Kenya calls for global action to end biodiversity

NAIROBI: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for effective and coordinated efforts to stop biodiversity loss.
Kenyatta who joined world leaders on Wednesday evening during the virtual High-Level Summit on Biodiversity at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 2020) emphasized the need for urgent global action to not only reverse the destruction of nature but also accelerate the achievement of SDGs.
“We call for urgent action to halt and reverse the destruction of nature. This will accelerate the achievements of the sustainable development goals, and the biodiversity targets that expire this year,” Kenyatta said in a statement issued in Nairobi after his presentation.
“We must all work together Mr. President, with scaled-up ambition through partnerships, collaborations and cooperation,” he added.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UNGA 2020 President Volkan Bozkir, President Xi Jinping of China, Prince of Wales His Royal Highness Prince Charles, and French President Emmanuel Macron were among a galaxy of world leaders who voiced their support for global action to protect biodiversity and natural habitats.
Kenyatta who termed it a “super year” for biodiversity and nature said the challenges the world has faced this year have provided a unique opportunity to get back on track on both biodiversity and nature.
“We must build back better and smarter as it is no longer ‘business as usual’ but rather ‘business unusual’ to urgently deal with the vulnerabilities of our societies, our economies for a post-COVID-19 recovery,” Kenyatta said.
He noted that human activity has put the world in a state of global emergency and rooted for the empowerment of global organizations responsible for conservation to adequately deal with threats to biodiversity.
“It is, therefore, critical that the UN-Habitat and the UNEP among other global bodies such as the Convention for International Trade on Endangered Species (CITIES) are empowered to take up the challenge in a holistic manner,” the president said.
Kenyatta said as one of the ten mega diverse countries in the world, Kenya recognizes the critical role of biodiversity in supporting cultural, economic and environmental needs including sustainable development.
The president told the high-level UN summit that Kenya’s sustained conservation efforts over the years have started paying dividends.
He singled out the ban on single-use plastics and the moratorium on logging as some of the interventions that have resulted in enormous benefits for livelihoods and the environment.–Agencies