Developed countries have been urged to contribute to a new nature fund after it was left undercapitalised by $40m (£32m), receiving money from just two donors. At the Cop15 biodiversity summit in December, where countries agreed this decade’s biodiversity targets that included aims to protect 30% of Earth, governments agreed to the creation of a fund to help developing countries meet the deal’s aims, which included a target to provide $200bn for nature a year by 2030. Its formation was a significant stumbling block in the final hours of talks in Montreal, Canada, where there were walkouts and late-night disagreements as developed and developing countries split over how the targets would be funded. Governments eventually agreed for a fund to be created under the umbrella of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the main UN biodiversity source of finance for nature. Last week, governments formally approved the fund’s creation at a GEF meeting in Vancouver but it was left undercapitalised, with Canada and the UK the only donor countries to contribute, providing $C200m and £10m respectively. It leaves the fund needing about $40m before the end of the year to formally launch, according to GEF rules. While the formal creation of the fund has been welcomed, countries including Japan, the US and EU states have been urged to contribute. The interim UN biodiversity chief, David Cooper, said: “It is encouraging to see the contributions already announced by Canada and the UK as well as the statements by a number of countries that further pledges will be forthcoming shortly. “We are off to a good start. We now call for further pledges from countries and from other sources so the first projects under the new fund can be launched next year ahead of Cop16.” The World Wide Fund for Nature said creating the fund was an important achievement as it would provide a new revenue stream for biodiversity conservation. However it warned that more money must be contributed before the biodiversity Cop16 next year, which still had an uncertain venue after Turkey said it could not longer host because of the impact of recent earthquakes. In the closing statement for the GEF summit, the activism organisation Avaaz said: “We are still wondering where France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, the US and the other major donor countries were. Why did they not step up when urgency is called for in every single meeting, session, speech?” Canada’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, told the Media support for the fund from developed countries was important for meeting this decade’s biodiversity targets, which included restoring large areas of degraded ecosystems, reforming $500bn of environmentally damaging subsidies and urgent actions to halt human-caused extinctions of species known to be under threat and to promote their recovery.