Minister Maisa Rojas on COP15: “If we act to reverse the loss of biodiversity, we will make a real contribution to the fight against climate change”


Since December 7, world leaders have been in Canada for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), i.e. COP15. On this occasion, the goal is to establish an ambitious plan that transforms society’s relationship with nature.

Biological diversity or biodiversity is in crisis all over the planet. According to the latest WWF Living Planet Report, the world populations of wild fauna and flora decreased by 69% between 1970 and 2018. Furthermore, the United Nations today identifies three major planetary crises: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss .

In this sense, the goal of this year’s COP15 is ambitious, as it wants to establish a global framework of action for biodiversity, i.e. that 30% of the planet’s surface is protected by 2030. This goal has led to the discussion of other debates, such as funding or differences on the genetics of organisms.

The Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas, will be in plenary this Thursday, four days before the convention presents a definitive text.

“This COP has the particular challenge of approving a new global biodiversity framework that provides guidance for the post-pandemic period. The framework contains the principles, goals and objectives that will be integrated into our national biodiversity strategy, including objectives related to conservation, use sustainable management of biodiversity, integration of biodiversity into public policies and economic sectors, promotion of nature-based solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduction of the rate of introduction of invasive alien species This framework it will allow Chile to improve our public policies and continue to promote decision-making based on scientific evidence. We must remember that the COPs are the main place where the parties can negotiate and agree on a new roadmap”, underlined the minister The meter.
In October this year, a study published in the scientific journal Naturerevealed that Chile has 88 of the 110 ecosystem types in the world, i.e. 80% of the total.

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“For Chile, increasing the importance of the conservation and protection of ecosystems is essential. Our economy mainly depends on the goods that nature provides us, where the tourism sector has also become increasingly important. We are a highly endemic country, with unique species in the world, i.e. that we can only find in the national territory, so we have the responsibility to guarantee their subsistence for this generation and for future ones”, he adds.

The climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity

Biodiversity encompasses the entire variety of life, species, microorganisms and ecosystems in which they live, in this sense, discussions on the protection of ecosystems also include reflection on how to live in balance with our environments. As a result, discussions also question modes of production, overfishing, agriculture, the impact of urban growth and deforestation.

“Importantly, human activities and greenhouse gas emissions have also been accompanied by the degradation of biodiversity. Among the main causes of this are land use change and the introduction of invasive alien species” The change in he land use refers to the fact that where there used to be a forest, for example, today there may be a crop or a city. Ministry of the Environment.

The importance of achieving concrete and ambitious results this Monday, December 19 at COP15, has to do with the relationship between the three crises that are facing the planet.

The Secretary of State and also an expert on climate change, says that “when we say that the world is facing a triple crisis, we are referring to the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution. They are closely related crises, as it is not possible limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees without protecting nature. One crisis directly affects another, one is not on top of the other,” he says.

“If we take action to reverse biodiversity loss, we will make a real contribution to the fight against climate change,” adds the climatologist.

Biodiversity protection in Chile

Although our country has a high percentage of Protected Areas -22% of the earth’s surface is protected and 42% of the exclusive economic zone is under some form of protection-, there is an institutional deficit, where for more than ten years the creation of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service (SBAP) is being discussed in Congress.

The minister recognizes that it is urgent to have it, because “a Law for Nature – which establishes the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service – will allow us to deal better and better with conservation from all its sides, providing a solid institutional and governance framework for the areas that we have declared under guardianship”.

“In this sense, the definitions and agreements reached at COP15 in Montreal provide us with guidelines and actions to be taken for the development of national and regional strategies for the conservation and management of biological diversity. We hope to have the Law for Nature soon. This is a very important national policy, because what it does is equip, order and define the management for the conservation of Natural Areas. It will allow us to advance in effective conservation both within the Protected Areas and outside them” concludes the Minister Maisa Rojas.

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