‘Without nature, we have nothing’: UN chief sounds alarm at key UN biodiversity event

Baku, December 7, AZERTAC

The urgent need for action was underscored by UN Secretary-General António Guterres during his opening remarks to the conference the UN’s key biodiversity conference, COP15, in Montreal, Canada, according to the official website of the organization.
Noting that “without nature, we are nothing”, Guterres declared that humanity has, for hundred of years “conducted a cacophony of chaos, played with instruments of destruction”.
The UN chief catalogued examples of this destruction, from deforestation and desertification; to the poisoning of the environment by chemicals and pesticides, which is degrading land, making it harder to feed the growing global population.
He pointed also to the degradation of the Ocean, which is accelerating the destruction of life-sustaining coral reefs and other marine ecosystems - directly affecting those communities that depend on the ocean for their livelihoods.
The Secretary-General boiled down the action that needs to be taken in order to save nature, into three main areas.
The first involves the implementation of national plans that would divert subsidies and tax breaks away from activities that contribute to the destruction of nature, towards green solutions such as renewable energy, plastic reduction, nature-friendly food production and sustainable resource extraction.
These plans would also recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities as stewards of nature.
The second concerns the private sector which, argued Guterres, must recognize that profit and protection go hand-in-hand, meaning a shift by the food and agricultural industry towards sustainable production and natural means of pollination, pest control and fertilization; the timber, chemicals, building and construction industries taking their impacts on nature into account in their business plans; and the biotech, pharmaceutical, and other industries that exploit biodiversity sharing the benefits fairly and equitably.
“Greenwashing”, he said – referring to unsubstantiated environmental claims made by companies – must end, and the private sector needs to be held accountable for actions across every link of business supply chains.
Improved financial support from the countries of the ‘Global South’ formed the basis of the Secretary-General’s third pillar for action.
Guterres called on international financial institutions and multilateral development banks to align their portfolios with the conservation, and sustainable use of, biodiversity.

Environment 2022-12-07 10:36:00