editorial in the journal Science Advances, scientists from Columbia University, Xiamen University and the American Museum of Natural History argue that the “fate of the living world” depends on the agreements reached here.

“The role of science and the scientific community will be greater now and into the future than it ever has been before, but history tells us that we can meet the challenge,” they write.

An editorial in the journal Nature offered a similar assessment. “Change cannot come too soon,” it says. “Nature is on the brink.”

UN Secretary General, António Guterres opened the summit saying, “Without nature, we are nothing. Nature is our life-support system, and yet humanity seems hellbent on destruction.”

In addition to the 30 by 30 goals, conference attendees hope to reach agreements to reduce the rate of invasive species introduction by 50%, slash pesticide use, reduce plastic pollution and require large businesses to disclose their impact on the environment.

Read more from the Guardian.