COP 15 calls for halving global pesticide risk by 2030

  December 21, 2022

Hosted in Canada and chaired by China, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity was held from December 7 to 19, 2022.

The global community developed a new plan for the preservation and protection of nature, called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The objective of the framework is to define the levers of action to be taken to ensure that the restoration of and respect for biodiversity will be effective in 2050.

It sets out 23 targeted goals to make it possible for biodiversity to be “valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people” by 2050.

Among these goals is the reduction of the overall risk from pesticides by at least half, in order to reduce the risk of pollution to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services.

To achieve this, the framework calls for consideration of cumulative effects and an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM is a holistic system that enables farmers to manage pest problems in a more environmentally responsible way, including a combination of biological, cultural and chemical controls and methods, but minimizing the use of synthetic pesticides.

It also calls for ensuring that the area under agriculture is managed in a sustainable manner, including through the use of practices such as sustainable intensification, agroecology and other innovative approaches that contribute to the resilience and long-term efficiency and productivity of these production systems, again in order to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides.

Finally, governments are asked to implement legal, administrative or policy measures to encourage and enable companies – especially large corporations and transnational financial institutions – to regularly and transparently monitor, assess and disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, in order to ensure sustainable production patterns.

A global step is thus taken towards health justice. Let’s hope that this promising pesticide framework will indeed be respected.