Qatar highlights commitment to environmental development in preserving biodiversity

Qatar highlights commitment to environmental development in preserving biodiversity By George Julius Williams - October 03, 2020
Qatar highlights commitment to environmental development in preserving biodiversity

Qatar highlights commitment to environmental development in preserving biodiversity

Historic UN Summit on Biodiversity pledges for moving globally towards a green recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

A record number of countries - nearly 150 nations -attended a historic UN Summit on Biodiversity held on 30th September at the United Nations.

A total of 72 Heads of State and Government set the stage for a global movement toward a green recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and addressed the first ever Summit held on biodiversity to build political momentum towards the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

A statement made by His Excellency Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie, the Minister of Municipality and Environment during the UN Summit on Biodiversity stated that Qatar has stressed the importance of responding to environmental challenges collectively to find appropriate solutions.

HE al-Subaie highlighted Qatar's commitment to environmental development in its 2030 Vision, naming it one of its four pillars namely - preserving biodiversity as one of national developmental strategies.

HE stressed Qatar's commitment to legislation and environmental initiatives to raise awareness on biodiversity, particularly in Qatar and added that the event reflects the commitment to protecting biodiversity and the efforts made to achieve sustainable development on a global level.

HE al-Subaie said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development showed the close connection between its goals and protecting biodiversity and noted that the multilateral UN agreements would help enhance comprehensive co-operation between countries and build capabilities in protecting biodiversity.

HE the Minister also stressed the importance of global co-operation to prepare ambitious plans and initiatives to protect biodiversity.

HE al-Subaie concluded his statement by expressing his thanks to the organizers, and expressed hope that it could yield fruitful outcomes.

The UN Summit came on the heels of the Leader’s Pledge which saw 74 countries commit to preserving biodiversity, sending “a united signal to step up global ambition for biodiversity and to commit to matching our collective ambition for nature, climate and people with the scale of the crisis at hand.”

“The degradation of local and regional ecosystems, unsustainable agricultural practices, and the exploitation of natural resources, are putting critical pressure on world ecosystems,” said President of the General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, who presided over the Summit. “Clearly, we must heed the lessons we have learned and respect the world in which we live.”

He added, “A green recovery, with an emphasis on protecting biodiversity, can address these concerns, mitigate risks, and build a more sustainable, resilient world. Doing so can help unlock an estimated US$10 trillion in business opportunities, create 395 million jobs by 2030 and encourage a greener economy.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said biodiversity and ecosystems are essential for human progress and prosperity. “By living in harmony with nature, we can avert the worst impacts of climate change and recharge biodiversity for the benefit of people and the planet.”

“Let me be clear,” he added. “Degradation of nature is not purely an environmental issue. It spans economics, health, social justice and human rights. Neglecting our precious resources can exacerbate geopolitical tensions and conflicts. Yet, too often environmental health is overlooked or downplayed by other government sectors. This Summit is our opportunity to show the world that there is another way. We have to change course and transform our relationship with the natural world.”

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said the Summit showed a greater willingness to act.  “Today we have seen tremendous commitment to act, invest and drive action for a nature-positive world. We are seeing a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to moving conversations on biodiversity, beyond the environment corridors. We are seeing strong momentum towards sealing an ambitious and measurable agreement at the COP15 in Kunming. As we tackle three planetary crises – the nature crisis, the biodiversity crisis, and the pollution and waste crisis–such an Agreement is crucial to reversing the damage already done, and indeed to tackling the risks that lie ahead.”

The historic first ever UN Summit’s pledge to build political momentum towards the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is to be adopted at COP15 in Kunming, China next year.

By George Julius Williams - October 03, 2020

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