UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the degradation of nature is not just an environmental problem, but one that encompasses the economy, health, social justice, human rights and geopolitical tensions and conflicts. “By living in harmony with nature, we can avoid the worst effects of climate change and recharge biodiversity for the good of humans and the planet,” he said, adding that nature-based solutions must be integrated into the COVID-19 recovery and broader development plans, because preserving biodiversity can create jobs and economic growth while avoiding the climate crisis. Participants then agreed on a “Chimney” panel discussion, moderated by Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who stressed that biodiversity has as much to do with nature as it does with humans: man`s dependence on nature, the inability to see the complexity of nature and blindness, the value of ecosystem services. Indigenous peoples, conservationists and conservationists have long warned that today`s societies could become “librarians of extinction” without better nature protection. He described as remarkable the fact that, for the first time since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 – or the “Earth Summit”, this biodiversity is at the centre of the global debate, with more than 100 countries participating in today`s discussions. He asked the three participants in the discussion what science reveals about efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the levers to be leveraged to achieve the goals, and solutions to future challenges. Ms. PANGESTU said partnership was essential for programmes to be effective and cited data from the World Economic Forum that estimates that more than half of the world`s GDP — $44 trillion — is exposed to risks related to natural losses. The World Bank is working with the private sector, including through the Informal Working Group, to establish a task force on nature-related financial data and help companies reduce these risks, including overexploitation of natural resources. She called for a “new global agreement for nature” to protect the planet and stressed that recovery plans to fight COVID-19 must be considered in the long term.
Better reconstruction involves how societies produce and consume, while protecting habitats and preventing the emergence of new zoonoses. Conservationists are desperately seeking a biodiversity deal that will have the same weight as the Paris climate agreement. But so far, this issue has unfortunately received little attention, even though many scientists say it poses at least an equal threat to humanity. Mr. KHAN greeted the participants and said that Pakistan, with 12 climate zones, was committed to protecting its biodiversity. He highlighted some of these efforts and said a national plan aims to plant 10 billion trees. The project is currently soliciting help from local communities, giving them jobs and becoming part of biodiversity protection initiatives. The leaders of the small island states have warned of the existential threat they face, with Prime Minister Kausea Natano of Tuvalu speaking on behalf of the Forum of 18 States of the Pacific Island and saying there is an urgent need for the international community to reduce greenhouse gases. Committing to ocean biodiversity also requires the elimination of pollution, including nuclear and radioactive waste, and relics of World War II, at a time when the region`s unique biodiversity is under threat, he said. In fact, the ocean is inseparable from the Pacific world, covers 98% of the region and makes these states and their peoples managers of more than 40 million square kilometers of oceans. At the same time, illegal acts, including overfishing, undermined this responsibility, as well as the threat of climate change.