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URGENT MEASURES | UN chief calls for urgent measures to halt environmental decline

IANS | Updated on Thursday, May 23, 2024 12:07 PM IST

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for taking urgent measures to halt environmental decline.

In his message to the International Day for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, the top UN official highlighted the dire state of the planet's ecosystems, emphasising that the world's "complex web of biological diversity sustains all life on earth" but is "unravelling at alarming speed" due to human activities, Xinhua news agency reported.

"We are contaminating land, oceans, and freshwater with toxic pollution, wrecking landscapes and ecosystems, and disrupting our precious climate with greenhouse gas emissions," Guterres said, stressing the severe consequences of humanity's footprint on nature.

The degradation of biodiversity is not just an environmental issue but a developmental crisis as well.

"Decimating biodiversity damages sustainable development today and creates a dangerous and uncertain tomorrow," he warned.

Guterres advocated for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework as a vital instrument to "reverse the loss and restore biodiversity".

He noted that this plan not only aims to halt environmental degradation but also promises economic benefits such as job creation, increased resilience and spur sustainable development.

Highlighting the need for widespread participation in conservation efforts, the Secretary-General reminded that "we are all 'Part of the Plan' -- we all have a role to play".

He called on indigenous peoples, businesses, financial institutions, local and regional authorities, civil society, women, young people, and academia to work together in a manner that values, protects, and restores biodiversity benefiting everyone involved.

"Let us commit to be Part of the Plan. Let us act urgently to put biodiversity on a path to recovery," said the UN Chief.

He stressed the importance of building momentum towards the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP16) in October, to "protect the planet and create a more sustainable future for us all".

The International Day for Biodiversity is celebrated every year on May 22 and coordinated by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), part of the United Nations Environment Programme.

This observance commemorates the adoption of the text of the CBD on May 22, 1992, and provides a unique opportunity to generate support for the convention, its protocols, and related action frameworks.

 

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