Will this be the year for a stalled UN biodiversity conference?

The island fox is among the species the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity believes has benefited from conservation measures. Credit: Ashley Spratt/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A key United Nations biodiversity conference was scheduled to take place in China in October 2020, but the outbreak of COVID-19 put the event on hold. It’s supposed to finally take place in late August or early September, but China has yet to schedule the event, raising concerns from researchers. The United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity is due to hammer out a new global framework to conserve biodiversity at the 15th Conference of the Parties, or COP-15. Researchers worry the delay is stalling important conservation work, making it harder to reach the 2030 deadline. “The longer we wait, the more diversity is lost,” Alice Hughes, a conservation biologist at the University of Hong Kong, told Nature.