COP15: UN chief urges governments and private sector to work effectively to protect nature


Government and the private sector must move to effectively protect the nature environment, said the Secretary General Antonio Guterres, at UN biodiversity conference in Montreal, Canada.

The UN chief was speaking on the side-lines of the conference, which is expected to set new goals for nature over the next decade.  

“Ecosystems have become playthings of profit. Human activities are laying waste to once-thriving forests, jungles, farmland, oceans, rivers, seas and lakes,” he said. He recalled that a million species are at risk of extinction. 

“We need governments to develop ambitious national action plans that protect and preserve our natural gifts, and put our planet on a path to healing,” said Mr. Guterres. 

“We need businesses and investors to put protection first in their business plans, and invest in sustainable production and extraction methods across every link of their supply chains.” 

The Secretary-General stated that “climate action and protection of biodiversity are two sides of the same coin.”

He called for tough regulatory frameworks and disclosure measures that end “greenwashing” and hold the private sector accountable. 

COP15, kicked off on Wednesday in Montreal, bought 196 countries at one place which set to agree, on a new set of goals and targets that will guide “global action” on nature through 2030.

This conference also presents an opportunity for climate and environmental experts, conservationists, advocates and activists to let their concerns be heard regarding the alarming loss of biodiversity and alteration of ecosystems.

Overall, the U.N. hopes to persuade all countries to pledge to put at least 30 per cent of their land and sea areas under conservation by 2030, a target often referred to as the “30-by-30” goal.

Currently, only about 17 per cent of the world’s land area falls under some sort of protection, while less than 8% of the global ocean is protected.

More than 1 million species, especially insects, are now threatened with extinction, vanishing at a rate not seen in 10 million years, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

And as much as 40% of Earth’s land surfaces are considered degraded, according to a 2022 U.N. Global Land Outlook assessment.

In the last decade, 55 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions have been directly absorbed by terrestrial ecosystems and oceans

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published an estimate that approximately three quarters of the earth’s surface and 66 percent of its oceans have been severely altered due to man-made factors


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