A University of Guelph ecologist wants to see hope added to the agenda of next month’s UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), along with a renewed commitment to meeting still-unachieved biodiversity protection targets.  

Dr. Madhur Anand
Dr. Madhur Anand

Dr. Madhur Anand is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the Ontario Agricultural College, and director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER). She researches the impact of globalization and climate change on ecosystems, which is also a theme in her work as a poet and writer.  

Anand says she worries that as participants to the Convention on Biological Diversity meet in Montreal this December to adopt a new Global Biodiversity Framework amid critical levels of biodiversity loss, the new targets will once again go unmet.  

She recalls an earlier COP report that stated a commitment “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss. 

“There was such a feeling of hope. But, of course, this target has not been met.”  

This time, she wants to see a strong plan to ensure targets are met. She hopes that holding COP15 so soon after COP27 – the UN Conference on Climate Change is taking place in Egypt this month – will help in the search for concrete solutions.  

“That is what I’d like to see addressed: the biodiversity emergency is not separate from the climate emergency,” she explains. “Some of the solutions to the climate emergency will help with biodiversity declines, along with so many other things, because, as we know, environmental well-being is entwined with human well-being.” 

On Nov. 24, Anand will host a public event, “The Biodiversity Emergency: Conservation in Canada and Beyond.” Dr. Noella Gray, a GIER affiliate and an environmental policy expert in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, will discuss her work on COP15 and participate in a panel discussion with MPP Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario.  

Anand is available for interviews. 

Dr. Madhur Anand