lobal efforts have failed to reach any of the 20 biodiversity targets countries set a decade ago, the United Nations has heard.
The Covid-19 pandemic has applied increased urgency to these targets, demanding changes in the relationship with nature.
The UN’s first ever Biodiversity Summit was held at the 75th General Assembly yesterday.
Speaking virtually, over 100 world leaders aim to stem the decline of the planet’s biodiversity, which has seen a 68% loss of vertebrates since 1970.
The summit heard that governments are providing $500 billion in subsidies that potentially cause environmental harm.
The goal is to build political momentum for the Convention on Biodiversity’s Conference of the Parties (COP15), in Kunming, China in 2021, where world leaders will agree to an ambitious plan of action on biodiversity.
Food security is directly threatened
“Kunming needs to turn biodiversity into a household concern and political issue. Everyone must realise the risks of inaction,” said Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly.
With food security directly threatened, two billion hectares of degraded land needs to be restored to support biodiversity and more than one-third of fish stocks are in urgent need of recovery.
More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Around one third of jobs in developing countries are directly dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services.