a “historic” agreement, but without the Democratic Republic of Congo

a “historic” agreement, but without the Democratic Republic of Congo

Is the symbol of COP unity crumbling? In Montreal, on the evening of December 19, more than 190 countries adopted an agreement to try to halt the destruction of biodiversity and its resources.

This “peace pact with nature“, called “Kunming-Montreal agreement“, will therefore aim in particular to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 and to increase the annual aid for biodiversity in developing countries to 30 billion dollars.

The creation of protected areas over 30% of the planet is also presented as the equivalent for biodiversity of the Paris objective of limiting global warming to +1.5°C. If many players agree to qualify the final version ” of history », Others criticize it for a lack of ambition, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lack of ambition

As talks continued late into the night from Sunday to Monday, the Congolese delegation did not back down. The financial question was at the heart of the negotiations and did not succeed in satisfying everyone.

Many countries in the South were asking rich countries to contribute up to 100 billion dollars a year, ie 7 to 10 times the current international aid for biodiversity. In the end, only $30 billion in annual conservation aid was released for developing countries, far too small a sum for many of them.

To a country responsible for the destruction of the environment, the world entrusts it with the facilitation of negotiations in the mechanism set up for the fund for the protection of biodiversity. This is nonsense! Eve Bazaiba, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment on Rwanda

The creation of a global fund dedicated to biodiversity was also strongly supported by these same actors, in order to help them deal with climate damage. China, chairing this COP, however preferred to obtain a compromise by promising the establishment by 2023 of a branch dedicated to biodiversity within the Global Environment Facility (GEF), created in 1991 by the Bank world.

A concession that then did not satisfy either Brazil, India, Indonesia or even Cameroon, Uganda and the DRC. However, after lengthy negotiations, all of these countries preferred to be associated with the final agreement… with the exception of the DRC.

An objection which did not prevent the Chinese president of COP15, Huang Runqiu, from marking the adoption of the agreement with a hammer blow, provoking a torrent of applause in the room.
The legal adviser of the Convention on Biodiversity confirmed in stride, according to the Canadian media the pressnot having attested any formal legal objection, but only ” comments “.

Then followed a somewhat surprising scene, where the president of COP15 came down to thank Eve Bazaiba, despite her refusal to join the agreement. The exchange is brief, the vice president congratulates him in return and the two will pose for the journalists, as evidenced by the tweet of the Canadian journalist Étienne Fortin-Gauthier, of the Quebec media Noovo.

If there was no coup, Cameroon nevertheless denounced ” a forceful passage and Uganda lamented ” the way ” employee. The DRC believes that this lack of ambition will cost it dearly in order to protect its tropical forest, the second largest in the world in terms of area after that of the Amazon basin.

We have expressed reservations on the text of the final declaration of #COP15 in all sovereignty and we remain open to negotiations to advance the position of the DRC on the mechanism for mobilizing resources for the financing of biodiversity.“recalled the Deputy Prime Minister, the day after the adoption of the agreement, on his Twitter account.

The conflict with the M23 invites itself to the COP

During the negotiations, another subject was the subject of a stumbling block with the DRC: Rwanda’s participation in decision-making concerning the financing mechanism for biodiversity.

In a speech on December 17, relayed by Jeune Afrique, Vice President Bazaiba underlines a dissonance between the appointment of Kigali in view of its involvement in the conflict in eastern DRC: “ We will never stop linking environmental protection with peace. Today, the entire eastern part of the DRC is the scene of clashes where terrorists are supported by a neighboring country, Rwanda, named by the United Nations, kill, rape, loot. Biodiversity suffers. We are in total destabilization in this part of the countrysays Eve Bazaiba.

To a country responsible for the destruction of the environment, the world entrusts it with the facilitation of negotiations in the mechanism set up for the fund for the protection of biodiversity. This is nonsense! What is the message sent? We call for this to change! she continues.

The day before, according to the media Environews, the vice president would have even left the negotiating table, after having learned the news.

To what extent did this geopolitical episode upset the Congolese delegation in its desire to take part in the final agreement of COP 15? Is the refusal to affix his signature to it only motivated by a lack of environmental ambition? Unanswered questions so far. Contacted by the editorial staff of TV5MONDE, Mrs. Eve Bazaiba did not wish to follow up.