UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for greater ambition to reverse biodiversity loss.
Biodiversity and ecosystems are essential for human progress and prosperity. They are central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change, he told at a high-level event of a virtual biodiversity summit on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, reports Xinhua.
Yet, despite repeated commitments, efforts have not been sufficient to meet any of the global biodiversity targets set for 2020. Much greater ambition is needed -- not just from governments, but from all actors in society, he said.
Degradation of nature is not purely an environmental issue. It spans economics, health, social justice and human rights, he warned. "Neglecting our precious resources can exacerbate geopolitical tensions and conflicts."
Yet, too often environmental health is overlooked or downplayed. The UN Biodiversity Summit provides an opportunity to show the world that there is another way. Humanity has to change course and transform its relationship with the natural world, he said.
"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," he added.