Launch of first Kunming Biodiversity Fund projects expected before COP16

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese official on Wednesday said that the recently established Kunming Biodiversity Fund will make tangible contributions to global biodiversity conservation, with its first projects to be launched this year ahead of the crucial COP16 United Nations biodiversity conference.

Zhang Yujun, an official of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, made the remarks at a press conference.

The fund was launched on Tuesday, when the ministry signed cooperative agreements with the UN Environment Program and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office.

The fund will provide free assistance in the form of financial, technical and capacity support for developing countries to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework under the principles of multilateralism and international operations, Zhang said.

Under the framework, 23 goals have been established to support global biodiversity conservation. Zhang stressed that the fund's projects will help deliver those goals, particularly when it comes to such areas as global ecosystem restoration and conservation, the sustainable use of biodiversity, and the control of invasive alien species.

Colombia will host COP16, the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1, 2024.

As the chair of COP15, China has led the successful establishment of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. In 2021, China pledged 1.5 billion yuan (over 210 million U.S. dollars) to establish the fund.

As the largest developing country in the world, China has the heavy task of developing its economy and improving its people's livelihoods, but it has still fulfilled its commitment with the greatest determination, Zhang said.

He called for concerted efforts from more countries, institutions and organizations to bridge the enormous funding gap in biodiversity conservation and realize the global biodiversity goals.

On the next stage of the fund's operations, Zhang pledged that it will "improve the approval process and release it to the public as soon as possible to ensure the capital is used openly, transparently and efficiently under international rules."

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