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World leaders pledge to protect nature ahead of biodiversity summit

World Leaders Pledge to Protect Nature Ahead of Biodiversity Summit

NEW YORK – Political leaders from 64 countries have pledged to protect the environment and reverse the current trend of massive species loss ahead of the United Nations Biodiversity Summit, which is due to be held in New York on Wednesday.
They pledged to work on a range of issues including climate change, protection of marine ecosystems, sustainable land use, restoration of flyways and many other areas to prevent the alarming scale of loss of biodiversity in the world.
“This commitment is a recognition of this crisis and an expression of the need for a deep re-engagement on the part of world leaders to take urgent action,” the signed document said.
“In the context of COVID-19, which has crippled the world’s economies and pressured governments around the world to begin the process of reconstruction and renewal, decisions made now will have ramifications for all of us and for generations to come.”
As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and falls short of the 2020 biodiversity targets agreed to in 2010, the summit would be an opportunity for world leaders to revise their targets and commitment to protecting nature.
“The links between human well-being and the health of our ecosystems are extensive,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the “Biodiversity beyond 2020: Building” round table a shared future for everyone on Earth.”
“The challenges of climate change and COVID-19 show us the importance of conserving biodiversity and its sustainable use to ensure a more secure, inclusive and resilient world,” she added.
Many experts have made strong links between biodiversity loss and viral epidemics, seeking a concentrated global effort for sustainable development.
A series of studies have also revealed the alarming loss of wild animals and plants due to human activities. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report last year found that nearly a million species are on the brink of extinction.
The Living Planet report prepared by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London calculated that global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish are declining on average by two-thirds in less than a half-century.
To protect global biodiversity, world leaders pledged to achieve 20 goals in 2010 at a meeting in Aichi, Japan. None of the 20 targets agreed by governments could be met, a review of the “Aichi Targets” released earlier this month revealed.
The summit will be an opportunity to demonstrate the ambition to accelerate actions to control and reverse biodiversity loss, the CBD said. New York commitments would be revised, and leaders would decide on a new framework for biodiversity at the Conference of the Parties (COP15), United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, next year.
“We call on all leaders to build on this ambition at the next United Nations biodiversity summit,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF-International.
“Together, they must develop and agree on a common plan for the biodiversity and climate negotiations scheduled for next year, to ensure a carbon-neutral, nature-friendly and equitable future for all. There has never been a more crucial time to act for nature more than now,” he added.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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