The Heat: COP15 Preview

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Delegates from more than 190 countries gather in Montreal for what experts call the last chance to reverse the decline of nature.

Nearly 20,000 delegates are in Montreal for the second phase of the UN biodiversity conference known as COP 15. Scientists, government officials and activists are gathering to negotiate targets for protecting nature during this decade and beyond. 

China, which chairs the meeting, officially opened COP15 in the city of Kunming in October 2021, after more than two years of pandemic-related delays. Delegates adopted the Kunming Declaration calling on parties to urgently prioritize biodiversity protection and recognize the importance of conservation in protecting human health.

Joining the discussion: 

  • Leila Salazar-Lopez is the Executive Director of Amazon Watch. 
  • Michael K. Dorsey is Director of Arizona State University’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Service and a Chair Professor in the College of Global Futures. 
  • Changhua Wu heads the Beijing Future Innovation Center and the Professional Association for China’s Environment.
  • Elizabeth Maruma Mrema is the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.