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COP15 to help fix biodiversity crisis in next decade, says expert

Source: Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-11 13:29:34

The upcoming United Nations (UN) biodiversity conference to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming will be essential in setting the blueprint for fixing the world's biodiversity crisis in the next "decisive decade," a U.S. expert has said. (Xinhua)

"The Kunming Declaration, in our view, is an opportunity for governments all over the world to show their support for the level of ambition that needs to be reflected in the text of the 2020 biodiversity framework," said a U.S. expert.

by Xinhua writers Yang Shilong, Hu Yousong

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming United Nations (UN) biodiversity conference to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming will be essential in setting the blueprint for fixing the world's biodiversity crisis in the next "decisive decade," a U.S. expert has said.

James Roth, senior vice president for global policy and government affairs at Conservation International (CI), a non-profit international organization based in the United States with a mission to promote global biodiversity and the well-being of humanity, said this in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.

The first part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP15, is set to kick off on Monday both online and in person. The meeting will review the "post-2020 global biodiversity framework" to draw a blueprint for biodiversity conservation in the future.

Photo taken on Oct. 10, 2021 shows a wall showcasing seed diversity during an exhibition held by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, CAS held an event on its biodiversity preservation and study, as well as achievements on biodiversity research. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

"It speaks volumes about the level of commitment that the world has shown towards fixing the biodiversity crisis. And that China has really stayed the course and (is) trying to make sure that ... COP15 is going to be a success," said Roth.

"The period between 2020 and 2030, which has been declared the decisive decade, is our chance to get things right, moving forward to agree to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework," he said.

"The Kunming Declaration, in our view, is an opportunity for governments all over the world to show their support for the level of ambition that needs to be reflected in the text of the 2020 biodiversity framework," he said.

"I think getting to a nature positive state by 2030 is critical. Anything less than this in the framework would be a missed opportunity to show how important nature is for people and for businesses and for the health of our planet," said Roth.

"The world's existing biodiversity and climate crisis don't stop during global challenges. The hard work of all countries is to continue moving forward," Roth said, adding that "we're pleased that China is placing that high level of emphasis on that."

Roth, who oversees CI's U.S. Government Affairs and International Policy teams, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated international cooperation in dealing with such global challenges as climate change for the well-being of humanity.

Noting the pandemic has highlighted a world that is interconnected, he said: "Not only do we have to have commitments from those countries that have landscapes and geographies that are rich in carbon and biodiversity, but we need finance commitments from the wealthier countries."

"The biodiversity crisis is equally on center stage with the climate crisis. Species extinction, habitat degradation, and the loss of benefits that nature provides are all various parts of this crisis," he said.

"Science is clear on this and we think that the solutions are also clear ... we're greatly encouraged by how countries, including China, around the world are taking ambitious action in response to science that details the loss of biodiversity," said Roth.

The COP15, which has been postponed twice due to the pandemic, will have two parts. The second part will be held in the first half of 2022 with a full in-person component.

【Editor:Bai Yanxiaoxue 】
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