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‘The biggest meeting for humanity’: Why Cop15 has to succeed

Negotiators from around the world have landed in Montreal, Canada for the UN’s biodiversity conference, Cop15. The summit has been called an “unprecedented” opportunity for turning the tide on nature loss and comes at a critical time: a million species are currently at risk of extinction and wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% between 1970 and 2018.

Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Prof Alexandre Antonelli, about the current state of the planet’s biodiversity, what needs to be achieved at Cop15 and how he’s feeling about the possibility of change.


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  • Alexandre Antonelli is a professor of biodiversity at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His book, The Hidden Universe: Adventures in Biodiversity can be purchased here
  • Follow biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield’s coverage of the Cop15 conference

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