SHARM EL-SHEIKH - The Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Dr Christiana Pascar Palmer, is concerned the world failed to stop the loss of biodiversity.
She said, despite some notable achievements made globally, the loss of biodiversity continues at an alarming rate. “We have not only failed to save biodiversity and nature, but we have also failed to make people understand the value biodiversity and nature,” said Palmer.
She made these remarks at a two-day High-Level Segment, which preceded the 14th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was held from the 17th - 29th of last month in Egypt.
Palmer said human activities are the major contributors to the loss of biodiversity, and people should realise that the loss of other species will also put human lives in danger.
“We need to share Planet with other species,’’ she said. The meeting is held under the theme ‘Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet.’
Palmer said it is in her personal opinion that the fight against loss of biodiversity will only be won if people all work together in their efforts to address it, and she is happy that all 196 Parties to the CBD are attending the conference – with indigenous people, communities, NGOs, international organisations, towns, and cities represented “to co-design the future and preserve nature and biodiversity. Not just in our hearts, but also in our deeds. Action is needed to mainstream biodiversity in all relevant economic sectors. The conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development must be seen in our every day lives, and this should have tangible benefits to people,” she Palmer.
The Egyptian Minister for Environment, Dr Yasmine Fouad, said Egypt will support all what Africa needs in the fight against biodiversity – through partnerships and international partners, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. She said problems such as illegal fishing are some of the activities contributing to biodiversity loss, and are a big concern to people – and must be stopped.
“We only have one planet. We do not have a choice,’’ she said.
Fouad called on the conference to meet consensus on the different issues to be discussed at the gathering. The Governor of South Sinai – in which the city of Sharm El-Sheikh is located – Khaled Fouad Saddig Mohamed, said Egypt takes issues for environmental and nature protection very seriously. The CBD is one the three Rio Convention, adopted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit held in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil) in that year.
The objectives of the CBD are the conservation on biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the commercial utilisation of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.
The other two Rio Conventions are the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.