The United Nations Secretary- General, António Guterres, has stressed the need to act urgently to protect biodiversity, the web of life that connects and supports us all.
The UN chief in a statement to celebrate this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity 2022, said to achieve a sustainable future for all, “We must end our senseless and destructive war against nature. The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years – and accelerating.
According to him, “Biodiversity is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ending the existential threat of climate change, halting land degradation, building food security and supporting advances in human health. And biodiversity offers ready solutions for green and inclusive growth.
“This year governments will meet to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with clear and measurable targets and robust means of implementation that can put biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030.
“The framework must tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss and enable the ambitious and transformative change needed for living in harmony with nature by effectively protecting more of the world’s land, freshwater and oceans, encouraging sustainable consumption and production, employing nature-based solutions to address climate change and ending harmful subsidies that damage the environment.
“It should mobilize action and financial resources to drive concrete nature-positive investments, ensuring that we all benefit from the dividends of biological diversity.
“As we accomplish these goals and implement the 2050 Vision for “living in harmony with nature”, we must act with respect for equity and human rights, particularly with regard to the many indigenous populations whose territories harbour so much biological diversity.
Gutrres said “To save our planet’s indispensable and fragile natural wealth, everyone needs to be engaged, including youth and vulnerable populations who rely the most on nature for their livelihoods. Today, I call on all to act to build a shared future for all life.”
Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build and a shared future for all life and achieve sustainable development.
She went further, “To all of you watching and listening today, it is my great honour to celebrate your efforts and achievements to protect biodiversity.
“Biodiversity is the web of life that connects us all. Without it, we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or solve urgent challenges including climate change, health, food and water security.
“When we conserve biodiversity, use it sustainably and share its benefits equitably, we get that much closer to building a shared future for all life on Earth.
“This year the world is coming together to agree on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which will set global goals and targets to put biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest. To be agreed upon in Kunming, China later this year, the framework must set the world on track for the full realization of the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature.”
“This means effectively protecting more of the world’s land, freshwater and oceans, ensuring sustainable consumption and production, mobilising the necessary resources at all levels and ending harmful subsidies that damage the environment.
“This also means ensuring that all actors are engaged in protecting nature.
“Wherever you are in the world, every one of you matters – and every action you take matters.
She explained that, globally, we have seen a groundswell of action for biodiversity. Nothing fills me with more hope than seeing governments, community and business leaders, and ordinary people accomplishing outstanding work to shift away from activities that deplete biodiversity.
The post-2020 global biodiversity framework takes an “all hands-on-deck” approach: whole-of-society, whole-of-government, a true framework for all. It will be a framework for governments, for civil society, for businesses, for productive sectors, for banks, for farmers, for teachers, for students, for consumers, and for you.
“I call upon each and every one of us to do our part. Protect the diversity of life we so depend on. She concluded.
The theme for this year celebration is “Building a shared future for all life”.