UN chief calls for bold action to end ‘suicidal war with nature’

UN chief calls for bold action to end 'suicidal war with nature'

New York (UNA-OIC) – With more than a million species at risk of extinction, countries must work now to achieve a sustainable future for people and the planet, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told leaders attending the UN Biodiversity Conference, which opened on Monday from Kunming, China.

“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” Guterres said in a video message to the meeting, which is mainly being held virtually. He warned that “humanity’s reckless interference with nature” will have permanent consequences.

“The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years – and accelerating. Over a million species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are at risk – many within decades,” the UN chief said.

“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost three trillion US dollars annually by 2030. Its greatest impact will be on some of the poorest and most highly indebted countries,” he added.

The conference, known as COP15, will develop a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade.

“COP15 is our chance to call a ceasefire,” said the Secretary-General.  “Together with COP26 on climate, it should lay the foundations for a permanent peace agreement”.

A new Global Biodiversity Framework can put nature, and people, back on track, he said, emphasizing that it should work in synergy with the Paris Agreement on climate change and other international accords on forests, desertification, and oceans.

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