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UN chief calls for political will to stop biodiversity loss

Published : 28 Sep 2020, 23:29

  DF News Desk

Photo taken at the UN headquarters in New York on Sept. 25, 2020 shows UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. File Photo Xinhua.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for political will to stop biodiversity loss, reported Xinhua.

"A planetary emergency is upon us. Driven by the dual threats of the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse, this emergency is threatening people and planet," he said in a video message on a Leaders' Pledge for Nature.

"We are at war with nature. And nature is fighting back."

Biodiversity disasters are under way. Oil spills are devastating marine ecosystems. Deforestation and forest fires are killing people and destroying habitats, with incalculable economic costs. Even the COVID-19 pandemic speaks to our dysfunctional relationship with nature, he noted.

The international community has failed to meet any of the biodiversity targets that were set in Japan 10 years ago. Progress on almost half is described as poor, he said.

"The problems include significant funding shortfalls and a lack of monitoring tools. But the main issue, as always, is lack of political will," said Guterres.

"We need to find a better way. We need a new global biodiversity framework that addresses the drivers of biodiversity loss and provides a roadmap for implementation. And we need to scale up nature-based solutions like the Great Green Wall across sub-Saharan Africa, which provides natural protection against natural disasters while capturing carbon emissions and creating decent jobs," he said.

Guterres stressed the urgent need for the international community to raise its ambition in the vital months between this week's Biodiversity Summit in New York and the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in May 2021.

"I count on all leaders -- government and private sector alike -- to make decisive commitments to protect our planet and all life on it. Let's make next year, 2021, into Nature Year, the year when we change course and start rebuilding the beauty and bounty of our world."