China is expected to show leadership on biodiversity when it hosts a major international environmental conference for the first time next week. The southwestern city of Kunming is hosting the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which starts on Monday and has been split into two parts because of the coronavirus pandemic . At the second part of the conference next northern spring, 195 countries and the European Union are expected to adopt a new global framework to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Participants will use COP15 to take stock of progress in the decade since 20 biodiversity targets were set at the COP conference in Aichi, Japan. The Aichi targets aim to tackle the underlying causes of biodiversity loss but only six out of the 20 have been “partially achieved”, according to a United Nations report released in September last year. These include preventing invasive species, conserving protected areas, building back fishery stocks and increasing forest cover rate. CBD executive secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said it was important that the conference spell out what action should be taken at the global, regional and at the national levels to reverse biodiversity loss. “We have this decade to really take action if we still want to live on this planet for the future, for the planet itself and our own well-being,” Mrema said. She said that as the host, China had the chance to lead the way to ensure the world adopted a universal, transformative and innovative new global biodiversity framework. “We are looking forward to China’s leadership role,” Mrema said. The Chinese government said last year that the country was on track to achieve 13 of the 20 Aichi targets, with a further three exceeding the goals. It failed to make enough progress in four areas, including invasive species and preventing extinctions. “The overall implementation of the Aichi targets in China is better than the global average,” vice environment minister Zhao Yingmin said on Friday at the release of China’s first white paper on biodiversity conservation. The white paper highlights the country’s achievements in the area, including habitat expansion and growing wildlife populations. Chinese conservationists call for ‘human-based’ approach to protecting biodiversity Conservationists said the general failure to achieve the Aichi targets was largely because of a lack of implementation mechanisms and financial support, factors that needed to be remedied in the next framework. “The Aichi targets were mostly not met because they didn’t have full support from the ministries that really have the impact: the finance and development ministers, the energy, resource extraction, fisheries and agriculture agencies in governments around the world,” said Linda Krueger, director of biodiversity and infrastructure policy at US-based The Nature Conservancy (TNC). “This is where the change must take place. The post-2020 framework must involve the whole of government and all of society to be effective.” Li Nan, coordinator for the Priority Project on the Convention on Biological Diversity at WWF China, said there were a number of challenges to achieving the Aichi targets, including the lack of finance and implementation mechanisms in developing countries. “That should be included in the new global biodiversity framework,” Li said. COP15 conference: China promises declaration on biodiversity at UN environment event A draft of the proposed new framework suggests 21 targets for urgent action in the next decade. The main proposals are to ensure at least 30 per cent of land and of sea areas globally are protected, and to increase finances to at least US$200 billion per year. A study by TNC and the Paulson Institute in Chicago last September estimated that US$700 billion more was needed annually for biodiversity conservation, and US$500 billion could come from ending harmful subsidies. Meanwhile, a clear and near-term target should be included, said Harvey Locke, a conservationist and the chairman of an International Union for Conservation of Nature task force. “[The framework] needs a target of a nature-positive world. By 2030, the world should be nature positive and that means to stop the decline and secure what we have and restore the things, so that by 2030 we are going up, not continuing to go down,” he said. This year’s UN climate change conference, which will take place in Glasgow later this month, will also encourage countries to include nature-based solutions in their climate plans and make ambitious commitments to building nature-positive economics and societies. “ Climate change , biodiversity loss and land degradation are intrinsically interconnected, to the extent that we cannot have solutions for biodiversity alone without integrating with climate change solutions,” Mrema said. Locke said the Kunming conference was important, because Kunming came first, followed by Glasgow climate conference. “We need this all to come together in a good way,” he said.