Vancouver, Aug. 22, 2023 – The following statement was released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society concerning the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) to finance the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The fund will be officially launched here on Thursday, Aug. 24, during the Seventh Assembly meeting of the Global Environment Facility.

Said Monica Medina, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society:

“The urgency to launch the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund is evident every day, across every continent as the need to protect nature is vital to combat the climate and biodiversity crises and prevent future global pandemics. The current systematic degradation of nature is undermining all life on Earth.

“Countries from the Global South specifically need new funding to advance the ambitious goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). It is imperative that the GEF brings this new financing to the Global South as governments and other stakeholders develop and implement plans to meet the ambitious goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal GBF.

“We commend the aspirational target of 20 percent to go to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, which represents a paradigm shift recognizing and enabling their crucial conservation leadership and contributions.

“WCS teams are assisting governments and other partners with our science and technical expertise to meet the goals and targets of the GBF and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, including the protection and conservation of the ecological integrity of ecosystems and 30x30 (the conservation and protection of at least 30 percent of land, freshwater and sea by 2030). As the largest organization delivering conservation results on the ground in 50 plus countries, we are doing the work with our partners to make 30x30 and other targets a reality and we are hoping to scale our work to do more by working with the GEF, the Green Climate Fund, governments and philanthropies. We need and want to scale our work even more so that we can help achieve the ambitious targets of the GBF.

“As this new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund is launched, we are calling for cooperation, alignment and transparency by all parties. Business as usual will bankrupt us ecologically and economically.

“Biodiversity loss is one of the three human-induced existential crises along with the climate crisis and pandemics, and indeed there can be no solutions to the climate crisis or to prevention of the next pandemic of zoonotic origin without protecting and restoring nature. The global community needs creative approaches like this new GEF fund to mobilize and realign vastly more funds to reverse biodiversity loss.

“It is vital that all countries have the financial means necessary to deliver strong biodiversity outcomes, along with political will and strong governance measures. Funding alone will not solve all of the problems, but without sufficient financial resources to support capacity building, legislative and regulatory reform, strategic planning, science, and conservation actions, the Global Biodiversity Framework will remain only an ambition. 

“With the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, we can help ensure that the historic biodiversity agreement in Montreal can change the trajectory of nature for the better for generations to come. We applaud the Government of Canada for its leadership in Montréal to secure the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework and for their leadership now in Vancouver to ensure the new GBFF effectively advances the GBF goals.”