Protecting biodiversity requires more solidarity across countries, an official of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) told Xinhua in a recent interview.
For developing countries, Anne Larigauderie, IPBES executive secretary, said that the ongoing 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will provide them with an opportunity to gain external aid for strengthening their capabilities to protect biodiversity.
Themed “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth,” the COP15, whose first part kicked off on Monday both virtually and in person in Kunming, capital city of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, is the first global conference convened by the UN on the topic of ecological civilization.
Impressed by the biodiversity of plants and animals in Yunnan, Larigauderie said it is a meaningful place to host such an important event and will inspire delegates from all over the world.
On the significance of the global biodiversity framework, Larigauderie stressed that it will be “the roadmap for the future to protect biodiversity” and “a fundamental document about nature.”
Playing a role as an independent intergovernmental body in strengthening the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development, IPBES, to which the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) provides secretariat services, conducts global assessment of biodiversity from scientific perspectives.
Citing an assessment report released by IPBES in 2019, Larigauderie noted that nature has been deteriorating at an unprecedented rate and scale.
“For example, 85 percent of our freshwater ecosystems have been lost. Only 3 percent of our ocean surface can still be considered as free from human pressure,” said the executive secretary.
“One million out of an estimated total of 8 million species of plants and animals are going extinct,” she added.
Larigauderie warned that the loss of biodiversity “is having an impact on many of the contributions that people derived from nature,” notably the loss of pollinators that threatens crops, the loss of the capacity of ecosystems to regulate the quality of air and soils.
“We really don’t have a lot of time. Those 10 years are very crucial between now and 2030,” she urged, expressing her hope that the scientific basis offered by the IPBES reports could “enable governments to make an ambitious framework to preserve biodiversity moving forward.”
In her view, it would be important to have a set of targets regarding biodiversity, which should be as scientifically substantiated and quantified as possible, so that people know what they are aiming at.
Besides, a monitoring framework and ambitious financial support are crucial as well for attaining targets of biodiversity, Larigauderie added.