“Biodiversity is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ending the existential threat of climate change, halting land degradation, building food security and supporting advances in human health,” António Guterres said in a statement. .
The UN chief stressed that biodiversity offers solutions for green and inclusive growth and, this year, governments will meet to agree on a global biodiversity framework with clear and measurable goals to put the planet on the path to recovery by 2030. .
“The framework must address the drivers of biodiversity loss and enable the ambitious and transformative change needed to live in harmony with nature by effectively protecting more of the world’s land, freshwater and oceans, encouraging sustainable consumption and production, employing nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and end harmful subsidies that harm the environment,” he stressed.
Living in harmony with nature
Guterres added that the global agreement must also mobilize actions and financial resources to drive concrete positive investments for nature, ensuring that we all benefit from the dividends of biological diversity.
“In meeting these goals and implementing the 2050 Vision of ‘living in harmony with nature,’ we must act with respect for equity and human rights, in particular with respect to the many indigenous populations whose territories are home to so much biological diversity,” emphasized.
The UN chief said that in order to save our planet’s indispensable and fragile natural wealth, everyone must participate, including young people and vulnerable populations who are most dependent on nature for their livelihoods.
“Today I call on everyone to act to build a shared future for life,” he concluded.
Building a shared future for life is precisely this year’s focus for the International Day, in line with the United Nations Decade for Restoration.
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity resources are the pillars on which we build civilizations.
Fish provides 20 percent of animal protein for some 3 billion people; plants provide more than 80 percent of the human diet; and up to 80 percent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional herbal medicines for primary health care.
However, around 1 million species of animals and plants are now threatened with extinction.
Biodiversity loss threatens everyone, including our health. It has been shown that the loss of biodiversity could spread zoonoses – diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans – while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight pandemics such as those caused by the coronavirus.
If current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems are not addressed soon, they will undermine progress towards the 80% assessed targets of 8 Sustainable Development Goals.