While COVID-19 brought much of the world grinding to a halt, it sadly didn't do much to slow the existential threat to many of our planet's species – around a quarter of which are under threat of extinction.
Originally due to take place September 2020, the COP 15 conference was pushed back to May 2021 and then again to October – online, with face-to-face meetings due in Kunming, China, in April 2022.
The delays echo the frustrations campaigners and scientists have endured in 50 years of environmental discussions.
In 2020, the UN reported that world leaders had failed to meet a single biodiversity target agreed 10 years previously in Aichi, with scientists claiming that humans are causing the sixth mass extinction event in the history of planet Earth.
However, with accelerating climate chaos, increased pressure from concern groups and ever-growing public interest, there is hope that COP15 could mark the start of genuine progress.
The theme for COP15 is "Ecological Civilization" – a concept promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that features the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
As the stakeholders finally meet, if only virtually at first, what can they do to curb a mass extinction event? And are we running out of time?