From 15 to 18 November, an expert meeting was convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) together with Germany’s Federal Office for Nature Conservation (BfN) and in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre on the Isle of Vilm, Germany to discuss how the World Heritage Convention can contribute to the new global agenda for biodiversity conservation. 

At the upcoming 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in October 2020 in Kunming, China, national Governments  will agree the new global targets for the next decade for halting the loss of biodiversity. The “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” will be a crucial step to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

As one of eight global conventions related to biodiversity, the World Heritage Convention is ideally positioned to contribute to the Global Biodiversity Framework. The experts stressed the key contribution of the World Heritage Convention to global biodiversity conservation, international cooperation, peace and the quality of life on earth.  Through the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, the Convention secures some of the largest intact ecosystems, which provide essential regulating services for the planet and benefits for people and which have been demonstrated to be particularly efficient at combatting climate change by storing and capturing carbon. The Convention also promotes a holistic approach to biodiversity conservation that embraces the indivisible connections between people, culture and nature.  

The meeting issued a statement on “World Heritage and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” (below), which provides concrete recommendations on how the World Heritage Convention can be reflected in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.