WWF-Canada calling for a ‘Paris’-style agreement for nature at CBD COP15

MONTREAL, Dec. 05, 2022 — Biodiversity loss is accelerating. Climate change is worsening. Reversing nature loss can address both, but only if we do it in time. With nature currently declining at unprecedented rates, WWF-Canada is urging the government of Canada to show leadership at the COP15 UN biodiversity conference in Montreal (7-19 December).

The world needs to negotiate an ambitious, enforceable and Indigenous rights-based agreement for nature protection on par with the Paris Climate accord. This means a global commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss that all nations agree to. And this is our once-in-a-decade chance to do it.

WWF will attend the negotiations, and we’ll have Canadian and international experts in attendance, advising negotiations, participating in panels and sharing analysis and reactions each day. Media can request interviews or register for daily updates via [email protected].

We urgently need a global agreement to reverse biodiversity loss, and that’s something we just don’t have yet. In fact, none of the targets set for biodiversity in 2020 were met. This is why this meeting is crucial — we have to set strong targets for 2030 and ensure that national policies support our meeting them in a just and equitable way,” says Megan Leslie, WWF-Canada’s president and CEO.

“It’s an exciting and important time for Canada to be hosting COP15. We have 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater, the world’s longest coastline, vast tracts of boreal forest, the second-largest store of carbon in our plants and soils, and a wide array of important ecosystems that host ample wildlife. We have a globally significant responsibility for nature and need to demonstrate our commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and do so in a way that also helps fight climate change,” says Mary MacDonald, WWF-Canada’s chief conservation officer.


WWF-Canada Events at CBD COP15

Note that we can arrange interviews with panelists at the following events. Please email [email protected].


WWF-Canada Breakfast Series (Intercontinental Hotel, 360 Rue Saint-Antoine O, Montréal); 7:30–9 a.m.        

December 9: Towards Marine Protection Across the Arctic: Insights from Indigenous Conservation Leaders (Register here)

    • Moderator: Paul Okalik, Arctic Lead Specialist, WWF-Canada
    • Jimmy Ullikatalik, Manager, Spence Bay Hunters and Trappers Association
    • Barnie Aggark, Senior Executive Director of the Foxe Basin Kivalliq North Sapujiyiit Guardians of the Sea Society
    • Gabe Canfield, Project Coordinator at Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA)

December 12: Restoring ecosystems to fight climate change: Highlights from a new Nature and Climate Fund (Register here)

    • Moderator: Megan Leslie, President and CEO, WWF-Canada
    • Elizabeth Hendriks, VP Restoration and Regeneration, WWF-Canada
    • Jason Storah, CEO, Aviva Canada
    • Jessica Hutchinson, Executive Director, Redd Fish Restoration Society
    • Zita Botelho, Director, Watersheds BC

December 14: An Indigenous rights approach to becoming biodiversity positive: Perspectives from Indigenous communities. (Register here)

    • Moderator: James Snider, VP, Science, Knowledge and Innovation, WWF-Canada
    • Steven Nitah, Managing Director, Nature for Justice
    • Stephanie Thorassie, Executive Director, Seal River Watershed Alliance
    • Nadina Gardiner, Cumberland House Cree Nation
    • Jimmy Ullikatalik, Manager, Spence Bay Hunters and Trappers Association
    • Vern Cheechoo, Director Lands and Resources, Mushkegowuk Council

December 15 (Nature Positive Pavilion). 4:30–5:30 p.m.:  Advancing solutions at the nexus of biodiversity, carbon, and Indigenous rights (Register here)

    • Moderator: Tyson Atleo, Natural Climate Solutions Program Director, Nature United
    • James Snider, VP – Science, Knowledge and Innovation, WWF-Canada
    • Ronnie Drever, Senior Conservation Scientist, Nature United
    • Doug Neasloss, Chief Councillor and Resource Stewardship Director of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation
    • Vern Cheechoo, Director of Lands & Resources, Mushkegowuk Council
    • Stephanie Thorassie, Executive Director, Seal River Watershed Initiative


WWF considers the below essential ingredients in an ambitious global biodiversity framework:

  • An enforceable plan to halt and reverse global biodiversity loss by 2030 that enables participation of all sectors of society.
  • A goal to conserve 30% of the planet’s land and waters by 2030 through a rights-based approach that reflects Indigenous priorities and knowledge.
  • A target for restoring degraded ecosystems.
  • A comprehensive resource mobilization strategy to finance implementation of the framework.
  • A strong implementation mechanism that includes regular reviews, agreed indicators to measure progress and ambition that increases over time, similar to the UN climate agreement.
  • Recognition that healthy ecosystems are an ally in the fight against climate change by storing and removing carbon from the atmosphere.

WWF International’s expectations paper for COP15 is available to read here.


Experts from WWF-Canada are available for interviews on a range of subjects, such as the state of negotiations at COP15; the latest figures on the state of wildlife in Canada and globally; nature-based climate solutions; the importance of respecting Indigenous governance for Indigenous-led conservation; examples of conservation efforts and successes in Canada; and the benefits of fighting the climate and biodiversity crises at the same time.

For more information, contact:


About the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15

Originally signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. There are now 196 Parties to the CBD, which has a 2050 vision to achieve a world that is ‘living in harmony with nature’. Between 3-5 December, an Open-Ended Working Group-5 will be taking place with key negotiators ahead of the 15th of Conference of Parties (COP15) between 7-19 December, both in Montreal, Canada. 10,000+ people are expected to attend the conference.

About WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive. For more information visit wwf.ca.