More than 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs are endangered due to overfishing, destructive practices and climate change, according to the United Nations. Yesterday the first-ever U.N. Summit on Biodiversity concluded with world leaders and experts agreeing on the urgency to preserve biodiversity globally. Credit: Nalisha Adams/IPS
More than 60 p.c of the world’s coral reefs are endangered resulting from overfishing, damaging practices and local weather change, based on the United Nations. Yesterday the first-ever U.N. Summit on Biodiversity concluded with world leaders and consultants agreeing on the urgency to protect biodiversity globally. Credit: Nalisha Adams/IPS
  • by Samira Sadeque (united nations)
  • Inter Press Service

“More than 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs are endangered due to overfishing, destructive practices and climate change,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres stated in his opening remarks  on the biodiversity summit, which was held because the seventy fifth Session of the U.N. General Assembly wrapped up this week.

This loss does not come with out a value.

Guterres added that based on an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimate, the amount of cash required for sustainability of nature is about $300 – 400 billion, which is lower than “current levels of harmful subsidies for agriculture, mining and other destructive industries”.

Guterres additionally identified how this disproportionately impacts poor communities.

According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, between 50 to 90 p.c of the livelihoods of poor households comes from ecosystems.

“Nature offers business opportunities to poor communities, from sustainable farming to eco-tourism or subsistence fishing,” Guterres stated.

This yr was particularly essential given the COVID-19 pandemic and the havoc it wreaked throughout communities all over the world.

Volkan Bozkır, president of the General Assembly, identified the world’s lack of ability to make sure preservation of biodiversity severely impedes the power to battle illnesses — a outcome that’s being witnessed first hand this yr. It additionally negatively impacts meals safety, water provides, and livelihoods, amongst different points.

“We must be pragmatic: our healthcare systems rely upon rich biodiversity,” Bozkır stated. “Four billion people depend upon natural medicines for their health, and 70 percent of drugs used for cancer treatments are drawn from nature.”

“More than half of the world’s GDP – $44 trillion – is dependent on nature,” he added. 

Chinese president Xi Jinping addressed the assembly, extending a heat welcome for subsequent yr’s Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) scheduled to happen in China. 

“COP15 offers an opportunity for parties to adopt new strategies for global biodiversity governance,” Xi stated. 

Xi proposed a listing of steps that leaders can take in an effort to guarantee biodiversity preservation all over the world:

  • Adhere to ecological civilisation and enhance the drive for constructing a stunning world, on condition that a sound ecosystem is essential for the prosperity of civilisation. “We need to respect nature, follow its laws, and protect it,” he stated. “We need to find a way for man and nature to live in harmony, balance and coordinate economic development and ecological protection.”
  • Uphold multilateralism and construct synergy for world governance on the setting. “Faced with the risks and challenges worldwide, countries share a common stake as passengers the same boat, and form a community with a shared future,” Xi stated. “To enhance global governance on the environment, we must firmly safeguard the U.N.-centred international system, and uphold the sanctity and authority of international rules.”
  • Continue with inexperienced improvement and enhance potential for top of the range financial restoration after COVID-19.

Meanwhile, panelists at a “Fireside Chat” panel introduced up the significance of together with indigenous communities within the dialog.

Inger Andersen, government director of the U.N. Environment Programme, stated the indigenous neighborhood is “critical” to this dialog.

“Let’s recall they are the owners and managers of one quarter of global land area, and one third of protected areas,” Andersen stated. “So safeguarding their right to their land is part of safeguarding biodiversity.”

Ana Maria Hernandez Salgar, the primary girl chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), additionally shared a comparable sentiment as she mirrored on what, in her expertise, has led to true change.

“We have to work collectively: governments, individuals, private sector, academia, we need to address the root cause of biodiversity loss – it works,” Salgar stated.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the appointed Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, additionally spoke on the identical panel and added that it is necessary to not lose sight of the truth that biodiversity, on high of being a concern, can be a answer to among the sustainable improvement objectives (SDGs).

“We know, 14 out of the 17 SDGs depend on biodiversity, from nature-based solutions, to climate, to food, water, security, sustainable livelihood: biodiversity remains the basis for sustainable future and sustainable development,” Mrema stated.

Perhaps the dialog on the hyperlink between biodiversity preservation and people was most aptly put forth by Achim Steiner of the U.N. Development Programme who moderated the panel.

At the core of the preservation efforts is how we view the difficulty, Steiner stated.

It’s not nearly nature, it is about people too.

“Biodiversity has as much to do with nature as it has to do with people, people’s dependence on nature, people’s inability to see the complexities of nature, people’s blindness and sometimes greed and ignorance and also the planetary blindspots of our economies.”

© Inter Press Service (2020) — All Rights ReservedOriginal supply: Inter Press Service