0_Web_Top storiesSvet.SlajderWorldWorld.portal

Canada confident on UN Biodiversity Conference ahead of opening

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on participating states at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Canada to take part in the urgent task of "making peace" with nature and reach a strong agreement to protect biodiversity on Earth.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on participating states at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Canada to take part in the urgent task of “making peace” with nature and reach a strong agreement to protect biodiversity on Earth.

“We are waging war on nature,” Guterres said in Montreal on Tuesday at the summit’s opening ceremony. “This conference is about the urgent task of making peace.

“We are treating nature like a toilet. And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy,” he said.

“Because the loss of nature and biodiversity comes with a steep human cost. This conference is our chance to stop this orgy of destruction, to move from discord to harmony, and to apply the ambition and action the challenge demands.

“No excuses. No delays. Promises made must be promises kept.”

He was impressed by young climate activists around the world, Guterres continued, but it could not be left to young people to sort out the mess.

“But I am also keenly aware that we cannot pass the buck to them to clean up our mess. It is up to us to accept responsibility for the damage we have caused, and take action to fix it.

“The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B.
We must fix the world we have.”

At the opening ceremony, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on the participating states to adopt a strong agreement.

“Nature is under threat, in fact it is under attack,” Trudeau said.

“The job we’re doing as a world just isn’t good enough.”

He called on countries to protect 30% of their land and waters by 2030 in order to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss.

“There are lots of disagreements between governments,” he said.

“But if we can’t agree as a world on something as fundamental as protecting nature, then nothing else matters.”

Trudeau’s speech was briefly interrupted due to protests from activists.

Hosts Canada had earlier expressed confidence that agreement would be reached on efforts to protect species globally at the UN Biodiversity Conference.

“There is a genuine key momentum, and Canada wants to keep on contributing to this momentum,” Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said as 120 countries gathered to form a “high-ambition coalition” to protect the earth’s land and sea.

Organizers, economists and representatives of non-governmental organizations hope that the conference, which officially starts on Wednesday and runs to December 19, will achieve a “new set of goals to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss.”

One of the main goals of the conference is to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and marine areas by 2030. A solid financial basis for global species protection also plays an important role in the upcoming negotiations.

The executive secretary for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, said: “We need to underline the direct connection now between climate change and biodiversity.”

“The success of the framework or all of the targets here will have an impact on climate change,” she added.

Speaking in Berlin, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke highlighted the urgency of measures to prevent mass species die-off. She called for “measurable targets.”

Humanity was currently destroying essential ecosystems “at a breath-taking rate,” she said. “We are losing biological diversity up to 100 times faster than the average over the past 10 million years.”

While expectations from the conference are high, not all the targets are expected to be fulfilled. All 22 points in the concluding document are still being debated, at least in part.

Originally, the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference – which also goes by the acronym COP-15 – was to have taken place in China in 2020, but was then postponed and split up due to the ongoing pandemic situation there.

The first part of the negotiations took place last October – mostly online – in the Chinese city of Kunming.

Back to top button
Close