There is an urgent need to create a new and dedicated fund to help developing countries successfully implement a post-2020 global framework to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, India said at the United Nations biodiversity conference in Canada’s Montreal on Saturday.

“India is fully committed to working closely with all parties so that we are all able to bring out an ambitious and realistic Global Biodiversity Framework in COP 15,” said Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupendra Yadav in his address to the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference.

The Global Biodiversity Framework is a proposed new set of goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. There have been repeated calls to include the framework in the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, or CBDR, principle and 196 countries are negotiating it at the conference.

CBDR, which was adopted as a principle during the Earth Summit in 1992, states that all countries have an obligation to tackle climate change but this responsibility is not shared equally.

On Saturday, Yadav said that developing countries bear most of the burden of implementing the targets for biodiversity conservation and so need adequate funds and technology transfer.

“The most important challenge is the resources needed for implementation of the [Global Biodiversity Framework],” he said. “Greater ambition means greater cost and the burden of this cost falls disproportionately on the countries that can least afford them.”

The minister said that India’s stand that the goals and targets set of the global framework should not just ambitious but realistic and practical.

“Conservation of biodiversity must also be based on Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities as climate change also has an impact on biodiversity,” he added.

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Yadav also said said that India cannot reduce agriculture-related subsidy as agriculture is a an important economic factor in rural communities and critical support to this sector cannot be redirected.

He made the statement as COP members are negotiating to eliminate subsidies harmful to the environment, such as those for fossil fuel production, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, by at least $500 billion annually to use the money for biodiversity conservation.

The conference began on December 7 and will end on December 20. It is aimed at arriving at a deal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss at par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. In Paris, all countries had agreed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial levels.

The global framework, which is being negotiated, comprises 22 targets and four goals proposed for 2030. The targets include reducing pollution, pesticides, subsidies harmful to nature and the rate of introduction of invasive alien species among others.