Guterres calls for 'bold' global framework for biodiversity protection

The world needs a bold framework “that pushes back the biodiversity apocalypse”. This is the plea made by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres during the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal.

This framework should address the drivers of biodiversity loss, including overexploitation of species, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species, he said.

Guterres expressed the wish to see this framework “address the root causes of this destruction”, in particular harmful subsidies, misdirected investments, and unsustainable food systems as well as to support other global agreements “ aimed at protecting our planet – from the Paris Climate Agreement to agreements on land degradation, forests, oceans, chemicals and pollution”.

While decrying the “fossil fuel addiction that has thrown our climate into chaos,” he noted that “unsustainable production and consumption is driving emissions skyrocketing and degrading our land, sea and air.”

Today, he argued, “a third of all land is degraded, making it harder to feed growing populations. Plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are all at risk. A million species are on the edge of the abyss”.

And to insist that “ocean degradation is accelerating the destruction of vital coral reefs and other marine ecosystems – and directly affects communities that depend on the oceans for their livelihoods”.

COP15 “is our chance to stop this orgy of destruction and move from discord to harmony,” Guterres assured.

It should be noted that the UN conference, which is attended by more than 18,000 people representing the 196 member countries of the multilateral organization, aims in particular to put an end to the loss of biodiversity and to acquire the means to protect nature. In particular, this will involve adopting a new global framework for the protection of global biodiversity by 2030.

After the historic agreement concluded in 1985 in Montreal for the protection of the ozone layer, the speakers wish to repeat the feat and reach a new historic agreement to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

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