Australia signs international biodiversity declaration

14 October 2021

Australia continues its lead role to secure an ambitious post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, signing the Kunming Declaration at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) overnight.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that as a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People and the Global Ocean Alliance, the Morrison Government strongly supports the protection of 30 per cent of the world’s land and 30 per cent of the world’s sea by 2030.

“As one of only seventeen ‘megadiverse’ countries in the world, and the only megadiverse developed country that is a Party to the CBD, Australia understands the value of biodiversity with our unique native plants, animals and landscapes central to our national identity,” Minister Ley said. 

“Australia is well placed to make a substantial contribution to a global target and will work with other nations to see it adopted as part of a Global Biodiversity Framework in 2022.”

Minister Ley delivered two addresses to the Convention sharing Australia’s lessons learnt from the Morrison Government’s $200 million recovery efforts following the Black Summer Bushfires, and highlighting the global challenges faced from changing climate conditions. 

“We are continuing to establish important learnings for bushfire recovery and for adapting to future threats,” Minister Ley told the conference.

The Minister outlined Morrison Government plans to increase Australia’s Indigenous Protected Area network by another 3.7 million hectares of land and sea, and to establish two new Australian Marine Parks around the waters of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. These would increase the percentage of protected Australian waters up from 37 to up to 45 per cent.

The Minister also highlighted the importance of reducing waste and the impacts of plastic and packaging on our oceans and landfills.

“In supporting the Kunming Declaration, Australia has reiterated its commitment to protecting biodiversity on our shores and continuing to share knowledge to meet global challenges,” Minister Ley said.

Link to the Kunming Declaration