UN biodiversity summit to call for action by Heads of State and Government

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UN biodiversity summit to call for action by Heads of State and Government

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Arguing that efforts to stem biodiversity loss have failed to achieve sufficient results, the United Nations will today host the first ever UN Biodiversity Summit at the 75th General Assembly.

Over 100 world leaders are expected to address the session via virtual means.

"The aim is to mobilise concrete action to stem the decline of the planet's biodiversity, which has seen a 68 per cent loss of vertebrates since 1970," the UN said.

The goal is to build political momentum for the Convention on Biodiversity's Conference of the Parties (COP15), in Kunming, China in 2021, where world leaders will agree to an ambitious plan of action on biodiversity.

“Kunming needs to turn biodiversity into a household concern and political issue. Everyone must realise the risks of inaction,” said Volkan Bozkir, president of the UN General Assembly.

The summit takes place as reports show that global efforts have failed to reach any of the 20 biodiversity targets countries set a decade ago, and as the COVID-19 pandemic challenges people to rethink their relationship with nature.

Advocates hope that socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 can be made 'nature-friendly', and embrace the ideals and ambitions needed to tackle climate change and biodiversity challenges.

Recent reports have shown that action on biodiversity can bring substantial economic and social benefits. Where fisheries have been regulated and reported, stocks have improved. Where coordinated action has been taken to slow deforestation, habitat loss has been controlled. Ecosystem restoration, when implemented effectively and with the support of local populations, has reversed decades of degradation and watershed protection can save billions of dollars needed for expensive filtration.

The Summit will be convened by the President of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”


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