Gene Drive Supplement

COP15 Delegates Adopt Conservation Targets for 2030 and Beyond

January 25, 2023

After a marathon of deliberations at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework (GBF) has been adopted. The new framework will guide biodiversity policies and actions for 2030 and beyond, and in doing so shape the research environment on gene drive.

The GBF sets four goals and 23 targets to tackle environmental challenges such as pollution, climate change, natural resources management, invasive alien species, among others. For gene drive research, the targets 20 and 21, and sections C and K are particularly relevant, as they acknowledge the vital role of science and innovation for the implementation and success of the new framework, according to the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research.

“Target 17 on biosafety and biotechnology and Target 6 on invasive alien species could have been further strengthened. While Target 6 recognizes that islands are a priority for controlling invasive alien species, it fails to acknowledge the need for novel tools to manage them. Target 17 also falls short of delivering forward-looking language reflecting the recent progress in the field of biotechnology, despite containing balanced language on the potential risks and benefits," the Network stressed in their media release.

The Conference has been considered the "last chance" for nature's recovery. GBF provides an enabling environment for innovation and the development of new tools for biodiversity conservation. However, the accomplishments will depend on how countries implement the action plans to achieve their commitments, which will rely on access to and use of science, technology, and innovation.

Read more from Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research. You may also access the Network's COP15 Outcome Statement from their website.

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