UN moves COP15 biodiversity talks from China to Canada

The United Nations says it will move biodiversity talks from China to Canada, following pandemic-related delays.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP15, has been delayed amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections in China.

Chaired by China, COP15 aims to adopt a new biodiversity framework to replace one with a 2020 target date adopted at a 2010 conference in Aichi, Japan. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets was supposed to stop the decline in the number of wild animals and forest destruction, but many of its goals were not achieved.

The meeting was initially scheduled to be held in Kunming in China's southwest in 2020, but was delayed. Following an online meeting in October 2021, an in-person meeting was scheduled to be held in Kunming from April to May this year. But the meeting was delayed again as infections spread.

The UN secretariat said on Tuesday that COP15 will be held between December 5 and 17 in Montreal.

China will remain as the chair. Reuters news agency quotes the secretariat as saying that the infection status is behind the latest change.

The UN secretariat has apparently put precedence on a face-to-face meeting to adopt a new target.

The secretariat expressed its gratitude for China's flexible response.