Xi pushes for global consensus on biodiversity

President Xi Jinping speaks via video link at the opening ceremony of the high-level segment of the second part of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) held December 15 in Montreal, Canada. 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping has underscored the need to build an international consensus to protect biodiversity, calling for efforts to improve global biodiversity policies and build a community for all life on earth.

Xi made the remarks while speaking via video link at the opening ceremony of the high-level segment of the second part of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) on Thursday.

Focused on the theme “Ecological Civilization – Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth,” the high-level segment is convened in Montreal, Canada, at a pivotal time as the international community gathers to address the current biodiversity crisis.

The goal of the high-level segment is to build and sustain political momentum to support the ongoing negotiations to develop a detailed and effective post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, expected to be adopted at the Montreal Conference. China is the President of COP15 and has endeavored to lead and coordinate the negotiation process.

Xi said that humanity lives in a community with a common future.

“Be it overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic or improving biodiversity protection and achieving sustainable development worldwide, solidarity and cooperation are the only effective means to meet global challenges.”

Noting that a healthy ecosystem is essential for the prosperity of civilization, he called for international cooperation to promote harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, build a community of all life on earth, and a clean and beautiful world for all to accomplish.

Experts have warned of the biodiversity crisis the world is facing and they have urged developed countries to shoulder their responsibilities and help developing countries achieve the vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050”.

Jiang Zhigang, a professor of conservation biology at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the world is facing a biodiversity crisis and the genetic diversity of many plants and animals has been eroded.

He cited a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which said that 75 percent of the world’s food today is produced from just 12 plant and five animal species, and many plant and animal species are endangered or even extinct in the wild due to habitat loss and human activities, and the ecosystem structure will be damaged.

COP15 plays a crucial role in reversing biodiversity loss and restoring the natural environment through the implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, Jiang said in an article published on the China Global Television Network website. Governments and interest groups need to recognize the cost of inaction, he said.

In his speech, Xi called on the international community to build a global consensus on biodiversity protection, work together towards the completion of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and identify goals and pathways for global biodiversity protection.

While emphasizing the need to advance the global process of protecting biodiversity, he called for efforts to turn ambitions into action, support developing countries in capacity building and efforts to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and other global challenges coordinate.

Xi called for promoting green development by protecting biodiversity, accelerating the green transition of development ways and lifestyles, and using China’s proposed global development initiative to bring greater benefits to people of all countries.

“We must uphold a fair and equitable global order that protects biodiversity, firmly defend genuine multilateralism, firmly support the UN-centered international system and international order underpinned by international law, and create strong synergies to protect the Earth, ours common home. “

Xi also reiterated China’s commitment and action to protect biodiversity and build a common future for all life, saying the nation is actively responding to the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration Action Plan and a large number of key biodiversity projects going to start protection and recovery.

“We will do our best to support and assist other developing countries through the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition and the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to take global biodiversity governance to a new level.”

At the COP15 leaders’ summit held in Kunming, Yunnan province last October, Xi announced China’s initiative to set up the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (216th million US dollars) invested to support the protection of biological diversity in developing countries.

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