Xi Jinping launches $232m biodiversity fund
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of a 1.5 billion yuan ($232.47 million) fund on Tuesday to support biodiversity protection in developing countries, as talks continue on a new post-2020 global pact to tackle species loss.
Xi was virtually addressing the COP15 biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, where diplomats, scientists, and conservationists are meeting to lay the groundwork for a global agreement to halt and reverse the destruction of nature, set to be finalised in May next year.
“Developing countries need help and support and solidarity must be strengthened to allow developing countries to benefit in a fairer way,” Xi said.
Li Shuo, senior climate adviser at Greenpeace China, said the new fund “should jump-start an urgently needed conversation on biodiversity finance”.
“COP15 needs to see donor countries from the developed world contributing in this regard,” he said.
Experts have said it will take an estimated $1 trillion a year to build sustainable supply chains and help countries protect nature in other ways , far more than the $150 billion spent on such action in 2019.
President Xi said China’s contribution to the Kunming Biodiversity Fund would start at 1.5 billion yuan and that it would also welcome contributions from other parties.
He also announced a new national park scheme that would bring a land area of 230,000 square km under stronger state protection.
The parks — which cover China’s panda, tiger and leopard habitats as well as key nature reserves near the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong rivers in the northwest — are home to nearly 30 per cent of the key terrestrial wildlife species found in the country, Xi said.
China has identified funding as a key roadblock in efforts to meet climate and biodiversity targets.