UN officials call for actions to preserve nature

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Top UN officials working to preserve the natural world have called for “action now” ahead of a crucial biodiversity summit on Wednesday, where world leaders will reaffirm their commitment to the cause.
“We have no time to wait. Biodiversity loss, nature loss, it is at an unprecedented level in the history of mankind”, Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said. “We’re the most dangerous species in global history.”
The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty agreed to at the UN Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992. It has three goals: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of nature; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic science.
Under the CBD, countries in 2010 agreed to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets a group of 20 goals to conserve biodiversity that range from preserving species, to reducing deforestation by 2020. Aichi’s goals are to biodiversity what the Paris climate accord is to global warming.
Countries had until this year to reach the targets, and then move on to create a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. But despite some progress, the targets which range from stopping species from extinction to cutting pollution and preserving forests were not achieved.
“If you look at the scorecard, like a school report, the highest is below 30 per cent of the progress”, Ms. Mrema said. “Not one Aichi Target will be fully met, so that, by itself, of the 20 targets, 10 years, we have failed.” The document is still in the early stage, being reviewed in informal consultations, but needs to be ready for adoption at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China in 2021.