IEMA's Policy and Engagement Lead on Biodiversity and Natural Capital, Lesley Wilson discusses the work that IEMA and organisations are doing ahead of COP15 this year.

In Q3 of 2022, the UN Biodiversity Conference – COP 15 (Conference of Parties, meeting 15) – will bring together countries from all over the world to agree targets to tackle the global biodiversity crisis.

The CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) was ‘created’ at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit where 150 government leaders signed up to the Convention – dedicated to promoting sustainable development.

However, in 2021 it was announced that none of the 20 biodiversity targets set by the CBD in 2011 – the Aichi Targets – were reached over the years up to 2020, which makes the new targets hugely important for nature recovery and enhancement. The first draft of the post-2020 Framework, with new targets, was published in July 2021.

The COP 15 meeting is due to take place in Kunming in China (the exact dates are not yet confirmed). However, behind the scenes, working groups continue to edit and create the next set of targets including in meetings in Geneva in March this year.

IEMA have been working with the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum (UKBBF) to follow developments and create responses to the upcoming COP 15 meetings and the post-2020 Framework, including Target 15 - a target specifically for business.

Many businesses – large and small – are starting to consider how they can be nature positive. To understand the needs of business and their response to the work of the CBD, UKBBF with the support of IEMA, have been holding a series of roundtables in the run up to COP 15 with Defra and with business. The UKBBF held a round table on 8th June which included the latest information on the conference, a brainstorm for the creation of a nature positive pledge for COP 15, and a discussion on key issues around Target 15.

Watch this space for more updates.

Photo of Lesley
Lesley Wilson

Policy and Engagement Lead

Lesley is Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA with a focus on biodiversity and natural capital. Lesley also supports IEMA’s role as Secretariat to the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum, working with businesses to raise the profile of, mainstream, and share good practice in, biodiversity. Lesley joined IEMA in December 2021 after 11 years delivering projects, programmes and solutions for business in the field of environmental sustainability for the British Standards Institution (BSI), including ground breaking standards in biodiversity net gain and natural capital. Lesley has a qualification in business management (MBA) and climate change management, and mentors environmental students at the University of Westminster.