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Convention on Biological Diversity

This year’s COP16 biodiversity summit is a key opportunity for global leaders to demonstrate that they are serious about tackling the nature crisis. The UK must carry the momentum from COP26 and champion ambition at COP15, highlighting the synergies of acting on the twin climate and nature crises simultaneously. Ambitious climate action and nature recovery policy at home will be crucial for the UK to successfully influence these talks and set the global community on a more sustainable path.

Convention on Biological Diversity

In December 2022, after a delay of over two years, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 finally took place in Montreal, Canada. Despite a rocky road leading up to the talks, world leaders agreed to the text of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), a landmark agreement which signaled a collective intent to create a nature-positive future.

The guiding star of the new framework is a mission to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. Alongside this sits four global goals for 2050, and 23 action-oriented targets to be achieved by 2030. The new mission and targets go way beyond the ambition of the previous Aichi targets agreed in 2010, with a welcome focus on bending the curve of nature loss, rather than just halting its decline.

There’s a lot to celebrate in what was agreed at COP15, but the true test of ambition will be what action governments take away from the scrutiny of the negotiating tables. Following the talks, the first step for Parties has been to develop their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) ahead of the deadline of COP16 at the end of 2024.

Any NBSAP that the UK submits ahead of COP16 will need to establish how the four UK nations will meet the targets set out in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including how nature will be incorporated into cross-sectoral policies and decision-making.

Wildlife and Countryside Link is working with sister Links in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to identify what a strong UK NBSAP should look like, and ensure that policies are in place across all four nations to meet the 2030 targets.

In December 2023, Link published a policy progress tracker which assessed to what extent the policy building blocks are in place in England to support the delivery of the 2030 GBF targets and where there are gaps that could risk missing the targets. The analysis found that of the 18 assessed targets, 11 had either seen policy stall or go backwards and there was more positive policy progress for only 7 of the targets. None of the targets were regarded as having sufficient policies in place and delivery of those policies to meet the 2030 deadline.

The full report can be found here.

For more information about Link’s CBD work, please contact Emma Clarke (

Become a WCL member

Membership of Wildlife and Countryside Link is open to national and international voluntary or other non-profit organisations based in England. Member organisations must be able to demonstrate an interest in furthering the work of Link, and their aims must include the protection of wildlife, landscape and the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Individual members of the public are not eligible to join Link, but may be interested in joining one of Link's member organisations.