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COVID-19 pandemic threatens UN Biodiversity Conference scheduled for China

The schedule of the second phase of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in China is likely to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, at the Closing Plenary of the High-Level Segment of COP15

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on Monday, January 24, 2022, that the meeting, formerly set to be held in southwest China’s Kunming in April this year, is supposed to see the completion of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The first phase of COP15 was held in Kunming last October both online and offline; and a follow-up offline meeting slated for January 2022 in Geneva had been postponed as a result of the pandemic.

Liu Youbin, the ministry’s spokesperson, said China is keeping close contact with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and relevant parties.

Liu said that they would take into account the UN’s meeting agenda throughout the year, time span of the discussions of the framework and preparations of related documents.

It added that it would also evaluate the pandemic situation to confirm the date, organisation formats as well as epidemic-prevention measures of the second phase of COP15.

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